High school reunions and the management of identity

Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi, Robert Zussman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Organized around an intersection of the past with the present, high school reunions confront those who attend with discontinuities in their own lives as well as the lives of others. Based on observations of and interviews with attendees at five reunions, we argue, contrary to many claims about the contemporary segmentation of the self, that reunion goers are able to construct accounts of coherent lives by reference to "true selves" independent of appearances. Although reunion attendees may attempt to manage impressions by controlling information about themselves, these efforts are limited by attendees efforts to sustain convictions of their own integrity. These convictions, however, also depend on accounts, albeit accounts directed inward. Moreover, the maintenance of this conviction depends on the successful "neutralization" of others' judgments.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)225-239
Number of pages15
JournalSymbolic Interaction
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

Bibliographical note

Reprint in Sociological Odyssey: Contemporary Readings in Sociology. Patricia
A. Adler and Peter Adler (eds.) Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 2000, 2005

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