Evaluate the claim that personal identity is self- defined
Your identity is what makes you who you are and what makes you unique as an individual and different from other people. Identities are not static but dynamic and constantly changing. A personal identity is made up of several different aspects, and can be defined by culture (nationality, religion and gender) as well as family and career. Your identity is defined by how you see yourself and also by how you are seen by others. It is part given and part taken and also can be something we are born with. In some instances an identity may be something you are given and may not be through choice. I am going to look at what makes a personal identity and is it self-defined and made without the assistance of anyone else. I am also going to compare the opinion of the theorists Erik Erikson and Sigmund Freud and I will be using the case findings of the research project into becoming a mother for the first time and more importantly the case of Silma and her experiences, this was a research programme which included detailed interviews as well as observational research.
There are numerous ways in which our Identity can change, for example our bodies change and how we look alters as we get older but our appearance and our bodies can also be changed by choice for example hair colour, cosmetic surgery etc. (chapter 4, Exploring Social Lives) Our identities also change through practices and when there is an upset to our normal routines and we need to establish new ones or learn new skills, this also has an impact on our identity. This is the case when practices turn into routines and we no longer need to think about doing them as they become second nature. Finally we also experience relationship changes where our views on who we think we are is influenced by the opinions of other people and how they see us. We become who we are and modify ourselves through the way others treat us and respond to us....
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