Other paths to identity

Identity is a hot topic in many disciplines beyond archaeology, and any student of identity theory will quickly find herself dabbling in other subjects. In order to help you navigate these alternative paths into identity, here are a few gateways. A common theme among many of these resources is their interdisciplinary outlook, suggesting that students of identity can really benefit from going outside their comfort zone. This page can only ever be a snapshot of all that’s out there, but as always, if you have any suggestions, get in touch!


Social Identity (3rd edition) – Richard Jenkins 2008: the standard textbook on social identity, now in its 3rd edition since 1996.

Identity in the 21st century: new trends in changing times – Margaret Wetherell (ed.) 2009: sociological studies of contemporary issues in identity.

Ethnicity Without Groups – Rogers Brubaker 2004: collected papers from 1998-2004 arguing against the tendency to discuss ethnicities as coherent groups, and moves the focus instead on the processes of group formation using ethnicity as a binding force.


Identity in the Information Society: free online journal, founded in 2008. Mainly on issues of privacy in an online world, but also open to the more philosophical implications of this situation.


Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (revised edition) – Benedict Anderson 2006: updated edition of the classic study of the origins of nationalism, with implications for the construction and mobilization of group identities.

Cultural Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean – Erich S. Gruen (ed.) 2011: case studies in identity among the historical peoples of Mediterranean antiquity.

Strategies of Identification: Ethnicity and Religion in Early Medieval Europe – W. Pohl and G. Heydemann (eds.) 2012: the latest salvo in a long list of publications on processes of early medieval identity formation.


Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power: along with its sister journal Ethnic and Racial Studies, this journal cuts across the social sciences to discuss contemporary identity politics. Founded in 1994.

Routledge Handbook of Identity Studies – Anthony Elliott (ed.) 2011: blurring the boundaries between sociology and politics, presents the argument for an integrated field of identity studies.

Institute of European and Cultural Identity Studies (IECIS): part of the University of St Andrews’ School of Modern Languages, studies the space between European ‘culture’ and national identities, and publishes the Cultural Identity Studies series.


The early modern subject: self-consciousness and personal identity from Descartes to Hume, by Udo Thiel, 2011. Studies the formation of the Western concept of the self in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Personal Identity (2nd edition) – John Perry (ed.) 2008: a reader in the philosophy of personal identity, from Locke to new work by John Perry.


Journal of Identity and Migration Studies: free online journal of the Research Centre for Identity and Migration Issues based in the University of Oradea, Romania.

Identity Studies: free online journal published by Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia as part of the SCOPES (Swiss National Science Foundation) Project “Social Sciences in Changing Contexts: the Case of Georgia”.

National Identities: journal founded in 1999, covering aspects of identity through expressions of nationhood and cultural politics.


Handbook of Identity Theory and Research – S. Schwartz, K. Luyckx and V. Vignoles (eds.) 2011: an impressive collection of research across all aspects of identity studies in psychology; available online.

Self and Identity: journal of the International Society for Self and Identity, founded in 2002. Mainly empirical and quantitative behavioral science research on personal identities.

Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research: founded in 2001, aimed at an interdisciplinary audience but firmly based in social aspects of psychology.


An Introduction to Sociolinguistics: Society and Identity – Sharon K. Deckert and Caroline H. Vickers (eds.) 2011. Brings identity to the fore in the study of language in society.



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