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Raquel Evita Saraswati

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What identity groups do you belong to?
May 5, 2008

Do you identify with a particular group? More than one?

Does identifying with a group make you feel like more of an individual? Why or why not?

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Kirsten

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Re: What identity groups do you belong to?
May 6, 2008

For me it is hard to say what identity group I belong to. My parents are Scottish, I was born in Canada, and spent many years living outside of Canada. Religion has never been terribly prominent in my house either, so although I am christened as Christian I wouldn't necessarily identify myself as Christian...but religion for me is a whole other story. (I believe in kindness and humanity, so no matter what religion you are these are common traits that we should all share).


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Genie

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Re: What identity groups do you belong to?
May 8, 2008

I've been battling the need to identify with a group. After letting go of Christianity I found myself desperate to belong to some group on a spiritual level. It's taken me years to realize that I don't have to be an "ist" or an "ian" or an "im." I also struggle with the issue of not belonging to a specific political group. I guess it's human nature to want to belong to something so that we can identify ourselves. Learning to just be me is harder than I thought it could ever be!


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Muzzy Mydin

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Re: What identity groups do you belong to?
May 10, 2008

I guess i do
i identify myself as a human being first and then as a muslim to all my friends.

Does it make me feel like more of an individual?
Well i do not think so because we all human beings are born free and equal in dignity
and rights, as a result of that, it does not matter which group we are being identified with, each and every one of us is still endowed with different reason and conscience toward one another.


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SlicNic5150

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Re: What identity groups do you belong to?
May 11, 2008

What identity group do I belong to?
1st human (with all the imperfections the word implies)
2nd Soldier (with all the pride it implies)
3rd Cancer Survivor
4th Non-Believer (I can’t really say Atheist because I have no issues with organized religion, I simply don’t believe in God)

Does identifying with a group make you feel more like an individual? Why or why not?
No.
The idea of a GROUP integrated by commonalities makes individuality secondary to the identity of what its members have in common. Did that last sentence make sense to anyone but me?


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Raquel Evita Saraswati

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Re: What identity groups do you belong to?
May 13, 2008


Slic wrote:

What identity group do I belong to?
1st human (with all the imperfections the word implies)
2nd Soldier (with all the pride it implies)
3rd Cancer Survivor
4th Non-Believer (I can’t really say Atheist because I have no issues with organized religion, I simply don’t believe in God)

Does identifying with a group make you feel more like an individual? Why or why not?
No.
The idea of a GROUP integrated by commonalities makes individuality secondary to the identity of what its members have in common. Did that last sentence make sense to anyone but me?


That made a lot of sense, Nic. And I have definitely seen/been part of communities where this is a problem. Individual voices get lost in a fight to preserve the singular commonality. One of the dangers of identity politics is that we may get involved with an identity group based on one of our attributes -- and that attribute may have little or nothing to do with how we actually treat other people or live our lives. Or, the people in the group may not care to understand why your own unique experience makes you slightly - or very - different from the group.

On the other hand - I am able to see now (as opposed to when I was, say, in college) how my individuality benefits, rather than undermines, the groups to which I belong.

It may not always be an easy series of conversations, but especially for those of us who believe that the planet's "breathtaking diversity" is absolutely intentional on the part of our Creator - there's no need to sacrifice the self in the name of unity, if that unity isn't authentic. We are most united when we respect our own pluralism.


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SlicNic5150

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Re: What identity groups do you belong to?
May 13, 2008


RaquelEvita wrote:




That made a lot of sense, Nic. And I have definitely seen/been part of communities where this is a problem. Individual voices get lost in a fight to preserve the singular commonality. One of the dangers of identity politics is that we may get involved with an identity group based on one of our attributes -- and that attribute may have little or nothing to do with how we actually treat other people or live our lives. Or, the people in the group may not care to understand why your own unique experience makes you slightly - or very - different from the group.

On the other hand - I am able to see now (as opposed to when I was, say, in college) how my individuality benefits, rather than undermines, the groups to which I belong.

It may not always be an easy series of conversations, but especially for those of us who believe that the planet's "breathtaking diversity" is absolutely intentional on the part of our Creator - there's no need to sacrifice the self in the name of unity, if that unity isn't authentic. We are most united when we respect our own pluralism.


