Re: BMODs: Searching for subtle interpretations

Dwight W. Read (dread@ANTHRO.UCLA.EDU)
Thu, 18 Jul 1996 10:25:02 -0700

Dearmas comments:

>So, is there grounds here for discussing self created identity as opposed to
>society dictated identity. This is who I really am, as opposed to who you
>think I am. And does that not create problems for those who are perceived to
>be one way when they themselves see themselves as being another. Who decides
>one's identity?
Phrased this way, it does not have an answer as it assumes there is a single
identity that is being decided upon. I would suggest that you have already
identified the problem (for the native, not the anthropologist) as one in
which identities are created and identified at many levels, with not all of
these levels being in agreement. That is, we are all caught up in the
fundamental contradiction between being an individual, on the one hand, and
a social person, on the other hand. As for identity, though, is there any
truly "self created identity?" (perhaps Kafka's cockroach might qualify)
Or is the issue the boundary and content of the group with whom the
individual is making identification?

D. Read