Publications [#351246] of Lynn Smith-Lovin

Articles and Chapters

  1. Robinson, DT; Smith-Lovin, L; Zhao, J "The role of the other: How interaction partners influence identity maintenance in four cultures." Identity and Symbolic Interaction: Deepening Foundations, Building Bridges. April, 2020: 213-237.
    (last updated on 2022/08/07)

    Since its inception, identity theory has emphasized the crucial role of relationships with others in shaping social behavior. Sheldon Stryker's original formulation of identity theory gave a central role to social networks in determining structural commitment to identities. Research in the identity theory tradition explicitly considers interactional partners as occupants of counter-roles and as sources of reflected appraisals. Implicitly, identity theory research also considers the identities and actions of others as environmental input into the identity verification process. Affect control theory offers a somewhat more elaborated specification of the influence of interaction partners in the identity control process. Others serve both as a source of impression-change in social situations, and as a resource for identity maintenance as the objects of new actions. Recent cross-cultural work in the affect control theory tradition points to important cultural variations in that influence of the other in identity maintenance. In high context cultures like Egypt and Morocco, for example, the identity and actions of one's interaction partner play an even larger role in shaping one's identity-situated behavior than in low context cultures like the United States. In this chapter, we present a series of simulations that illustrate the impact of interaction partners on identity maintenance in the United States, China, Egypt, and Morocco.