How do the stories we tell shape who we are?

Prof. Ann Phoenix

Conversation is a continuous act of curating, connecting and analysing the events in our lives. How do we decide how we want to be seen?

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Every time we tell a story, we are deconstructing and reconstructing an image of ourselves: our social identity.

We use narratives to make sense of the world. The simple act of having a conversation with someone else forces us to curate, connect and analyse the events of our own lives and in the world around us. How does this complex process take place, and what conscious and unconscious decisions are we making about who we are and who we want to be when we talk?

Professor Ann Phoenix is an expert in how psychological experiences and social processes are linked, particularly in young people building their social identity. She's joining us in The Garden to explore how the life stories we tell in the present about the past are influenced by our anticipation of the future, and how we all become experts in accomplishing this.

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50 minutes


Anatomy & Identity

About the Fellow

Prof. Ann Phoenix

Ann researches the ways in which psychological experiences and social processes are linked and intersectional. She became fascinated by this topic because people were often treated too simplistically in much psychological work.

Anatomy & Identity Collection

How we think about who we are and how that intersect with our bodies, brains and biology is the subject of discussion today. But has this always been the case? Are there blurred lines between anatomy & identity we should be exploring?