A person’s identity indicates something about them. As a set of social classifications, identity is created by viewing two or more people or groups in relation to one another (oneself is included). Identity is a paradox in two ways.
First, it is constantly in flux, but at the same time, suggests an ever-developing constant within a person. How someone chooses to identify his/herself (or someone else) can change over time; there can be momentary or long-term changes. For example:
- Momentary: Role as friend takes precedence over role as student if a friend is in a car accident.
- Long-Term: Gender or sexuality can fluctuate over time.
Second, a person’s understanding of their own identity affects the lens through which they view his/herself and others.