Self Identity Essay

1267 words - 6 pages


Self Identity

Self identity is a combination of how people see themselves, and also their membership in certain group or society. The individual bases his own identity through the comparison with other individuals and groups. The society and the environment also have a vital role to play in the self identity of the individuals (McLeod, 2008). The identity is the essence of the human beings and it has implications in every activity of the daily life. The concept of the self identity also consists of philosophical influences, as it deals with the most important question of every human life, which is: Who are we and what is our ...view middle of the document...

The Ego Identity is one of the fundamental concepts of Erikson’s theory, as he stated that this phenomenon was a direct result of the social interaction that an individual incurred in his environment. Ego identity can be defined as the human consciousness regarding the self and the environment, which is formed due to the social interactions. This identity is in a constant change of flux; as the new experiences in our daily lives enhance our social knowledge, and increase the level of awareness. As the person’s level of awareness increases his mastery over the relevant stage of development also increases. This causes the ego strength to increase and the ego quality is enhanced. In the process of development the concept of conflict can prove to be a catalyst or a threat in the psychological development. Conflict may either cause the individual to rise and meet the challenge or proceed to the next developmental phase, or it can cause the individual to fail and the developmental process is halted. The conflict affects each individual in a different manner, as it may prove for some people as a potential to experience personal growth, while for others it may prove to be a potential for failure (Palmer, 2005).
This is the most crucial stage in the psychological development of the person, is the stage of the initial year of life. If the toddler is given adequate attention and care by the parents he will form a positive outlook regarding the world, however the ignorance among the parents towards the child will cause the individual to become cynical and negative towards the society as he grows older. Through the life span of the person, he goes through several stages and experiences psychological growth. These stages will give the person a chance to either develop further, or fail. The entire struggle of the life will be accumulated in the old age, where the person will reflect upon his entire life and form a perception regarding his life. If the person experienced positive growth in the respective development stage he will feel that he lead a meaningful life, and the failure in the development will cause the person to view his life with a negative perspective (Nimbalkar, 2011).

Tajfel’s Social Identity Theory
Henri Tajfel’s theory regarding the personal identity among people was greatly influenced by his own experiences. He was a Jewish person, who witnessed and survived the horrors of the Holocaust during the Second World War. Tajfel stated that the specific groups that a person belongs to, has a direct impact on the identity of the individual. People attain a sense of pride and self esteem by the group that they choose to associate themselves with (Phinney, 1991). The person considers himself as a member of the group and even forms negative attitudes towards the outsiders. The group becomes a major influence in the decision making process of the individual, as he strives to bolster the bond with the group....

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