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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Sfougaras

Identity Formation: A summary

There are several prevailing theories:

1. Social Constructivism: This theory holds that identity is formed through social interactions and relationships with others. According to this perspective, identity is a constructed and ongoing process that is shaped by the individual's perceptions of themselves and the expectations of others.

2. Psychoanalytic theory: This theory posits that identity is formed through early childhood experiences, particularly the relationships with primary caregivers. According to this perspective, the unconscious mind and repressed memories play a role in shaping identity.

3. Cognitive Development Theory: This theory asserts that identity formation is a part of normal human development, and that it is shaped by an individual's experiences and their changing understanding of the self.

4. Cultural and Historical Context Theory: This theory suggests that identity is shaped by the cultural and historical context in which an individual lives. Cultural and historical factors such as race, gender, religion, and social class influence the formation of identity.

5. Intersectionality: This theory posits that identity is shaped by multiple factors and experiences, including race, gender, class, sexuality, and ability, that intersect and interact in complex ways. According to this perspective, an individual's identity is not simply the sum of their individual traits, but rather a product of the relationships between them.

These are some of the prevailing theories about the formation of people's identity. It's important to note that these theories are not mutually exclusive and that identity is likely shaped by a combination of factors.

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