. . identity is about belonging, about what you have in common with some people and what differentiates you from others. At most basic, it gives you sense of personal location, the stable core to your individuality. it is also about your social relationships, your complex involvement with others" (Weeks 1996, p.24). What seems to be the most characteristic of this definition is that it reconciles two apparently distinct spheres - personal and social. With this definition and available social scientific material in mind, I will try to relate relevant examples of my own experience to the quote, and in the process to better understand which factors have contributed to the formation of my identity.
First of all, as we have mentioned the complexity of the social structure of modern societies, it is necessary to emphasise which social factors actually create such a complexity. For this purpose we can employ several relevant sociological concepts. One of them is the notion of social diversity, based on the recognition of the fact that needs and priorities of people are equally shaped by our internal motivations and by our inevitable relation to other people. The recognition of the consequences of social diversity significantly widens the potential scope of concerns of individuals, because it suggests that, as statuses of social groups shift, relationships between them change as well. In this way, the inclusion of social diversity into the picture of social reality helps us see how interaction between individuals and larger social formations may constantly generate potential for changes, which in their turn greatly increase the number of life options available for us (Sullivan 2000). Now, in the definition of identity that we provided it is said that identity differentiates one from others, and at the same time reflects our social relationships. In this regard, I believe that the concept of social diversity helps us understand how multiple unique identities can arise within the same social environment - this is because we all adopt our unique ways to balance our roles as individuals and as participants of social groups, and to find our personal location within the multitude of options that life offers. Personally, I feel that this process was very important for the formation of my identity. For example, during the period of my study I have always faced different possibilities of social involvement - in form of prospects of participation in sports clubs, public funds, numerous hobby groups, etc. In this situation, each time such appealing options were available I had to relate them to my personal feelings to find out whether I really wanted to join. What is important is that such a potential for expansion of social involvement of students enables young people not only to find out what interests them in life, but to experience how their choices lead to changes in social status, as for instance it is common that successful members of sports clubs usually may enjoy a wider popularity among mates then members of a chorus (Hooks 2000, p. 146). All this serves as a very important mechanism of identity formation, and I attest to its power.
Another group of sociological concepts which should help us