A discussion on how identity and the ‘self’ is formed through literature

Roome, Susan (2016) A discussion on how identity and the ‘self’ is formed through literature. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The formation of identity presents an ambiguity of which lies uncertainties which I will explore within this essay. There is a preconceived notion that once an identity has been formed it is fixed. What I aim to show is that identity is fluid. It reorganises, modifies and transform in relation to the need of the individual. Psychologists recognise there are many sociological factors which affect the construction of an identity; however, no singular aspect can be solely contributed to the creation of the self. Hitlin maintains that ‘identity refers to a focus on the commonalities among people within a group and differences between people in different groups’ (2003, p120). It is these commonalities and differences I will examine through the use of literature in the formation of identity.
    The three primary texts I will be using are Neil Gaiman’s American Gods (2012), Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (1997). I chose these works as they all comment and explore the formation of identity through dispelling myths and traditions. I will be discussing these in relation to the theories on the formation of identity by Abraham Maslow, Eric Erikson and Steven Hitlin.
    These novels and theories have influenced my own artefact as I considered how we as individuals have developed in a progressive and modern world while navigating the conflicting ideals of tradition and mythology. It is how we react to these conflicts that will, and can and impact our own identities.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2016 14:53
    Last Modified: 18 Nov 2016 14:53
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/22691

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