Ágnes Bálint: Adolescents’ identity projects in the reflection of their novels published on the internet

Adolescents face new challenges by their quick bodily changes, the revival of the Oedipal complex, separation from the parents, the grandiose self, taking up of new commitments, and new cognitive competencies.

Adolescents, while working on the resolution of their identity crisis, create identity projects via daydreaming. In their imaginations they plan their future identities, fulfill their wishes and realize various careers. The study of identity projects can contribute to a better understanding of adolescent identity crisis.

The aim of this pilot study is to map the feasibility of an extended research on adolescents’ identity projects. In the course of the qualitative analysis of nine novels, written by adolescents, it reveals the common features of identity projects as well as the incoherent nature of the texts. The heroes of the novels can be considered the authors’ identity projects. These heroes share aspirations for autonomy, sense of competence and responsibility, and a thirst for positive feedback. They assign a great role for themselves in the improvement or the rescue of the world. They tend to stay on the “right side”, and ready to face “Evil”. On the field of partnerships they long for love, intimacy and commitment. They usually emphasize their national identities as well.

The analysis includes a series of new hypotheses and issues for further research.

Key words: adolescents – creativity – identity crisis – identity project – novel

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