Who are you? How do you identify yourself? How do you identify others? Social identity plays a role in nearly everything we do. And understanding the top 8 groups and how they impact your daily life will take you a long way in understanding others – and yourself.
When you think about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, it’s important to note all the different social identity groups that exist. Understanding how these identifiers impact the experiences, viewpoints and thoughts of others is vital in our interpersonal relationships, the workplace and in public spaces.
While there are countless ways to categorize people, there are 8 basic groups. Here they are:
This social construct is based on physical traits like skin color and hair texture.
This social construct is based on how someone acts and appears outwardly based on their perceived sexual organs.
This social construct can be based on physical appearance and also generational differences.
This social construct spans the differences in the physical, mental, cognitive, developmental, learning and emotional state of a person. Trauma and abuse can also play a role.
This social construct has to do with someone’s physical or sexual attraction – or lack thereof – toward others.
This social construct pertains to someone’s belief in a God or gods, or their specific religion or spiritual practice or belief.
This social construct pertains to a person’s status or presence in the United States.
This social construct has several factors: Income, education, occupation and employment status.
When you were reading through those, you probably were thinking of the ways you fit – or didn’t fit – into certain categories. Our identity is like a mosaic, made up of different parts to form a whole piece. And when you look at your identity, you start to realize how the different categories overlap or intersect – which can create different advantages, disadvantages and discrimination or privilege.
It isn’t always easy, as a complex person, to describe the totality of your social identity.
That’s why it’s important to take the time to think about yours – how you see yourself and how others might see you. And it’s important to keep doing this work, as our identities can change or evolve over time.
REdCon is an organizational development firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio, with satellite offices in Washington, DC, and Las Vegas. We provide training, coaching, and strategic planning to a wide range of industries including, education, municipalities, non-profits, technology firms, and Fortune 500 companies.