Identify: Global Perspectives on Identity Constructs, Value, and Intersectionality

deadline for submissions: 
June 30, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
University of Charleston - School of Business and Leadership

Abstracts and articles are invited for inclusion in chapter form for an academic book, to be published with the title Identify: Global Perspectives on Identity Constructs, Value, and Intersectionality.

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The many depictions of diverse lifestyles, particularly as conversations move into areas of identity fluidity, create challenges. There is then a need to further explore the ways in which people move into, across, and beyond their identities and project those changing identity formations to the world: one must clarify who does the identifying – the person themselves or the society in which they reside. Yep (2016) offered a vital caution, that intersectionality must not become merely a theoretical framework where there is a superficial exploration of identity as separate components that touch in one or more ways. He suggested that

intersectionality focuses on the simultaneous interplay and collision of major social categories, such as race, class, gender, sexuality, the body, and nation, among others, in the production and constitution of who people are and how they experience the social world, it is not surprising that social identity is a key site of intersectional work. (p. 87)

The use of the term 'identify' in the title of the book hearkens to the call for identity determination in the 1976 film Logan's Run. The members of a homogeneous futuristic population are distinguished only by the colors of the 'life clocks' in their palms that change as they age and are used to determine the time of their demise. As the date of termination approaches, each individual must present themselves -- when they are called to 'identify'. Those whose life clocks have changed color are sometimes seen as celebrities; anyone who questions society's determination of their fate are viewed by the majority culture as 'others'. Like the current times, social identity is visible identity, even when the identity in question is not visible (such as with economic, ability-related, and certain spiritual identities). Social identity becomes visible or tangible in a metaphorical sense as suggested by Lakoff and Johnson (2003) people talk about it as they live it out.

It is this visible identity that creates tension when taken in (and used, ‘worn’, diminished, or vilified) by ‘others’ who do not have the standing to do so. Several of the additional questions posed in an article by Felsenthal (2018) helped form a foundation for this book, particularly as related to multiple areas: “… privilege, appropriation, colorism, ally-ship, the underrepresentation ... This issue of identity. Can it be fluid? And if it can: Can we add race to it? Why and why not?” (para. 15). Further, it is vital to gain understanding about the thick but invisible line that Felsenthal described: there must be a reckoning when an imitation is happening, versus an expression of essence (Erizku, 2021).

Based on these factors, the purpose of the proposed text is to bring together narratives (with citations to situate them within the historical and current body of existing experiences, popular culture, and peer literature) from the global community into a book that could serve as a cross- or inter-disciplinary resource for advanced students (i.e., masters or doctoral), college and university faculty, and researchers to further explore the essence of identity(ies). Works to be included will encompass the strain of unwelcomed appropriation and imitation of identity(ies), when and how it may be possible to embody (instead of imitating) identity(ies), discussions of the challenges inherent in developing an essence of identity(ies), and the way(s) identity(ies) inform society at large through personal narrative and account. We seek chapter authors from national (U.S. and Canada) and international communities, giving the text a potential to be of interest to multiple audiences and have a broad reach.


Submission Guidelines

All articles must be original and not simultaneously submitted for publication as journal entries, chapters in other books, or online in any form. Interested authors should submit the following information:

  • Department or focus (i.e., applied sciences, education, health and medicine, humanities, law, leadership, linguistics, social sciences) 
  • Email address
  • Topic area (see next section for List of Topics)
  • Type of article         
    • Research-focused: quantitative (i.e., content analysis, correlative, survey methods); qualitative (i.e., narrative, case study, autoethnography), post-qualitative, or mixed methods 
    • Subject-based but non-academic    
    • Book review with critical evaluation    
  • Planned number of tables and figures (including images).

The author is solely responsible for plagiarism or copyright infringement, if detected.

  • Any tables or figures must be the author's creation. If obtained from another source, please provide copyright statement, including information about reprint.
  • All tables and figures (including images) should be press-ready. For help on creating press-ready images, see for example

Editors may make suitable modifications to your article or may ask you for the same, if necessary.

