Navigating the Future

Navigating the Future: Social Identity, Coping, and Life Tasks

Geraldine Downey
Jacquelynne S. Eccles
Celina M. Chatman
Copyright Date: 2005
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 272
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7758/9781610441612
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  • Book Info
    Navigating the Future
    Book Description:

    Psychologists now understand that identity is not fixed, but fluid and highly dependent on environment. In times of stress, conflict, or change, people often adapt by presenting themselves in different ways and emphasizing different social affiliations. With changing demographics creating more complex social groupings, it is important to understand the costs and benefits of the way social groups are categorized, and the way individuals understand, cope with, and employ their varied social identities.Navigating the Future, edited by Geraldine Downey, Jacquelynne Eccles, and Celina Chatman, answers that call with a wealth of empirical data and expert analysis.

    Navigating the Futurefocuses on the roles that social identities play in stressful, challenging, and transitional situations. Jason Lawrence, Jennifer Crocker, and Carol Dweck show how the prospect of being negatively stereotyped can affect the educational success of girls and African Americans, making them more cynical about school and less likely to seek help. The authors argue that these issues can be mitigated by challenging these students educationally, expressing optimism in their abilities, and emphasizing that intelligence is not fixed, but can be developed. The book also looks at the ways in which people employ social identity to their advantage. J. Nicole Shelton and her co-authors use extensive research on adolescents and college students to argue that individuals with strong, positive connections to their ethnic group exhibit greater well-being and are better able to cope with the negative impact of discrimination. Navigating the Future also discusses how the importance and value of social identity depends on context. LaRue Allen, Yael Bat-Chava, J. Lawrence Aber, and Edward Seidman find that the emotional benefit of racial pride for black adolescents is higher in predominantly black neighborhoods than in racially mixed environments.

    Because most people identify with more than one group, they must grapple with varied social identities, using them to make connections with others, overcome adversity, and understand themselves.Navigating the Futurebrings together leading researchers in social psychology to understand the complexities of identity in a diverse social world.

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-161-2
    Subjects: Psychology, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-20)
    Geraldine Downey, Celina M. Chatman, Bonita London, William E. Cross Jr., Diane Hughes, Elizabeth Moje, Niobe Way and Jacquelynne S. Eccles

    Because of the increasing diversification of the United States and more frequent intergroup contact through globalization, people confront a greater number of situations that impel them to consider themselves in terms of social categories. In addition, in the United States, issues such as changing immigration patterns, the significant growth of the black middle class, and an increase in dual-career families have widened people’s options for self-definition and social categorization. But this widening of options also creates greater potential for role and identity diffusion, identity conflicts, marginalization, and a host of other challenges to individuals’ sense of belonging and self-coherence. Therefore,...

  5. PART I IDENTITY AS A SOURCE OF STRESS:: CHALLENGES FROM MEMBERSHIP IN STIGMATIZED SOCIAL GROUPS
    • CHAPTER 2 STEREOTYPES NEGATIVELY INFLUENCE THE MEANING STUDENTS GIVE TO ACADEMIC SETTINGS
      (pp. 23-44)
      Jason S. Lawrence, Jennifer Crocker and Carol S. Dweck

      Answering questions, asking for help, taking tests, receiving feedback from teachers—these are common activities of students. But for students from social groups stereotyped as low-ability in an academic domain, such as blacks and Latinos in academics overall and females in math and science, these activities can take on ominous meaning—meaning that nonstereotyped students do not give to the same activities. It is during such activities that stereotyped students believe they could be judged by or confirm the low-ability stereotype about their group. To a female math major, for example, a math exam can be much more than a...

    • CHAPTER 3 A FRAMEWORK FOR STUDYING SOCIAL IDENTITY AND COPING WITH DAILY STRESS DURING THE TRANSITION TO COLLEGE
      (pp. 45-64)
      Bonita London, Geraldine Downey, Niall Bolger and Elizabeth Velilla

      Over the past several decades, psychological theory and research have substantially improved our understanding of how stressful life experiences can undermine health, well-being, and the accomplishment of valued goals (Anderson, McNeilly, and Myers 1993; Clark et al. 1999; Lazarus and Folkman 1984). Whereas initially this research focused on reactions to major but infrequent life events, more recently it has focused on the mundane and chronic stress that emerges in daily life (Bolger and Eckenrode 1991; Bolger and Zuckerman 1995; Swim, Cohen, and Hyers 1998). One source of chronic stress that research has begun to examine is membership in a traditionally...

  6. PART II HOW IDENTITIES FUNCTION TO AID THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF LIFE TASKS
    • CHAPTER 4 TRANSACTING BLACK IDENTITY: A TWO-WEEK DAILY-DIARY STUDY
      (pp. 67-95)
      Linda C. Strauss and William E. Cross Jr.

      The study described in this chapter is premised on a theory of black identity that links racial socialization, identity orientation, and everyday identity transactions. A small group of mostly black women participated in a two-week daily-diary study to investigate whether they engaged none, some, or all of the identity enactments suggested by both the developmental literature on racial socialization and a particular theory of black identity (nigrescence theory). Scores from a premeasure were used to assign participants to one of three identity categories to explore whether positionality predicts frequency of transaction engagement. Following a review of the developmental literature on...

