An Individual 's Personal Identity Development Essay

An Individual 's Personal Identity Development Essay

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Have you ever felt like people judge you, because of your skin color? Maybe, you have felt judgements due to your culture. Do you often feel like people are quick to stereotype and prejudge you? Many people pre-judge others, which leads to the assumption that, “…relying on racial and ethnic stereotypes when communicating with individual group members is counterproductive. Understanding others as individuals, while maintaining an awareness of general cultural norms, promotes effective interracial communication” (Orbe and Harris 25), which more individuals are becoming aware of over time. By further exploration of autonomy’s involvement in an individual’s personal identity development, the elements of personal identity that an individual may or may not choose, and the characteristics an individual identifies with; all help to explicate a deeper understanding of people as individuals, versus their race and/or culture.
To explore autonomy’s involvement in an individual’s personal identity development, one needs to consider the construction of identity and how it relates to autonomy. Identity is “one’s theory of oneself (Orbe and Harris 85)”; also described as one’s perception of their being. With an identity being a transient state of being, one must drive through a series of experiences and adopt an abstract of ideas to discovering what makes them feel complete as a being. In order to achieve this level of identity one must feel a sense of control in this ‘final’ decision and they must develop an independent view of themselves versus others. According to the text, “the formation of a personal identity coincides with establishing autonomy and independence (Orbe and Harris 96).” As one explores and discovers different aspects of thei...

... middle of paper ...’s lifetime.
Furthermore, a person’s gender cannot change naturally; a person is born with specific characteristics that are unchangeable. However, ethnicity is not to be confused with cultural identity. Individuals can be cultured through their life encounters. “Our cultural identities are not static, fixed, or enduring. Instead, our identities are dynamic and subject to change as our field of lived experiences increases” (Orbe and Harris 87). Individuals cannot willingly change their cultural identities when they feel like it. Only the culture as a whole will dictate changes if any occur. Although, “…cultural patterns remain consistent over time...” (Orbe and Harris 312), they may also seem to, “…change from generation to generation” (Orbe and Harris 312), within specific cultural and ethnic groups. Thus, cultural patterns may be static within an ethnic group.

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