Social and transitional identity : exploring social networks and their significance in a therapeutic community setting

BEST, David, LUBMAN, D. I., SAVIC, M., WILSON, A., DINGLE, G., HASLAM, S. A., HASLAM, C. and JETTEN, J. (2014). Social and transitional identity : exploring social networks and their significance in a therapeutic community setting. Therapeutic Communities, 35 (1), 10-20.

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Purpose - There is considerable literature indicating the importance of social connectedness and its relationship to wellbeing. For problem substance users, a similar literature emphasises the importance of the transition from a social network supportive of use to one that fosters recovery. Within this framework, the therapeutic community (TC) is seen as a critical location for adopting a transitional identity (i.e. from a "drug user" to a "member of the TC"), as part of the emergence of a "recovery identity" following treatment. The purpose of this paper is to outline a model for conceptualising and measuring identity based on the theories of social identity and recovery capital, and pilots this model within a TC setting.

Design/methodology/approach - A social identity mapping was used with TC residents to test their identification with "using" and "TC" groups, and their relationship to recovery capital.

Findings - The network mapping method was acceptable to TC residents, and provided valuable insights into the social networks and social identity of TC residents.

Research limitations/implications - This paper explores issues around mapping social identity and its potential in the TC and other residential settings.

Originality/value - The paper integrates a number of conceptual models to create a new framework for understanding transitions in social networks during treatment and reports on a novel measurement method underpinning this.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Law Research Group
Identification Number:
Page Range: 10-20
Depositing User: Hilary Ridgway
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2015 10:23
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 10:45

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