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Expression of Identities
Old 23-02-2004
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Expression of Identities

Expression of Identities

Symbols are the basic element in the portrayal of our identities. Our identities are represented through a variety of different types of symbols for example the type of clothes we wear, the words we use or the car we drive are but a few of the many symbols used to portray our identity to others.

The definition of a symbol is something that is used for or regarded as representing something else. Esp. a material object representing something immaterial; emblem or sign. (1)

We take careful consideration choosing the symbols used to present our image and identity to others. Williamson (1986, pg. 13) suggests that we have a choice in our image selection process and that we realise when we make this choice that other people can interpret and understand our choice. Therefore, we construct our identities from choice, we make an active decision to include and exclude symbols in creating out identities, of which we may have many, and our identities are both active and flexible. Part of this selection process involves us imagining ourselves as others would see us. This process is called symbolisation, visualising the overall picture of ourselves and thinking in symbols. George Herbert Mead (1930, pg. 12) argued that we have the ability to imagine how others view us and we have the ability to carry these images in our memory. Imagining how others view us helps in our selection process i.e. I would not wear a tracksuit to an interview for fear that the interviewer interpreting that symbol as me being too lazy for not making an effort to go out and buy a suit. The initial reading of the symbol as 'lazy' may then also indicate to the interviewer that I would not be a suitable candidate for the job as 'lazy' and 'work' do not compliment each other.
Part of our identity is one that we have little or no choice over. Our names, religion, our social upbringing and place of origin all help create our personal identity. Meanings about this part of our identity are produced through symbols such as our accents and our lexical choice e.g. A heavy Scottish accent to some may symbolise a lack of education or intelligence whereas a 'Queens English' accent may symbolise a good upbringing and a sound education. Another part of our identity that we have little control over is our gender. Our identity is strongly influenced by feminine and masculine characteristics. This will inevitably play a part in the symbols chosen by each gender in the way they portray their identity for example a gay man may choose to wear feminine type shoes, tight t-shirts or a ring on his little finger so while still dressing like a man he is subtly symbolising his femininity.

According to Turner (2) (pg. 47), identity is shaped by self-categorisation, that is people assessing the different social categories and making a decision as to whether or not they fit into a category. If they feel they fit into a category then that category becomes part of their identity. A social category can also be defined as a group, and part of identifying with that group is to conform to standards. Symbols of this standard, for example in a middle class society, would be to have a new, expensive car in the driveway of a large detached house in an expensive, attractive area and having good use of the English language e.g. Correct grammar etc. George Herbert Mead's 'Self Concept'(3) is the ability to take oneself as an object. The self then arises with development and through social activity and social relationships. Identity is then defined according to the conformity of the social group through actively seeking out the socially acceptable symbols and being able to display them in an acceptable manner. This would be described as self-presentation: being able to express oneself and behaving in a way designed to create a favourable impression, we then have to self-monitor: being aware of the way we present ourselves in social situations and adjusting our performance and/or symbols to create the desired impression.

Louis Althusser (1971, pg. 19) argued that people are interpellated into identity, interpeallation being a process of recognition, by looking at yourself and thinking 'that's me!' Social class can be thought of as an interpellated position as the social class you are born into is quite often the one that remains throughout your life. This then becomes one of the many symbols that make up our identity. Althussers work sought to link the individual and the social and to show how some social structures work to recruit people into identities.

In conclusion, we make an active decision to identify with a particular identity or group and some have more choice in this selection process than others. There are clearly social factors that shape our identity some of which we have little or no control over. Identity is portrayed by a variety of symbols which come from a variety of sources, where we live, our social status, the names we are born with and our choice of clothing. Material, social and physical constraints may prevent us from successfully presenting ourselves and choosing the symbols we would like, for example a low income would not allow us to symbolise the wealth of a middle class wage. Identity is a combination of how I symbolise myself and how others see me. It is ultimately symbols that help us decide which people are the same as us and which are not, which people we wish to socialise with and those, which we do not.

