Complexity Of Identity

Good Essays
Identity is created by the factors all around us, and also how we respond to them. In the article by Beverly Tatum titled The Complexity of Identity: “Who Am I?” she discusses how we as a society can get past our differences through understanding who we are. She gives multiple examples of how we relate to our environment and how a better understand of that can bring us closer together and even open new channels of communication through discussion. Tatum gives us a very well laid out way to ask the right questions, to get an outside perspective that ultimately helps us understand who we are and how we can relate with others.

Tatum talks about a situation where she asked her students to complete the sentence, “I am _____________.” Using as many descriptors as they can in sixty seconds. Her goal was to see what people considered themselves as. The results she obtained were very interesting. She notes that the subordinate races, religions, genders, and sexualities all listed some type of identity if it was considered different from this mythical norm exert she sites on page one from “Age. Race. Class. and Sex: Women Redefining Difference.” Audre Lorde (EX: …In America, this norm is usually defined as white, thin, male, young, heterosexual, Christian, and financially secure.)
…show more content…
Stating on page 3 “The relationship of the dominants to the subordinates is often one in which the targeted group is labeled as defective or substandard in significant ways.” What she’s saying is that the subordinate group internalizes what the dominant group pushes because they are not the larger majority. This issue leads to individuals not trying to rise to their potential because society tells them they have

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Identity

    • 1872 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Identity cannot be formed and defined in one category; it is defined in many ways. Our Identity is formed by our race, culture, language, belief and environment. Sarah Morris described,” Every thing around what and us shapes who we became we believe about other and ourselves.” (1) In the book Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? (2) Shows that identity is formed by the following category: objects possessions, creations, interests, friends, family, work hobbies, practices, habits, choices, values, beliefs, appearance and ethnicity. I agree that identity is formed in the entire category list above together to shape up who we are. However finding who we are is not easy but the more we find out about our self the better we know who we are.…

    • 1872 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Best Essays

    Identity is a fundamental part of all humans. Whether one’s identity consumes their personality or lies in the shadow of their persona, all humans share this personality trait. Identity is defined as the distinctive characteristic belonging to any given individual or shared by all members of a particular social category or group. In cognitive psychology, the techicange definition of the term "identity" refers to the capacity for self-reflection and the awareness of self.(Leary & Tangney 2003, p. 3)The Weinreich definition directs attention to the totality of one's identity at a given phase in time, with its given components such as one's gender identity, ethnic identity, occupational identity as well as many more.. The definition is applicable…

    • 1648 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Good Essays

    Personal Identity has been a fascinating topic for philosophers all over the world. When you talk about personal Identity it makes you think to yourself “What is personal Identity?” Personal Identity can be a lot of things, to each person the meaning can be different. Personal Identity can be how you want the public to perceive you. Personal Identity can also mean upholding a certain standard/ attitude to maintain the status quo of who you are. This very question has left philosophers with many ideas on personal identity and the plus and minuses to it. Personal Identity is the concept you develop about yourself that expands over a course of your life. There are certain aspects of your life that involves personal identity that you have no control…

    • 1501 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Identities are the definition of who we are, our peculiarities which distinguish us from any other entity. Our identities could be extremely complex, processing our ethnic group, cultural background as well as family status. However, it could also be defined in an abstract way, containing all the lived experience we have concealed and our own perspectives. Through the integration with others, based on a derisive self-perception, we may tend to disguise our true selves to search for approval. While we often attain to make a forceful stand for maintaining our own personalities, we are being true to ourselves even to the detriment to our sense of belonging.…

    • 897 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Identity is the sense of self and everything that can contribute to that sense. It is something that lies within one's mind and is very subjective. However, certain outside conditions can shape the way an identity can develop. Each person's identity and the way they define what their identity is can rely heavily on the experiences they have, mostly within their environment. While other factors such as gender and language can have a significant impact on identity, they are factors that can be greatly influenced or decided by one's society. Society has the greatest impact on an individual's identity, because it sets up the norms of an environment in which the individual is adapting to in a variety of ways.…

    • 700 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Psychologist Erik Erikson defines identity as ‘a sense of continuity over time as a being or entity that is different from others’ (Clarke, 2009, Pg252). We all have our own identities that are different than the person stood next to us, but he believed that it doesn’t stay the same identity throughout a person’s lifetime. We all go through different stages during our lifetime; babies, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and then to old age – Each forging a new identity for us not only based on past experiences but on conflicts and experiences that challenge us in everyday life and the future.…

    • 1397 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Identity is who a person is. It determines how you act and how people think of you. For example, a person whose identity is bad is often bound for trouble and for others to look down on them, whereas a person with a good identity is often bound for success and treated well by others. A person’s identity can be affected by many things: where he/she was born, the person’s parents, friends and other things. Through my life experiences I have become creative, spirited, and inquisitive.…

