Messing around with identity constructs: Pursuing a poststructural and poetic aesthetic

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19 Scopus citations


Kenneth Gergen saw identity crises as endemic to the current human condition and has termed the malady "multiphrenia." It is described as being symptomatic of nations with these particular traits of the postmodern era: a populace of multilocal people - people with attachments to more than one place or community and with increasingly disconnected relationships; cosmopolitan communities with a plurality of cultures, including transplanted colonies from other lands; and an explosion of information systems and a multimedia visual culture. Using an autoethnographic framework, this article examines the author's own identity crisis after the death of his father and as reconstituted in this article, his namesake. The article explores modernist, postmodernist, and poststructural methodologies available for the construction and reconstitution of identity constructs in the current era.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)548-557
Number of pages10
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoethnography
  • Identity
  • Poetics
  • Postmodern
  • Poststructural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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