American Identity Identifiers Analysis

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In the 21st century, identity has become one of the issues that many people struggle to find and is often shaped on the pressure put upon them by society. Many have to go through a roller coaster of emotions and many awful experiences that help them identify whom they are. But people are not choosing what they want instead of choosing what society thinks is best for them. According to Sonia Maasik and Jack Solomon, editors of Signs of Life in the USA, Americans are looking for new ways to identify themselves in a society where they are criticized and pressured to what society thinks is right for them. Traditional Identifies, such as religion, race, class, and gender codes, do play an important role, but not as much as new ways to for people …show more content…
In American Dreams, Kevin Jennings agrees with the editors of Signs of Life in that the typical identity identifiers do determine who a person is, but identifiers, such as religion and gender codes, shape who a person becomes.
People are “tired” of often identifying themselves with something that they are not. Jennings was always marginalized by his religion because his religion never accepted homosexuality. Jennings states his religion view toward homosexuality as “Gay people were twisted perverts destined for a lifetime of eternal damnation” (688), which uses harsh language to describe and give a negative view towards homosexuals. When an individual thinks of “twisted”, they picture something that is not normal, and when they
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Jennings always knew he was gay, but because of social standards and religious views, he wasn’t able to accept who he truly was until a later age. Jennings states, “Real freedom will be ours when the people around us – and when we ourselves- accept that we, too, are ‘real’ Americans, and that we shouldn’t have to change to meet anyone else’s standards” (690). According to Jennings’ American dream, he wanted to be President, but that did not occur since society expects the president to be a certain way and act a certain way. He could not achieve his American dream because he is different; he is gay. Gender codes do not identify the person because a man could be straight or homosexual. Gender codes are a way to identify how men and woman should act in society. By accepting who he truly was, Jennings was able to accomplish his own version of the American dream that helped him on becoming a successful person and defying what gender codes are because he accepts what society thinks is wrong. This is important because his experience applies to individuals. By knowing who they are, individuals are able to change preference in ideas that where once wrong to them because they have a sense of

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