"Who do I want to be?"

Posted by adam gambero | 13 Aug, 2008

A person’s identity is very important because it defines who they are, and to which ethnic, racial, cultural and national groups they belong. One’s identity also makes clear the groups with which they have either decided to, or not to, associate themselves with. Such as being a student of Uct.

In the reading by Woodward it shows that who we are is firmly influenced by two major factors. The first being: structure- which are basically: external factors that play a large role in shaping our identities such as societal change and pressure, group pressure, cultural and religious influence, social constructs, occupation and class. These are just some examples of structures. The second being: agency- which in lamens terms is basically the amount of choice that we have, and our ability to use that “choice” to make decisions that will ultimately shape our identities. Both these factors have the ability to either positively or negatively influence our identities. And because of this there are restrictions on the amount or agency that we can exert.

Despite the evidence provided I still feel that the question of “Who am I?” should be changed to “Who do I want to be?” ; the reasons behind this kind of thinking are as follows. With globalization becoming such an important part of everyday life; provided education is present, human kind will soon all be on the same level. A simple example of this process in action is to look at the past: understanding where we were during the times of aparthheid compared to where we are today. This implies that ultimatly everyone will have equal footing, and will have equal opportunities in the same respect. Which will hopefully lead to human kind having more agency, and the ability to change their surroundings. Thus being under less strain from structures and having more agency, thus an identity of their exact choosing.