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Changing Identities to Change the World: Identity Motives in Lifestyle Politics and Its Link to Collective Action: Changing Identities to Change the World

Fernandes-Jesus, Maria ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8868-1968, Lima, Maria Luísa and Sabucedo, José-Manue (2018) Changing Identities to Change the World: Identity Motives in Lifestyle Politics and Its Link to Collective Action: Changing Identities to Change the World. Political Psychology.

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Abstract

In this article, we assume an interdisciplinary approach to the study of why and how people transpose political
considerations to their lifestyles. Our aims are threefold: to understand the meanings and perceptions of people
engaged in lifestyle politics and collective action; to examine the motives guiding individual change; and to
explore the linkage processes between lifestyle politics and collective action. Identity process theory is
considered as a lens to examine the processes and the motives of identity via a thematic analysis of 22
interviews. This study combined interviews with people seeking social change through their lifestyles with
interviews with members of action groups and social movements. We found that each participant’s identity is
guided by identity motives such as distinctiveness, continuity, and psychological coherence. Besides, lifestyle
politics is evaluated as an effective way to bring about social change, depending on the individual experience
of perceived power to bring about change through collective action. Overall, lifestyle politics states the way in
which the participants decided to live, to construct their identities, and to represent their beliefs about the right
thing to do. Lifestyle politics complements collective action as a strategy to increase the potential of bringing
about social change. The implications of this research are discussed in relation to the importance of
understanding the processes of identity and lifestyle change in the context of social, environmental, and
political change.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12473
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
School/Department: School of Education, Language and Psychology
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/5512

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