Identity is people’s source of meaning and experience. As Calhoun writes:

We know of no people without names, no languages or cultures in which some manner of distinctions between self and other, we and they, are not made . . . Self-knowledge – always a construction no matter how much it feels like a discovery – is never altogether separable from claims to be known in specific ways by others. Calhoun (1994: 9–10)


Identity is constructed according to the interests of power. Thus, the interaction between power and identity is nonlinear. (The New Context 2012.) Within the social construction of identity marked by power relationships there are three forms and origins of identity:

Legitimising identity, refers to the dominants of society who to extend and rationalise their domination would inject fear to those around them.

Resistance identity, refers to the devalued or stigmatised by domination, survival on different basis of principles from the opposed those permeating the institutions of society, as Calhoun proposes when explaining the emergence of identity politics**

Project identity, would refer to new identity that redefines their current position in society, would seek to transform themselves and the overall social structure for change.

It lies within these types of required identity by which we can gain expected power. For example, Flick (Bugs life, 1997) has a resistance identity Calhoun would observed, where as, the villain hopper has legitimising identity, psychically bigger and stronger than all ants in the colony; even though he knows they are more intelligent and are greater in number. He is physical dominant.

The Antihero and assistant Mayor, Bellwether (Zootopia, 2016) relates to project identity, a diminutive sheep turned deceptive and a cunning mastermind. Most of the film Bellwether is the subordinate to Mayor Lionheart of Zootopia, from this position Bellwether becomes power hungry; adapts a deeply prejudiced view against the predators sick of being viewed by society as a weak prey and never getting recognised for her work. This is a metaphor for under-valued women in the work place, working for men in the CEO positions, working harder than the men in CEO position and not being paid like a CEO.



Manuel Castells. Power of Identity: The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture, Blackwell Publishers, 1997.

The New Context: The Relationship Between Power & Identity, 2012.

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