Discourse and identity
DOI link for Discourse and identity
Discourse and identity book
This chapter explores the meaning of the term 'identity' and explains how academic views of this concept have changed. It contextualises the changes in thinking about identity, and links them with some specific philosophical traditions. Academic approaches to identity show some commonality with the everyday meanings. A distinctive difference between discourse approaches to identity and that of everyday meanings is that identity is not seen as an unchanging 'reality'. The concept of the enlightenment 'subject' is one of identity as core attributes – a set of characteristics possessed by an individual, making up the inner essence of their 'selfhood'. The sense of self is regulated not just in the own processes of identification, but in the rich cultural and linguistic landscapes with which people engage in everyday talk and text, including the social categories of identity. According to Stuart Hall's framework, the postmodern subject is conceived in radically different ways than in the previous two conceptions of subjectivity or identity.