Identity

Identity Economics provides an important and compelling new way to understand human behavior, revealing how our identities--and not just economic incentives--influence our decisions. In 1995, economist Rachel Kranton wrote future Nobel Prize-winner George Akerlof a letter insisting that his most recent paper was wrong. Identity, she argued, was the missing element that would help to explain why people--facing the same economic circumstances--would make different choices. This was the beginning of a fourteen-year collaboration--and of Identity Economics.

The authors explain how our conception of who we are and who we want to be may shape our economic lives more than any other factor, affecting how hard we work, and how we learn, spend, and save. Identity economics is a new way to understand people's decisions--at work, at school, and at home. With it, we can better appreciate why incentives like stock options work or don't; why some schools succeed and others don't; why some cities and towns don't invest in their futures--and much, much more.



Identity Economics bridges a critical gap in the social sciences. It brings identity and norms to economics. People's notions of what is proper, and what is forbidden, and for whom, are fundamental to how hard they work, and how they learn, spend, and save. Thus people's identity--their conception of who they are, and of who they choose to be--may be the most important factor affecting their economic lives. And the limits placed by society on people's identity can also be crucial determinants of their economic well-being.

The charismatic forger immortalized in Catch Me If You Can exposes the astonishing tactics of today’s identity theft criminals and offers powerful strategies to thwart them based on his second career as an acclaimed fraud-fighting consultant.

When Frank Abagnale trains law enforcement officers around the country about identity theft, he asks officers for their names and addresses and nothing more. In a matter of hours he can obtain everything he would need to steal their lives: Social Security numbers, dates of birth, current salaries, checking account numbers, the names of everyone in their families, and more. This illustrates how easy it is for anyone from anywhere in the world to assume our identities and in a matter of hours devastate our lives in ways that can take years to recover from. Considering that a fresh victim is hit every four seconds, Stealing Your Life is the reference everyone needs by an unsurpassed authority on the latest identity theft schemes.

Consider these sobering facts:
• Six out of ten American companies and government agencies have already been hacked.
• An estimated 80 percent of birth certificate requests are fulfilled through the mail for people using only a name and a return address.  
• Americans write 39 billion checks a year, and half of them never reconcile their bank statements.
• A Social Security number costs $49 on the black market. A driver’s license goes for $90. A birth certificate will set you back $79.

Abagnale offers dozens of concrete steps to transform anyone from an easy mark into a hard case that criminals are likely to bypass:

• Don’t allow your kids to use the computer on which you do online banking and store financial records (children are apt to download games and attachments that host damaging viruses or attract spyware).
• Beware of offers that appeal to greed or fear in exchange for personal data.
• Monitor your credit report regularly and know if anyone’s been “knocking on your door.”
• Read privacy statements carefully and choose to opt out of sharing information whenever possible.

