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Becoming RastaOrigins of Rastafari Identity in Jamaica$
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Charles Price

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814767467

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814767467.001.0001

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Acts of Identity Work

Acts of Identity Work

(p.166) 5 Acts of Identity Work
Becoming Rasta

Charles Price

NYU Press

This chapter describes the processes of identity transformation. Creating a Rastafari identity for oneself involves many challenges, as a person must decide how to deal with whom they were “before” and how to deal with the relationships attendant to the “old” self. They must also “construct” and maintain the new identity. Thus, processes involving investment, sacrifice, renunciation, mortification, and reward are set into motion. These actions almost invariably generate tension and insecurity, along with feelings of achievement, in creating a new self and kinship with the newfound family of Rastafari. Identity transformation turns into an ongoing project, always subject to being undone or stalled because it requires continual negotiation and regular maintenance.

Keywords:   identity transformation, Rastafari identity, constructing identities, maintaining identities

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