Difference between personal and social identity

According to the social perspective, there are mainly two types of identity: social and personal. Personal identity, also defined as individualistic, private and idiocentric, analyzes the different processes that activate individuals to know if themselves. It can take on positive or negative connotations depending on whether the subjects show a high or low self-concept, therefore a good or negative self-esteem. Based on the latter, people decide whether or not to belong to a particular group. Social identity, also called collective or allocentric, is defined as the part of the self that derives from the awareness of belonging to a social group with rights, duties, resources and prescriptions for specific behaviors. Professional identity is an important component of social identity.

personale identity scheme

The representation of oneself can therefore be disaggregated into its two components: personal and social. The first relates to that set of characteristics that the individual thinks he possesses (aptitudes, abilities, attitudes, potential) and it is built on the basis of personal experience filtered through subjective interpretative schemes. The second derives from the awareness of belonging to a certain social group and the value weight that it attributes to it within a complex social structure; professional identity is therefore a significant component of it.

It is through these complex processes, strongly intertwined with relational dynamics, that self-esteem, the perception of self-efficacy and the locus of control are formed, essential elements in determining our behaviors and expectations.