3 Pages

Epilogue: Identities, Images, and Stories

ByKatherine Hoffman

Concepts of identity and self, as individuals, and as families, as has been shown, are complex and changing. Various notions of self and identity have been raised—a self defined by ones birth, ones wealth, ones faith; a fragmented self; a "saturated" self; a "minimal" self; a "protean" self; and so forth. Sometimes the images appear to be accurate; sometimes they seem as wildly distorted as images in mirrors in the maze of an amusement park."? Thomas Mann's question "Was ist das?" is still there, too. There is no one quick and easy answer to any question surrounding identity, self, and family. Taken together or singly, these visual stories may help us to gain a better understanding of ourselves, our families, and the role of the family in the larger society. As mirrors, the images may reflect, in clear as well as distorted ways, a sense of self, family, and culture.