Identity: a fluid idea?

The first reflection point of this module invites us to consider the concept of identity, and how it may cause clashes or change over time. This is not a new idea to me, as my own external identity has changed on numerous occasions over my life. Examples of personas I have occupied include Expat Wife, Business Manager, Student (in various guises), Smallholder, Librarian… the list goes on. I admit to enjoying changing who I am and how I am perceived every few years.

I don’t believe identity is fixed. It morphs with experience, and occasionally changes abruptly in response to sudden life changes. Who we are also depends on who we are with. It’s a common perception of the British that we hate giving parties because all our friends would meet up, and then everyone would find out who we really are. There’s more than a grain of truth in this, in my own case and I tend to keep different parts of my identity  separate from one another.

What is identity though? Is it the external perception that other people see, or something internal that makes you who you are? The two may be quite different, but which has more validity? These are some of the questions I hope to answer during this module.

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4 thoughts on “Identity: a fluid idea?

  1. anomiepete

    Goffman’s The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life is a good reference point on this subject Holly. It’s from a psycho/socio point of view though, not photographic.

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  2. Kate

    Years ago, I asked someone I had just met what they did. Their reply: “I enjoy working with wood.” That has always stayed with me as a good way of not allowing one’s identity to be defined by occupation, and I ask different questions now. Answer – possibly predictably – he was a psychotherapist.

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