ABSTRACT Terminological ambiguity and inattention to personal and contextual multilevel systems undermine personality, self, and identity theories. Hierarchical and heterarchical systems theories are used to describe contents and processes existing within and across three interrelated multilevel systems: levels of organization, representation, and integration. Materially nested levels of organization are used to distinguish persons from contexts and personal from social identity. Functionally nested levels of representation are used to distinguish personal identity from the sense of identity and symbolic (belief) from iconic (schema) systems. Levels of integration are hypothesized to unfold separately but interdependently across levels of representation. Multilevel system configurations clarify alternative conceptualizations of traits and contextualized identity. Methodological implications for measurement and analysis (e.g., integrating variable- and pattern-centered methods) are briefly described.