chapter  9
39 Pages

Transformations of Identities In Rapidly Changing Societies

WithLars Dencik

The philosophical, psychological and social condition for the concept of identity is the act of categorisation – to divide and sort phenomena into separate but internally homogeneous categories. There are two important premises behind the social psychological concept of social identity: firstly, that the actual identity of any person is founded upon and shaped by social interaction, and secondly that there are many latent identities within every human being. An identity is constructed by the relationship between how an individual subjectively experiences the world and the historic and cultural framework influencing this subjective experience. In a country like Sweden or Denmark, the shrinking importance of a local foundation for identity appears to be problematic. The two Scandinavian welfare states of Denmark and Sweden have differed in their response to the social challenges connected with the growing social pluralisation that is part and parcel of postmodernisation.