In this paper, we present an exploratory analysis of real-time micro-changes in identity configurations occurring within the span of one life-story style interview. We examined how one interviewee–a woman who is both religious and a high school counselor in a non-religious school–when prompted to narrate a life-story incorporating the two domains of religious and occupational identity, presents different consecutive ways of configurating the relations between these potentially disparate identity elements. We followed these changes across the interview, and identified four identity goals that seemingly trigger identity reflection and the reconfiguration of identity elements in real-time: the goals of internal integration and coherence; comprehensiveness; ownership of identity, and securing social recognition and affiliation. The possible implications of research focusing on the real-time challenge of configurating identity, rather than on exploration and commitment, is discussed.
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- Real time identity
- identity configurations
- identity micro-change
- thematic life story interviews