Text topic: Culture and Deviance
Text author: Милана Љубичић
This paper offers analysis of the stories told by beneficiaries of the Shelter for Adults and the Elderly in Belgrade, about themselves and others. The goal was to recognize and describe identity hooks for self-presentation. In order to understand our respondents’ narratives, it was necessary to respect the milieu in which the narration took place. This specific context – the institution for care of persons in social need i.e. a shelter for the homeless – is influencing not only the ways of encountering others, but also the version of the truth about oneself. The conceptual framework of the study was found in social constructionism, and the starting assumption is that the process of identity work is interactive in its nature. In other words, we create self-identity negotiating with others and with ourselves. Searching for personal identity points, deep interviews were conducted with five residents of the shelter. In their narratives, important identity hooks are recognized: personal traits, values and significant others, in relation to which they build/defend their identities.