Do you agree that time, place and social changes influence the development of the individual’s identity?
Sometimes what is considered normal in one period or place may not be in another. For example, contemporary laddism is used as ‘a defensive response to the misconception that ‘women are winning the battle of the sexes’, while in the 1950s and the 1980s the concept was used as a reaction against the ‘family man role’ and androgyny consecutively (Phipps and Young, 2014, p. 307).
This example shows that identity is influenced by the change in historical and biographical contexts of the society, supporting the claim that identity is socially constructed. The difference in sexual scripts between Russian women before and after the Soviet Union period can also be used to illustrate the historical changes in identity narratives over time. Temkina and Zdravomyslova (2015) suggested that women in the Soviet Union period used sexual fatalism to construct their identities. Within this narrative, women believe that their sexual lives depend on fate and out of their control.
In contrast, the younger generation who are born after the Soviet Union period identified their narratives as reflexive projects and consider themselves to be more active, responsible and competent in sexual relationships than the older generation (Temkina and Zdravomyslova, 2015). The change in identity over time may suggest individuals’ agency can change from ingrained cultural norms, supporting the idea that identity is a two-way process and individuals do take part in shaping the cultural norms that shape their identities.