The Debates On Personal Identity Sociology Essay Example
The Debates On Personal Identity Sociology Essay Example

The Debates On Personal Identity Sociology Essay Example

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  • Published: July 18, 2017
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The article below nowadayss an essay on individuality. This is a term that has several significances. However, in the essay the term is looked at from the context of placing people. The essay addresses the four major divisions of individuality which are personal individuality, cultural individuality, societal individuality and cultural individuality. Person individuality is farther broken down and discussed from three positions ; from the consciousness position, personal continuity and personal self-importance. Cultural individuality is discussed at length saying all factors that affect cultural individuality. These are the factors that mostly determine the individuality one is associated with. On the other manus, societal individuality is discussed with the same attack. Cultural individuality is in one manner or the other related to cultural individuality. This is because of th


e close similarities that the two individualities have. In the terminal the essay tries to elaborate on the whole issue of individuality. It states some of the misinterpretation that the subject has received. It besides presents assorted thoughts by philosophers refering the subject that has raised arguments.

Identity is a term that has many significances, depending on the theoretical model being used. It is a term that is used to depict a individual as he appears to others. This description may wholly depend on the individual depicting. In other words, how one appears to others is what will find how his or her individuality will be described. Therefore, how we behave towards others in the society accounts wholly for the sort of individuality we are branded ( Cohen 1998 ) . However, the whole issue of individuality is diverse and may affect several things. Because of this, one may

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transport more than one individuality. For illustration, how one presents himself at his work topographic point may give him an individuality different from the individuality he is given as a consequence of how he presents himself in the society. In other words, one can non be branded an individuality based on merely one side of his life style. A comprehensive individuality should therefore attempt to stand for the individual as he presents himself or herself in the full society.

With all these factors in head, individuality becomes a wide subject that can non be described with a individual statement. Similarly, the issue of individuality has raised arguments in assorted ways doing provinces to improvize mechanisms of seeking to place their citizens. These concerns have emerged due to current issues such as globalisation that has enabled people to go all over the Earth and settle anyplace on the Earth surface. Both internal and international securities are the other factors that have raised concerns about designation of people. There have been instances where some people have been limited to go to some provinces or wholly denied the right to go out of their female parent province due the individuality they have been branded. Some of such people have been given the individuality of a menace to international security. To sum up all this, individuality is merely a mere one missive word but it has been misunderstood by so many people ( Tan 2005 ) . Contrary to what most people think the one missive word entails a batch.

The term individuality has several significance. The Oxford lexicon ( 2002 ) describes the term as ;

The sense of ego, supplying

sameness and continuity in personality over clip ; the status or fact of being a specific individual or thing ; individualism ; the features and qualities of a individual, considered jointly and regarded every bit indispensable to that individual 's self-awareness ; the status of being the same as a individual or thing described or claimed. ( p 903 ) .

The dictionary description nowadayss individuality as the province of how a individual presents himself in the society. State in this context refers to the values such as personal virtuousnesss that a individual possesses. These virtuousnesss and personal values are relentless with the single devising him be associated with the values as his individuality. However, individuality at big entails more factors than the mere personal values. As such, the term individuality may be described as per the context in which it is viewed from. These contexts include personal, faith, civilization, societal and cultural ( Werbner & A ; Modood 1997 ) . As such, we have personal, cultural, spiritual, cultural and societal individuality.

To understand individuality at length, it is of import to interrupt down the subject into assorted subtopics as listed above. To get down with, personal individuality is the existent individuality that a individual holds. This individuality may be drawn from facts such as gender, the individual 's age, his/her nationality, gender and personality traits. Other minor factors such as disablement, individual 's involvements and endowments may besides be used to expansive the individuality. As such, personal individuality may be described as the values, virtuousnesss and factors that define a individual in footings of his or her individualism and difference to others. It is this

individuality that makes one see himself as different from other people around him or her. With the individuality, one gets to appreciate him or herself as being alone in one manner or the other ( Gellner 1983 ) .

