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Self and Social Identity, Essay Example

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The term “Identity” can be used for various meanings and can mean diverse things to different people.  Social identity is described for the term used when an individual defines themself and categorizes themself with other people, or the groups they belong to.  This differs from self-identity in which an individual categorizes themself on a more idiosyncratic level.  In addition, there are different forms of both social and self identify that reflect the way in which people relate to themselves.  (Deaux, 2001)   The current paper describes the differences between social identify and self-identity.

Social identification relates to the different forms of social interaction, such as ethnicity, religion, politics, vocations, and personal relationships.  In addition, social identification can be either very specific or more generalized.  For instance, someone who is a mother can identify with other mothers and this relationship is unique.  Other types of social identification can be more general and relate to a generic group, such as lawyers or doctors.  Furthermore, social identities differ in prestige and worth that becomes attached to that individual from birth, such as gender or ethnicity.  (Deaux, 2001)

Identity is the meaning associated by an individual and how others perceive that individual.  An individual’s personal self identify can be organized with different thoughts obtained from themselves and others.  For instance, the perception of self identify can about through personal behaviors and daily experiences.  (Michener et al. 2004) Self identify can be described as questions to oneself, such as “Who am I? What is my life? How do I feel about myself as a person?”  The types of answers which individuals assign to these questions shape the way in which that person self identifies.

Overall, social and self identify both evaluate a personal identification of themselves and their surroundings; however, social identity is different than self identify in that a person identifies with others in a social context and in self-identify, the individual evaluates themselves alone.

References

Deaux, K.  (2001).  Social Identity.  Encyclopedia of Women and Gender, Volumes One and Two Academic Press. 10pgs.

Michener, H. Andrew, John D. DeLamater, and Daniel J. Myers.  (2004).  Social Psychology. 5th Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning.

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