I agree whole heartedly with your views on individuality. However, the question before me is: “Does identifying w/ a group make you feel more like an individual? Why or why not?

No. Being an individual is what makes me feel like an individual. By definition the “group identity” supersedes the personal identity in a group setting. Regardless of the singular attributes I bring to humanity, Military Service, cancer survivors or non-believers it is the labels human, soldier, cancer survivor & non-believer that resonates most strongly w/in those separate groups. That does not mean that my singular attributes are unnoticed, unappreciated or un-irritating, interchangeably on an individual level by other members of those groups. It just means that the commonalities are what unite us.


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Raquel Evita Saraswati

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Re: What identity groups do you belong to?
May 13, 2008


Slic wrote:


RaquelEvita wrote:




That made a lot of sense, Nic. And I have definitely seen/been part of communities where this is a problem. Individual voices get lost in a fight to preserve the singular commonality. One of the dangers of identity politics is that we may get involved with an identity group based on one of our attributes -- and that attribute may have little or nothing to do with how we actually treat other people or live our lives. Or, the people in the group may not care to understand why your own unique experience makes you slightly - or very - different from the group.

On the other hand - I am able to see now (as opposed to when I was, say, in college) how my individuality benefits, rather than undermines, the groups to which I belong.

It may not always be an easy series of conversations, but especially for those of us who believe that the planet's "breathtaking diversity" is absolutely intentional on the part of our Creator - there's no need to sacrifice the self in the name of unity, if that unity isn't authentic. We are most united when we respect our own pluralism.


I agree whole heartedly with your views on individuality. However, the question before me is: “Does identifying w/ a group make you feel more like an individual? Why or why not?

No. Being an individual is what makes me feel like an individual. By definition the “group identity” supersedes the personal identity in a group setting. Regardless of the singular attributes I bring to humanity, Military Service, cancer survivors or non-believers it is the labels human, soldier, cancer survivor & non-believer that resonates most strongly w/in those separate groups. That does not mean that my singular attributes are unnoticed, unappreciated or un-irritating, interchangeably on an individual level by other members of those groups. It just means that the commonalities are what unite us.


Makes total sense, and I'd largely agree. Very often individualism is stifled by a group setting. Or a unique attribute might be used to tokenize someone - thereby alienating them - rather than to see the individual as genuinely valuable.


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Raquel Evita Saraswati

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Re: What identity groups do you belong to?
May 13, 2008


Slic wrote:


RaquelEvita wrote:




On the other hand - I am able to see now (as opposed to when I was, say, in college) how my individuality benefits, rather than undermines, the groups to which I belong.

It may not always be an easy series of conversations, but especially for those of us who believe that the planet's "breathtaking diversity" is absolutely intentional on the part of our Creator - there's no need to sacrifice the self in the name of unity, if that unity isn't authentic. We are most united when we respect our own pluralism.


I agree whole heartedly with your views on individuality. However, the question before me is: “Does identifying w/ a group make you feel more like an individual? Why or why not?

No. Being an individual is what makes me feel like an individual. By definition the “group identity” supersedes the personal identity in a group setting. Regardless of the singular attributes I bring to humanity, Military Service, cancer survivors or non-believers it is the labels human, soldier, cancer survivor & non-believer that resonates most strongly w/in those separate groups. That does not mean that my singular attributes are unnoticed, unappreciated or un-irritating, interchangeably on an individual level by other members of those groups. It just means that the commonalities are what unite us.



A group setting might also highlight one's own individualism. For example, if I am in a group that is largely Muslim, the conversation generally turns to our views on faith. In this setting, I find that plenty of my views are equal to those around me, but some differ greatly. I'm permitted to be part of a group based on a commonality, but have no choice but to recognize myself as an individual as well.


When one doesn't feel like his or her whole self is represented, what are ways to preserve individuality?

This post was edited on: 2008-05-13 at 08:48 AM by: RaquelEvita


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Genie

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Re: What identity groups do you belong to?
May 13, 2008

When one doesn't feel like his or her whole self is represented, what are ways to preserve individuality?

Wow, Raquel, I suddenly realize how fortuante I am to have never felt that my individuality was being suppressed or ignored by any group that I was a part of. I can only conceive of being my unique, individual self. I've never felt that I had to fight for the opportunity to express it and I have no idea how I would overcome suppression of self.

I am very blessed in this life.


