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IDENTITY, STATE, AND TRADITION: A THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE
Corresponding Author(s) : Ankita Dutta
Humanities & Social Sciences Reviews,
Vol. 8 No. 3 (2020): May
Purpose of the Study: This research endeavors to highlight the complex notion of ‘identity’ and the process of identity formation that involves complex socio-political dynamics that need to be located within the larger socio-cultural spectrum.
Methodology: The study is based upon a socio-political and socio-anthropological analysis of the questions of identity, state, tradition, and culture. It has been carried out using relevant theories and concepts borrowed chiefly from the available literature on political sociology and anthropology. It is based on a theorization of the concept of identity as a societal construct and its dynamic relationship with not only the state but also people’s traditional beliefs and practices.
Main Findings: Based upon secondary sources, the results of the study showed that ‘identity’ as a social construct is based on various conflicts and contestations centering around people’s diverse identities at one and the same time. Identity politics plays a crucial role in the context of the state machinery, which is not a static entity. It is very much affected by the changes taking place within society, which, in itself, is representative of diversity and heterogeneity. People’s traditional beliefs and practices also play a significant role in the formation of identities through institutions recognized as “traditional.” They play an important role in reflecting the changing power relations in society through the instrument of law.
Applications of this Study: Both formal state laws and community-backed laws are indispensable in our society because they function within a particular social context that is responsible for the gradual process of internalization of the law and legal processes among people. This, in turn, gets reflected in the formation of various social identities among different groups and communities of people.
Novelty/Originality of this study: This research builds a model to understand the different ways in which institutions recognized as “traditional” create new identities or reinforce the already existing ones vis-à-vis the different stages of political development in a society.
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