Ecological Self

Topics: Sociology, Identity, Self-concept Pages: 3 (753 words) Published: April 10, 2000
Diversity is a whirlwind of color through a society. There are no two people in the world that are exactly alike. Individuality distinguishes one person or thing from others (Landau, 364 Ed). A person's environment as a whole: an interaction with others, experiences, and time, makes a collage of traits that distinguishes someone as an individual. David Sibley's theory of the "Ecological Self" or Identity is bound by his determents of social, cultural, and spatial context. Sibley believes that class, race, gender, and nation shapes our identity, it is a single concept that is molded by our experiences from the world. I do not agree with this claim because people are individuals, not a development of their surroundings. Identity is not a single concept, there are many factors that shape it, environment cannot just effect identity. Sibley is a British sociologist that has dedicated his life to the studies behind the "Ecological Self." Sibley claims that the "Ecological Self" is not internal, it cannot be separated from the physical. "The social positioning of the self means that the boundary between self and other is formed through a series of cultural representations of people and things which frequently elide so that the non-human world also provides a context for selfhood (Sibley, 250)." The "other," that is being spoken of, is also known as the "Generalized Other." This is when we cannot separate from the physical and consider it to be the norm.

How do I know who I am? Where do I fit in? Internal and external forces mold our sense of self. Heredity and personal moral are examples of internal forces. Children are often most effected by this. "The forces of physical inheritance takes place mainly in childhood, though even as adults we have the possibility of dealing in our personal development (Grunewald, 2)." Environment also plays an important role in the formation of self-identity. The surroundings, which can include people, places, and experiences, mold an...
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