This site contains the archives of my travel blogs from 2010-2016.

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Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Being, and the road to Becoming

As I spend much of my time reading, getting deeper into my PhD work which revolves around the concept of identity, I feel like I'm re-considering many ideas that feel vaguely familiar, as if at one time I was convinced of their truth based on pure intuition.  A pretty amazing thing about studying identity is that at every turn of a page you're forced to reconsider the very essence of yourself, how you understand yourself, how you see yourself in relation to the world around you, and how you are evolving.

It turns out that (social) identity is somewhat malleable: it can change and fluctuate over time, it is influenced by the social environment we are born into -- a social environment whose philosophies and social practices have been mutually reinforcing for centuries.  I'm tempted to talk about different social universes, because it seems that most people never break out of the one they're born into.  Having traveled extensively for a decade, I'm only now coming to understand the true magnitude of social structures and their implications for our everyday life.  Richard E. Nisbett's The Geography of Thought is currently blowing my mind...

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