My Identity

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hroughout my lifetime, cultural forces have identified, characterized and grouped me according to my appearance, ethnicity, and my values. My communication and interaction with the larger society particularly a biracial student-athlete, allowed me to perform to these subjections and associations in distinct, but also unique ways in the formulation of my identity. An identity is “a process of recognition that takes place among a series of differences” through which cultural categories of “our specific identities are located and negotiated” (Nealon & Searls Giroux 51). The development of my identity has had a profound influence on the ways I am to act and ultimately live. Furthermore, the lessons and topics that I have learned in this class have…show more content…
This helps to clarify the idea that identities are not essential, but “in theory and practice, are always changing and changeable” (Nealon & Searls Giroux 265). The ideals and beliefs of my Asian-American upbringing are not fostered permanently, but are subject to change based on everyday scenarios, interactions and happenstances, whether through new technology or incidences. In contrast, without identities being essential, it is much more apparent to say that identities are socially constructed. Social constructionism is “process by which subjects stay the same, but what the subject positions means is under constant reconstruction and deconstruction” by society (Nealon & Searls Giroux 191). As an athlete throughout my lifetime, I have been interpellated through subject positions primarily regarding my race, but also through being a student. Interpellation is the process by which “an individual is constructed as a subject by the institutions of modern life; the unique individual is always defined by the generalized social categories of the modern state” (Nealon & Searls Giroux…show more content…
Ideologies are “beliefs that gain the force of common sense in culture” in that these ideals require no thoughts or questions while containing power (Nealon & Searls Giroux 261). In short, the ideologies of Asian athletes being unathletic has helped me understand how these ideologies hold power over Asian athletes by communicating ways in which Asian athletes must act or perform. Power is the “diffuse, multiple, decentered social field that is continually shifting and always negotiated” such that it has the ability to repress, but also produce things such as “anger, knowledge and pleasure” (Nealon & Searls Giroux 259-263). Performance is how one compares to actions they are defined by culture to perform, while performativity is all about acts and “how one becomes a subject in the context of performing or not performing certain acts” (Nealon & Searls Giroux 188). In my lifetime, the journey of being categorized as an Asian basketball player has forced me to overcome the perceived stereotypes held by others that I am somehow not fast enough, cannot jump high enough, or was not athletically gifted. However, through my own individual identity, I have the agency to adhere to the actions in which I am defined by culture to follow, but my performance such as becoming a successful Asian basketball player
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