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Roots and Routes: Constructing Identity as Narrative Perspective

A person forms identity by viewing and analyzing themselves and others. Kate Woodward (Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The Open University) explains how individuals and the wider world relate through homophones,  roots, and routes. By comparing the many factors (emerging from distinct socio-cultural contexts) that interact, combine, and evolve, one develops an overall idea of how they relate together and communicate as a whole. Hence, identity is both a result of the traits that shape and support one’s background and growth—like roots—as well as the paths one makes and takes throughout life—like routes. Similarly, I believe that just like these roots and roots can be perceived as a story about the individual or thing described, identity can also be understood as a story.

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