The study of identity forms a critical cornerstone within modern sociological thought. Introduced by the works of Cooley and Mead, identity studies have evolved and grown central to current sociological discourse. Microsociological perspectives dominated work published through the 1970s. Sociologists focused primarily on the formation of the “me,” exploring the ways in which interpersonal interactions mold an individual's sense of self. Recent literature constitutes an antithesis to such concerns. Many works refocus attention from the individual to the collective; others prioritize discourse over the systematic scrutiny of behavior; some researchers approach identity as a source of mobilization rather than a product of it; and the analysis of virtual identities now competes with research on identities established in the copresent world. This essay explores all such agenda as raised in key works published since 1980. I close with a look toward the future, suggesting trajectories aimed at synthesizing traditional and current concerns.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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