Notes of a Political Psychologist on the Book “Identity: the Individual, Society, and Politics”

Notes of a Political Psychologist on the Book “Identity:
the Individual, Society, and Politics”

Shestopal Ye.B.,

Head of Department of Sociology and Psychology of Politics, Faculty of Political Science, Lomonosov Moscow State University,

elibrary_id: 104409 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2018.04.13

For citation:

Shestopal Ye.B. Notes of a Political Psychologist on the Book “Identity: the Individual, Society, and Politics”. – Polis. Political Studies. 2018. No. 4. P. 168-176. (In Russ.).


The author discusses problems of identity presented in the 2017 publication of an encyclopedical volume edited by I.S. Semenenko through the lenses of political psychology. Methodology is one of the main lines of discussion in the study of identity. Analytical work made by the authors of this volume has shown that linking of different levels and areas of research is still a problem that needs to be solved; otherwise, all the construction of identity theory is in risk to stay a simple collection of particular disciplinary models. Another line of analysis is a ”human“ or “subjective” dimension of politics that was discussed in the book. This approach is close to political-psychological one. One of the most important topics of this volume is a topic of social relevance of identity theory, its capability to answer the real political issues that challenge this theory. Among those issues that make identity theory so popular in recent decades one can name such new phenomena as globalization processes, market pressure that transforms individual into a mere consumer, new forms of communication that produce specific forms if internet identities. An important phenomenon connected with identity is an asynchronism of political, social and cultural transformation with their reflection in people’s minds in a process of identity formation. This “effect of delay” demands a thorough psychological analysis as it causes multiple new threats and challenge. Principal uncertainty is one of its consequences. Individual cannot reach any particular identity and adjust himself to this uncertain reality.

identity; methodology; interdisciplinary analysis; political psychology; uncertainty.


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Eisenstadt S.N. Multiple Modenities. – Daedalus. 2000. Vol. 129. No. 1. P. 1-29.

Gudkov L.D. Negativnaya identichnost’. Stat’i 1997-2002 godov [Negative Identity. The Articles from 1997-2002]. Moscow: New Literary Observer, VTsIOM-A. 2004. 816 p. (In Russ.)

Ichilov O. To Be or Not to Be: Political Socialization in a Changing World. – Citizens and Leaders in a Comparative Perspective. What Can Political Psychology Tell Us About Recent Trends and Events in Politics? Ed. by E. Shestopal. Moscow: Lomonosov Moscow State University. 2013. P. 11-25.

Identichnost‘: Lichnost‘ Obshchestvo. Politika. Entsiklopedicheskoe izdanie. Otv. red. I.S. Semenenko [Identity: The Individual, Society and Politics. An Encycpopedia. Ed. by I. Semenenko]. Moscow: Ves Mir Publishers. 2017. 992 p. (In Russ.)

Lapkin V.V., Semenenko I.S. “Homo politicus” vs Challenges of “Infomodernity”. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No. 6. P. 64-81. URL: (In Russ.)

Shestopal E.B. Introducing the Section. The Human Dimension of Politics. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No. 6. P. 6-8. URL: (In Russ.)

Content No. 4, 2018

See also:

Tkhagapsoyev Kh.G.,
In search of a new methodological paradigm in political science: the identity approach. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No4

Smorgunov L.V.,
Political identity and the concept of the political. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No6

Egorova-Gantman E.V.,
Despite the Disbelief. The Story of Russian Political Psychology. – Polis. Political Studies. 2018. No4

Subdiscipline: Political psychology. – Polis. Political Studies. 2010. No4

Theme of the issue: Scientific schools. Political psychology. – Polis. Political Studies. 2011. No2



Introducing an article

Polis. Political Studies
1 2002

Mirsky G.I.
“Political Islam” and Western Society

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