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Self-Identity Change and the Role Transition Process

  • Ehor O. Boyanowsky
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 23)

Abstract

The course of human life is marked by a vast number of role transitions. Many transitions are regarded as status promotions. Status is enhanced when a child enters primary school, thus acquiring formal rights and obligations for perhaps the first time, or when a youth completes a rigorous training course permitting him or her to wield a weapon and engage in war. Also, a role transition occurs when a person marries, thereby changing one’s relationship with the partner, with the community and, in some instances, with God. When the individual assumes the appropriate self-identity, for instance that of conscientious student, obedient soldier or devoted spouse he or she is regarded as well-adjusted. When a problem arises, as in the case of the disruptive, inattentive first-grader, the cowardly, disobedient private or the irresponsible husband, two explanations are considered. First, perhaps the preparation for the new role was inadequate. Thus, the role transition process itself (e.g., kindergarten, boot camp, etc.) may not have been effective and, as a consequence, internalization of the congruent self-identity did not occur. In instances where the ceremonies appear to work for the majority, resistance to assumption of the congruent self-identity on the part of a given individual is labeled as deviant and a constitutional inference of inadequacy or pathology is made.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ehor O. Boyanowsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Simon Fraser UniversityCanada

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