This chapter is intended to provide a background for readers unfamiliar with the concept of identity, or familiar with it in different contexts than that employed within this book. It is intended both as a general introduction and to preclude the need for the authors of the following chapters to cover the basic concepts and hence reduce repetition and redundancy within the book as a whole.

The chapter defines different uses of the word identity, discusses different theories of self-informative identity (the sense in which the disciplines represented here use it), particularly social identity theory and role identity theory, and how identity can be seen as something to be performed. Finally it examines the role that virtual worlds have played in shaping the concept of identity, and how identity influences our experiences of virtual worlds.


Body Image Active World Virtual World Physical World Physical Body 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Coventry UniversityCoventryUK

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