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The Co-Authored Self


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Table of Contents

Chapter One: Building the Narrative Ecology Section 1 Setting the Stage Chapter Two. Developmental Considerations Chapter Three. Theoretical Approaches to Identity Development and the Power of Narrative Section 2 Master Narratives and Personal Narratives: The Stories our Families Tell About Us Chapter Four. Two Storied Paths to Identity Integration Chapter Five. Resisting Stories Section 3 Broadening the Narrative Ecology: Another Story, An Other's Story Chapter Six. Parents are People: Parent's Identities Chapter Seven. Parents' stories: Children's Identities Section 4 Broader Contexts of Storytelling: Gender and Peers Chapter Eight. The Gendered Socialization of Narrative and Identity Chapter Nine. Peers and Family Stories Section 5 Conclusion Chapter Ten: The End of the Story, for now Appendix: Methodological Issues References About the Author Index

About the Author

Kate C. McLean, PhD, is an Associate Professor at Western Washington University. Her research centers on the development of narrative identity in adolescence and emerging adulthood, particularly as it develops in social contexts, and as it relates to individual differences in personality and adjustment.


"In this engaging and disarmingly profound book, Kate McLean shows how the stories of our own lives are not really our own. We share authorship of our identities with our parents, friends, siblings, and the storytelling culture that envelops us. McLean combines the keen analytic skills of a behavioral scientist with a powerful empathy for the stories of her research subjects, whose voices are indeed the insightful co-authors of this illuminating volume." --Dan P. McAdams, PhD, The Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology, Northwestern University "In this insightful book, McLean weaves a compelling story about stories as the very air we breathe. Through sharing her research and her own personal stories, she describes how individuals are steeped in stories, embedded in layers of family and cultural storytelling in ways that help individuals create their own identities through narrative. Narrative identities are simultaneously unique and communal, at the interface of the self and the world. As McLean states, 'we inhabit a world of stories,' and these stories are us." --Robyn Fivush, PhD, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology and Associate Vice-Provost for Academic Innovation, Emory University "This book is one of the most original, exciting advances in the study of narrative identity and self-development that I have ever seen. The study of self and human development is steeped in an overly individualistic view of personhood. As this book so clearly showcases, the field of psychology has amassed plenty of data to show that the development of self-identity is not a solely individual endeavor. Yet the field as a whole has not yet got the memo. This book is that memo. And by 'memo' I mean assumption-shattering statement of how personhood unfolds." --Jack Bauer, PhD, Professor of Psychology, University of Dayton "McLean does a masterful job of framing the manner in which the storied self is socially constructed, using the family unit as a case in point example of this larger process." --PsycCRITIQUES

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