Kate C. McLean
My research centers on identity development from adolescence through old age. I focus on how people recall and interpret their life experiences in the form of a life story. That is, my research centers on how individuals represent, tell, and otherwise manage momentous memories, and how such memory management informs the development of identity in adolescence and adulthood. I view identity development as both an individual and a social process. In working on the individual level of analysis, I examine the meanings that individuals make of their most important memories. On the social level of analysis, I have worked to ground the study of identity development in field of memory telling. My research tries to better understand how each person’s identity is at the same time unique to his or her own life story, as well as born out of a social context that merits consideration in understanding the whole person as he or she begins to consolidate a sense of identity and purpose in the world.