The Identity Process in Times of Rupture: Narratives From the Egyptian Revolution


  • Sarah Hassan Awad


This is a longitudinal study of the identity process through times of dramatic social change. Using a narrative psychological approach this research follows the life stories of five Egyptian bloggers as they write their stories on online blogs over the course of the three years following the 2011 revolution, at which time Egypt has witnessed major social and political changes. The aim is to understand the identity process of individuals as they develop and adapt through changing social contexts and how they create alternative social relations as they engage in prefigurative politics. The findings shed light on how ruptures trigger a process of reflexivity, adaptive learning, and sense-making that facilitates coping and the reconstruction of a positive identity after ruptures. It also suggests that the narration of the experience of rupture through storytelling creates a heightened sense of agency in individuals’ ability to create new meanings of their world in spite of the socio-cultural and political constraints. This study presents narratives as an informing methodological resource that connects identity process with social representations and emphasizes the value of storytelling as an integral part of the adaptation process.