Eco: What is identity

“Discourses can give us one way to define what I called earlier a person’s ‘core identity’. Each person has had a unique trajectory though “Discursive space.” That is, he or she has, through time, in a certain order, had specific experiences within specific discourses (i.e., been recognized, at a time and place, one way and not another), some recurring and others not. This trajectory and the person’s own narrativization (Mishler, 2000) of it are what constitute his or her (never fully formed or always potentially changing) “core identity”.

-Anna Sfard & Anna Prusak.



Sfard, A. & Prusak, A. (2005). Telling identities: In search of an analytic tool for investigating learning as a culturally shaped activity. Educational researcher34(4), 14-22. doi: 10.3102/0013189X034004014

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