Identity research is at the heart of many trans-disciplinary research centers around the world. No single social science discipline `owns' identity research and The SAGE Handbook of Identities draws on a global scholarship to cover in four parts its: Frameworks: presents the main theoretical and methodological perspectives in identities research.Formations: covers the major formative forces for identities such as culture, globalization, migratory patterns, biology and so on.Categories: reviews research on the core social categories which are central to identity such as ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability and social class and intersections between these.Sites and Context: develops a series of case studies of crucial sites and contexts where identity is at stake such as social movements, relationships and family life, work-places and environments and citizenship.
The Field of Identity Studies
Identity entered the social sciences and humanities as a core concept in the 1950s (Gleason, 1983). Over the last 60 years it has become one of the most widely used terms in the social sciences and humanities appearing in the titles of many thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of books and articles. Very few concepts have been as generative. In many ways, though, this success and spread are quite astonishing. Nearly every scholar who works on identity complains about its slippery, blurred and confusing nature. Identity is notoriously elusive and difficult to define and nearly every generation of scholars since the 1950s has included some keen to dismiss it as a consequence concluding it has no analytic value ...