Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Date Information

May 2020

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Joanna Gonsalves

Abstract

This study investigates the possibility of an American Identity crisis in emerging adults, where young, college-aged people are feeling conflicted and possibly rejecting a common American identity. The period of emerging adulthood in many first-world countries is a time between adolescence and adulthood where young adults are able to explore different roles, identities, and ideas independently from their parents, guardians, and hometown (Arnett, 2000). The goal of this research is to listen to young Americans regarding their conceptions of a common American identity and to explore the degree to which they accept or reject this identity for themselves. This research further explores the theme of emerging adults finding their voices and exploring new viewpoints to vocally question ideas that conflict with personal values, and possibly changing the future of America through active involvement as citizens. An original, online survey was created for students at Salem State University that includes open-response and Likert-style questions regarding their own identity and attitudes regarding a perceived common American identity. Qualitative and quantitative analysis are used to examine the possibility of a generational American identity crisis among emerging adults. The intersections between American identity and other participant identities, such as race, sexual orientation, and gender, are also analyzed and discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons

COinS