What Is An Individual and Social Identity?

DWQA QuestionsCategory: QuestionsWhat Is An Individual and Social Identity?
Jaime asked 3 months ago

To discuss the difference between individual and social identity, it is crucial to define what identity itself means. In this respect, identity can be determined as an understanding of self that a person cultivates from childhood onwards. In addition, identity lets a human be distinguished from other individuals. When considering identity, one can appeal to either personal or social identity. The principal distinctive feature between the two categories is that while individual identity shows how a human is different from others in the community, social identity determines a person as a member of the society. At the same time, an individual can choose some identities, while others are inborn. Therefore, it is vital to examine the difference between individual and social identity further.
Speaking of social identity, I can define myself as a Chinese Buddhist, who moved to the United States to study. Being Chinese is very important to me because it identifies my nationality. Although I left my native country in order to receive education in America, I will never forget my roots and the place I have come from. In this respect, I believe nationality as an indicator of social identity has the most significant role in formation and understanding of a self. While an individual can change a place of living, religious beliefs, work, family status, etc., nationality together with race and ethnicity are something that is permanent and invariable. During the life, a person can become an inhabitant of different cities and countries, try himself or herself at various workplaces, or change democratic beliefs to monarchy. Nevertheless, a Chinese man can hardly become German or Arabian, just as a representative of the Caucasoid race will never transform into a representative of the Mongoloid one. I believe this is great because it is something that both unites people and distinguishes them from others.
Furthermore, identities can be also characterized as either external or internal. In this respect, indicators of social identity listed above have internal and external nature. For instance, I am a Chinese Buddhist, and this can be seen as an internal identity because its my permanent indicator that is not influenced by the external factors. The other indicators, such as being an immigrant and the American citizen, have external character because they are impacted by external factors. Speaking of being an undergraduate student, I believe it is both of internal and external nature because I have chosen to study and thus to be a student, just as my parents and society expect me to become a well-educated person with a certain diploma. In this regard, internal identity is something that has unchangeable character, while external identity forms under the influence of external factors that directly affect a person.
At the same time, identities can be regarded as matters of choice, ideas a person chooses for himself or herself. Starting from the childhood, an individual develops a sense of himself or herself. As a person grows up, this understanding undergoes certain transformation while the human experiences new situations in life. Throughout the entire life, people attempt to comprehend themselves and the things that are significant to them. In this respect, every individual creates the identity of himself or herself. Namely, a human chooses what he or she wants to be, and, as a result, one obtains a vision of himself or herself based on personal experience and practices of others. This can be regarded as a personal identity. Moreover, while society has a great impact on people, it also influences person’s development and understanding of a self. Thus, personal identity demonstrates who a human is as an individual and what distinguishes him or her from the others in the society. Nevertheless, sometimes other people’s choices can directly or indirectly influence person’s comprehension of himself or herself. As a result, personal identity as a matter of choice may transform into determined identity.
Furthermore, determined identities are the result of other people’s choices, coincidental or accidental circumstances, and social institutions. Determined identity is literally social identity because it is established through a collective approach. Therefore, social identity is determined by other people’s understanding of themselves, as well as attitudes to specific norms and values. Thus, social identity is created under the influence of a person’s interaction with other people that allows an individual to view himself or herself as a part of the society. Through the creation of social identity, a person notices similarities and differences between him or her and others concerning religion, ethnicity, gender, classes, etc. Nevertheless, in some cases it is difficult to distinguish between personal and social identity. For example, gender, as well as family, identity can be the products of both biological circumstance and social views. While different groups of people have different responsibilities and play different roles in the society, they can obtain different identities when speaking of environment and attitudes of other people. Thus, the social role of a mother differs from her principal obligation.
Therefore, the custom essays of identity has a quite complex character. While every person can be defined using indicators of both individual and social identity, sometimes it is hard to distinguish between them. Nevertheless, the main difference between the two above mentioned types of identity is that individual identity is person’s understanding of a self that can be changed while the human grows up, whereas social identity is persons understanding of a self within the scope of community, namely his or her comprehension of commonality of members in the society. Identity can have external and internal nature, as well as be either a matter of individual choice or a result of other people’s opinions. In addition, despite all the differences and categorizations, identity is something that both distinguishes and unites people, making individuals unique and collective at the same time.

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