A Quick Guide to the Cass Theory of Lesbian & Gay Identity Formation
A new book by Dr Vivienne Cass released on the 4th October 2015
What is it?
- The Cass theory of lesbian and gay identity formation is well-known to many who work in the field of sexual orientation. Since it was first published over forty-five years ago, it continues to form the basis for research studies and for training programs for health professionals, and provides counsellors and therapists with a framework for helping them to work effectively with lesbian and gay clients. Increasingly it is being applied in developing countries as these absorb Western ideas about sexual orientation.
Why is it necessary?
- Although the Cass theory was presented over a number of published articles and book chapters, and provides a multifaceted theoretical framework, all too often it is the original article alone, published in 1979, which is assumed (incorrectly) to offer an understanding of the complete theory.
- Additionally, many have narrowed their focus to the theory’s central idea, namely that the process of acquiring an identity of ‘lesbian’ or ‘gay’ can be viewed as a series of six stages. When this occurs, the process of identity formation is often disconnected from the larger theoretical and epistemological context in which it sits, leading to inaccuracies in the way the theory is interpreted.
What does it offer?
- Mindful of these issues, and also of the difficulty some international professionals and students of her theory have in accessing academic materials, Vivienne Cass has written A Quick Guide to the Cass Theory of Lesbian & Gay Identity Formation as a snapshot of her theory.
- In this book she provides an overview of the theory, integrating, for the first time, all the different facets of her theory that have previously been dispersed throughout various publications. The book offers a summary of each aspect and clearly identifies the source materials so that readers can go to these references in order to obtain the full account of what is discussed.
- As such it is an excellent resource for researchers, educators, health professionals and students, whether they are new to the theory or simply wish to confirm their understanding of it.
- And, for the first time, Dr Cass addresses a number of critiques of her theory, providing responses to each of these that offer some new insights into her understanding of the identity formation process.
What do the contents include?
Preface. Why the need for a quick guide
Using the Quick Guide
Chapter 1. Developing the theory
Chapter 2. The theory’s epistemological base
Social constructionist psychology
Dynamic interaction process
Negotiated interpersonal relationships
Other distinguishing features of Cass’ theory
Psychology of knowledge
Chapter 3. Definition of identity formation process
Chapter 4. Motivational factors
Motivation to engage in identity formation
Interpersonal congruency theory
Chapter 5. Definition of Identity
Homosexual identity as typological identity
Distinctions between presented, perceived and sexual identities
Chapter 6. Stages of Identity Formation
Stage 1: Identity Confusion
Stage 2: Identity Comparison
Stage 3: Identity Tolerance
Stage 4: Identity Acceptance
Stage 5: Identity Pride
Stage 6: Identity Synthesis
Chapter 7. Stage Allocation Measure
Chapter 8. Critique of theory
Linearity of stages
Experiences of women
Stage 6 as the end-point
Individuals at Stage 6 as more mature
Relevance of theory
Chapter 9. Time to expand our thinking
Chapter 10. Implications for counselling and therapy
Where can I buy it?
A Quick Guide to the Cass Theory of Lesbian & Gay Identity Formation can be read on all good ebook reading devices and computers.
Available from: smashwords.com and amazon.com (Kindle)
- Also available for purchase from other major online retailers such as Apple ibooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, WH Smith, FNAC, Diesel, Oyster, Scribd, Flipkart, Stanza, Inktera and Aldiko.