    • CHAPTER 5 ETHNIC IDENTITY AS A BUFFER OF PSYCHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENT TO STRESS
      (pp. 96-115)
      J. Nicole Shelton, Tiffany Yip, Jacquelynne S. Eccles, Celina M. Chatman, Andrew J. Fuligni and Carol Wong

      Being an ethnic minority in the United States can be stressful. Having to contend with negative stereotypes and beliefs about one’s group can be emotionally and psychologically draining for ethnic minorities. In fact, researchers once suggested that ethnic minorities internalized the dominant culture’s stereotypes and beliefs about their groups, which led to negative self-concepts (see Cross 1991 for a review). Moreover, having to deal with unfair treatment and resource inequities can lead to poor physical and psychological health for ethnic minorities (Allison 1998).

      The aim of this chapter is to demonstrate that ethnic identity has the potential to protect ethnic...

    • CHAPTER 6 IDENTITY NEGOTIATION IN EVERYDAY SETTINGS
      (pp. 116-140)
      Celina M. Chatman, Jacquelynne S. Eccles and Oksana Malanchuk

      Throughout their lives, individuals are continually faced with new experiences and situations that, somehow, must be integrated with existing aspects of the self (see James 1890/1910; Erikson 1968). Some of these experiences involve major life events such as entering new contexts where people may espouse attitudes, beliefs, and values that are different from one’s own. Other experiences involve single encounters with new people or new information that may create conflicts with one’s existing set of beliefs and values. In either case, these events and experiences can challenge individuals to reevaluate aspects of the self and subsequently engage in various negotiation...

  7. PART III CONTEXTUAL DEMANDS AND COMPETING IDENTITIES
    • CHAPTER 7 ADOLESCENT RACIAL AND ETHNIC IDENTITY IN CONTEXT
      (pp. 143-166)
      LaRue Allen, Yael Bat-Chava, J. Lawrence Aber and Edward Seidman

      Seventy-eight percent of the United States population now lives in urban centers that are increasingly characterized as densely populated, multiracial, and multiethnic (United Nations Children’s Fund 2002). Racial and ethnic identities become increasingly salient aspects of the social identity when we are thrown into close contact with those from other groups in school, at work, or in community settings (Ashmore, Deaux and McLaughlin-Volpe 2004; Kim-ju and Liem 2003; McGuire et al. 1978). A person’s race, his or her ethnicity, the feelings triggered by and associated with those aspects of social identity, and the race and ethnicity of those who surround...

    • CHAPTER 8 SOCIALIZATION TO THE ACADEMY: COPING WITH COMPETING SOCIAL IDENTITIES
      (pp. 167-188)
      Abigail J. Stewart and Andrea L. Dottolo

      InThree Guineas, Virginia Woolf (1938/1966) asked hard questions about war. As we can see from the quotation above, she also asked hard questions about the exclusion of women from education. Woolf noted that at that moment—1938—women were now “trapesing along at the tail end of the procession” of educated people. She urged them not merely to join the procession, but also to ask themselves and others tough questions about whether to join, or on what terms to join. In short, she counseled women to use their outsider status to raise important questions about education, the professions, and...

  8. PART IV BRIDGING WORLDS:: INTERPLAY BETWEEN SOCIAL IDENTITIES AND SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS
    • CHAPTER 9 THE EXPERIENCE OF MINORITY STUDENTS AT PREDOMINANTLY WHITE UNIVERSITIES: THE ROLE OF INTERGROUP FRIENDSHIPS
      (pp. 191-209)
      Tracy McLaughlin-Volpe, Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton and J. Nicole Shelton

      Ever since the publication of Gordon Allport’s (1954)The Nature of Prejudice, much research has been devoted to understanding the conditions under which positive intergroup contact will thrive (see Cook 1986; Pettigrew and Tropp 2000). The impact of Allport’s seminal writings cannot be underestimated: to this day, the conditions he outlined fifty years ago continue to inspire and set the agenda for research on intergroup contact. In his original writings, Allport outlined five different types of contact: casual contact, acquaintance, residential contact, occupational contact, and goodwill contact. Interestingly, one of the categories that Allport did not include in his analysis...

    • CHAPTER 10 BECOMING ENGAGED IN THE COMMUNITY: A RELATIONAL PERSPECTIVE ON SOCIAL IDENTITY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
      (pp. 210-252)
      Susan M. Andersen, Geraldine Downey and Tom R. Tyler

      All else being equal, it is valuable for people to be engaged in social institutions and in society. People benefit because engagement helps them cope more effectively with their problems, maintain feelings of self-worth and positivity, and experience a favorable identity (Tyler, Degoey, and Smith 1996). A sense of social integration is clearly of value for mental and physical health (House, Landis, and Umberson 1988). For example, among adolescents, having strong ties to school and family helps prevent emotional distress, violence, and substance abuse and promotes school achievement (Blum and Rinehart 1997; Connell, Aber, and Walker 1995; Elliott et al....

  9. INDEX
    (pp. 253-262)