History and Identity History and Identity

Importance of History

It is of sheer importance that we study history. Studying history allows us to understand the past and how has it affected and shaped our present. Everything in our world today is a result of something that was done or happened in the past. Studying history allows us to understand those reasons and better understand our present world. History can also help us to know about our culture and its origin. Our culture is how we became who we are.

History and Identity

History and culture can help one understand how humans behave in a particular situation. History can help one know the mistakes that were made in the past. This way it can be ensured that those mistakes are not made again. Over time, avoiding those mistakes becomes second nature and shapes one’s behaviour.

Any man wants to ensure that his children do not make the same mistakes he did. He also wants them to benefit from his experience. Hence, he teaches them about the past, telling stories and incidents that have happened over the years. This knowledge gets passed down generation after generation thus creating the very culture and nature of the people.

History, makes one understand what is wrong and what is right. