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Genealogy, Psychology and Identity

Tales from a family tree

Genealogy, Psychology and Identity by Paula Nicolson
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The popularity of amateur genealogy and family history has soared in recent times. Genealogy, Psychology and Identity explores this popular international pastime and offers reasons why it informs our sense of who we are, and our place in both contemporary culture and historical context. We will never know any of the people we discover from our histories in person, but for several reasons we recognize that their lives shaped ours. Paula Nicolson draws on her experiences tracing her own family history to show how people can connect with archival material, using documents and texts to expand their knowledge and understanding of the psychosocial experiences of their ancestors.

Key approaches to identity and relationships lend clues to our own lives but also to what psychosocial factors run across generations. Attachment and abandonment, trusting, being let down, becoming independent, migration, health and money, all resonate with the psychological experiences that define the outlooks, personalities and the ways that those who came before us related to others.

Nicolson highlights the importance of genealogy in the development of identity and the therapeutic potential of family history in cultivating well-being that will be of interest to those researching their own family tree, genealogists and counsellors, as well as students and researchers in social psychology and social history.

Taylor and Francis; December 2016
132 pages; ISBN 9781317331483
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Title: Genealogy, Psychology and Identity
Author: Paula Nicolson
 
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