Definition Essay on the Term Identity

1154 WordsApr 2, 20135 Pages
English Composition II October 27, 2012 Definition Essay The term “identity” as the English dictionary defines it is “the individual characteristics by which a person or thing is recognized,” however, the dictionary fails to truly capture the word’s meaning. Generally the development of an individual’s identity goes on during his/her childhood, puberty and in most situations it ends at adulthood. Identity is quite difficult to define because it is such an abstract concept. In order to define such a word, it is better to describe factors that are more directly involved with the meaning of a person’s identity. There are specific and important factors such as: social class, culture, family and society. In essays such as, “Some Lessons…show more content…
They are ubiquitous, having entered the circles of glamour and the mainstream of fashion, and they have even become an increasingly common feature of our urban youth. Legislation in most states restricts professional tattooing to adults older than 18 years of age, so high-end tattooing is rare in children and adolescents, but such tattoos are occasionally seen in older teenagers. Piercings, by comparison, as well as self-made or jailhouse type tattoos, are not all rare among adolescents or even among school-age children. Like hairdo, makeup, or baggy jeans, tattoos and piercings can be subject to fad influence or peer pressure in an effort toward group affiliation. As with any other fashion statement, they can be construed as bodily aids in the inner struggle toward identity consolidation, serving as adjuncts to the defining and sculpting of the self by means of external manipulation.” (Martin 388). Tattoos can also become symbols of the individual’s spiritual belief. They are commonly used as links because of the bonding relationship they offer to the individual. Tattoos such as Crosses, the Star of David and the Yin Yang, they all offer the individual a sense of belonging to a greater belief. In today’s world, especially in American society, people tend to be highly materialistic. Perhaps the urge to buy everything could be a disguise for the search of the person’s identity. Just as Quindlen wrote in her article about materialism, “Here I
Open Document