You are welcome to submit your article and abstract at this time if complete.

Article Format:

  1. We seek to include the global community of authors, but all submissions must be in English.
  2. APA 6th Edition to be followed for citing sources and general stylistics.
  3. Articles should be provided in 12-point, Times New Roman font, single spaced, with 1-inch margins.
  4. Complete articles should be between not more than 3000 words, excluding references. Book Reviews should not exceed 1500 words, excluding references.
  5. Please provide tables and figures as a second document.

List of Topics

The following list provides an initial overview of planned chapters and questions to guide authors' thoughts on the connection to the concept of identity. In addition to articles related to the overarching topic area, each section will include intersecting works (e.g., the intersection of gender and ability; the intersection of faith and economic disparities; the intersection of culture and gender identity …).

  • Ability and Neurodiversity: Murugami (2009) argued that persons living with dis/ability can create their own self-identity(ies) that are not related to the biomedical constructs that label them. As Silberman (2015) suggested, it is important to recognize neurodiversity as naturally occurring variants in cognitive processes and presentation, rather than as aberrant expressions of brokenness and differences.
  • Culture: Culture by its nature serves to describe various intersectionalities; what is 'culture'? Is it a social construct, related to a community (i.e., rap culture, street culture, gang culture, gaming culture), part of an ethnic or racial construct, or something else entirely?
  • Economic and Financial Positionality: Lunt and Livingstone (1992) suggested that ‘material conditions of consumer society constitute the context within which people work out their identities (p. 24)’. How does such a notion play out in a food desert, where under-employment or lack of employment prevails, for people dealing with homelessness, or for formerly incarcerated persons?
  • Ethnicity: The term ‘ethnicity’ is nebulous at best. Baumann (2004) indicated that it refers to one’s ancestral heritage but noted that several social anthropologists refer to the challenges related to ethnocentrism and the process by ‘outside groups’ who create ethnic classifications (consider for example the boxes one ticks to identify ‘race/ethnicity’ on an employment or school application) that may be based on stereotypes ‘that are often oversimplified and that view ethnicity as a static cultural process’ (p. 12). What then, is ethnicity? Can a person who selects the ‘Asian’ box on an application be ethnically ‘African’ because they have DNA to show their ancestry? What happens if the boxes people wish to tick to identify their communal, ancestral, or other ethnicities are not available? Are the traditional approaches to ethnicity (primordialist, instrumentalist) still too restrictive?
  • Faith, Religion, Spirituality: Faith practice, religious affiliation, and spiritual connections serve as identity for some individuals. Templeton and Eccles (2006) offered that spiritual identity is part of a collective identity, since for many the notion of spirituality equals religion. Yet, their exploration goes farther, as the authors questioned whether and when a religious identity is assigned or chosen. Chan (2017) described the challenges with religious identity as part of the larger process of identity formation, particularly when there are incongruencies between the individual and societal expectation. How does a person wrestle with their own individual and personal identity(ies) within the larger group or collective society?
  • Gender and Gender/Sexual Identity: Díaz-Andreu and colleagues (2005) pointed out that early explorations of gender paved the way for common explorations of feminism, masculism, and development of queer theory. Kessler and McKenna (1985) clarified that gender identity serves as a social construct that differs by cultural context, yet a discussion of gender as a development process did not appear in textbook forum until the 1990’s (Golombok, Fivush, & Fivush, 1994) and Dillon et al. (2011) went on to further the idea that sexual identity is also part of a development process. The terms ‘gender’, ‘gender identity’, and ‘sexual identity’ are sometimes used interchangeably, but how do they differ?
  • Physicality, Shape, and Body Image: What is beauty? Does the term include natural physical attributes like moles, freckles, and age spots, as well as cultural or spiritual markings and tattoos? Researchers have identified that resilient thinking and being contributes to expressions of positive body image (Johns, et al., 2016). What is fat embodiment (Cain et al., 2017) and despite representations said to contribute to body (fat, thin) shaming in movies, anime, and other media, how is body image and physical identity influenced by it? How is ‘beauty’ a social construct (Jaman et al., 2020)?
  • Race and Racial Identity: Like the disambiguation surrounding the term ‘ethnicity’, race has been defined as a social construct. However, Suyemoto et al. (2020) put forth the argument that since both terms are valuable to descriptions of individual and collective lived experiences, the question becomes not if ‘race’ should be part of the lexicon but how use of the term advances conversations and research. Is it as Bunyasi et al. (2015) suggested, that race is an exposition on the relationship between ideology and authenticity, or is race just an arbitrary and ludicrous chimera (Morgan, 2016)?


