Factors That Influence Identity Formation Essay

There are a myriad of ways that we can form our identity. Identity reflects who we are, how we learn, grow and develop. Parenting styles, culture, and growth from one stage into another stage are some of the factors that affect our identity and makes us different from others. The primary goal of psychology is to describe, explain, predict, and control those fields which become a part of our identity. As we learn, identity includes sets of characteristics that describe different facets of each individual, such as our reactions, our behaviors, our feelings and our thoughts.

It is what makes each and every one of us different and unique. A parenting style creates a foundation for identity. It provides an authority figure in the development of every child, which helps develop their values and character. In the article, “There Is No Job More Important Than Parenting,” Benjamin Carson describes his life by explaining the way his mother raised him and how it affected him. He stated that in his childhood, his brother and he were required to read two books from the Detroit Public library and then summarize the books into reports for their mother.

Their mother usually pretended to read the reports and put a checkmark on them. Also, they had a television time limit. We can automatically define Carson’s mother present an authoritarian figure due to her influence on her children. Carson said, “She announced that my brother and I could only watch two to three pre-selected TV programs during the week”(1 There Is No Job More Important Than Parenting). She looked out for them and saw what’s best for them. By giving them books to read and limiting their television time, they were disciplined to follow directions and further their education.

Moreover, Authoritarian parents are very strict, but have a reason behind every action. If they say to do something, we do not have the right to give our opinions, it likes we do not have any duty to speak, just do it without any explanation. Everything they do is for a reason and we do not need know the reason because they know what are good for us. In this case, Carson was able to further his education and define his characteristics. By not watching TV all the time and reading, he was able to further develop his identity and expand his values.

His mother was able to give him a strong foundation, which in turn shaped his identity. For instance, he stated, “My story is really my mother’s story. A woman with little formal education or worldly goods who used her position as a parent to change the lives of many people around the globe” (1). Carson is who he is today because of his mother’s support, and help, which emboldened him in a positive way to pursue his goal such as to become a doctor. Furthermore, many researchers reveal that authoritative parents have the most appropriate parenting style.

Because they are more reasonable and relaxed, they are willing to discuss their decision making. However, they usually make the final decision. Carson stated, “ One night my mother came home from working her multiple jobs and I complained about not having enough Italian knit shirts. She said, “Okay, I’ll give you all the money I make this week scrubbing floors and cleaning bathrooms, and you can buy the family food and pay the bills. With everything left over, you can have all the Italian knit shirts you want”(1 There Is No Job More Important Than Parenting).

This quote presents Carson’s mother as an authoritative figure by giving Carson all the money that she maked and then she told him pay the bill that is due now and then keep the rest of change to buy Italian shirts. Carson was happy to do the distribution because he thought he will have some money left, so he will go buy some Italian shirts, that he was dreaming. After he paid all the bills there were nothing left , thus he realized her mother was a great management . He decided to return back to school, and also he started to push himself, put on more effort,and working hard to get his grade A back.

Carson’s mother gave him a big lesson that redress carson to return back to school. This lesson shapes Carson’s identity immediately. Kids of authoritative parents are often more sociable because they have the ability to be independent and express their feelings according to Dania Baumrind. (317 Third edition Psychology an exploration). For instance, my mother and my dad are authoritative parents. They taught me the many things that formed my identity. I learned different manners, such as respect for the elderly and co-workers.

If I needed someone to be nice to me, I have to be nice to them. By raising me into an adult with values, I was able to be independent and follow my values. I was able to be social and express my feelings due to my parents’ way of discipline. The values that I learned and the skills I gained from my parents developed my identity and formed my foundation. Their hard work paid off, as shown by my personality and well- being. In addition, not only parents can influence our identity by the way they teach us, but also their culture. Culture make us think differently about our values.

A person from New York may have different values than a person from Washington. Also, a black person may have different views about some subjects/topics than a white person. A Spanish woman and a European woman may also have some differences in topics such as religion, love, and politics beliefs. If we compare a Haitian politician to an American we will see they both have different views about politics because of their cultures are dissimilar to ones another. For instance, most of politician in Haiti do not like to follow rules, whereas they awares of the rules.