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Raquel Evita Saraswati

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Re: What identity groups do you belong to?
May 13, 2008


Genielorene wrote:

When one doesn't feel like his or her whole self is represented, what are ways to preserve individuality?

Wow, Raquel, I suddenly realize how fortuante I am to have never felt that my individuality was being suppressed or ignored by any group that I was a part of. I can only conceive of being my unique, individual self. I've never felt that I had to fight for the opportunity to express it and I have no idea how I would overcome suppression of self.

I am very blessed in this life.


Genielorene, great comment.

Lest you think I was going to let you off the hook big grin, my question to you becomes this:

What will you do to help those who have not been blessed with the freedom - and safety - to express themselves? What do you believe your community can do?


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Genie

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Re: What identity groups do you belong to?
May 13, 2008

What will you do to help those who have not been blessed with the freedom - and safety - to express themselves? What do you believe your community can do?

And there lies the crux for me. What can I do? I don't have money to pour into interests groups that really can take action. I can vote. I can sign petitions. I can encourage. I can provide phone numbers, information, and help make people more aware of their rights. I can try and get involved in forums like this one. But what can I actually DO?

That's why I'm here. I'm hoping to see examples of how I can make a real contribution to freedom and to peace.


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SlicNic5150

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Re: What identity groups do you belong to?
May 14, 2008

When one doesn't feel like his or her whole self is represented, what are ways to preserve individuality?


By not letting yourself be DEFINED by the few commonalities that make up the “group.”

You can identify as a Muslim if that is your religion of choice. Staying true to your individual views of faith is the source of your individuality from the group. The others will either accept your individuality (the part of you that is not in common with them) or they won’t. The bottom line is, you don’t need their permission to continue identifying as a Muslim and practicing that faith.

This post was edited on: 2008-05-14 at 06:19 PM by: Slic

This post was edited on: 2008-05-14 at 06:21 PM by: Slic


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Arnold Yasin Mol

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Re: What identity groups do you belong to?
May 16, 2008

Hello all,

How is identity and group connected? I believe this differs with every stage of age someone is in. When I was younger, being part of a group was more important then it is now I'm older.

I live in the Netherlands, a very secular and open society. And very individualistic. From the 1960's on the individualistic concept grew which could be seen first in the Churches as their members were very few. The drug use as a recreational habit grew, and sexuality in society increased. This happened also in other Western countries.

In the 1990's individuality became a form of selfishness, society grew harder, social involvement was less. Families were not taking care of each other. Everything that was seen as a threat to a person's individuality was avoided.

Your best friend was rarely your own brother or sister.

Now in 2008, Churches are getting more members and sense of spirituality has increased. Families are more social, and social awareness has become more prominent in politics and in schools.

These observations are very interesting as it tells two things:

1. A group may not threaten someone's individuality in thinking and personality.

2. Individuality may not turn in selfishness and hardness, which can destroy the harmony of the group.

A group is needed not for identity I believe, but for social exchange of ideas, nourishment, protection and care.

Groups that base their ideas on dogma and superioirty are a threat to each members and to other groups. These groups are harmful.

When all groups on earth all focus on social exchange of ideas, nourishment, protection and care, then eventualy they all merge into one which we are already seeing on Earth with the UN, European Union and so on.

For myself, what am I? I am a native Dutch. Grew up with Indonesian, Antilian, Iranian, African and Hispanic people. When I was 20 I turned Muslim and so also was exposed to Turkish and Moroccan culture identity.

I am a graffiti writer, skateboarder, scientist and was part of the local hiphop scene.

A whole list of groups have influenced me, I always tried to take the best of all and combine them.

Do I belong to a group? No. Am I involved in any? In many groups.


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Arnold Yasin Mol

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Re: What identity groups do you belong to?
May 16, 2008

In the end, all groups will merge into another. And each will bring in their own good things, and mankind will eventually reject the bad things that are oppressing in a sort of way.

And I see these truths relfected in the Qur'an:

30:22 And of His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the Earth, and the diversity of your tongues and colors. Herein, behold, are Signs for those who make best use of what they learn.

49:13 O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes so that you might (affectionately) come to know one another. Surely, the most honored among you, in the sight of God, is the one who is best in conduct. God is Knower,
Aware.

13:17 …While what is of benefit to mankind, abides on Earth.

2:219 mankind is but one single community…


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