Passing Theory

Passing theory describes a unique process by which individuals are not who they claim to be and communicate false identity attributions to gain social group membership without entitlement. Procedurally, the individual conceals authentic self-identity attributions while soliciting social group members to instead ascribe social identity attributions. The implication is that the false identity provides a means to meet social group identity expectations, and thus establish a resourceful way of managing social life plans. The choice to perform acts of passing is typically stimulated by two general motivations: perceived social advantages and avoidance of social suffering. The settings of practical social contexts include a variety of situations that take place in education, occupations, and peer/intimate relationships. As such, passing theory often applies to gender ...

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