There are many aspects to our identity and it is constantly changing, adapting to new circumstances, evolving and maturing.

For example, think about how there are certain sources of our identity that come being born into groups (my family, social class, race, nation…) and compare this to individual choices made in our life-time (our career, the sports-hobbies-disciplines we practice, whom we marry).

Also taking into account the privileges and disadvantages we may have experienced as well as the visible (race, sex, social class, accent…) and invisible aspects of our identity (mental health, sexual orientation, childhood experiences…)

Consider the primary and secondary sources of our identity:

  • Primary sources are ascribed to us at birth; although they are accidents of origin, they are ever so defining…
  • Secondary sources are those that we acquire through our life, due to choices and merit; but they are strongly related to primary sources (for example, the kinds of opportunities available to a child born to a rich family compared to those of a child born to a poor family).

Click  here or proceed to exercise 4 Our Complex Identity from the Workshop Exercises drop-down menu.