As we all know that we are social animals and to communicate our view points, our feelings or our opinions, we naturally seek out people or groups with same belonging or thinking as of us.
A person can have the two aspects of identities, one which has own individual’s perspective and the other which he can get from his social group, that is, the people with whom he spend his maximum time. There is a natural dichotomy between the two sides of one’s personality that is usually displayed between different types of social groups with which an individual can identify oneself.
Its important to be gregarious to some extent to need to know yourself. Companionship matters a lot, it can help you being a person you want to be in life. A person generally joins a social group for gathering and hanging out because he or she would think that its a same kind of group with same mentality as of oneself whether its true or not. But the important part is that, he or she would like to become the same as that of this particular group to be able to fit in. So, for example, consider a person who grew up poor and poorly educated, but became wealthy due to some lottery or inheritance of some wealthy relative. Now this person starts going to pubs or cafes and starts splurging around in gambling and become acquaintance with some group who regularly do that for the sake of gaining expertise in gambling and to be like them. Through joining these social groups, the individual is seeking to define him or herself as socially elite, although the only difference now is that the person has great wealth and in reality probably does not fit in with the other members of the groups. In this case, one’s self-definition by identifying with social groups does not match up with how society still identifies the individual.
On the other hand, there are some people who clearly demonstrates themselves about their identification with irrefutable social groups. Some people join religious groups in order to know about their religions and gain knowledge. These kind of groups have clear identity of their members that is common to all. Political organizations such as National Organization for Women also serves the clear identity to its members. In all of these cases, individual’s perceptions about oneself is kind of similar as that of group’s perception about that individual. These type of groups teaches the person’s very fundamental values and joining one is probably the person’s way of saying that “this is who I am”.
Joining other types of groups may or may not indicate the person’s identification. For example, being a Republican or Democrat may be a matter of just joining the party your parents are into. Spending time with particular group of friends may only mean that you like one of the people in your group or you have nothing else better to do at that point of time or you just want to enjoy or relax, it may have sometimes irrelevant to self identification. It may be just the matter of convenience.
It totally depends on an individual and particular social group under discussion as to primarily identify ourselves through association with social groups. Once its identified, there should be still a determination to identify whether the individual joined this group for personal identification purposes or to just impress upon others a certain image of that individual.