Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis



First Advisor

Barry Markovsky


There are two main goals I hope to accomplish with this thesis. First, I will make a case for the value of theory analysis and review its methods (Markovsky 1993, 1994, 1996, 2010, Markovsky et al. 2008, and Markovsky & Kazemi forthcoming), including the use of modularization in theory construction (Markovsky 2010; Markovsky et al. 2008). Next, I will apply these methods to identity theory, most notably Stryker's (Stryker 1968, 1980, 1981, Stryker & Serpe 1982). This approach is taken with an eye toward capitalizing upon eight desirable characteristics of sound theory (Cohen 1989, Markovsky 1996, Barnum 1997). That is, I hope to contribute to identity theory by offering a provisional, reformulated version constructed around these properties: reducing contradiction and ambivalence, and improving communicability, abstractness, generality, precision, parsimony, and conditionality (Markovsky 1996). The reformulated theory will serve as a core module which can be connected to similar other theories of identity which share terms, scope conditions, or propositions.