Word Bank

Kwame Anthony Appiah

quote/ Concept “There’s something misleading or mistaken about the pictures that underline these identities and yet they bind us together in spite of that. They do bring people together, as well as divide people, and I think that the lies, the untruths, are often a very important part of how they work. They’re important to how people are held together.”

Meaning:  That just by having these labels as your so called identity can bring you closer to a group of people but can also shift you away from people.  Having that label means that you are who you are.  Some people think that because of there identity that they have a special place in society.


Concept:  Do you think that identities force us to reduce ourselves and other people to abstractions?

Meaning:  The people don’t really realize how diverse the identity groups are that we think that because a white person does this or a black person does this that we have to do what they do so we match because of our identities match or we have the same skin color or where you grew up.


Concept: Each of us has multiple overlapping identities. In my case, I’m white and male and straight and American and a journalist and on and on. What determines which of these identities are activated at any given time?

Meaning:  They can get activated by what setting you are in such as in who you are with or what you’re doing and also what you have done your whole life and also based on what you think you are.

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