Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 15, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971966 | Print ISBN: 9781412940504 | Online ISBN: 9781412971966| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Tracy Cummings & Manya Whitaker & Catherine Darrow & H. Richard Milner IV
Identity can be defined as the set of characteristics individuals recognize as belonging uniquely to themselves. Identity development often considers how an individual forms that set of characteristics and the emotional connection associated with being identified with that set of characteristics. African American identity development can focus specifically on the active and dynamic racialized processes through which people come to identify themselves; these developmental processes are often shaped by how others in society identify and perceive African Americans. Identity and identity development are often conceptualized from psychological and sociological perspectives. Psychological perspectives of identity and identity development concern the basic mental activity involved in developing a sense of self. Sociological perspectives of identity and identity development consider how contexts shape the ways that individuals come to know and represent themselves. Although there are numerous sources that can contribute to African American students' identity and their identity development, this entry discusses ...