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Toward a Personal Identity Argument to Combine Potentially Conflicting Social Identities


  • Béatrice Boulu-Reshef

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, University of Virginia)


Despite the boom in research on identity in economics, the question of how to depict personal identity in a fashion that combines potentially conflicting social identities has so far been largely ignored. This paper introduces a framework that relies on the structure of the social realm that is exogenous to the individual in order to depict investment decisions as per social identities. The structure of the environment is identified using organizational boundaries and identity production functions are used to combine social identities. The inclusion of the various social spaces that are relevant to personal identity strategies enables one to simultaneously study identification strategies and individuation strategies. It also allows the depiction of social identities that may be conflicting, due to different social commitments and/or norm valuations. This externalist conception of identity helps discuss the limitations of internalist conceptions of identity and accounts for the heterogeneity of identity strategies across individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Béatrice Boulu-Reshef, 2015. "Toward a Personal Identity Argument to Combine Potentially Conflicting Social Identities," Post-Print hal-01261341, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01261341
    DOI: 10.1080/00346764.2014.990745

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Asimina Christoforou & Michael Laine, 2014. "Re-Thinking Economics: Exploring the Work of Pierre Bourdieu," Post-Print hal-01136499, HAL.
    2. Don Ross, 2007. "Economic Theory and Cognitive Science: Microexplanation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262681684, December.
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