    • 568 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Kindertransport- Identity

    • 894 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Do you ever think about what you represent in this world? Do you ever think about how people, as a whole, perceive your personality, your background, your style, your language, and your opinion? I’ve been thinking a lot about how my individuality is recognized by others and how I can change it within one moment’s decision. The definition of identity is truly vague to my knowledge but I think it has to do with everything in your existence that relates to your physical, psychological, and cultural persona.…

    • 894 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Tma2 131

    • 978 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Identity is a term used difficult to pin point and describe but often refers to ourselves in first person to explain who we are in terms of age, race, sexuality etc. However, this may lead to people being classed together via a group or collective identity. This is referrered to as a social identity which is ‘An identity given by connections to other people and social situations.’ (Taylor et al., 2009, p167)…

    • 978 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Best Essays

    COMM 331

    • 2269 Words
    • 5 Pages

    ‘Identity’, delineated by Jenkins (2008, p. 5), refers to the basic cognitive mechanism that humans use to sort out themselves and their fellows, individually and collectively, which is ultimate to the organization of the…

    • 2269 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Good Essays

    “You can't change who you are. No matter how you struggle, some things will never change. And maybe they shouldn't” (Thurman, Rob). “Identity is a powerful organizing presence in social life today” putting people into sections concerning likes and dislikes, culture and customs, separates them via social, economic and religious differences, identity makes a person, a person (Leve, Lauren). The character regarding one’s self is shaped by identity, how they view themselves, and largely how society views them. Influences that impact people into what or whom they will become, and how their presence is perceived, will shape them throughout his or her lifetime. Many are more conscious of their identity when put into situations where they stand out.…

    • 922 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    One’s identity is who or what a person is and how they are perceived by themselves and others. Your identity defines who you are and where you fit in. It is a self-representation of your interests, relationship, social activity and much more. Some believe our sense of identity and belonging is shaped by various factors, including our experiences, relationships, and our environments. Conversely, others believe that personality is shaped by nature, and that one is defined by their biological characteristics and hereditary traits passed down from previous generations. Nevertheless a combination of both nature and nurture shapes us throughout life. For a majority of the population their journey to find their identity and belonging can often be a struggle due to many reasons. The issue of identity and belonging has captivated humans for many generations, and will remain a key turning point for many to come. We can only truly accept ourselves by acknowledging both of the contributing factors which define who we are.…

    • 1006 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Identity Nd Belonging

    • 1984 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Identity and belonging are inter-related; they go like peas in a pod. The groups we choose to belong to and the ways we connect with others help to form our own identity. Together, these issues go to the heart of who we are and how we present ourselves to the world. One human quality that we all share, despite our individual identities, is the need to belong. It is a paradox that we long to be free, to be who we truly are and yet we yearn to belong to some kind of community. There is no real obligation to belong to one group, you can belong to many, that is, an individual is not bound or obliged to belong to one group, they can belong to many which can create multiple identities for the individual, thus our sense of identity can never be constant. Belonging to a loving family, group of supportive friends and/or peers nurture us and help us to develop our own sense of self. However, the cost of belonging can be substantial. Families, for example, may have expectations of us that conflict with our own ambitions. Groups may demand unquestioning obedience and conformity. It is painful to be an outsider but there is often a price to pay for belonging. It can be difficult to balance these conflicting impulses, to be both independently ourselves and to belong to a wider community.…

    • 1984 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Identity and Belonging

    • 1129 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Our individual identity is determined by what others think of us but only in part. Our identity is also comprised of inner qualities and outer representations of self. It consists of innumerable defining characteristics that make up the whole of who we are in any given moment. These fragments of ourselves include our sexuality, gender, and sense of belonging to a particular culture, nation, religion, family, or some other group. Our identity includes our looks, personality, beliefs and fears. Our identities are constantly growing, changing, and adapting to our everyday lives. This emphasizes the overriding link that one’s sense of belonging influences, or often dictates, individual identity. Each individual in society assigns themselves a particular role, whether it be as a mother, brother, retiree, performer, sportsman or as a part of their occupation, a doctor or lawyer. One’s entire sense of self is consumed by pursuit of fulfilling such a role in society. Often these roles influence how others view us. How heavily do they? What does it depend on? Can it change or alter? What might you do to affect it? Which identity is influenced: public or private? Does it come from within that makes us who we are, or is it the environment and the people in it that ultimately mould our identity? These are the questions that can arise when questioning the effect of others on our identity.…

    • 1129 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Identity is an intrinsic idea of one’s life. Whilst there are no certainties, the struggle of identity often happens, and the conflicts may depend on the individual himself. The conflict may occur due to various factors in one’s identities including their sexual orientations, skin colour and religious background. These variables may cause noticeable damages to one’s mentality and psychology, and hence lead the individual to struggle with who they are.…

    • 1014 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays