The idea of self and identity begins with the assumption that there is a shared relationship between the self and society. The self influences society through the actions of individuals thereby creating social groups, organisations, institutions and communities. Equally society influences the self through its shared experiences and knowledge that enable a person to be influenced by another and interact with other social groups whether positive or negative. Throughout the three readings by Amin Maalouf, Dr. Cordellia Fine and Dr. Paul Broks many interpretations of personal identity and the presence of ‘self’ have been expressed in different ways. Amin is of the belief that identity is what prevents you from being identical to anybody else and that everyone is made up of a number of elements like allegiances. Dr. Cordellia Fine represents personal identity through stereotypes such as personality traits and argentic descriptions whilst Dr. Broks states that our identity is influenced through the actions we commit.
Personal identity is a very confusing and difficult topic to comprehend. Arguably one’s personal identity is what makes them unique and different, it eliminates all confusion and potential for you to be ‘identical’ to somebody else. Some of the elements of one’s personal identity involve the ‘obvious’, the physical factors such as finger prints, blood type, DNA, freckles, birth marks and any other unique bodily feature. However personal identity does also include an individual’s personal characteristics which are either passed down from family beliefs or developed through social interactions and life experiences. A individual that is 16 and is just beginning to interact socially with other people who have various experiences and beliefs, can influence his/her way of thinking which become part of his/her individual traits. Whilst experiencing new aspects of life your personal identity traits may change due to society’s influence but your physical factors will always remain the same. As reported in Amin’s readings, “My identity, My allegiance” he states “while there is always a certain hierarchy among the elements that go to make up individual identity that hierarchy is not immutable; it changes with time, in so doing brings about fundamental changes in behaviour” (p.14)
Amin Malouf’s complex views on personal identity are very comparable to those of Dr. Cordellia Fine. As seen above in Amin’s reading which he is of the belief that identity is what prevents someone from being identical to anybody else and that everyone is made up elements such as allegiance that are all traits and characteristics which creates our personal identity and ‘self’. This is very similar to the opinions of Dr. Cordellia Fine, whose of the belief that males and females are very much alike but its characteristics of personality and argentic descriptions that differ from one’s identity being like another. She also states that associative memory and cultural patterns is what forms social identity. This is reported in her readings, ‘we think, therefore you are’, “place a women behind every vacuum cleaner being pushed around a carpet and, by Jove, associative memory will pick up the pattern. “ (15) Another example of this cultural pattern is the quote of ‘boys are from Mars and girls are from Venus’, this is a perfect example of a popular book by John Gray, which sold over 50 million copies worldwide and spent 121 weeks on the best sellers list. This book and its central meaning have become a part of popular culture worldwide. This represents the stereotype cultural patterns stated by Dr. Cordellia Fine demonstrating associations in the environment. The soul meaning is that evidently females and males are different and the way they live their lives and what there custom to do vary , which is why there are stereotypes of genders being ‘male’ and