Defending Identities that Influence our Beliefs and what we can know

Human beings can be identified through their identities. One can identify who or what kind of a person someone is through identities. The elements of identities include race, gender, ethnicity, age and personality. Identities can be associated with beliefs and knowledge. In this case, human beings tend to uphold beliefs due to their identities. Identities also tend to influence what a person can know. Epistemologists are concerned with how identity is related to a person’s beliefs and what one can know.  In this essay, I argue that the beliefs and knowledge of an individual are predetermined by identity.

            In order to understand my thesis statement, you have to understand the terms belief, knowledge and identities. One can add on identities that human beings also have social, cultural, and personal identities. Beliefs are the accepted terms or things that people assume to exist despite not having evidence of their existence. For example, one can believe strongly discriminates against other cultures. Knowledge or to know something involves acquiring skills or information through experiences or understanding in institutions. Through understanding the definitions of the terms, it is possible to determine how identity acts as an influencer. In my view, identity influences beliefs and knowledge through the identity elements.

free essay typer



            As I had mentioned earlier, gender is an identity element, and in some way, it can influence beliefs and what one can know. Through gender, education and occupational beliefs are influenced. The identity of gender creates educational beliefs where females are underrepresented in the STEM fields. Traditional gender role beliefs are the central gender beliefs influenced by identity. Despite the STEM workforce diversity in males and females, the number of females in physical sciences, engineering and computer science are underrepresented (Dicke et al., 2019). That is just an example of the many ways in which identity influences beliefs and what we can know.

            This section will demonstrate the identity influence from two dimensions: beliefs and what one can know. As said to be identity elements, race and ethnicity can influence our beliefs. For example, black Americans can say that their race has limited their ability to succeed, while whites can say that they have helped them succeed. For instance, 18 per cent of black Americans in the United States believe that their race has hurt them a lot, while 45 per cent of whites believe that their race has helped them get ahead (Horowitz et al., 2019). This is a perfect scenario of how identity can influence beliefs through the race. The assumption of whites and blacks concerning success and race is nothing but a mere belief that has arisen due to their identity.

            Age is also an identity element that influences beliefs. We all have beliefs depending on age. Notably, most of us do not prefer to grow old, and we, therefore, tend to have beliefs concerning getting old. Today’s world bases its beliefs on valuing the youths more than the elderly. For instance, women are concerned regarding their belief in growing old. Older people in society were respected and admired as they believed they had much experience and wisdom (Berger, 2021). However, the world today has altered with the beliefs about ageing, where the beliefs concerning the status of elders in society have been lowered. In this case, we see how identity influences our beliefs through age.

            In identity, I also mentioned personality, which is the differences in an individual’s behaviours, thoughts, and feelings. Personality can be said to affect spiritual beliefs in some way. When one has a particular personality trait, it is possible to develop beliefs such as spiritual beliefs. For example, we tend to develop depression in life which may make a spiritualist believe that there is no spiritual life, the relationship between God and man. Such an example demonstrates how identity influences beliefs.

            Identity influences what we can know in various ways. Every person has different levels of acquiring knowledge despite being given equal chances of acquiring knowledge. Some acquire knowledge quickly, and those who take time to know something. These kinds of people can be termed fast and slow learners. Identity chips in this case because human beings can be identified as either slow learners or fast learners. These identities influence what one can know. For example, in school, we find students who generally grasp more quickly than others. This only implies that what we know is influenced by identity.

            Gender homophily is a term used by scholars in the gender field and can be used by epistemologists to determine the influence of identity on what we can know. In gender homophily, there is a preference to interact with one gender, which creates a barrier to using diverse knowledge (Apcar, 2021).  For instance, gender homophily might exist in male-dominated settings where females are not exposed to a wide array of information like men. Information is kept to a small group in the hierarchy where males occupy the highest hierarchical ranks. This influences what women know as they are deprived of information because of their female identity. It has been demonstrated how identity influences beliefs and what we can know.


Apcar, N. (2021). How Does Gender Affect Knowledge Management?. Retrieved 15 December 2021, from

Berger, R. (2021). Aging in America: Ageism and General Attitudes toward Growing Old and the Elderly. Open Journal Of Social Sciences, 05(08), 183-198.

Dicke, A., Safavian, N., & Eccles, J. (2019). Traditional Gender Role Beliefs and Career Attainment in STEM: A Gendered Story?. Frontiers In Psychology, 10.

Horowitz, J., Brown, A., & Kox, K. (2019). The role of race and ethnicity in Americans’ lives. Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project. Retrieved 15 December 2021, from