1.1 Who do you think you are?
Take a moment to think about the question: ‘Who am I?’
Let’s look at how you might answer this question.
Activity 2: Who am I?
Write down as many different answers to the question ‘Who am I?’ as quickly as you can in the box below, in whatever order they come to you. Try to write at least 20 different things. There are no right or wrong answers. (Adapted from: Twenty Statements Test by Kuhn and McPartland, 1954)
|HighlightedWho am I?|
|I am …|
Now write down your thoughts in answer to the following questions:
- How many of the ways you described yourself were things that connected you to other people or groups?
- How many were things that you value most about yourself personally?
- Did anything surprise you?
All of you will have different ideas about who you are. You may have described a community or groups you feel you belong to through your connections with other people such as your family, religion, the place where you live, or your culture. You may also have described some of the things you value about yourself personally. For example, that you are a caring person or funny or interesting or good at football or a thinker. In other words, you can be many different things at the same time.
You may also have found it harder to describe your personal values than your values in relation to other people or your community. If so, take a few minutes to note down some more things in Table 1 that you value about who you are personally now. You will be able to view this table again in Session 3.
This exercise was based on one created by two social researchers, Manford Kuhn and Thomas Partland, many years ago in 1954, to understand how people see themselves. They spotted that people generally describe themselves in two sorts of ways: how they see their role in the world socially and in the groups they belong to (their social identity); and how they see themselves personally. They also discovered that for most people their social identity and the groups or community they feel they belong to can be particularly important. This is especially the case in contexts of social conflict.