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Human beings and identity construction

In the 60s Mc. Luhan talks about the world becoming a global village . Although in some way this is the case, especially due to the influence of the mass media, this is paradoxical since on the one hand we are globalized, overcrowded worldwide, and on the other hand we ignore the one next to us.

The human being is the only animal on the zoological scale that cannot survive on its own at birth , which conditions its social insertion because it comes to be configured as a biological potential that, without an environment, cannot develop. Aristotle already said it, without society there are no men , but something less: a monster, or something else: a God.

The individuation would lead to the construction of the self, such as the socialization of the social being , always in a continuous process of reciprocity, that is, the issue is how the bonds develop, and precisely what is happening in this process development, where we start from absolute dependence towards independence. Because ultimately, we are never totally independent . The forms of dependency and independence vary , but we are always in a social context that conditions us.

All individuals claim particular identities given their roles in society, the groups to which they belong, and the characteristics they describe themselves. The important thing is that as a subject they recognize themselves in a story and others know them in that story, this is precisely the identity, the continuity of myself over time . In other words, somehow the process of individualization leads to the construction of identity. The socialization process is directly linked to ideology. The acquisition of identity implies that one recognizes oneself in time. And paraphrasing Bruner, J., we are what we can narrate about ourselves and what the other can say we are.

Social identity

Identity theory is a psychological theory that attempts to understand identities, their sources in interaction and society, their operational processes and their consequences for interaction and society.

The social psychologist Henri Tajfel (1979) in his theory of social identity, proposed that the groups (social class, family, etc.) to which people belonged were an important source of self –  esteem . Groups give us a sense of social identity: a sense of belonging to the social world.

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When the subject identifies with a group, he begins to change his own way of acting, dressing, speaking and even thinking, to start doing it like the other members of the group. As a consequence of your identification with that group, you will develop an emotional significance for that identification, and your self-esteem will depend on it.

The theory of social identity states that the internal group will discriminate against the external group to improve their self-image. The central hypothesis of social identity theory is that group members within a group will seek to find negative aspects of an external group, thus improving their self-image. This occurs at the group level and at the individual level, since the subject will always try to increase and improve the image of his group, in order to increase his own self-image.

Tajfel proposes that group and category stereotypes are based on a normal cognitive process: the tendency to group things together. This is a process that begins in the anal phase of affective-sexual development (from 18 months to 3 years). When grouping we usually tend to exaggerate: the differences between groups and the similarities of things in the same group.

We consider that the group to which we belong is different from the others and that the members of the same group are more similar than they really are. This is what Tajfel called categorization. Social categorization is an explanation for prejudicial attitudes, that is, the “they” and “us” mentality, which leads to groups being divided into internal and external and not a total group. We tend to categorize individuals into different categories that help us understand things about ourselves, and others, and we can define appropriate behavior according to the groups to which we and other subjects belong. In the area of ​​mental health we tend to categorize patients according to their mental condition or their degree of neurosis.

The theory of social identity is not something strange or artificial that attaches itself to the person, it is a real, true and vital part that makes the person.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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