Identity (Including Collective Identity)

The History of Reflection, Research Scope and Overview of Definitions


  • Paweł Ścigaj Jagiellonian University, Kraków



collective identity, social identity, postmodernity, identity politics


Identity has remained a popular concept for many decades, being widely used in scientific research. This reflects not only the importance of the phenomena standing behind this notion, but also wide and deep changes accompanying the transition of societies from industrial to post-industrial, late modern, post-modern, network or information society. Regardless of the disputes about the nature of the new era, researchers agree that identities, including collective identities, play a key role in it, and the fight for the recognition of individual and social actors is an extremely important element of contemporary social processes and relations. The article presents a brief description of the most important points in the debate on identity, concerning its meaning, the subjects of identity, the dimensions of identity and the forms of its manifestations in social reality.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Paweł Ścigaj, Jagiellonian University, Kraków

PhD, political scientist at the Institute of Political Science and International Relations, Faculty of International and Political Studies, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. His academic interests are in political psychology and political sociology, particularly dehumanization, mechanisms of intergroup conflicts, conspiracy theories and collective identity. The author of Tożsamość narodowa. Zarys problematyki (National Identity. Review of the issues [2012]) and other articles concerning identity.


Alba R.D., Ethnic Identity. The Transformation of White America, New Haven 1990.

Antweiler C., “Collective Identity”, in L. Kühnhardt, T. Mayer (eds.), The Bonn Handbook of Globality, Cham 2019,

Appadurai A., “Grassroots Globalization and the Research Imagination”, in A. Appadurai (ed.), Globalization, Durham–London 2001,

Babiński G., Pogranicze polsko-ukraińskie. Etniczność, zróżnicowanie religijne, tożsamość, Kraków 1997.

Barney D., The Network Society, Cambridge 2004.

Barth F. (ed.), Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Culture Difference, Boston 1969.

Bartnik C.S., Kiedy myślę: naród, Radom 2003.

Bartnik C.S., Teologia narodu, Częstochowa 1999.

Bauman Z., Globalization: The Human Consequences, New York 1998.

Bauman Z., “Identity in the Globalizing World”, in E. Ben-Rafael, Y. Sternberg (eds.), Identity, Culture and Globalization, Boston–Leiden 2001.

Bauman Z., Identity: Conversations with Benedetto Vecchi, Cambridge 2004.

Bauman Z., Mortality, Immortality, and Other Life Strategies, Stanford 1992.

Bauman Z., Postmodernity and Its Discontents, Cambridge 1997.

Beck U., Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity, London 1992.

Bell D., The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, New York 1974,

Benoist J.-M., “Facettes de l’identité”, in J.-M. Benoist et al. (eds.), L’identité: Séminaire interdisciplinaire dirigé par Claude Lévi-Strauss, professeur au College de France, 1974-1975, Paris 1983.

Berger P.L., “Tożsamość jako problem socjologii wiedzy”, in A. Chmielecki et al. (eds), Problemy socjologii wiedzy, Warszawa 1985.

Bernstein M., “Identity Politics”, Annual Review of Sociology, 2005,

Bikont A., “Tożsamość społeczna w świetle prac H. Tajfela i J.C. Turnera”, Przegląd Psychologiczny, vol. 29, no. 3 (1986).

Bokszański Z., Tożsamość, interakcja, grupa. Tożsamość jednostki w perspektywie teorii socjologicznej, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego, Łódź 1989.

Bokszański Z., Tożsamości zbiorowe, Warszawa 2005.

Börner P. (ed.), Concepts of National Identity. An Interdisciplinary Dialogue, Baden-Baden 1986.

Brown R., Pehrson S., Group Processes: Dynamics within and Between Groups, Hoboken 2020,

Brubaker R., Cooper F., “Beyond ‘Identity’”, Theory and Society, vol. 29, no. 1 (2000), https://

Brubaker R., Loveman M., Stamatov P., “Ethnicity as Cognition”, Theory and Society, vol. 33, no. 1 (2004),

Burke P.J., “Identity Processes and Social Stress”, American Sociological Review, vol. 56, no. 6 (1991),

Burke P.J., “Relationships among Multiple Identities”, in P.J. Burke et al. (eds.), Advances in Identity Theory and Research, New York 2003,

Burke P.J., Stets J.E., Identity Theory, Oxford 2009,

Burke P.J., Stets J.E., “Trust and Commitment through Self-Verification”, Social Psychology Quarterly, vol. 62, no. 4 (1999),

Burkitt I., “The Shifting Concept of Self ”, History of the Human Sciences, vol. 7, no. 2 (1995),

Calhoun C., “Social Theory and the Politics of Identity”, in C. Calhoun (ed.), Social Theory and the Politics of Identity, Oxford 1994.

