identity pathologyThe Organization for Identity and Cultural Development (OICD) recently attended the International Society for Research on Identity (ISRI) conference, presenting an innovative interdisciplinary research paper. Titled “A Generative Model for Identity Pathology Diagnosis and Treatment,” this work was co-authored by OICD Director Dr. Bruce White and Dr. Carlos Farate, who also took the stage to present their findings.

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Identity

The research paper is a testament to the power of interdisciplinary collaboration, drawing upon a rich tapestry of fields including psychological anthropology, sociocultural anthropology, personality studies, cognitive psychology, psychoanalysis, and neuroscience. This comprehensive approach aims to unravel the complexities of how individual and collective identities are formed and manipulated.

Dr. White and Dr. Farate’s work delves into the darker side of identity formation, exploring how the manipulation of cultural signifiers, narratives, and symbols can lead to psychological, social, and physical harm. Their research highlights the potential for such manipulations to result in violence and persecution, making their findings particularly relevant in today’s global landscape.


Introducing the Generative Identity Model (GIM)

At the heart of their research is the Generative Identity Model (GIM), a theoretical framework designed to diagnose and treat pathological identity states. The GIM distinguishes between healthy identities, which are dynamic and capable of generating multiple forms and expressions, and pathological identities, which are characterized by a stasis or seizure of this generative functioning.

The authors tested their framework through two compelling case studies—one collective and one individual. These case studies demonstrated the model’s potential to address and repair harmful forms of “othering,” such as hate crimes, terrorism, violent extremism, gang violence, ethnic violence, and the persecution of minorities.

Carlos Farate presents
Carlos Farate Presents the Generative Identity Model


A Thought-Provoking Presentation

The presentation of this research at the ISRI conference helped spark a lively discussion among attendees. The audience seemed particularly intrigued by the practical applications of the Generative Identity Model and its potential to address some of the most pressing social issues of our time.

Bruce White explains some of the key concepts in the research in this video clip

Leading the Way in Identity Research

As an organization dedicated to promoting understanding and cooperation between communities, the OICD continues to strive to both curate and create groundbreaking research that bridges the gap between academia and real-world solutions. Dr. White and Dr. Farate’s work is an example of how interdisciplinary research can seek to foster positive change and build a more inclusive society.

Bruce White and Carlos Farate talk together on the EMIC approach
Bruce White and Carlos Farate talk together on the next steps of the research following the presentation