Personal identity in a globalized world — a myth? flickr user liberato
A table of Matryoshkas with different characters.

In times of globalization, the high interconnectedness of social, economic and political factors is both a reality and a challenge.

In a globalized world you never know what will happen tomorrow. Globalization is definitely challenging what we are, as social human beings. As individuals feel threatened by the new emergent society, new types of self-identities appear.

As a direct consequence of the increased "flowing" of the triad of technology, communication and services, people experience certain instabilities, since they have to adapt to new situations and places. The privatization and the increased flow of goods were meant to create a stable and secure job market, whereas in some cases the opposite was true, job insecurity increased a lot.

In an increasingly globalized world, culture has emerged as a much contested topic. Culture not only is one of the main warriors of globalization, by which modern values reach external populations, but also it impacts a lot the individual and national identity. 
In many situations, globalization and modernity meant the collapse of a sense of belongingness to a certain community. The loss of the secure feeling of belongingness leads to a fear from which is born the new identity. The emphasis on individualism, on self-development and self-choice in the globalized society has resulted in a transformation of individual identity.

It makes it more difficult for individuals to consolidate and construct their identity and to find their place in society. Unlike traditional societies where identity formation was given, now the identity is a process which depends mostly on the individual only.

Identity can no more be fixed, and this contradicts not at last even the concept of identity itself. Because space and time are compressed, because of the spreading of mass-communications and technology, people find it harder to identify themselves with a specific idea or to stick to a specific group.

Since the world one lives in is permanently changing, so is one's identity — or at least, it should be. Hence, one should develop a loose identity, so it can be modeled by all factors that one encounters, or else one fails in adapting to one's own social environment. Thus, in a globalized world, assuming an identity and keeping it becomes an act of courage.
Even the unemployment is related to a problem of identity: in high school and college we are being taught a stack of values, principles and general laws that apply in theory and in practice. When college is over though, our identity is starting to be challenged, and challenged in such ways that we can’t even discern the direction that we are heading towards.
Everything comes to be different because the world is being different every second. With technology developing that fast, there are some pre-requisite skills that you are supposed to have when applying for a job, even though they are not specific to your studies. Whatever you choose to do: As a fresh graduate, you have to have so many skills that you even wonder at which point you were supposed to become a this complex, well-prepared yet still very flexible person.
The question is: How can we keep ourselves and our identities in a world that does need our specific qualities, but at the same time doesn't? In which way should go a young graduate who has barely finished studies, and who when he comes to “the real world” he discovers that rules have been changing and that knowledge is challenged and taken to another level, a level he wasn’t prepared for? Is the power to adjust to new changes the key or does this mean losing one’s identity? In a world which wants you to be original, to have your say in a different manner how can you respond to all these requirements without a form of uniformization of identities?

A bicultural identity

Maybe, as Arnett suggests in his article ”The psychology of globalization”, people have to face the challenge of adapting not only to their local culture but also to the global society. He argued that, as a consequence of globalization, most people in the world, and adolescents in particular, now develop a bicultural identity: one rooted in their local culture, and another part is attributed to the global situation. But doesn’t this duality actually endanger identity itself which risks crumbling under the pressure of one or another side of the “bi-polar” concept of it?

The possibilities young people have nowadays are so large and still extending, that the world does not represent a place to fear anymore. The access to the world has broadened in terms of communications, technology, mobility and capital. We could affirm we have a more complex and thorough view upon the world. But still, while globalization enhances us with a more certain view, it deters our identities at the same time because of the uncertainty of the role we could play in this world. Firstly because it’s permanently changing, and secondly because it challenges our local and traditional identities, and our selves which are ascribed certain values and principles according to which we function. Globalization is trying to reset these mechanisms, making them so flexible in a way that they finally become too weak to be hold together, and crash. Hence, we are obliged to live in a permanent future, in the world of “what will happen” or “what is going to happen”, as integration and adjustment to the new order become the key answers to all our questions.

After so many questions though, what would be the answer then? Well, I would say that if taken moderately, globalization can be a great experience and can help us grow in so many ways. It can offer us a great insight towards the world and can lead us to discover unexpected sights of our personalities, and build new identities that we have feared before. Still, in order to enjoy this, we have to previously hold a well-consolidated identity, a set of standards of behavior that we are not so willing to give up upon and that will help us to get the most of the exterior world, while holding onto our selves. Any trip is great as long as you are there. When you are no longer there, it’s not great because it stops being. So as with globalization: as long as it’s us and as long as we won’t let our national, traditional, cultural values be wiped away, we will enjoy it.
If we give up our true essence, however, globalization will become nothing more but a greedy process, trying to encompass as many identities as possible in order to feed its big homogenized identity. National identities are a safety belt that can save us and that can prove so efficient in the process of not losing our uniqueness and originality. Although adjustment to the changing world is a must and is highly recommended, keeping our national and personal conscience becomes a matter of urgency. We can enjoy being all the same only when we are different. It is not about what the world can do for us, but what we can do for the world. And the best thing we can do is to stay ourselves.