The personal individuality best describes a individual as it inside informations some values of the individual that are merely associated with him or her. Similarly, some of the values detailed by personal individuality are those that are natural with the individual and can non be changed. These include values that person acquires at birth. For illustration, facets such as age, sex and familial history are acquired during this phase of birth and stay relentless that is, can non be changed through out the individual 's life ( Gellner 1983 ) . Other facets such as nationality can besides be acquired during this phase. However, these facets can be changed subsequently in life. For illustration one may take to alter his nationality from his female parent state. As one grows into adulthood, other facets of personal individuality are natured. These facets are natured as one interacts with others in the society. They may be natured in footings of how he or she makes determinations, goes through instruction or forges relationships.

Assorted arguments sing personal individuality seem to belie the whole thought of the individuality. However, the value that keeps the individual at one clip to be the same at the other clip ( the same single bing through out different minutes ) is the bottom line of personal individuality. There have been instances of historical and synchronous jobs in placing individuals in the context of personal individuality. These jobs

have existed due the mind-body job. It is strongly believed that the head plays a cardinal function in finding the character traits the organic structure presents. As such, it is believed that there is a relationship between the head and how 1s body maps. Philosophers have come up with assorted hypotheses that try to explicate this mutuality between the head and the organic structure. Some of the hypotheses have focused on organic structure 's centripetal variety meats. For illustration, some people have been identified to love mercenary things such as some types of nutrient. The character has persisted with them to the extend of them being branded with the individuality. This is an illustration of the consequence of the head in finding personal individuality ( Anderson 1983 ) .

Due to the consequence of the head, personal individuality has been broken down into more complex divisions. Harmonizing to some philosophers, personal individuality is a wide issue that should embrace all elements of an person. These elements can be beliefs or desires that one is identified with. When we include personal desires and beliefs, it is obvious that the head becomes a critical facet of finding the traits that are related to beliefs and desires ( Anderson 1983 ) . Due to this mind-body job, individual individuality has been presented in facets such as those that are consciousness footing, personal continuity and the self-importance related individualities.

Assorted philosophers have addressed the whole issue of personal individuality saying that it is founded on consciousness of a individual. They argue that it is through this designation that people are identified by factors such as those driven by 1s moral duty.

John Locke insists that how one behaves in the society wholly depends on his moral duty. It is on these duties that values such as love, hatred, hardworking, gender among others, are built. He notes that personal individuality depends on the individual 's consciousness on what he does and the determinations he do. Chandler and Marcia ( Chandler & A ; Marcia 2003 ) provinces ;

Personal individuality ( the ego ) depends on consciousness, non on substance nor on the psyche. We are the same individual to the extent that we are witting of our yesteryear and future ideas and actions in the same manner as we are witting of our present ideas and actions. If consciousness is this `` idea '' which `` that goes along with the substance... which makes the same individual '' , so personal individuality is merely founded on the repeated act of consciousness: `` This may demo us wherein personal individuality consists: non in the individuality of substance, but... in the individuality of consciousness For illustration, one may claim to be a reincarnation of Plato, hence holding the same psyche substance. However, one would be the same individual as Plato merely if one had the same consciousness of Plato 's ideas and actions that he himself did. Therefore, self-identity is non based on the psyche. One psyche may hold assorted personalities. ( p 95 ) .

The province in which one lives is besides stated to be among the factors that influences 1s consciousness. For illustration, a individual born and brought up in royalty will hold a different individuality from that of one who is brought up in the ghetto.

Even though they may portion individuality facets such as nationality, most other facets that are from within the individual will differ. Royalty is associated with value of the 'good life ' ( Anderson 1983 ) . Therefore, kids brought up in these positions may miss values that are associated with the ghetto. In so making, a individual from royalty will possess an individuality wholly different from a individual of the ghetto.

On the other manus branding a individual based on his consciousness has its ain challenges. Establishing personal individuality on consciousness rises arguments on those people who have mental disablement. It poses the challenge of being judged irrespective of your mental position. Exterior people may judge person establishing their judgement on the how he behaves. It is common with people losing their witting at clip. Therefore, reasoning their individuality based on how they present themselves has its ain demerits ( Chandler & A ; Marcia 2003 ) .

