Human beings have an inherent need for identity. We are all social animals and in social setups, identity plays a definite role in positioning your status. Religion, culture, and nationalism are all a way of assigning an identity to an individual. For example, if a person is from Australia, the automatic assumption made about them would be white, disciplined, and lover of the sun. However, Australia is an ethnically diverse country and not every Australian is white or lover of the sun for that matter.
Identity is a complex phenomenon, and we all at some point in our life are in dilemma about our identity. The fact that identity is fleeting throughout our course of life, is another paradigm itself.
According to a recent study, more and more people are considering themselves to be global citizens of the world. It isn’t a surprise because the world is getting more and more globalised everyday and we are all heading towards a global identity. The shift in the agent of identity creation from ethnicity, nationality, sex to likes, dislikes, and individuality is quite a big shift in the course of history.
When we speak of identity, we don’t mean to put people in a box anymore but we rather empathetically try to assess an individual’s individuality. A person is more than a face. We are living in a palpating phase wherein everyone is examining the existing notions and laws are reformed more or less everywhere (consider LGBT rights).
The paradigm of identity is broadening, and in more conservative parts of the world voices are being raised to do the same. Our inherent need for identity is not the need of ascribing certain attributes to us by the government or society, it is actually the need to truly understand ourselves and expect the world to see us in the same light as we see ourselves.