Callero P.L., “The Sociology of the Self ”, Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 29 (2003),

Cameron K. (ed.), National Identity, Exeter 1999.

Castells M., “Global Governance and Global Politics”, PS: Political Science and Politics, vol. 38, no. 1 (2005),

Castells M., “Toward a Sociology of the Network Society”, Contemporary Sociology, vol. 29, no. 5 (2000),

Castells M., End of Millennium. The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Oxford 2010.

Castells M., The Power of Identity. The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Oxford 2010.

Castells M., The Rise of The Network Society. The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Oxford 2010.

Cerulo K.A., “Identity Construction: New Issues, New Directions”, Annual Review of Sociology, 1997,

Connor W., “A Nation is a Nation, is a State, is an Ethnic Group, is a…”, Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 1, no. 4 (1978),

Copleston F., Historia filozofii. Tom 4: od Kartezjusza do Leibniza, Warszawa 2005.

Côté J., “Identity Studies: How Close Are We to Developing a Social Science of Identity? – An Appraisal of the Field”, Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, vol. 6, no. 1 (2006),

Dieckhoff A., Gutiérrez N. (eds.), Modern Roots: Studies of National Identity, Aldershot 2001.

Edensor T., National Identity, Popular Culture and Everyday Life, Oxford–New York 2002.

Ellemers N., “Social Identity Theory”, in J.M. Levine, M.A. Hogg (eds.), Encyclopedia of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, Sage Publications, London 2010.

Eriksen T.H., Globalization. The Key Concepts, Oxford 2007.

Eriksen T.H., Tyranny of the Moment: Fast and Slow Time in the Information Age, London 2001.

Frank M., Świadomość siebie i poznanie siebie, Warszawa 2002.

Garett B., Personal Identity and Self-Consciousness, London 1998.

Gergen K.J., The Saturated Self: Dilemmas of Identity in Contemporary Life, New York 2000.

Giddens A., “Living in a Post-Traditional Society”, in U. Beck, A. Giddens, S. Lash, Reflexive Modernization: Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order, Cambridge 1994.

Giddens A., Europe in the Global Age, Cambridge 2007.

Giddens A., Modernity and Self-Identity. Self and Society in the Late Modern Age, Cambridge 1991.

Giddens A., The Consequences of Modernity, Cambridge 1990.

Giddens A., The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration, Berkeley–Los Angeles 1984.

Gilbert P., Cultural Identity and Political Ethics, Edinburgh 2010,

Gillis J.R. (ed.), Commemoration: The Politics of National Identity, Princeton 1994.

Glaser B.G., Strauss A.L., Time for Dying, Chicago 1968,

Gleason P., “Identifying Identity: A Semantic History”, The Journal of American History, vol. 69, no. 4 (1983),

Goffman E., Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity, Englewood Cliffs 1963.

Goffman E., The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Edinburgh 1959.

Goldstein J., Rayner J., “The Politics of Identity in Late Modern Society”, Theory and Society, vol. 23, no. 3 (1994),

Hall R.B., National Collective Identity: Social Constructs and International System, New York 1999.

Hall S., Gay P. du (eds.), Questions of Cultural Identity, London 1996.

Hall S., “The Question of Cultural Identity”, in T. McGrew, S. Hall, D. Held (eds.), Modernity and Its Futures, Cambridge 1992.

Handelman D., “The Organization of Ethnicity”, Ethnic Groups, vol. 1 (1977).

Hogg M.A., Abrams D., Social Identifications: A Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations and Group Processes, London 1988, .

Hogg M.A., Terry D.J., White K.M., “A Tale of Two Theories: A Critical Comparison of Identity Theory with Social Identity Theory”, Social Psychology Quarterly, vol. 58, no. 4 (1995),

Howard J.A., “Social Psychology of Identities”, Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 26 (2000),

Hume D., Traktat o naturze ludzkiej, Warszawa 2005.

Hutchinson J., Smith A.D. (eds.), Ethnicity, Oxford–Londyn 1996.

Inglehart R., “The Silent Revolution in Europe: Intergenerational Change in Post-Industrial Societies”, American Political Science Review, vol. 65, no. 4 (1971),

Inglehart R., The Silent Revolution: Changing Values and Political Styles Among Western Publics, Princeton 1977.

Jenkins R., “The Limits of Identity: Ethnicity, Conflict, and Politics”, ShOP. Sheffield Online Papers in Social Research, vol. 2 (2000), at <>.

