Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Navigating Multiple IdentitiesRace, Gender, Culture, Nationality, and Roles$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ruthellen Josselson and Michele Harway

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199732074

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732074.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 March 2019

The “We of Me”

The “We of Me”

Barack Obama’s Search for Identity

Chapter:
(p.39) 3 The “We of Me”
Source:
Navigating Multiple Identities
Author(s):

Ruthellen Josselson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732074.003.0003

A detailed reading of Obama’s autobiographical Dreams from my Father is conducted to illuminate psychological understanding of the challenges of multiple identity, challenges that occur at both deeply emotional as well as cognitive levels of experience. The aim is to extend conceptualization of the space between psychic reality and socially constructed discourses. This chapter assesses the various impacts of internal psychological forces and social pressures and considers how they interrelate. One’s sense of identity may have different meanings as the context of relationality changes, and the change in context can modify internal, felt awareness of who one “is.” Writing retrospectively in his early thirties, Obama details the interconnection between his internal psychic reality, rooted in relationships of love, and the various social constructions of raciality that he encountered. My psychological analysis posits that Obama writes from a stance of a subjective, nonracialized self about his creation of a personal racial identity. Concepts of intersubjectivity, identificatory love, and “overinclusiveness,” drawn from relational psychoanalysis as well as Erikson’s writings on identity, are utilized to theorize how discontinuous self-organizations may be held in dialectical tension. This chapter argues for the need to conceptualize identity in dynamic terms, as a structure or structures that hold together multiple versions of the internal and the discursive.

Keywords:   identity, multiracial, intersubjective, Obama, overinclusiveness, dialogical self, Dreams from my Father

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .