It do not express themselves.” Attempting to identify by

It is not
easy to theorize on identity due to ambiguity and the impracticality of trying
to apply identity theory to all humans. There are many definitions of identity
from many different perspectives and even bell hooks as a young child stated that
she had begun to theorize before she even knew what the word theory meant
(Hooks, 62). Gender, race, and ethnicity have played roles in the theory of
identity throughout history but just like these authors, I believe that the most
effective way of conceiving identity is through narratives and expression.

Narratives are the stories in which people describe themselves and others to
create an understanding of who they are, who they are not, and who they would
like to become. However, it is not just personal narratives that account for
identity but a group of narratives from different sources to provide a
collective understanding of identity.

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Identity
cannot be defined by physical traits and Sara Ahmed presents an example to
support this claim by stating,

” Many women
who were assigned female at birth, let us remind ourselves, are deemed not
women in the right way, or not women at all, perhaps because of how they do or
do not express themselves.”

Attempting
to identify by physical traits only leads to prejudice and unsupported results
as every humans mental identifications are different. Social class cannot help
define identity either for the same reason of different mental statuses for
every human being.

From
personal experience, I have seen how physical traits and social class have nothing
to do with identification. My mother identifies herself as an Industrial
engineer first and a mother second because whenever talking to someone for the
first time it is very easy to tell she is passionate about her work and how
hard she had to work to achieve her goals. She came from a poor family in
Bolivia and worked very hard to get one of the top industrial engineer degrees
in the country at Georgia Tech. Just from her, the narratives clearly show
traits about my mother that would have never defined her if it was limited to
physical traits and social class. Just as in Anzalúda’s Speaking in Tongues states on page 172, ” Shock yourself into new
ways of perceiving the world, shock your readers into the same. Stop the
chatter inside their heads.” My mother was able to stop the chatter by
expressing herself through her work and is the reason why I believe that the
theory of identity relies on the narratives from yourself and others about
yourself and the ability to express who you want to be.