Jenkins R., Social Identity, London–New York 2004,

Kenny M., The Politics of Identity: Liberal Political Theory and the Dilemmas of Difference, Cambridge 2004.

Kłoskowska A., “Tożsamość i identyfikacja narodowa w perspektywie historycznej i psychologicznej”, Kultura i Społeczeństwo, vol. 36, no. 1 (1992).

Kłoskowska A., Kultury narodowe u korzeni, Warszawa 2005.

Kowalczyk S., Naród, państwo, Europa. Z problematyki filozofii narodu, Radom 2003.

Krąpiec M.A., Rozważania o narodzie, Lublin 2004.

Krause J., “Gendered Identities in International Relations”, in J. Krause, N. Renwick (eds.), Identities in International Relations, London 1996,

Kuhn M.H., “Self ”, in J. Gould, W.L. Kolb (eds.), A Dictionary of the Social Science, Nowy Jork 1965.

Kwiatkowska A., Tożsamość a społeczne kategoryzacje, Warszawa 1999.

Leibniz G.W., Nowe rozważania dotyczące rozumu ludzkiego, vol. 1, transl. by I. Dąmbska, Warszawa 1955.

Leibniz G.W., Nowe rozważania dotyczące rozumu ludzkiego, vol. 2, transl. by I. Dąmbska, Warszawa 1955.

Locke J., Rozważania dotyczące rozumu ludzkiego, vol. I, transl. by Bolesław J. Gawęcki, revised by Cz. Znamierowski, Warszawa 1955.

MacDonald R.A.R., Hargreaves D.J., Miell D.E. (eds.), Musical Identities, Oxford 2002.

Martin D.-C., “The Choices of Identity”, Social Identities, vol. 1, no. 1 (1995),

May C., The Information Society: A Sceptical View, Cambridge 2002.

McCall G.J., Simmons J.L., Identities and Interactions. An Examination of Human Associations in Everyday Life, New York–London 1978.

Melin R., Persons – Their Identity and Individuation, Umeå 1998.

Melucci A., Challenging Codes. Collective Action in the Information Age, Cambridge 1996,

Melucci A., “The Process of Collective Identity”, in H. Johnston, B. Klandermans (eds.), Social Movements and Culture, Minneapolis 1995.

Miller D., Citizenship and National Identity, Cambridge 2000.

Moya P.M.L., “Introduction”, in P.M.L. Moya, M.R. Hames-García (eds.), Reclaiming Identity: Realist Theory and the Predicament of Postmodernism, Berkeley–Los Angeles 2000,

Nicholson L., Identity Before Identity Politics, Cambridge 2008,

Noonan H.W., Objects and Identity: An Examination of the Relative Identity Thesis and Its Consequences, Haga–Boston–London 1980.

O’Sullivan P. (ed.), Religion and Identity, London–New York 2000.

Olbromski C.J., “Tożsamość społeczna: typowość czy wspólność, bezbarwność czy przejrzystość”, in J. Mizińska (ed.), “Tożsamość podmiotu zbiorowego”, Colloquia Communia, vol. 70, no. 3 (2000).

Ostasz L., Droga filozoficznego myślenia, Olsztyn 2003.

Parekh B., “Discourses on National Identity”, Political Studies, vol. 42, no. 3 (1994),

Parfit D., Reasons and Persons, New York 1984.

Parfit D., “Tożsamość osobowa”, in J. Górnicka-Kalinowska (ed.), Filozofia podmiotu, Warszawa 2001.

Perry J., “Personal Identity, Memory and the Problem of Circularity”, in J. Perry (ed.), Personal Identity, Berkeley 1975.

Perry J., “The Problem of Personal Identity”, in J. Perry (ed.), Personal Identity, Berkeley 1975.

Poku N., “Colonialism and Sub-Saharan Identities”, in J. Krause, N. Renwick (eds.), Identities in International Relations, London 1996,

Pope R. (ed.), Religion and National Identity: Scotland and Wales, 1700-2000, Cardiff 2001.

Popper K.R., Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach, Oxford 1979.

Reid T., “Of Mr. Locke’s Account of Our Personal Identity”, in J. Perry (ed.), Personal Identity, Berkeley 1975.

Ricoeur P., Oneself as Another, Chicago–London 1994.

Riley A., Burke P.J., “Identities and Self-Verification in the Small Group”, Social Psychology Quarterly, vol. 58, no. 2 (1995),

Robertson R., Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture, London 1992.

Robinson T.M., “Filozofowie presokratejscy”, in R.H. Popkin (ed.), Historia filozofii zachodniej, Poznań 2003.

