Family is a unique relationship context that influences the contents and processes of identity. The identity of individuals emerges, at least in part, from being members of a family. Moreover, the family context influences not only the development of one’s personal identity as a family member but also other aspects of personal identity. Family is not a neutral environment for identity development. On the contrary, it deeply affects the individual process, starting during adolescence, that leads to the development of one’s identity (Grotevant & Cooper, 1986). In this chapter, first we briefly review the main theories that have tried to outline a definition of family, from which we have derived our own definition. Second, we analyze the concept of family identity. We address the topic of family identity at three different levels: (1) at the group level, which is the specific identity of the family as a group; (2) at the couple subsystem level, since the couple has its own identity and, thus, its own set of potentials to be pursued; (3) at the individual subsystem level, which is the component of individual identity that comes from being part of a specific family group. Finally, we aim to describe family members’ identity processes and how they are affected by the family system and in particular by the process of mutual differentiation.
|Titolo della pubblicazione ospite||handbook of identity theory and research|
|Numero di pagine||19|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Pubblicato - 2011|