Theoretical Approaches to Identity

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Theoretical Approaches to Identity

  1. 1. Theoretical Approaches to Identity <ul><li>By: Jaime Miguel Nieman Gonzalez </li></ul>
  2. 2. Identity <ul><li>Involves similarity and difference- A Homogenizing factor? </li></ul><ul><li>Identity must be “identified” -it is not just “there” </li></ul><ul><li>Must identity always be established? </li></ul><ul><li>Also: </li></ul><ul><li>-to classify things or persons </li></ul><ul><li>-to associate oneself with, or attach oneself to something or someone else. </li></ul>Roots: Identitas Idem= the same Oxford English Dictionary: -The sameness of objects- as A1 is identical to A2 but not to B1. -consistency or continuity over time that is the basis for establishing and grasping the definitiveness and distinctiveness of something.
  3. 3. Personal, Social, Collective Identities <ul><li>Personal: </li></ul><ul><li>- “Self ”- constructed by individual but molded by experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Social: </li></ul><ul><li>-developed through interaction-identify with others & are identified by them. </li></ul><ul><li>-much more complex due to individualization and globalization. </li></ul><ul><li>Collective: </li></ul><ul><li>-mixes group identification & categorization </li></ul><ul><li>-internal-external dialectic- defined by power </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Individual order: </li></ul><ul><li>-embodied individuals & what-goes-on in their head. </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction order: </li></ul><ul><li>- relationships between individuals & what- goes-on between people </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional order: </li></ul><ul><li>-organizational and established way of doing things. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Objectivist: </li></ul><ul><li>Based on classic problem of nature/ nurture </li></ul><ul><li>Is identity more influenced by nature or learnt </li></ul><ul><li>behavior (i.e. culture)?? </li></ul><ul><li>Subjectivist: </li></ul><ul><li>Identity is merely a feeling of belonging, a sense of being part of a community. </li></ul><ul><li>Identity here is ephemeral or short-lived </li></ul>Objectivist vs. Subjectivist
  6. 6. R <ul><li>Identity principally a part of social and historical factors. </li></ul><ul><li>Created by people`s actions and in comparison to other identities. </li></ul><ul><li>Identification & Differentiation </li></ul><ul><li>Identity is “Socially constructed” </li></ul>Relational / Interactionist approach
  7. 7. <ul><li>Social reality is more complex than simple categorizations. </li></ul><ul><li>Contemporary society undergoing dramatic social change-identities adopted through media or consumption. </li></ul><ul><li>Identities changing dramatically- cultural markers are fragmenting </li></ul>Postmodernist approach
  8. 8. Categorical Labels <ul><li>Gender Age </li></ul><ul><li>Class Language </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnicity / Race Nationality </li></ul><ul><li>Religion </li></ul><ul><li>In what ways do these shape identity? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they hold the same importance as before? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Culture <ul><li>--Structuralists— </li></ul><ul><li>“ a way of life” within society based on norms and values which bind society together. </li></ul><ul><li>--Interpretivist-- </li></ul><ul><li>shared meaning and symbols which people use to convey meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>Zygmunt Bauman: Culture is artificial </li></ul><ul><li>-Garden metaphor- </li></ul>
  10. 10. Political Identity <ul><li>Two Distinctions: </li></ul><ul><li>I. Political Action & Institutions contribute to individual political identity </li></ul><ul><li>II. Process of identification provides the ground for political allegiance in a political commmunity </li></ul>
  11. 11. Ethnicity and Nationalism <ul><li>Distinctions-- </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnicity less focused on cultural differences – but needs: </li></ul><ul><li>– Myth of common descent </li></ul><ul><li>– A shared history and sense of solidarity </li></ul><ul><li>– Association with a territory </li></ul><ul><li>Nationalism </li></ul><ul><li>-distinctive species of patriotism </li></ul><ul><li>-uses ethnic difference as a political principle </li></ul><ul><li>Origins of Nations--- </li></ul>
  12. 12. Debate on Nations <ul><li>Nationalists/ Modernists: </li></ul><ul><li>Postmodernists/ Political Mythologies: </li></ul><ul><li>Perennialists/ Primordialists: </li></ul>

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