Personal individuality is besides associated with personal continuity. As stated earlier, philosophers have linked the whole individuality issue to more than the facets one get at birth. Personal continuity is another country that has been stated to lend in big per centums to personal individuality. The term personal continuity may besides intend personal continuity. As the name suggests, personal continuity is the uninterrupted, uninterrupted connexion that is associated with a individual. This connexion involves affairs runing from personality to private life. Personal continuity at times make people to make all they can to keep their iconic personality through minutes ( Chandler & A ; Marcia B 2003 ) .

All these facets make personal continuity a really of import portion

of individuality. There are incidences where personal continuity plays a large function in finding the individuality of a individual. It is of import in placing the prevailing trait of a individual. Bing the belongings of continuity, it becomes a critical facet as it entails intimate concerns with 1s organic structure and physical being. It is the facet that ensures that a individual 's head and mental procedures are consistent with his organic structure processes from minute to minute. Awareness, self-awareness and wisdom are some of the qualities that determine personal continuity ( Ross 1991 ) .

Ego individuality is another facet of personal individuality. Harmonizing to the Oxford lexicon, self-importance is, `` a individual as thought, feeling, willing and separating itself from the egos of others and from objects of its idea '' ( Oxford lexicon 2002, p 759 ) . As such, ego individuality wholly depends on 1s ego. In other words, ego individuality may be defined as the sameness in assurance that one holds through minutes. For it to be an individuality, the quality has to be prepared and natured from the yesteryear by the same sameness and continuity from minute to minute. Ego appears to be an obvious facet of personal individuality but it has been misunderstood in many ways. Body and self-importance go manus in manus. There have been instances where people have been humiliated in one manner or the other. Such people do non needfully hold bad or inferior individuality ( Ross 1991 ) . It is because of how one presents himself to others and the assurance he holds through out clip. High ranking people in the society have fallen

victims of this 'embarrassment. ' These embarrassments ever consequences into people experiencing ego abandoned. As such, loss of self-importance is a critical constituent of self-importance individuality.

Some of the factors that affect ego individuality are from 1s environment. How one is brought up histories mostly in finding personal assurance he builds within. This environment includes friends one grows up with, larning establishments he or she attends and the household he or she is born into. Friends can kill 1s assurance by detering the person in whatever he does. Similarly, his or her self-importance may be boosted through encouragements even if he or she goes incorrect. Learning establishments excessively have the same consequence on 1s assurance edifice as they excessively involve interaction with others. The household plays the larger portion of assurance edifice in many facets. Members of a individual 's household are the people that spend most clip with the person. Most of the assurance is built when 1 is still immature. As such, the people who relate with the individual at this stamp age play a large function in finding his or her assurance. When 1 is brought up in a household that has a victorious outlook he gets to construct the assurance despite the failures he might run into at this stamp age ( Seligman 1995 ) . On the other manus, a hapless household tends to keep a low regard, a factor that greatly kills personal assurance. In other word, the whole self-importance individuality is diverse and involves a figure of factors. It is an facet of personal individuality that requires comprehensive understanding merely like the factors such as those based on consciousness.


is another facet that helps to specify a individual. From the societal position of individuality we get societal individuality. Our life environments are surrounded by so many factors. We live in the universe that forces us to populate and correlate with one another. This correlativity involves assorted facets that force us to do determination. Such determination have played a cardinal function on finding the societal individuality we are given. As such, societal individuality may be described as the individuality a individual is given derived from the manner the single maps within different state of affairss and relate to other people ( Seligman 1995 ) . This individuality may be influenced by assorted societal groups. Examples of these groups include 1s household, cultural communities, friends and work. Ones nationality and cultural connexions besides play minor functions in societal designation. These are the groups that define our societal individualities.

