Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Co-authored Self – Family Stories and the Construction of Personal Identity - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

The Co-authored Self: Family Stories and the Construction of Personal Identity

Kate C. McLean


Robust literatures have shown that developing a coherent and integrated understanding of oneself—a personal identity—is best accomplished within relational contexts. Undoubtedly one of the most fundamental relational contexts is the family. And one of the most ubiquitous activities in which families engage is storytelling. It is within the family and through these stories that the self takes on its earliest and most lasting form. These stories are often told for fun, to be close, and to feel a sense of kinship. But these stories can also confine individuals into prescribed, and unwanted, roles ... More

Keywords: identity development, narrative, family stories, master narratives, adolescence, emerging adulthood, narrative identity, narrative ecology

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780199995745
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199995745.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kate C. McLean, author
Associate Professor, Western Washington University

Show Summary Details

subscribe or login to access all content.



Front Matter

Section 1 Setting the Stage

Section 2 Master Narratives and Personal Narratives: The Stories our Families Tell About Us

Section 3 Broadening the Narrative Ecology: Another Story, An Other’s Story

Section 4 Broader Contexts of Storytelling: Gender and Peers

Section 5 Conclusion