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Being the Real You
Being real, authentic, or having integrity
Being real, authentic, or having integrity
Being real, genuine or authentic as a person generally means being true to one's character. A person who is said to be real or genuine therefore possesses all the character or qualities attributed to them, and is free of any hypocrisy in their portrayal of the claimed/attributed qualities or characters. As such, a real, genuine or authentic person can be trusted, and are less likely to change their position.
Definition of terms
Institutional locus - this is where the self is based on adhering to the societal norms
Impulsive - impulsive locus is largely defined by a spontaneous action or reaction to an event/situation
According to Turner, the real self is recognized differently between different people. For some, the real self is located in the social institutions and the role they play in these institutions. A good example of this is where one identifies him or herself as a son, a daughter, a student, or a friend etc. In this case, the real self is recognized as being located in a given social institution. Given that we all tend to play a given role in the society, some will associate their real self with the role they play in their surroundings. On the other hand, the real self may be located in the impulsive reaction to their respective situations or to events. Based on institutions or impulse, Turner begins by noting that people will define their individual actions/feelings as the representation of their true self (Ralph, 1968).
With regards to the institutional locus of the self, behaviors may portray the true self of an individual through conformity to various ideals, values or norms among others. This may include what they achieve; their personal qualities of how the demonstrate competence. Here, efforts have to be directed against impulse, where one has to overcome impulse in order to align actions, behavior or even attitudes with given societal standards. This shows that the society or environment of the individual plays the central role with regards to the real- self of an individual. On the other hand, when an individual abandons the standards of the society, and thus the institutions set up by the society in question, their real self is based on impulse. In the case of impulsive orientation, one tends to pursue their interest, doing what they feel like. Here, the individual abandons whatever is viewed as the norm of propriety and courtesy in order to freely pursue what they feel like.
According to Turner, societal shifts have resulted in changes to the definition of the self. With these rapid changes, sense of real self has also shifted from the self founded on institutions to the sense of self based on impulse (Howard, 1991). This has largely been attributed to the repudiation of the institutional identities, which has been found to be as a result of the every growing sense of unreality, which derives from the efforts of institutional people to be all their roles, an impossibility during times of heightened social upheaval. Throughout history, various ideals have been disapproved while different other ideologies in societies have proved to be limiting of human progression. For this reason, various standards set by society's religions and politics among others have also been found to negatively affect some groups of people, and thus the need to abandon societal standards in order to pursue what they feel like.
Although my definition of the real self appears to include both the institutional and impulsive perspectives, it is largely concerned with impulse given that is emphasizes in a person being true to their character. This has to a large extent been shaped by my cultural background as well as historical life circumstances. In the course of my childhood, a majority of the people in my community adhered to certain aspects and ideologies that were popular and common to all. This included going to Church every Sunday, meeting and agreeing in certain matters concerning politics and rejecting given minorities in to the community. However, as time passed, some of the members of the society began to question these ideologies, and even rejecting them. With time, there was significant change in the society, where a good number of the youth went on to make decisions and engage in activities that generally went against the expectations and standards of the society that had existed for a long time. Rather than pretending to accept and adhere to the standards set by society, these individuals have accepted their true self, and abandoned these standards and societal institutions to question their religious leaders and political leaders, engage in activism to challenge the status quo and thus be able to live life as they see fit. This has differentiated the real self in to the two main categories identified by Turner as those based on institutions and those based on impulse.