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Becoming: Identity and spirituality

  • Pecchenino, Rowena A.

An individual's identity answers the questions of who, what, where, and why the individual is. An overall identity is made up of multiple constituent identities. These identities may not be fixed over the life course, but may change as a result of conscious choices as well as serendipity or calamity--life transforming events which cannot be anticipated, which remove what had been the certainties and norms of life, and which can leave the individual disconnected from what had been her past and from her hoped for future. In this paper we develop a two-period behavioral model of an individual whose personal identity is an amalgam of N identities, one or more of which may be spiritual in nature. Some identities are actualized at a point in time and some remain latent. We model how individuals allocate resources among current and hoped for future identities, and how these resource allocation decisions and identity actualizations are affected by the interaction of choices and unanticipated external events. We argue why a spiritual identity may be actualized, how it interacts with other identities, and why, in giving context to an individual's life, it enables her to define and to strive toward her overall identity--to become.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 31-36

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:1:p:31-36
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  1. Caroline Gerschlager, 2008. "Foolishness and identity: Amartya Sen and Adam Smith," DULBEA Working Papers 08-03.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
  3. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  4. Ulrich Horst & Alan Kirman & Miriam Teschl, 2006. "Changing Identity: The Emergence of Social Groups," Working Papers halshs-00410853, HAL.
  5. John B Davis, 2005. "Social Identity Strategies in Recent Economics," Working Papers and Research 0508, Marquette University, Center for Global and Economic Studies and Department of Economics.
  6. Ted O' Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Choice and Procrastination," Microeconomics 0012002, EconWPA.
  7. Amartya Sen, 1996. "Maximization and the Act of Choice," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1766, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Bazin, Damien & Ballet, Jerome, 2006. "A basic model for multiple self," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1050-1060, December.
  9. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1998. "Comparison-concave utility and following behaviour in social and economic settings," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 133-155, October.
  10. Sen, Amartya, 1985. "Goals, Commitment, and Identity," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 341-55, Fall.
  11. Frank, Robert H, 1985. "The Demand for Unobservable and Other Nonpositional Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 101-16, March.
  12. Alan Kirman & Miriam Teschl, 2006. "Searching for identity in the capability space," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 299-325.
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