Brimming with anecdotes of creative criminality that are as entertaining as they are enlightening, Stealing Your Life is the practical way to shield yourself from one of today’s most nefarious and common crimes.
Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies established this young writer as one the most brilliant of her generation. Her stories are one of the very few debut works -- and only a handful of collections -- to have won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Among the many other awards and honors it received were the New Yorker Debut of the Year award, the PEN/Hemingway Award, and the highest critical praise for its grace, acuity, and compassion in detailing lives transported from India to America. In The Namesake, Lahiri enriches the themes that made her collection an international bestseller: the immigrant experience, the clash of cultures, the conflicts of assimilation, and, most poignantly, the tangled ties between generations. Here again Lahiri displays her deft touch for the perfect detail -- the fleeting moment, the turn of phrase -- that opens whole worlds of emotion.
The Namesake takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans. On the heels of their arranged wedding, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle together in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family. When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world. Named for a Russian writer by his Indian parents in memory of a catastrophe years before, Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name. Lahiri brings great empathy to Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path, strewn with conflicting loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs. With penetrating insight, she reveals not only the defining power of the names and expectations bestowed upon us by our parents, but also the means by which we slowly, sometimes painfully, come to define ourselves. The New York Times has praised Lahiri as "a writer of uncommon elegance and poise." The Namesake is a fine-tuned, intimate, and deeply felt novel of identity.
In the heated debates over identity politics, few theorists have looked carefully at the conceptualizations of identity assumed by all sides. Visible Identities fills this gap. Drawing on both philosophical sources as well as theories and empirical studies in the social sciences, Martín Alcoff makes a strong case that identities are not like special interests, nor are they doomed to oppositional politics, nor do they inevitably lead to conformism, essentialism, or reductive approaches to judging others. Identities are historical formations and their political implications are open to interpretation. But identities such as race and gender also have a powerful visual and material aspect that eliminativists and social constructionists often underestimate. Visible Identities offers a careful analysis of the political and philosophical worries about identity and argues that these worries are neither supported by the empirical data nor grounded in realistic understandings of what identities are. Martín Alcoff develops a more realistic characterization of identity in general through combining phenomenological approaches to embodiment with hermeneutic concepts of the interpretive horizon. Besides addressing the general contours of social identity, Martín Alcoff develops an account of the material infrastructure of gendered identity, compares and contrasts gender identities with racialized ones, and explores the experiential aspects of racial subjectivity for both whites and non-whites. In several chapters she looks specifically at Latino identity as well, including its relationship to concepts of race, the specific forms of anti-Latino racism, and the politics of mestizo or hybrid identity.
The subject of personal and moral identity is at the centre of interest, not only of academic research within disciplines such as philosophy and psychology, but also of everyday thinking. This is why the Neth erlands School for Research in Practical Philosophy and the Institute for Ethics of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam took the initiative to bring together scholars from various disciplines, interested in the subject. The expert-seminar on 'Personal and Moral Identity' took place from 12-14 January 1999. Financial contributions from the Vrije Universiteit, the Dutch Scientific Organisation (NWO) and the Royal Dutch Academy for the Sciences (KNA W) made the event possible. The chapters in this book either go back to papers presented at the seminar or were written afterwards by participants, inspired by the discussions that took place during the seminar. We are very grateful to Dr. Hendrik Hutter for his assistance in editing the texts and making the manuscript camera-ready. December 2001, The Editors. 1 Introduction Albert W. Musschenga Although scholars studying the identity of persons usually address diverging issues and have different research agendas, there is a grow ing awareness that one may benefit from insights and results present in other disciplines dealing with that subject. This explains the enthu siastic responses to the invitation of the Netherlands School for Research in Practical Philosophy and the Institute for Ethics of the Vrije Universiteit to participate in a seminar on 'Personal and Moral Identity'.
A Nobel Laureate offers a dazzling new book about his native country
India is a country with many distinct traditions, widely divergent customs, vastly different convictions, and a veritable feast of viewpoints. In The Argumentative Indian, Amartya Sen draws on a lifetime study of his country's history and culture to suggest the ways we must understand India today in the light of its rich, long argumentative tradition.
The millenia-old texts and interpretations of Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Muslim, agnostic, and atheistic Indian thought demonstrate, Sen reminds us, ancient and well-respected rules for conducting debates and disputations, and for appreciating not only the richness of India's diversity but its need for toleration.
Though Westerners have often perceived India as a place of endless spirituality and unreasoning mysticism, he underlines its long tradition of skepticism and reasoning, not to mention its secular contributions to mathematics, astronomy, linguistics, medicine, and political economy.
Sen discusses many aspects of India's rich intellectual and political heritage, including philosophies of governance from Kautilya's and Ashoka's in the fourth and third centuries BCE to Akbar's in the 1590s; the history and continuing relevance of India's relations with China more than a millennium ago; its old and well-organized calendars; the films of Satyajit Ray and the debates between Gandhi and the visionary poet Tagore about India's past, present, and future.
The success of India's democracy and defense of its secular politics depend, Sen argues, on understanding and using this rich argumentative tradition. It is also essential to removing the inequalities (whether of caste, gender, class, or community) that mar Indian life, to stabilizing the now precarious conditions of a nuclear-armed subcontinent, and to correcting what Sen calls the politics of deprivation. His invaluable book concludes with his meditations on pluralism, on dialogue and dialectics in the pursuit of social justice, and on the nature of the Indian identity.
People's identities are addressed and brought into being by interaction with others. Identity processes encompass biographical experiences, historical eras and cultural norms in which the self's autonomy varies according to the flux of power relationships with others.

Identity Structure Analysis (ISA) draws upon psychological, sociological and social anthropological theory and evidence to formulate a system of concepts that help explain the notion of identity. They can be applied to the practical investigations of identity structure and identity development in a number of clinical, societal and cultural settings. This book includes topics on national and ethnic identification in multicultural contexts and gender identity relating to social context and the urban environment. Clinical applications that describe identity processes associated with psychological distress are also examined. These include anorexia nervosa and vicarious traumatisation of counsellors in the aftermath of atrocity.

Analysing Identity is unique in its development of this integrative conceptualisation of self and identity, and its operationalisation in practice. This innovative book will appeal to academics and professionals in developmental, social, cross-cultural, clinical and educational psychology and psychotherapy. It will also be of interest to those involved with sociology, political science, gender studies, ethnic studies and social policy.

Of particular note is the availability of new software, Ipseus, which facilitates ISA for use by practitioners. It enables them to enhance their professional skills by ascertaining their clients’ perspectives on self as located in the social world. This has been successfully used with pre-school three to five year-old children, and all other age-ranges through childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Ipseus is designed to be used in inter-cultural contexts and appeals to practitioners for their input for the generation of customized identity instruments (see www.identityexploration.com).

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