The Perception of Personal Identity

2556 Words6 Pages

In the past, individual’s identities were often assigned to them by the hegemonic culture, largely based on their conceptualization of sameness. The hegemonic culture dominated identity discourse by drawing distinct boundaries between racial and cultural groups, separating and defining them. Modern discourse however, has seen individuals taking the power of assigning identity signifiers for themselves often in periods of great social change. While times of resistance are often the most easily recalled examples of this, subtle trends in society a tremendous impact, often without the conscience knowledge of the society. In the past two decades, Western Culture has been witness to a radical transformation in identification processes. Technology has become increasingly pivotal to popular culture, and as such, it has had a profound influence on the way we create and affirm our sense-of-self. Identification categories have become less rigid compared to thirty years ago, and people are on average more open to identifying across boundaries. The process of blurring identity lines between distinct groups has re-distributed the power of assigning signifiers from the hegemonic element of popular culture to the individual. Means of instant information distribution and exchange, discourse and academic retrieval, such as instant messengers, social networking sites, Wikipedia, et al are perhaps some of the most influential because of their instantaneousness. While the lines have become blurred on a social level, individual identities are often affirmed. The past saw identity boundaries being stringently controlled by hegemonic discourse. Laws and social conventions aimed at controlling the “other” were common place. Racial, ethnic, and religious... ... middle of paper ... ...moodle/file.php/14506/Course_Readings/15_katalin_szepesi.pdf Moore, D.C. (1994). Routes: Alex Haley’s roots and the rhetoric of genealogy. Retrieved from https://moodle10.yorku.ca/moodle/file.php/14506/Course_Readings/28_david_chioni_moore.pdf Yon, D. (2000). Elusive culture. N.Y: State University of New York Press. Cruz-Hacker, A. (n.d.). With one foot here and the other one there: blurring the boundaries of home and exile. Retrieved from http://www.csustan.edu/honors/documents/journals/soundings/Cruz-Hacker.pdf Beyond "Culture": Space, Identity, and the Politics of Difference Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson. Cultural Anthropology Vol. 7, No. 1, Space, Identity, and the Politics of Difference (Feb., 1992), pp. 6-23 Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the American Anthropological Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/656518

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the hegemonic culture dominated identity discourse by drawing distinct boundaries between racial and cultural groups, separating and defining them. modern discourse has seen individuals taking the power of assigning identity signifiers for themselves in periods of great social change.
  • Explains that identity boundaries were stringently controlled by hegemonic discourse. racial, ethnic, and religious categories were operational based on perceived similarities a group shared.
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