It should be mentioned that the society can impose certain forms of identity on people. For instance, they can often be characterized in terms of their ethnicity. In particular, they can be called Korean Americans, even though they do not like to describe themselves in this way (Liu 66). Such problems can be partly explained by the fact that while describing one another people tend to focus on the distinguishing attributes such as language or race. This argument is particularly relevant if one speaks about those individuals who belong to minority groups.
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One should also keep in mind that people are more likely to define themselves according to such criteria as ethnicity or race, if they life in an isolated enclave which is populated mostly by representatives of a certain minority. Such enclaves exist in many parts of the United States as well as Europe. So, the place of residence is also important for explaining how a person’s identity can be shaped.
While discussing such notions as the self and identity, one should also consider personality types identified by Carl Jung. In particular, this psychologist focuses on introversion and extroversion. Extroverts tend to be more open and communicative; to a great extent, they want to receive approval of other people (Carducci 146). As a rule, they are more willing to accept and embrace change. In contrast, introverts tend to concentrate on their own thoughts or feelings.
They are predominantly concerned with their inner world (Carducci 146). These issues can play a critical role for the discussion of the self and identity. In particular, the identity of extroverts is more likely to change with time passing. In many cases, they can find new qualities through which they can describe themselves. Overall, it is possible to argue that the character traits of a person are more likely to shape his/her identity. In this case, the degree of openness to change is the main criterion that should be taken into account.
Additionally, one should keep in mind that different external factors can interact with one another, and some of them can be more important. It is critical to remember that socio-economic status of a person can profoundly affect his/her conception of the self and identity. In particular, affluent individuals are more likely to focus on their wealth and success while describing their behavior as well as inner world.
They may not define themselves according to such criteria as religious affiliation, race, or ethnicity (Korgen 187). Such attitudes are widespread among those people who were able to raise their social status. They may pay attention to these criteria, only if they face some discrimination on the basis of their race, ethnicity, or religion. This is one of the details that should be taken into account by people who study the formation of a person’s identity.
On the whole, this discussion shows that that identity can be shaped by a wide range of factors. Among them, one should single out psychological characteristics of people who may respond to external stimuli in different ways. Additionally, much attention should be paid to the attitudes of other people who may use certain labels in order to describe one another. As a rule, people are more likely to emphasize a part of their identity, if they may face discrimination or prejudice. This is one of the main issues that can be singled out.
Carducci, Bernardo. The Psychology of Personality: Viewpoints, Research, and Applications, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2009. Print.
Korgen, Kathleen. Multiracial Americans and Social Class: The Influence of Social Class on Racial Identity, New York: Routledge, 2010. Print.
Liu, Eric. The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker, New York: Vintage, 1999. Print.