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Istanze identitarie e racconto di sé in un gruppo di adolescenti «writers»

Barbara De Angelis, Susanna Pallini, Francesca Passarini


Identity Demands and Self-Reports in a Group of Adolescent Graffiti Writers.

This paper attempts to investigate the world of graffiti art as a widely popular phenomenon among adolescents, especially in urban contexts. We hypothesize that this activity is an answer to the need for identity and for belonging, typical of adolescence. In particular, we analyzed social identity in the crew and in the broader social context. Twenty young people (aged thirteen to twenty-three years), with nineteen males and only one female, underwent a semi-structured interview on social identity. The transcript was then analysed according to the following categories: the writer’s identity (autobiographical, behavioural and emotional aspects along with personal commitment); group identity (the crew, the rules); contextual aspects (belonging, communication goals, relations with the law). The results show two aspects of the activity: on the one hand, graffiti represents an answer to identity needs through its obvious visibility, a revelation and recognition of the self through tagging; on the other hand, it meets the need to belong through the crew’s mutual loyalty, the challenge and sharing milieu.


Adolescence, Identity, Semi-structured interview, Social context, Writers

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ecps-2013-008-dean


Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (19/05/2010 n. 278)
Online ISSN 2037-7924 - Print ISSN 2037-7932

Research Laboratory on Didactics and Evaluation - Department of Education - "Roma Tre" University

Executive Editor: Gaetano Domenici - Managing  Editor: Valeria Biasci
Editorial Board: Giuditta Alessandrini - Eleftheria Argyropoulou - Massimo Baldacci - Joao Barroso - Richard Bates - Christofer Bezzina - Paolo Bonaiuto - Lucia Boncori - Pietro Boscolo - Sara Bubb  - Carlo Felice Casula - Jean-Émile Charlier - Lucia Chiappetta Cajola - Carmela Covato - Jean-Louis Derouet - Peter Early - Franco Frabboni - Constance Katz - James Levin - Pietro Lucisano  - Roberto Maragliano - Romuald Normand - Michael Osborne - Donatella Palomba - Michele Pellerey - Clotilde Pontecorvo - Vitaly V. Rubtzov - Jaap Scheerens - Noah W. Sobe - Francesco Susi - Giuseppe Spadafora - Pat Thomson
Editorial Staff: Fabio Alivernini - Guido Benvenuto - Anna Maria Ciraci - Massimiliano Fiorucci - Luca Mallia - Massimo Margottini - Giovanni Moretti - Carla Roverselli 
Editorial Secretary:
Nazarena Patrizi