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Thefullyunified,completed,secureandcoherentidentityisafantasy (Hall 1992) - Essay Example

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Name: Tutor: Course: Date: University: Introduction The concept of identity has been an issue of intense discussion in social theory for a considerable period. The main basis of argument is that the traditional identities, which stabilised the social world for a prolonged period, are declining significantly…
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Thefullyunified,completed,secureandcoherentidentityisafantasy (Hall 1992)
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Download file to see previous pages This ‘crisis of identity’ brings about a dislocation of the central structures and processes within modern societies and assuming the frameworks which allowed humans to have a stable anchorage in the social world (Modood, 2007, p. 91). Theorists who believe that modern identities are falling apart argue that there is the existence of a distinctive form of structural change, which transformed the modern societies in the better part of the late twentieth century. This transformation led to the fragmentation of the cultural landscapes of race, class, nationality, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity, which has given human beings a firm location as social individuals. In addition, the prevailing transformations are also bringing a shift in peoples’ personal identities, undermining people sense of own self as integrated subjects. The loss of a stable oneself is at times referred to as dislocation or de-centering of an individual. The issue of double displacements brings about a ‘crisis of identity’ on the side of the individual (Modood & Werbner, 1997, p. 21). Processes of change in identity indicate a process of transformation that is fundamental and wide ranging, posing the question of whether it is modernity that is undergoing a transformation (Halls et al., 1992, p. 558). Concepts of Identity There are three concepts of identity: enlightenment subject, sociological subject, and post-modern subject. The concept of enlightenment forms its basis of argument from the view that a human being is ‘a fully centered, unified individual, endowed with the capacities of reason, consciousness, and action’. This concept further suggests that humans have a ‘center’ that forms an inner core, which came into existence the moment an individual was born, and changed with it while staying the same throughout a person’s existence. The vital part of the center of the self was an individual’s identity (Halls et al., 1992, p. 559). With further exploration on the subject of enlightenment, there was a hugely individualist conception about the subject. This is supported by the fact that the enlightenment concept was built on the basis of a person being a fully centered, unified subject endowed with abilities of reason, consciousness, and action. As mentioned earlier, individuals emerged with a centre made of an inner core and developed with it as they grew. The inner core stayed the same throughout a person’s life and was considered to be identical with it. The essential centre of the self emerged to be a person’s identity (Halls et al., 1992, p. 559). The second aspect of identity, the sociological concept, signified the rising complexity of the contemporary world and the realisation that the inner core of an individual was neither autonomous nor self-sufficient, but came into existence in relation to ‘significant others’. The latter mediated to an individual the values, meanings, and symbols within the world that the individual lived. Therefore, there existed an interactive development of identity and the self. Based on this approach, which is considered as the classic sociological emergence of the issue, identity develops as a result of interaction between self and society. The concept of sociological conception also takes into consideration the issue of the inner core, but it is created and modified in a continuous discussion with the cultural worlds and their existing identities (Halls et al., 19 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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