What I want to argue is whether there is any part of my identity that is essential or is it all constructed? Why I ask this is because I'm continuously bombarded by people around me that I feel are just victims to circumstances, but there must be a choice somewhere along the line. My example being the students at UCT who participate in their degree not simply because of circumstances but rather by making choices as well as society defining them into who they are.
To me I cannot accept that I am merely and purely a fabrication of the society that surrounds me. I cannot throw away my need to have something that is 'me', purely me. Perhaps the answer that I am looking for lies in my genetic make-up, that only I could have received from my parents and this is what separates me from the rest. You can not tell me that genetics plays no role in who and what I become. As with character traits, hair and skin colour as well as IQ. There is a degree to which I am already manufactured before I ever came into contact with society. I am not arguing from a position that supposes the surreal, but rather something basic and fundamental. What I am rather arguing for is that we are not all equal and that's what constructionism seems to be pointing towards; equal in the beginning but different after our introduction to society. No matter how small my choices may be they are actively chosen choices by me from the day I was born. What I will say is that my choices have been limited by society that surrounds me and I can only chose from the choices presented and nothing more. That is why each and every student belongs to the faculty that they do, because of the repercussions of that first decision that allowed all other steps to be taken from there. So after that day of my first decision perhaps I am a victim to society but there was that first choice that was mine, where I looked and who I aspired to be with.
Of course I or anyone can never say that their identity is wholly essential. No, rather I agree that we are partially or mostly constructed personalities; just to the degree that we are constructed is my debate.
Here is a link according to wikipedia's idea of idenity, according to the various schools of thought,
and the best, here is a cartoon of pesonal identity,
or what about a fantastic portrayal of identity by Dali,