Characteristics Of A Horizontal Identity

1052 Words May 12th, 2016 5 Pages
Question 1
Each individual possesses an identity that makes him or her unique in their own special way. This identity is considered a marker that helps define and shape the person, even as they develop by means of age or wisdom. In addition to that, various factors, such as ethnicity, gender, religion, language, or culture, contribute to establishing one’s identity. Although each identity is different, Andrew Solomon acknowledges another difference amongst one’s identity. This difference depends on whether someone encompasses a horizontal identity or a vertical identity. A horizontal identity consists of traits that parents seem to find strange due to the fact that the traits are acquired by an individual’s peer group. Some horizontal identities reflect recessive genes, random mutations, prenatal influences, or values and/or preferences a child does not share with his or her parents or ancestors (Solomon, 2012, p. 2). Nevertheless, these identities tend to be viewed as flaws. Knowledge, competence, and actions would be demanded from the rest of the family of the child with the marked difference (Solomon, 2012, p. 4). However, a vertical identity includes traits that are influenced by parents. Not only are aspects of a vertical identity biological and passed down through generations, but they are also shared through cultural norms (Solomon, 2012). On the contrary, vertical identities are considered to be accepted than horizontal identities. This is because…
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