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Beyond Reason and ToleranceThe Purpose and Practice of Higher Education$
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Robert J. Thompson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199969784

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199969784.001.0001

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Identity and the Process of Self-Authorship

Identity and the Process of Self-Authorship

(p.89) Chapter 5 Identity and the Process of Self-Authorship
Beyond Reason and Tolerance

Robert J. Thompson

Oxford University Press

The concept of identity refers to the sense we make of ourselvesand the integrating structure for giving meaning and directionto our livesthrough our commitments, values, and goals. Identity formationis the major developmental task of emerging adulthoodand therefore an integral focus of a formative education committed to fostering the development of the whole person. This chapter reviews the nature, functions, and determinants of identity across multiple domains, including ethnic, national, religious, and morality identity. Identity formation is viewed as a process of self-authorship reflecting the intersection of our needs for a sense of uniqueness and significance and a sense of belonging and mattering to others. It is argued that developing an integrated sense of oneself that includes agency for personal and social responsibility is essential for engaging difference and the role of higher education in enhancing identity formation, particularly through service learning experiences, is discussed

Keywords:   identity, self-authorship, religious identity, moral identity, ethnic identity

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