How People Change: Cultural Logics and Social Patterns of Identity Change

  • Jennifer Todd
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Compromise after Conflict book series (PSCAC)


The chapter takes as its sample 100 respondents already identified as ‘innovators’, the majority of whom narrate processes of identity change. It analyses their narratives in terms of the symbolic repertoires appealed to, the guiding values articulated, the ends in view, the most general ontological assumptions, the types of argument, and the general directionality of the story. The readings illustrate the personalized processes of identity change, while developing a generalizable typology that abstracts from specific beliefs and commitments. I outline the three main types of identity change recounted by respondents—privatization, pluralization, transformation—discuss the class-based resources on which each draws and the costs it carries for those who choose it, and then explore forms of change that have less clarity of direction.


Narrative Narrative analysis Pluralization Privatization Transformation Cultural logics Discourse Argumentation Ends in view Values Ontological assumptions Northern Ireland Republic of Ireland Social class 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Todd
    • 1
  1. 1.Geary InstituteUniversity College DublinDublinIreland

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