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Self and Identity

Clare, Wilchins, Swartz, Barard…when trying to make sense of all of the authors swirling around in my head, the idea I keep coming back to is that of self versus identity. I’m concurrently taking a psych course that deals with this distinction, and we’ve read the works of researchers who claim that while an idea of the self is present in even the youngest of humans because it denotes the acknowledgement of an “I,” an individual being with unique likes and dislikes, the idea of an identity only develops around adolescence when one separates oneself as an individual in society, finds a social niche, and establishes a set of morals and a life philosophy. If one commits to these things during adolescence, he or she has achieved an identity. If one does not, he or she is in some sort of limbo, ranging from a state of moratorium (having gone through a period of self-exploration but not having committed to an identity) to foreclosure (commitment to a certain identity without any self-exploration) to the worst of all, diffusion (no self-exploration and no identity commitment). *

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Primary Perspectives Post

Hi all! My name is Sara, and I’m a junior Psychology major at Haverford. I am also a Gen/Sex minor who has thus far explored this very broad topic from both a psychological and an anthropological perspective, and I’m excited to continue my studies through a variety of new lenses this semester.  I think the “p” that currently intrigues me the most in our course description is “playful.” Today, so many of the topics that lie under the Gen/Sex umbrella are fraught with tension and emotion, yet we often tend to forget that sexuality is something to celebrate and enjoy. It’s reassuring to know that although we will be delving into deep issues, our class will still maintain a sense of levity and fun! 

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