Yaad Kuch Aata Nahin, Yeh Hua Kab Se...Ho Gaya Mushkil Chhupaana Raaz Yeh Sab Se...Tum Kaho To Maang Loon Main Aaj Kuch Rab Se Rabba mere rabba rabba, rabba mere rabba,Is pyaar ko main kya naam doon Roshni se bhare bhare..Bhare bhare naina tere..Chhooke bole na chhoona mujhe Suraj hua maddham, chaand jalne laga..Aasmaan yeh haai kyoon pighalne laga..Main thehra raha, zameen chalne lagi.. Bheeghi Bheeghi Raaton Mein, Phir Tum Aao Na...Asi Barsaton Mein Aao Na.. Humko Humise Chura Lo, Dil Mein Kahin Tum Chhupa Lo,Hum Akele Kho Naa Jaaye, Door Tumse Ho Naa Jaaye,Paas Aao Gale Se Lagaa Lo Toota Toota ek parinda...Jo bhi kaal hua kal bhi phir aayaga Hai...Tumse milke dil ka hai jo haal kya kahe..Ho gaya hai kaisa yeh kamaal kya kahe Ruka Ja, Oh Jaana Wali Ruka Ja...Nazara Mein To Tera Bhura Sa Sahi..Adami Mein Bhura Nahi Dil Ka Aja Re, Aja Re Oh Mere Dilbar Aja..Dil Ki Pyaas Buja Ja Re...Oh Noorie kabhie kabhie mere dil mein khayaal aata jaise tujh ko banaya gaya hai mere jaise tujh ko banaya gaya haiKitna bechain hoke tumse mila...Tumko kya tha khabar tha main kitna akela ..Ke kitna mohabbat hai tumse...Hai...Tumse milke dil ka hai jo haal kya kahe..Ho gaya hai kaisa yeh kamaal kya kaheTujhe dekha to yeh jaana sanam..Pyaar hota hai deewana sanam..Tujhe dekha to yeh jaana sanam.Tujhe dekha to yeh jaana sanam..Pyaar hota hai deewana sanam.Ab ahan se kahan jaaye hum..Teri bahon mein mar jaaye hum Aksar is duniya mein anjaane milte hain,Anjaani raahon mein milke kho jaate hain,Lekin hamesha voh yaad aate hain Na kajre ki dhaar, na motiyon ke haar,Na koi kiya singaar phir bhi kitni sundar ho,Tum kitni sundar ho Na jaane mere dil ko kya ho gaya..Abhi to yahin tha, abhi kho gaya..Ho gaya hai tujhko to pyaar sajna..Lakh kar le tu inkaar sajna..Dildaar sajna, hai yeh pyaar sajna

Dil Dooba Dil Dooba...Neela Akho Mein Yeh Dil Dooba.. Neela Neela Amber Per Chand Jab Aye...Aisa Koi Saathi Ho ..Aisa Koi Premi Hoi Jaanam Dekh Lo Mit Gayeen Dooriyaan..Main Yahaan Hoon Yahaan Hoon..Yahaan Hoon..Yahaan...Kaisi Sarhadein...Kaisi Majbooriyaan..Main Yahaan Hoon Yahaan Hoon..Yahaan Hoon..Yahaan...Tum Chhupaa Na Sakogi Main Vo Raaz Hoon...Tum Bhulaa Na Sakogi Vo Andaaz Hoon...Goonjtaa Hoon Jo Dil Mein To Hairaan Ho Kyon...Main Tumhaare Hi Dil Ki To Aavaaz Hoon...Main Yahaan Hoon Yahaan Hoon..Yahaan Hoon..Yahaan... Aisa muhje tu na dehka na...seeena se laga loonga, tum ko tumse chura loonga...dil mein chupa loonga Gila Gila Dil Gila.. Mila mila mila koi mila ...Teri Ha Adaar Laga sab se judaa hai dil tuje per fida hai... Dhoom Dhoom let ya body do the talking..Dhoom Dhoom be the fire thats buring..Dhoom machaalay dhoom machaalay dhoom Tere Liye Hum Hai Jiye..Hota ke siya...Dil mein Magar chalte reha chaahat ke Diya... Zara zara bahekta hai, mahekta hai,Aaj to mera tan badan, main pyaasi hoon,Mujhe bhar le apni baahon mein Dheera dheera se mera zindagi mein ana...tumsi pyar huma hai kitna jaana jaana Pyar ke isa khel dil aur mehl mein, tera peecha na chodunga soniya Mera mehboob sanam, tera ashiq hogaya hum...milaka nazaaro se nazaar tera pyaar mein kogaya hum... Wada Raha Pyar Se Pyar Ka, Hum Na Hoga Juda, Dil Ke Dhadkhan Sunrha Hai Mera Khudda Dheera Dheera Se Mera Zindagi Mein Ana...Tumsi Pyar Huma Hai Kitna Jaana JaanaSaamne hain raastein, hum guzar jaaye...Ya kisi ke vaaste hum thaher jaaye...Ab yahan tak aa gaye hain, ab kidhar jaaye...Jaaduuuuuuu teri nazar...Kushboo tera baadan..tu har kar, ya nah kar...Kali nagin ke jaise..Zulfe teri kali kali..Sagar ko moti aur..Suraj ko tu dati hai lali..Kali nagin ke jaise..Zulfe teri kali kaliYeh din yeh mahine saal guzar jaayenge mere yaar..Magar itna rakhna khayaal..Jeena sirf mere liye, jeena sirf mere liye..Kasam se jeena sirf mere liye, jeena sirf mere liye Banno ki saheli resham ki dori..Chhup chhupke sharmaaye dekhe chori chori..Yeh maane ya na maane main to ispe mar gaya..Yeh ladki haai allah, haai haai re allah Tum paas aaye, yun muskuraaye,Tumne na jaane kya sapne dikhaaye,Tum paas aaye, yun muskuraaye,Tumne na jaane kya sapne dikhaaye,Ab to mera dil jaage na sota hai,Kya karoon haaye, kuch kuch hota hai

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