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Politicized Identity

  1. Jacquelien van Stekelenburg

Published Online: 14 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470674871.wbespm163

The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements

How to Cite

van Stekelenburg, J. 2013. Politicized Identity. The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 JAN 2013


Politicization of identities is key to the dynamics of contention. Protest movements are built on politicized identities and they are populated by people with politicized identities. Politicization of identities is simultaneously a characteristic of collectivities and people. There exists a division of labor between students of politicization of identities. Sociologists tend to study politicization at the collective level on the supply side of contentious politics, while social psychologists typically focus on the individual level of politicization at the demand side of politics (cf. Klandermans 2004). The politicization of the supply side of protest refers to the characteristics of protest movements. Is it a movement people can identify with? Is the movement able to frame personal problems into political claims? The politicization of demand refers to the potential of protestors in a society. It relates to the problems people perceive in a society and whether people attach political meaning to these problems. In order to understand how the division of labor conceptually and empirically affects the study of this phenomenon, we will briefly elaborate on the concept of identity.


  • conflict;
  • identity;
  • identity politics