If we remove a child from a parent, the parent is not going to be very important to that child's upbringing or identity. However this does not mean that the parent can or will not ascribe importance to the existence of his or her offspring. To the contrary, the parent is likely to be obsessed with the separation from his or her child, making it highly important in his or her life, GIVING it importance.
So while your suggestion is correct in nature it is inadequate to describe how human identity is produced (culture). Which is exactly Zarathushtra's point: You are your thoughts (to then fill that identity with your words and actions in a similar manner). You produce your world through subjective experience.
Plants and animals don't, but we do.
Importance is not part of the substance of anything NOR is it a mentally subjective attribute.
Rather it is a property of a relationship between two things.
Something can only be said to be important in relation to something else. Something being important means it will have a BIG IMPORT for something else i.e. have a POTENTIAL BIG IMPACT on it.
A person who is a father will be important to their children because of the big impact they have on their lives. That same person is not important to unrelated people. But this is not just a subjective attribute (if subjective means mentally constructed). Of course people have the power to construct their own SENSE of IMPORTANCE (sense of what is important) which may or may not match the reality of the situation.
Similarly IDENTITY is a property of the relationship of a person or thing to the rest of the world. It is neither a property of a thing in itself not a mentally constructed thing.
A person's identity starts with their physical relationship to the world - what physical location their bodies occupy. From this springs the position they occupy in the complex dynamic web of actions and consequences that make up the activity of the world.
Again it is SENSE OF IDENTITY which has to be constructed. A good mental sense of identity will orientate a person effectively so that they know what are the actions worth doing.
A person has only ONE IDENTITY - i.e. they are only one person - but they may have multiple SENSES of IDENTITY - because each sense of identity only captures a partial aspect of their true IDENTITY.
--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Alexander Bard
> Whether something is important or not is really up to us. Nothing IS
> important in itself. Importance is not part of the substance of anything.
> It is a subjective attribute, nothing more, nothing less. And sure you can
> have as many identities as yoy like. As human beings we have at least as
> many identities as we have relationships with other human beings. Attaching
> only ONE identity to a person is nothing but a social convention. What is
> singular is not identity but BODY.
> 2011/11/12 Daniel Samani
> > Oh that is a very helpful replys indeed!
> > Dino: Could you please explain for the ones not initialized, what "socio-symbolic
> > resources" means. As I have no actual grasp myself. Also can there be one
> > or many identities in your view?
> > Alex: Me writing this and who I am at this very moment is the same thing?
> > How is this something of great importance? Is the reason for this ("you and
> > your behavior") that our behavior is what people judge me from? And also
> > the way I can get an idea myself of who I am?
> > Ushta
> > Daniel