Identity behind the Iron Curtain: Recent advances in identity research in changing contexts

Seth J. Schwartz, Mariya Petrova

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


The present article introduces the special issue on identity in the former Soviet bloc countries. We begin by discussing identity as a developmental task, as well as the social-contextual forces that direct and constrain the ways in which individual people construct their identities. We then articulate some specific challenges inherent in identity development within contexts characterized by social change–primarily the fact that the available identity alternatives, and the ways in which individuals are expected to go about choosing from among these alternatives, are likely changing rapidly. We frame Erikson’s original work as having been grounded in times of rapid social change in the post-World War II United States, and describe the direct relevance of Erikson’s work for the study of more contemporary instances of sociopolitical change. We then introduce and summarize the articles included in the special issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018


  • Identity
  • adolescence
  • emerging adulthood
  • former Soviet Union
  • social change
  • social context

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Identity behind the Iron Curtain: Recent advances in identity research in changing contexts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this