Metaphors of Identity

A Culture-Communication Dialogue

By Thomas K. Fitzgerald

Subjects: Cultural Anthropology
Series: SUNY series, Human Communication Processes
Paperback : 9780791415962, 264 pages, September 1993
Hardcover : 9780791415955, 264 pages, September 1993

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Table of contents

Foreword by George and Louise Spindler


1. Conceptions of Identity in the Culture-Communication Dialogue

Part I Culture as Communicable Knowledge: A Functional Model of Identity

2. Biology, Culture, and Communication

3. History, Culture, and the Concept of the Person

4. Culture, Identity, and Communication

Part II Identity Topics in Social and Cultural Context: Communication Implications

5. Identity of Place or Mis-placed Identity: Media and Changing Metaphors of Ethnicity and Identity

6. Males in Transition: An Identity Challenge

7. Homophobia and the Cultural Construction of the Social Stranger

8. Metaphors and Scientific Discourse in Social Gerontology

9. Communication: Identity, Community, and Survival

10. Limits of Metaphor in the Culture-Communication Dialogue




Placing identity within its cultural context, Fitzgerald offers ethnographic case material to examine the meaning and changing metaphors of ethnicity, male and female identity, and aging and identity. He opens up an exciting multidisciplinary dialogue for improving interpersonal and cross-cultural communication. The book provides a clear synthesis of the interrelated meanings of culture, identity, and communication, examining self-concept and its role in the communication process, and exploring cultural and biological research on self, individuality, personality, and mind-body questions.

Thomas K. Fitzgerald is Professor at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He is co-author of Culture, Society and Guidance; and author of Education and Identity and Aspirations and Identity Among Second-Generation Cook Islanders in New Zealand.


"Metaphors of Identity was a pleasure to read. It integrates a vast amount of material within a creative but solid framework, and is truly a holistic work of art. The case studies are well chosen and provide sufficient descriptive data to substantiate the theoretical claims of the author. " — Carole E. Hill, Georgia State University