Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Integrating Affect into Structural Identity Theory
by Leveto, Jessica A., Ph.D., Kent State University, 2012, 228; 10631202
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation begins to examine the relationship between identities and emotion from a Structural Identity Theory frame (Stryker 1980, Stryker and Burke, 2000; Stryker and Serpe 1982, Serpe 1987; Stryker and Serpe 1987, 1994; Stets, 2006). It addresses some of the propositions established by Stryker (2004) regarding the placement of emotions within Identity Theory. Specifically, this endeavor is motivated by the following research questions; 1) How do the frequency, intensity and duration of specific emotions fit into Identity Theory? 2) What is the influence of frequency, intensity and duration of specific emotions on commitment and identity salience (emotions as social force)? 3) What is the relationship between commitment and identity salience on the frequency, intensity and duration of specific emotions (emotion as social product)? 4) Does the inclusion of emotions enhance our understanding of Identity Theory's relationship to self-esteem and mastery? The analysis present in this dissertation is based on a convenient sample of 1100. Through a series of structural equation models I analyze the relationship between emotions, specifically the relationship between the frequency, intensity and duration of happiness, anger and shame as they relate to the key concepts of Identity theory; commitment and identity salience. Additionally, I examine the impact of self-esteem and mastery in mediating the relationship between commitment, identity salience and emotions.

I conclude that variation by large social structure (age, race and gender) in experiences of emotion provide some insight into the complexity of the relationship between emotion and social structure. I find some support for distinguishing specific multidimensional emotional experiences as opposed to simple distinctions of frequency or valence of emotion. Results indicate that emotion is both social force and social product; emotion impacts commitment and identity salience and commitment and identity salience impact emotion. The most consistent finding is that of the relationship of affective commitment on happiness. Results also demonstrate that family identity is closely tied to affective commitment. Variation in results of these analyses demonstrates the importance of recognizing emotion as a complex mechanism within Identity Theory and only begins to test and refine the theory inclusive of emotion.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor:
Commitee: Erickson, Rebecca, Owens, Timothy, Serpe, Richard, Stryker, Sheldon, Tankersley, Melody
School: Kent State University
Department: Sociology
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Sociology
Keywords: Emotions, Identity theory, Mastery, Self-esteem, Structural identity theory
Publication Number: 10631202
ISBN: 9780355014822
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