Chameleon And Identity Essay

Decent Essays
The subject of identity more fittingly identities, chameleon like character is highly contested and has been greatly discussed in the social sciences provoking a wide range of views in the form of ethnic identity, cultural identity, political identity, and national identity (Diagne, 2001). Etymologically the concept of identity originates from the Latin word “idem” which means sameness. This sameness is founded on culture, shared history, religion, language, and ethnicity (Eriksen, 1996). The language acts as a binding agent when it comes to relations among people; Religion sets a moral standard by which people ought to live by; A shared history builds solid bonds between people as the shared myths and history gives them their identity (Eriksen,…show more content…
This is since the development of identities is not merely grounded on reality but on the fusion of both the real and imaginary worlds. Equivalent views are held by Caughey (1984) who believes that, stories and the media have the ability to influence an individual’s identity. It is their window into the world; how they see themselves and others as well as how much value they place on things, people, and contexts. In his book Imagined communities, Anderson’s (1991) makes the claim that “a nation is imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion” (p. 6). Now, Anderson gives clues that the idea of an “imagined community” takes form when the members of that community “live in the image of their union”. Which means that if an individual is part of that community it will inform how they view themselves as part of that community. The community somewhat dictates how you live and relate to other human beings. As Anderson discusses imagined communities Taylor (1989) discusses “horizons of significance” and “constituent communities.” Taylor maintains that, each individual receives a “constituent community” which goes before him and also establishes the roots of his/her values. He states that, “the
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