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Storying our identity in adolescence

March 19, 2011

I’m one of those that believes in narrative power.  The ways in which we come to story our identities fascinate me.  Dan McAdams connects this process to adolescence in a specific way when he explains that “it is not until age five or six that a human being has a relatively clear sense of what a story is.  It is not until late adolescence or young adulthood that a human being typically begins to think of his or her own life in storied, mythic terms.  Before adolescence, we have no life story.  We have no identity.”[1] He goes on to say “But this does not mean that we construct our identity in adolescence from nothing.  Instead, we have been ‘collecting material’ for the story since Day One, even though we don’t remember Day One.”[2]


[1] 40 Dan McAdams (1993) The stories we live by; personal myths and the making of the self.  The Guilford Press; New York and London.

[2] 40 Dan McAdams (1993) The stories we live by; personal myths and the making of the self.  The Guilford Press; New York and London.

 

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