The ecological self2 Essay

This essay has a total of 752 words and 4 pages.

the ecological self2



Diversity is a whirlwind of color through a society. There are no two people in the world
that are exactly alike. Individuality distinguishes one person or thing from others
(Landau, 364 Ed). A person’s environment as a whole: an interaction with others,
experiences, and time, makes a collage of traits that distinguishes someone as an
individual. David Sibley’s theory of the “Ecological Self” or Identity is bound by his
determents of social, cultural, and spatial context. Sibley believes that class, race,
gender, and nation shapes our identity, it is a single concept that is molded by our
experiences from the world. I do not agree with this claim because people are individuals,
not a development of their surroundings. Identity is not a single concept, there are many
factors that shape it, environment cannot just effect identity.

Sibley is a British sociologist that has dedicated his life to the studies behind the
“Ecological Self.” Sibley claims that the “Ecological Self” is not internal, it cannot be
separated from the physical. “The social positioning of the self means that the boundary
between self and other is formed through a series of cultural representations of people
and things which frequently elide so that the non-human world also provides a context for
selfhood (Sibley, 250).” The “other,” that is being spoken of, is also known as the
“Generalized Other.” This is when we cannot separate from the physical and consider it to
be the norm.

How do I know who I am? Where do I fit in? Internal and external forces mold our sense of
self. Heredity and personal moral are examples of internal forces. Children are often most
effected by this. “The forces of physical inheritance takes place mainly in childhood,
though even as adults we have the possibility of dealing in our personal development
(Grunewald, 2).” Environment also plays an important role in the formation of
self-identity. The surroundings, which can include people, places, and experiences, mold
an individual into whom they become. The past shapes our identities, and builds from our
experiences. “It is our memories which help us make the connections, gives us the
insights, and provides us with the sense of continuity, which is so important for our
personal identity (http://ozcountry.com/life/tip5.html).” “When we go through times of
crisis, massive changes, serious illness, deep conflicts or stress, our sense of self can
be seriously challenged, particularly if we have not faced such experiences before. Rather
than assuming that personal identity is permanent, static and secure we might see it
better as our personalities are dynamic, evolving, fluid and changing. This will enable us
to grow with life’s changes as we develop new skills, insight, attitudes, beliefs and
values. We are never the


same person (http://ozcountry.com/life/tip5.html).” Identity is a lifelong, continual
process of identification with contexts.

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