Different types of identity – Culture and Identity

Lesson objectiveTo explore different types of identity
Lesson outcomes• Assess how globalisation can influence identity
• Evaluate different types of identity
• Explain the different types of identity

Different types of identity

Individual or personal identity

Woodward (2000) suggests that this is the most personal of identities and surrounds the question “who am I”. Examples are: Names, passports etc. Mead (1934) refers to this as the ‘inner me’.

Social identities

Social identity is perhaps the most fixed and confirms our identity in relation to other social groups e.g. our nationality. This can also be how we shape ourselves in relation to our social roles e.g. a teacher acts as a role model, so that becomes their identity.

Collective identity

This identity is formed by a collective identity within a social group. E.g. gender, ethnicity. It can be linked to the two above, but is different because individuals can actively choose this identity.

Multiple identities

This is linked to Postmodernism and can link to combined identities such as ‘duel hybridity’. Individuals draw their identity from more than one influence e.g. ethnicity e.g. an individual acts as a good child at home, but might be a bully at school.

Stigmatised identities

Goffman (1990) defines a stigmatised identity as one that is in some way demeaning or unwanted. E.g. disability. He also suggests ‘stigma is a process by which the reaction of others spoils normal identity’.

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