DOI link for Representing identity
Representing identity book
It is extremely difficult to represent individual identity fully and accurately, because it is fluid, situational and fundamentally political. Complex relationships link individuals to the various categories and groups with which they are affiliated and from which they draw the components of their specific identities. Thus, the historicity of what social scientists have previously called ‘culture’ is contested (Touraine 1977). Furthermore, states both construct this historicity and attribute categorical identity to individuals. This chapter considers the role of the state in constructing identity, an approach shared by Gladney (1991) and Gell (1994).