A Constructivist View of Identity Development: People as Postpositivist Self-Theorists
The quest for identity is a pervasive theme in contem porary Western so ciety. Popular books and movies and professional psychological litera ture are replete with concerns and advice about “becoming,” “knowing,” or “discovering” who we are. Coping with and resolving an “ identity crisis” has become increasingly accepted as a legitimate, even necessary, aspect of human development. However, as A1 Waterman (1984a) cor rectly noted, despite the common language the task of identity forma tion is conceptualized in at least two very different ways. Some see the quest for identity as an attempt to discover a preexistent intrinsic essence (see Waterman, 1984a), whereas others view the quest as an effort to con struct a sense of self (see Kroger, 1989).