Definition Essay on the Term Identity

1148 Words Mar 20th, 2013 5 Pages
English Composition II
October 27, 2012
Definition Essay The term “identity” as the English dictionary defines it is “the individual characteristics by which a person or thing is recognized,” however, the dictionary fails to truly capture the word’s meaning. Generally the development of an individual’s identity goes on during his/her childhood, puberty and in most situations it ends at adulthood. Identity is quite difficult to define because it is such an abstract concept. In order to define such a word, it is better to describe factors that are more directly involved with the meaning of a person’s identity. There are specific and important factors such as: social class, culture, family and society. In essays such as, “Some Lessons
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Everyone has to come to grips with them at some point. How and when I learned these lessons, however, has inspired me to make the most of my colleges years before I enter the real world for good” (Braaksma 78).
The author explains the hidden correlation between social classes and identity. Nowadays, higher education has become one of the several factors that determine a person’s social class. It was his exposure in this new world surrounded by coworkers of educationally and financially poor backgrounds that made him realize the true value of education. As a consequence, that particular experience shaped a great part of his identity for the rest of his life. He also implies how this personal experience transforms him from a “care-free” attitude to a successful student and writer.
American society is based on diversity of ethnicities, languages, religions and several other factors that form a part of the nation’s great identity. Martin describes in his article the crave of a certain social group for finding individuality and identity between each other through the acquisition of permanent symbols, messages and figures called tattoos. The recent spread in acceptance and popularity of tattoos could be related to the fact that every person in our society has an inner impulse to find identity, his “thing” that separates him/her from the rest of the world. Therefore, Martin explains clearly in this quote from his essay “On Teenager & Tattoos” the

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