Social Construction of Identity

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The social construction of reality and the corresponding (un)making of identities is a theme widely debated among the sociologists of various hues. Since the systematic espousal of the perspective by Berger and Luckmann in their influential work 'Social Construction of Reality' in 1966, a number of theorists have undertaken deep going studies on the subject matter.


On the other hand, contemporary poststructuralist perspective even goes to the extent to deny the very possibility of such an agency or authorship of identities as it was clearly asserted in the famous assertion by Rolland Barthes that 'The Author is Dead'. Rather than posing the arguments on the agency of the social construction of identity by contesting schools against each other, the paper intends to examine the postulate of each school based on its own 'internal validity'.
Gergen and Gergen (2003) argue that intentionality of human consciousness is an important factor that determines one's identity. It means that not just representations that determine one's identity, on the other hand 'one's knowledge of the intentional representation of the self is what constitutes identity' (Gergen and Gergen, 2003, p.28). In addition, identity is not only heterogeneous but also diverse in itself. What is deemed as identity involves various spheres and layers. Seidman (2004) is of the view that various layers and spheres of identity are constituted by different factors and processes which are interrelated and distinct. ...
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