267.3 Multiple selves and identity capital among Japanese university students

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 11:15 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Tomohiko ASANO , Tokyo Gakugei University, Japan
Multiple selves and identity capital among Japanese university students

Asano, Tomohiko (Tokyo Gakugei University)

  Tomohiko Asano
  Tokyo Gakugei University
  Nukui-Kitamachi 4-1-1 Koganei city Japan, postal code 1848501
  +81-42-329-7423 / +81-42-329-7429(fax)

In this presentation I will examine the relationship between multiple selves and 'identity capital'.
From Riesman in 1960s to Gubrium and Holstein today, multiplicity of self has been one of the most important topics in the field of self study. On the other hand, as the transition process became unstable, and life course became more liquid, individualized, and fragmented in advanced countries, the concept of 'identity capital' started to be seen as important, because it contains an ability to cope with rapidly changing social environment and to design their carrier and life plan.
Identity capital is a concept which has been formed upon the heritage of identity theory of Erick Erikson. From Eriksonian perspective, multiple selves are seen as deficient identity, as he harshly criticized 'Protean self'. It seems to mean that multiplicity of self is incompatible with identity capital.
So, research question here is

Is multiplicity of self functional or dysfunctional to identity capital?

To answer this question, I will use the dataset which was collected from university students all over Japan. Around 2830 respondents from 26 universities, which cover wide varieties in terms of location, national/private, and coeducational/women's college, answered the questionnaire.
I construct two groups of scores from several questions. The first group contains scores related to multiplicity of self, and the second one related to identity capital. Then I examine the relationship between those two from several angles.
As a result of analysis, answer to the question is affirmative. That is, at least among Japanese university students, the more multiple their self is, the more identity capital they are likely to have.