Pecchenino, Rowena A.
Identity and Spirituality.
Journal of Socio-Economics, 38.
An individual’s identity answers the questions of who, what, where, and why the individual is. An overall identity is made up of multiple constituent identities. These identities may not be fixed over the life course, but may change as a result of conscious choices as well as serendipity or calamity – life transforming events which cannot be anticipated, which remove what had been the certainties and norms of life, and which can leave the individual disconnected from what had been her past and from her hoped for future. In this paper we develop a two-period behavioral model of an individual whose personal identity is an amalgam of N identities, one or more of which may be spiritual in nature. Some identities are actualized at a point in time and some remain latent. We model how individuals allocate resources among current and hoped for future identities, and how these resource allocation decisions and identity actualizations are affected by the interaction of choices and unanticipated external events. We argue why a spiritual identity may be actualized, how it interacts with other identities, and why, in giving context to an individual’s life, it enables her to define and to strive toward her overall identity – to become.
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