The reason right they do not follow rules because they know the person that suppose to compel them to follow the country rules do not respect the rules either. So they Know they will not get a punishment for violent rules. However, when the same haitian politician come to the united states they conform themselves, with the united states law. They know the consequences of violent rules in the U. S. A. And politician american might have different perspectives about violate rules in their country due to the consequences of the violation.

As Lindsay Rath shows how culture shape identity of canada by saying, “France and England, the two founding nations, shaped Canadian’s early culture. As a result, the Canadian government tried to assimilate the first Nations into the European lifestyle, Eventually, the canadian government changed this approach and embraced the First Nations which greatly affected our constitution, as well as our attitude towards the environment, education and justice system”( How does Culture Shape Your Identity). Culture is a big part of identity. It conforms our character to the customs, and values, of our society.

Culture not only distinguishes us about values, but also about our norms, rules, and habits. For example, soccer is a vital aspect of our lives in the West Indies and South America. Cultures in those areas revolve around it. However, it does not mean much for an American, Chinese, or Indian Just like, kung fu, or karate may not mean much for South Americans or West Indians. Culture influences our tastes in things and our customs, which in turn affects our identity. Churches, schools, music, and foods form the basis of culture. However, every culture has its own customs and lifestyles.

For example, a Haitian boy does not pee like an American boy. An American boy usually faces up and whistles, while a Haitian boy faces down and spits at the end. Also, unlike other ethnicities, Japanese do not take cold water or juice after a meal, but a drink hot beverage. Further, Africans, muslims, Indians dress differently, from their shoes to their jewelry. Just like everyone is a part of a different culture, everyone has their own identity. Culture influences what we love, how we bring about ourselves, and why we do the things we do.

It is a part of the foundation of our identity. New Namesake touches a culture but differently. In this book the author explains how identity reflects who you are and how different characteristics make you unique. The main character, Gogol, associated his identity with his heritage and interprets it into his lifestyle. He wants to be free from his parents’ lifestyle and adjusts to the American way of life, because he was born in America, but he does not want to neglect their lifestyle. Eventually, he found middle ground by incorporating both into his life.

For instance, Gogol’s family wants him to adapt to certain elements of their culture, including values, and traditions. Although it was hard at times to adjust to both cultures, he was able to balance the two out and be content with life. By combining the two lifestyles, he was able to form his identity. He wasn’t just American or just Indian. He was both American and Indian. Gogol tried to create his own lifestyle, by using the values that were taught to him when he was younger and the values he learned in America when he was away from his family.

He was able to solidify his identity and balance out both cultures. However, according to Sigmund Freud, “personality development occurs in a series of psychosexual stages that are determined by the developing mentality of the child”(412 Third Edition Psychology An Exploration). Freud explains the six Psycosexual stages the first one is oral stage where babies stop to breastfeeding and training them to drink in a cup. Second one is anal stage is toilet training and kids want to do things on their own.

After some years, we are seen as a child, a kid, we can speak and express our feelings that is called phallic stage. Our parents give us some little responsibilities as we try to imitate our parents and neighbors. We play with dolls, toy guns, and house kits. We try to be like our dads, moms, friends, actors, actress. Our super ego and our conscious have been developed causing us to have the ability to distinguish what is right and wrong. From our birth until our death, our identity never stops changing.

The last two stages we have latency and genital we grow physically and morally every day, month, and year, which also means that our identity grow with us. At our first months of life, we are called babies where we can defecate in our bed and pee everywhere. We cannot speak and express our feelings at that time, but as we grow older, our parents and our culture teach us many things which becomes a part of our identity. Moreover, although parents and culture are a huge part of developing our identities, yet identities often change with age.

After ten or twelve years, our body and morals change. We do not play with old toys or like being called babies. We are not an adult yet, but in our minds, we think so. We try to know why we have big breasts or why our voices have changed. We start having a group or band of friends and start to having anxiety, stress, and become aggressive. After some years, we are called adolescent, we go through puberty and start having sexual maturity. Our styles and tastes start changing. We try to figure out our identity and become the best that we can become.

Coming of age can impact our ideals and conducts. Our mentality shifts, and we start to model our identity for the better. All in all, identity formation defines us as individuals and the advancement of distinct personalities. There are many ways people can identify themselves, such as the way they communicate, their culture, look, name, and values. The main parts of identity formation include parenting styles, culture, and growth. Each influences everyone differently, therefore making us unique. Identity is like a puzzle that can be shaped in different ways and still be correct.