Identity refers to a person’s sense of self and is often derived from membership in certain social groups and/or roles an individual occupies within society. For example, one may identify with an occupational role (e.g., physician, lawyer), with family roles (e.g., mother, sister), with other social roles (e.g., friend, soccer coach), or with demographic characteristics (e.g., African American, female, religion, sexual orientation). Therefore, personal identities may be based on characteristics of an individual that are ascribed or involuntary (e.g., gender) in addition to individual traits that are achieved or voluntary (e.g., occupation). As a result, a person’s overall identity is multifaceted in that it comprises his or her attachment to a variety of more specific identities.

Fluidity of Identity

Identity is fluid in that it is shaped ...

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