What Is Identity? Who Defines Such, And How Is It Constructed?

1570 WordsMar 20, 20167 Pages
What is identity? Who defines such, and how is it constructed? The Oxford English dictionary, describes identity as “being who, or what a person is, and the characteristics determining who, or what that person is.” But, identity is much more complex than its dictionary definition. Although the word “identity” is used correctly in everyday discourse, its meaning is not captured by the definition. Identity has a double sense, it can refer to one’s self, a personal identity; but at the same time can also be socially constructed. People have unique identities which may be partly determined by family influences and personal development, but also biological influences such as a sex, ethnicity, age and disability. As far back as 1690 John Locke wrote an essay concerning human understanding, he considered that personal identity was founded on consciousness, going on to state that identity was of the mind and not of the body. John Bowlby in 1969, further elaborated the understanding of personal identity and developed the theory of attachment and the “internal working model” suggesting that “the development of a relationship between a child and its primary care giver gave them an understanding of self, family and their place within it.” This was supported by Fivush in 2006, who further went on to state that “through construction of internal working models the individual carries their early attachment experience with them into future interactions……”. Although fundamentally

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