Social designation is an of import facet of worlds as they exist in the society. It is this designation that represents how we see ourselves in relation to others as we live our twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours life. When it comes to societal individuality, the household plays a cardinal function. There have been concerns with the societal individuality of kids who are brought up outside their biological households. This is because household is the centre stripper in placing 1s societal individuality. Separating kids from their household means that they are traveling to turn without their people. These people play an of import function in the whole societal individuality issue. They are the people who guide the immature kids during the stamp phase in life. Major determination devising of

the kids at this phase is guided by the people around them. As such, how they grow up and associate with the society wholly depends on the influence of the household and close friends from birth ( Gordon 1978 ) . It is apparent that immature people tend to larn most things from detecting what their seniors do. As they grow up, they handle similar societal state of affairss as they saw a senior grip it or as they were advised by the same senior individual. As such, dividing a kid from his or her household exposes him to the effects of other external people. Such kids are exposed to the experiences of different moves and challenges as they are cared for by different people and in different topographic points. Children who find themselves in this quandary lose contact of of import information about their existent society, lose of import information of their relationships of their household, friends, cultural and cultural webs. The chief job that faces these kids is stigma. This stigma extends to impacting how they take their host environment. They ever hold the minority outlook both in cultural and civilization, a factor that kills their ego regard ( Gordon 1978 ) . This acceptance stigma persists through out their lives doing the acceptance a womb-to-tomb accommodation.

There is besides the cultural individuality. This is the individuality one gets from belonging to a given civilization. Culture in this context is derived from values and aspects one that associate a group of people. These facets include nationality, lineage, race, sexual orientation and aesthetics among others. With current globalisation, the universe has become like a planetary

small town. This has resulted into people going all over the universe and settling in different topographic points on the surface of the Earth. Factors such as concern and the force per unit area of high life criterions have forced people to go all over. As such, there has been blending of civilizations as people settle irrespective of their civilizations. Such colonies have resulted into cultural interaction through exogamies, concern and other societal interactions. These interactions have led to emergence of micro-cultural groups. This factor has raised arguments as such groups do non hold hereditary civilizations. What follows so is the issue of cultural individuality. Perrett ( 1999 ) provinces ;

Culture describes what people develop to enable them to accommodate to their universe, such as linguistic communication, gestures, tools to enable them to last and thrive, imposts and traditions that define values and form societal interactions, spiritual beliefs and rites, and frock, art, and music to do symbolic and aesthetic looks. ( p 57 ) .

As such, the patterns and beliefs that are associated with a group of people are determined by their civilization. This group that is bound by patterns and beliefs form the assorted cultural groups. These iconic beliefs and patterns provide the typical individuality of these groups.

Culture is a really of import factor in finding a individual 's cultural individuality. However, there have assorted unfavorable judgments that cultural individuality is dissentious particularly in this epoch where people are expected to correlate and interact with one another in one manner or the other. A figure of philosophers have criticized the push for cultural individuality as a formula for issue such as tribalism. They

province that this individuality divides people along cultural lines. This poses a large menace to co-existence. The bulks tend to hold the feeling of greater sense of the shared citizenship ( Sagasti & A ; Alcalde 1999 ) . To an extend, the statement holds H2O. There have been instances of cultural battles reported in assorted provinces. Micro-cultural groups are the most hit by such battles. This is because of their minority nature. As stated earlier, these groups do non hold concrete lineage, history or geographical locations. However, when viewed from another position, cultural individuality gives one the sense of belonging as it associates him or her to a certain values such as cultural, linguistic communication, sexual orientation among others that are detailed by the individuality. Cultural individuality is non built on personal values. It does non depend on the personal beliefs. They are the values that are acceptable by a broad scope of people ( Perrett 1999 ) . As such, the individuality besides plays the function of uniting people who portion and believe in the same values.

There are other minor facets of individuality such as cultural and spiritual facets. Cultural individuality entails a individual, and his feeling of belonging to a specific cultural group ( Mandelbaum 2000 ) . In the context of cultural individuality, it is believed that people belonging to the same cultural group have the same ideas and perceptual experiences sing assorted facets of life. Religious individuality is that that identifies one to a specific faith. Peoples holding the same spiritual individuality, keep similar perceptual experiences and ideas associating spiritual issues.

In decision, individuality is a diverse country that is greatly

misunderstood by really many people. Contrary to what most people think individuality encompasses more than the mere physical values of a individual. A comprehensive designation of a individual involves measuring him both personally, culturally, based on his or her faith and cultural values.

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