Social Construction Of Identity Essay

2388 Words10 Pages
Socially constructed identities are utilized to identify who we are and to oppress individuals, especially if they do not conform to those identities or are coming from an intersecting identity. Sometimes on the journey to establish identity and sense of self battles are faced in terms of oppression, acceptance, and silence. All of these variables, in accordance with intersectionality, can make it very difficult for someone to identify themselves or for others to identify them. When an individual comes from an intersecting identity, just like in Zami and Redefining Realness, they often are searching for acceptance and struggle with silence as the origin of their oppression is not as apparent if that intersectionality was not present or as potent.…show more content…
Socially constructed identities can often make those that don't fit within those identities feel alienated, like an outside, or that they have to conform to society’s idea of what their identity is supposed to. Often, these constructed identities do not include identities that intersect. In Audre Lorde’s “Age, Race, Class and Sex” she talks about how those who are oppressed have “to be watchers, to be familiar with the language and manners of the oppressor, even sometimes adopting them for some illusion of protection” in order to survive. We can see this happening when Mock says, “hiding myself for that brief period allowed me to operate under a guise of normality that made me feel temporarily secure” (Mock 98). Mock, continually struggled, to find her true identity by trying to conform to what society told her was acceptable and this would change based on whose acceptance she was seeking. For instance, when she thought her femininity led her Mother to leave her, she began to be as masculine as possible by bulking up, keeping her hair short, and playing catch (Mock 98). These actions show us that Mock felt as though,in order to keep her Mother around, she had to conform to what society portrayed her identity to be, and not her own for free of repercussions affecting her Mother and their
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