This also means that the essential 'I' that separates the individual from others is the main core of a person's identity. 'The typical feeling of identity is only a reflection of the essential identity'.
"The importance of the ego or "self" which emanates from Western psychology is explicitly extensive. Ego Psychology, typified by Freud, emphasizes the development of the capabilities of the ego," (Muzika, 1990), taken from http://www.jefallbright.net/consciousness
There is no escaping the identity, as a man has to live in a society, according to Hobbes. It is difficult to imagine a life without identity in a modern society. And of course, in the bygone days, perhaps the saints who lived in jungles might have managed an existence san identity; but it is not possible today.
Identities are formed through interaction between people. We shape our own identities to a very large extent and this includes influences like economy, ethnic diversity, culture, background, gender, education, environment, organisations connected with our domestic, family and social life, and the roles given to us by the society. Further identity is developed by the earning power, leadership qualities, social attributes, heroism, achievement, social significance etc.
In Western societies identities are representing a mere existence and connected requirements. The social significance of those identities is losing their importance. Individualistic societies, after a certain lapse of time, start becoming faceless, without one person caring much for the other. Even though this looks a great achievement in the beginning, as this concept gives absolute individual liberty, without society interfering in any way, there is a long term effect that people become unknown, tend to get ignored, and achievements start losing their significance. Peculiarly enough, this is exactly what happened in a few Marxist societies. As a result, psychological motivation for better deeds becomes irrelevant and slowly achievements become lesser and lesser. Psychological and emotional bonding tend to deteriorate and people start living more and more for themselves, without feeling any elation in another person's achievements. Hence, all the individualistic societies are developing a particularly negative uncertainty about social identity.
We have to take our identities as they are provided by the society and without identities there is hardly any place for the individual in the society. "Identity provides a link between individuals and the world in which they live. Identity combines how I see myself and how others see me," Woodward (2000, p.7). It is worth noting how ego and self are intermingled in this statement and how all three go hand in hand. Identity also provides the answer to the permanently philosophical question of 'Who am I' asked by sages over the centuries, since the beginning of mankind. In eastern countries, there are many religions, Buddhism and Jainism and to some extent, Hinduism too and sects that preach abandonment of egoism and personal identity. No doubt, modern days have brought in a lot of change to this outlook. But nearly a century ago,