Identity, Capital Model of
James E. Côté
The identity capital model is a social-psychological approach to identity formation that integrates (developmental) psychological and (contextual) sociological understandings of identity. Sociologically, it is based on the assumption that, as a result of global economic and political changes that have eroded traditional normative and community structures, life course contexts in late-modern (contemporary Western) societies have become more “individualized.” Beck (1992) views individualization as an function of cultural destructuring processes: As a society undergoes a reorganization, old norms become obsolete, leaving people to their own devices in making major life decisions, including finding communities within which to establish integrative bonds. Individualized life courses are those involving “self-styled career/lifestyle trajectories based on … personal preferences and choices” (Côté, 2002, p. 118; to be distinguished from “individuation,” the process involving the boundary between self and other). Accordingly, an emerging normative course of maturation in late-modern societies compels people to develop themselves as The ...