Russell B., Dzieje filozofii Zachodu i jej związki z rzeczywistością polityczno-społeczną od czasów najdawniejszych do dnia dzisiejszego, Warszawa 2000.

Schlesinger P., “On National Identity: Some Conceptions and Misconceptions Criticized”, Social Science Information, vol. 26, no. 2 (1987),

Shoemaker S., Self-Knowledge and Self-Identity, Ithaca 1963.

Smith A.D., Chosen Peoples. Sacred Sources of National Identity, Oxford 2003.

Smith A.D., National Identity, Harmondsworth 1991.

Spaemann R., “Tożsamość religijna”, in K. Michalski (ed.), Tożsamość w czasach zmiany.

Rozmowy w Castel Gandolfo, Warszawa–Kraków 1995.

Stets J.E., Burke P.J., “Identity Theory and Social Identity Theory”, Social Psychology Quarterly, vol. 63, no. 3 (2000),

Strauss A.L., Mirrors and Masks. The Search for Identity, San Francisco 1969.

Stryker S., Burke P.J., “The Past, Present, and Future of an Identity Theory”, Social Psychology Quarterly, vol. 63, no. 4 (2000),

Stryker S., Serpe R.T., “Identity Salience and Psychological Centrality: Equivalent, Overlapping, or Complementary Concepts?”, Social Psychology Quarterly, vol. 57, no. 1 (1994),

Stryker S., Symbolic Interactionism. A Social Structural Version, London 1980.

Swinburne R.G., “Identyczność osoby”, in J. Górnicka-Kalinowska (ed.), Filozofia podmiotu, Warszawa 2001.

Tajfel H. et al., “Social Categorization and Intergroup Behavior”, European Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 1, no. 2 (1971),

Tajfel H., Human Groups and Social Categories: Studies in Social Psychology, Cambridge 1981.

Tajfel H., Turner J.C., “An Integrative Theory of Intergroup Conflict”, in W.G. Austin, S. Worchel (ed.), The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations, Monterey 1979

Tajfel H., Turner J.C., “The Social Identity Theory of Intergroup Behavior”, in S. Worchel, L.W. Austin (eds.), Psychology of Intergroup Relations, Chicago 1986.

Taylor C., “Immanentne kontroświecenie”, in K. Michalski (ed.), Oświecenie dzisiaj. Rozmowy w Castel Gandolfo, Kraków–Warszawa 1999.

Taylor C., Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity, Cambridge 2001.

Taylor C., The Ethics of Authenticity, Cambridge 2003.

Taylor C., “Źródła współczesnej tożsamości”, in K. Michalski (ed.), Tożsamość w czasach zmiany.

Rozmowy w Castel Gandolfo, Warszawa–Kraków 1995.

Tilly C., “Citizenship, Identity and Social History”, International Review of Social History, vol. 40 (1995), Supplement 3,

Touraine A., A New Paradigm for Understanding Today’s Word, Cambridge 2007.

Triandafyllidou A., Immigrants and National Identity in Europe, London–New York 2001.

Turner J.C., “Social Identification and Psychological Group Formation”, in H. Tajfel (ed.), The Social Dimension, vol. 2, Cambridge 1984,

Turner J.C., “Towards a Cognitive Redefinition of the Social Group”, in H. Tajfel (ed.), Social Identity and Intergroup Relations, Cambridge 1982.

Turner J.H., Stets J.E., The Sociology of Emotions, Cambridge 2005,

Waters M., Globalization, London–New York 1995.

Webster F., Theories of the Information Society. Second Edition, New York 2002,

Weinreich P., “National and Ethnic Identities: Theoretical Concepts in Practice”, Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science, vol. 4, no. 1 (1992),

Weinreich P., “Psychodynamics of Personal and Social Identity”, in A. Jacobson-Widding (ed.), “Identity: Personal and Socio-Cultural. A Symposium”, Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Uppsala Studies in Cultural Anthropology, vol. 5, Uppsala 1983.

Westin C., “Self-references, Consciousness and Time”, in A. Jacobson-Widding (ed.), “Identity: Personal and Socio-Cultural. A Symposium”, Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Uppsala Studies in Cultural Anthropology, vol. 5, Uppsala 1983.

Wittgenstein L., Philosophical Investigations, transl. by G.E.M. Anscombe, Oxford 1958.

Wodak R. et al., The Discursive Construction of National Identity, Edinburgh 1999.

Woronowski F., Przyszłość naszej ojczyzny, Łomża 2001.




How to Cite

Ścigaj, Paweł. 2021. “Identity (Including Collective Identity): The History of Reflection, Research Scope and Overview of Definitions”. Politeja 17 (5(68):3-34.