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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Malcolm X and his autobiography: Identity development and self-narration
Author(s): Gillespie, Alex
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Keywords: Malcolm X
Dialogical self
X, Malcolm, 1925-1965
Identity (Psychology)
Issue Date: Mar-2005
Date Deposited: 22-Jan-2009
Citation: Gillespie A (2005) Malcolm X and his autobiography: Identity development and self-narration. Culture and Psychology, 11 (1), pp. 77-88.
Abstract: This paper takes up Tappan’s (2006) project of analyzing the identity development of Malcolm X. Considering Malcolm X’s autobiography as an instance of mediated action, I show how he uses the mediational tool of ‘development as metamorphosis’ to narrate himself. Because of the similarity between this mediational tool and Tappan’s own theory, I question Tappan’s use of the autobiography to illustrate his theory. Utilizing data sources beyond the autobiography, the present analysis makes three theoretical points. First, the development of Malcolm X’s identity is not so much a series of ‘liberations’ as it is the accumulation of discourses from different social strata. Second, it is the complex and unresolved inter-relations between these discourses that comprises the uniqueness of Malcolm X. Third, ideological becoming is often, as in Malcolm X’s case, constrained by social structure. In conclusion, I discuss methodological issues concerning the analysis of a public figure such as Malcolm X.
DOI Link: 10.1177/1354067X05050746
Rights: Published in Culture & Psychology. Copyright Sage Publications. The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Culture & Psychology, 11 (1), 2005 by SAGE Publications Ltd, All rights reserved. ©

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