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Josselonson's Identity Theory

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Could someone please help me understand Josselson's identity theory? How does that relate to adult education?

I also need assistance understanding Chickering and Reisser's identity theory. How does that relate to adult education?

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Solution Summary

Here are demonstrations of how various identity theories and the stages of progress relate to adult education. Much of the information provided is a detail outline of nontraditional social and behavioral literature to inspire others not only to begin to examine the utility of identity theory for understanding the behavior of learners, but also to begin to consider the usefulness of the explicit stages that guide research and practice.

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Josselson's identity theory surrounds issues of gender development and the intersection of multiple identities. It examines how individuals balance changes in their personal and social location, while integrating and balancing various aspects of their personal and social selves. In other words, adult learners who are navigating across five identity structures such as: (a) racial minority status and majority status, particularly as it relates to life in the United States; (b) cultures with different values of collectivism versus individualism (or other culturally related values), with examinations of both internal and external conflict; (c) gender identities, including the masculine, feminine, and transgender experiences; (d) roles, particularly as they are related to socially constructed ideas of gender; and (e) cultural expectations versus individual definitions and how those two are often pitted against each other throughout one's identity development.

Chickering, and Reisser, created a Theory of Identity. The development was based on seven vectors of student development. The seven vectors are different from other theories of development because they are not meant to be chronological, but instead show direction and magnitude of identity development. Progress through the vectors does not necessarily happen in chronological order, and people can regress back and forth to previous stages depending on new developments and changes in life. Development and movement through the vectors is ...

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