Baumann, T. (2004). Defining ethnicity. The SAA archaeological record, 4(4), 12-14.

Beinart, P. (2019, June 20). Unpacking the immense popularity of Shtisel. Retrieved from 

Bunyasi, T. L., & Rigueur, L. W. (2015). "Breaking bad" in black and white: What ideological deviance can tell us about the construction of "authentic" racial identities. Polity, 47(2), 175-198.

Cain, P., Donaghue, N., & Ditchburn, G. (2017). Concerns, culprits, counsel, and conflict: A thematic analysis of “obesity” and fat discourse in digital news media. Fat Studies, 6(2), 170-188.

Chan, C. D. (2017). A critical analysis of systemic influences on spiritual development for LGBTQ+ youth. Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling, 3(3), 146-163.

Díaz-Andreu, M., Lucy, S., Babic, S., & Edwards, D. (2005). Gender identity. The archaeology of identity, 13-42.

Dillon, F. R., Worthington, R. L., & Moradi, B. (2011). Sexual identity as a universal process. In Handbook of identity theory and research (pp. 649-670). Springer, New York, NY.

Erizku (2021). Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist [Film]. Netflix. 

Felsenthal, J. (2018, April 27). How do you solve a problem like Rachel Dolezal? Retrieved from 

Golombok, S., Fivush, R., & Fivush, G. (1994). Gender development. Cambridge University Press.

Jaman, J. H., & Hannie, M. S. S. (2020). Sentiment Analysis of the Body-Shaming Beauty Vlog Comments. Retrieved from  

Johns, M. M., Zimmerman, M., Harper, G. W., & Bauermeister, J. A. (2017). Resilient minds and bodies: Size discrimination, body image, and mental health among sexual minority women. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 4(1), 34.

Kessler, S. J., & McKenna, W. (1985). Gender: An ethnomethodological approach. University of Chicago Press.

Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (2008). Metaphors we live by. University of Chicago Press. 

Lunt, P. K., & Livingstone, S. (1992). Mass consumption and personal identity: Everyday economic experience. Open University Press.

Morgan, D. F. (2016). Post what? The liminality of multi-racial identity. Humanities, 5(2), 46.

Murugami, M. W. (2009). Disability and identity. Disability Studies Quarterly, 29(4).

Silberman, S. (2015). Neurotribes: The legacy of autism and the future of neurodiversity. Penguin.

Suyemoto, K. L., Curley, M., & Mukkamala, S. (2020). What do we mean by “Ethnicity” and “Race”? A consensual qualitative research investigation of colloquial understandings. Genealogy, 4(3), 81. 

Templeton, J. L., & Eccles, J. S. (2006). The relation between spiritual development and identity processes. The handbook of spiritual development in childhood and adolescence, 252-265.

Yep, G. A. (2016). Toward thick (er) intersectionalities: Theorizing, researching, and activating the complexities of communication and identities. Globalizing intercultural communication: A reader, 86-94.


Lead Editor

  • Dr. Andree Robinson-Neal (she/her/hers), Assistant Professor, Doctor of Executive Leadership Program. University of Charleston - School of Business and Leadership

Associate Editors

Each chapter in the book will be dedicated to one of the topics (see List of Topics), to be overseen by an Associate Editor, each of whom is currently being determined.


The book is in the proposal stage, with plans to submit once abstracts have been accepted and reviewed. All contributing authors will be updated as proposal acceptance is finalized.


All questions about submissions should be emailed to Dr. Robinson-Neal at