Identity change also may occur when people have multiple identities that are related to each other in the sense that they share meanings and are activated at the same time (Burke 2003; Deux 1992, 1993; Stets 1995). Thus, as one controls perceptions of self-relevant meanings to match the standard for one identity, they may become discrepant (incompatible) with the standard for another active identity. For example, one person’s gender identity as a woman may suggest that she must be strong and independent, but her wife identity may suggest that she must let her husband take the lead in family matters. Insofar as these identities are activated at the same time and she cannot act on the basis of one without creating a discrepancy with respect to the other, the two identities are in conflict. She cannot reduce both discrepancies at the same time.

Peter J. BurkeĀ 
Social Psychology Quarterly, Vol. 69. No. 1.

American Sociological Association

2006.