Elements of Identity Sociology Essay

Identity is the subconscious beliefs, appearances, qualities, expressions and personality that make up an individual (self-identity) or faction (specifically social factions).

Our concept of what describes our identity has changed over the years from the Stone Age to Modern Civilization. During the Stone Age era, when survival instinct relied entirely on our ability to hunt and gather, identity was with a group and between the poor and the powerful. The more the group got to survive, and the further it propelled their survival rates as a group, the more it was known as being the stronger group. People started to become more willing to interact among different groups, communities, ethnic groups, shared values, and more. Now, our identity isn’t tied to one thing that determines us as an individual, but a product of several things that gives us an identity.

Identity is a complex and debatable term, a collection of features that belongs uniquely to someone. This encompasses both predictable and changeable facets and is affected by both external and internal influences. The person’s identity comprises three fundamental elements: personal identity, family identity, and social identity. Individual circumstances decide each of these components. (Wetherell 2008)


Personal identity is all about the moral convictions and principles of one’s self. It involves the decisions you make, the way you speak to yourself, and the different goals you have accomplished in your life. As the brain matures and different abilities materialize, many of which are encompassed by “consciousness,” personal identity becomes more nuanced. This changes its roles and functionality. The idea that personal identity relies on a continuous autobiographical memory was an original contribution made by John Locke. 

Many people have a norm for both right and wrong. People doing things ‘right’ will improve integrity and honesty. On the other side, if a person continues to do something they think is incorrect, they may begin to believe they are not to be trusted. Such decisions will have an immense impact on the way people view themselves; it is called a’ sense of value’ (St. Louis 2009).

We do ‘self-talk’ most times when talking about ourselves. This self-talk is an essential way of building an impression of how people see themselves and their self-identity. Every person has his or her norms and principles. Depending on these parameters, each individual determines how they do things (Dyrenfurth 2009).

One’s successes and failures will also influence personal identity. We feel fulfilled as individuals when we reach our goals. On the other hand, if one fails, ‘self-questioning’ or ‘self-criticism’ takes place. Setting and working toward objectives makes a person hit their limits, helping to find both their strengths and shortcomings. For one’s ‘self-identity,’ this is critical (Narváez 2009).


This consists of the characteristics provided to an individual along with the position they were born into in their family. Family identity forms the societal environment in which people become more conscious about what they do and who they are. Scientifically speaking, this is all about DNA, unique to all. The ‘inherited characteristics’ that one receives through birth also determine their physical and mental attributes. Several children may well have higher intelligence capabilities, while others may have social, physical, or mental limitations. While these born traits of nature may have less influence on life experience, they will always have profound effects.

Many psychiatrists have explored the ‘bearing on’ identity, or let’s say, the role people were born into in their families. Several research studies examine the personal characteristics and the functions of each individual in a family. ‘Commonalities among individuals within each group’ can be clarified by observing the actions of kids in their communities. The first kids feel responsible for setting a precedent in their family, while the family’s youngest child is often regarded as spoiled and doesn’t have to struggle for many rights as their elder siblings. While in different families these generalizations may differ, they still affect one’s identity across life.

Cultural family refers to the part of life one will follow. Men and women have always felt that they have specific roles in life. In both gender roles and ethnic groups, this is determined. Men are told they are the ones to earn money, for example, and women are the homemakers. Although women are loving and compassionate, it is expected of men to be healthy and unemotional (Wetherellet al 2008). On an ethnic basis, in some societies, schooling is among the most fundamental aspects, but for others, beauty or athletic ability is more relevant. To develop their sense of identity, these are all cultural influences that one would obtain.


Social identity is all about the world of an individual. This covers what one feels people think about them and how one assumes they fit into their environment. It is profoundly affected by variables such as one’s monetary value, reputation, working class, and level of education (Wetherell 2008).

A comparison of working with a lower rank in a company and running a company provides a different sense of importance and security. Employment roles may influence the society in which one resides and the respect they obtain. That’s how it affects the strength that you believe you have and how you value that. This has also been influenced by social factors since wealthier people in society are often granted the very same respect and power. In general, an excellently-dressed individual will be listened to more carefully than a poor person in torn clothes.

Also, the level of education one encounters affects their confidence. Most community and business positions require a standardized school record without examining candidates’ conceptual history. This can lead one to think that they’re more or less prepared, faster or slower depending on the degree of schooling they obtained (St Louis 2009).

One’s reputation in society is one of the social identity’s most significant factors. To be famous or not is decided by several aspects. By displaying their charisma, humour, intellect, strength, social status, wealth, appearance, goodwill, and so on, one can maintain or lose popularity. Feeling loved or not is dependent on these characteristics, which can lead one to reassess the values they think they have and their worth and self-identity. Throughout their social experiences, people’s sense of self-identity will change.

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