Who are we and how do we distinguish ourselves from others?
The question “who am I?” is complex. Identity can refer to an individual, a small group, or a social collective—and encompass issues such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and the body. In the identities theme, you will explore where values, beliefs, and behaviors come from. You’ll examine the effects of nature versus nurture—and how the two can work together to determine different characteristics of identity across cultures and throughout history. And you will delve into questions about how identity is formed, changed, and perceived. Questions raised in this theme include the following:
- How do communities and individuals form identities?
- What is the political nature of collective identities?
- What causes individual and collective identities to change over time?
- How do individuals and groups express their identities?
- How are people and groups with particular identities viewed and treated by others?