What is identity?

We explain what identity is and its meanings in the personal and cultural sphere. What is national and gender identity.

  1. What is identity?

The term identity comes from the Latin word identïtas , which refers to the group of traits and characteristics that differentiates an individual , or group of individuals, from the rest. It is from this that people manage to distinguish themselves from the rest and this always depends on the worldview and their own history and the context in which they live.

A problem that arises is that there are personal identities and collective identities at the same time , so that many times people can conflict with existing differences. It is the identity that shapes people, which determines their tastes, needs, priorities and actions.

  1. Personal identity

Identity - Fingerprint
The fingerprint allows to know the identity of the person.

Personal identity refers in the first instance to the name and surname that each person has received . In this way, a person can be differentiated from the rest. With the advances in technology and the significant increase in the population worldwide, new elements have been implemented that allow one person to be differentiated from another, such as fingerprints and DNA .

Also, personal identity can refer to issues rather related to culture , such as profession, skills , ethnicity, religion , work activity, personality , tastes or behavior.

  1. Cultural identity

This concept implies everything that has to do with the beliefs, traditions , symbols, behaviors, values ​​and pride that the members of a certain group of people share and that are in turn the ones that allow the existence of a feeling of belonging.

This feeling helps that, despite individual differences, members may have something in common. This can also be defined by opposition to others, this means that a group can be identified as such precisely because it presents explicit and notable differences that allow establishing the existence of different groups.

  1. National identity

National identity
National identity can be given by sharing customs or traditions.

National identity, on the other hand, is that which links individuals with the nation of which it is a part . This can be done by sharing certain customs or traditions, religion, worldview or behavior; for inhabiting the same territory or for having feelings of belonging.

This concept clearly opposes that of globalization , in which the total integration of nations is promoted , or the predominance of a region over the rest, which would end up imposing the characteristics of a group to the entire world population.

  1. Gender identity

In recent years, gender identity began to be understood as the gender with which a person identifies . It can also be used to refer to the gender attributed to a person based on elements that respond to the gender role, which may be the clothes he wears, his behavior, appearance, and so on.

In this way, the feeling of femininity or masculinity that a person has does not necessarily coincide with their genitality . The term of gender identity is usually matched with that of sexual identity although there are those who establish differences between them.

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