The labyrinth of identity.

In the present day context, the question of identity becomes imperative with the unexpected upheaval brought about by the advancement in the technological arena which has in turn transformed the whole globe to a village. Identity denotes to individual physiognomies and/or mannerisms that cannot be logically expressed in terms of a shared consortium. Besides in some circumstances certain classes can be categorized as “identities” despite the fact that no one sees them as vigorous to their personal individuality.

Scholars have found that those who have made a strong commitment to an identity to be happier and healthier than those who have not. But, here my entire focus is going to be on those who have not or rather I would like to call it as the identity diffusion – those who tend to feel out of place in the world and don’t pursue a sense of identity and gets marginalized. They carry different identities at different circumstances.

Marginality is a social status which is affecting millions worldwide. It can be in the form of not 
promoting one’s self determination in controlling the behavior in given two or more different sets of social segments.

Having said that, let me try to relate it to the actual world reality - 

As a part of my work, it is mandatory I walk into top IT corridors to make client visits and something that I have observed has given me a dangerous sign of us being and living amongst duplicitous people – exposing the difference in their ‘acceptance’ behavior on one side of the gate and a behavior which in my terms is like bursting off after being distended, when on the other side of the gate.

Why is there an obvious sign of hypocrisy?

I am going to continue writing with the ‘average’ Indian in the mind and to do a simple math – 8/10 will fall in this category. If you are going to come under the remaining 2 then enjoy and don’t get offended.

Let us take any average ‘responsible’ corporate professional – it can be you or me, and let’s follow his/her life inside and outside the gate of the IT corridor. The same person – give him/her a name – probably yours, a face – probably yours again.

Would you not use the pedestrian crossing to get to the other side inside a campus? Listen to the security persons standing there signaling you to stop and not sit on the grass or not walk on this side of the road – don’t you listen when you have to be frisked every time you get out and walk in? Do you ever remember throwing the paper plate on the floor after eating the Samosa? Or rather – have you got any faint remembrance of walking into the corridor wearing your flip flops? Tell me you ever got tired and not opened your back bag when the security wanted to check you at 5:00 pm in the evening. NEVER – have you ever behaved ‘outside’ the acceptable norms while inside the gate and you have been so proud of following and being bound by a ‘corporate culture’.

Now, let’s bring the same you outside the gate and the first move to happen is to spit on the road – why? “I pay my taxes and I have the rights”. The law enforcers stop you from crossing – and you retort with your influence of your friend’s uncle being the neighbor or an ex- politician. Jumping signals, smoking in public places, peeing on the road, littering the place all over like it is your birth right and still have the audacity to give an explanation as these are all so normal and acceptable.

There is a case in psychology called operant conditioning, that I recently read and it gave me a near answer as to why people behave like split personalities. Operant conditioning also depends on reinforcers (consequences) to strengthen a given behavior. For example, a child may learn to open a box to get the candy inside, or learn to avoid touching a hot stove. These are stimulus – control procedures.

However unacceptable the behavior is, there is a slight flaw in the system as well.

The same ‘acceptable’ behavior from inside the gate can replace the ‘so- called’ acceptable behavior outside it by a mere shift of focus from punishments to reinforcements. According to operant conditioning, the subject’s probability to positive behavior increases with both a positive or negative reinforcement and it reduces with positive and negative punishments – and this is the catch here.

This occurs when a behavior (response) is rewarding or the behavior is followed by another stimulus that is rewarding, or by the removal of an aversive stimulus, thereby increasing that behavior's frequency – a positive reinforcement happens, and in the behavior of the people it is proven.

Going forward, I wish as a part of CSR, these corporates train the employees as hostages and bring them to a stage where they express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, and then the Stockholm syndrome happens which will positively make them replicate the internal acceptable behavior to the outside world as well.

Remember, your identity cannot be found or fabricated – it has to emerge from within when you have finally developed the guts to let go the lethargy and bring the change from within.


  1. Writing an article about present scenario,maybe a new vision abt current situation. Give your view from all angle


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