Concept of Identity in the Field of Sociological Theory Cover Image

Koncept identity na poli sociologické teorie
Concept of Identity in the Field of Sociological Theory

Author(s): Kateřina Holubová
Subject(s): Social Sciences, History and theory of sociology
Published by: Univerzita Karlova v Praze, Nakladatelství Karolinum
Keywords: identity; essentialism; constructivism; personal identity;collective identity;

Summary/Abstract: In social sciences the concept of identity was developed very wildly. One can find many ways to approach this phenomenon in the field of sociological theories. Therefore the following text aims to provide some basic points of orientation which would clarify the field of various sociological concepts of identity. The attention is paid especially to the three schools of thought which I consider to be the most important. It is symbolic interactionism, social constructivism and so-called “postmodern” approach to the concept of identity. As an instrument of orientation, there are two central dimensions of the concept of identity. It is a debate about the static or dynamic nature of identity and dilemma, whether identity should be studied rather as an individual or a collective phenomenon. Static understanding of identity is considered to be outdated by the tendency to understand an identity as dynamic and constructed entity. This way of view was initiated by symbolic interactionism. The other two schools of thought basically followed this way of view. Studying identity as an individual phenomenon is typical for symbolic interactionism. Social constructivism emphasizes inseparability of individual and collective components of identity. “Postmodern” approach sees identity as a problem of contemporary society. Its conclusions tend to accentuate identity as a collective phenomenon.

  • Issue Year: XXII/2016
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 31-49
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Czech
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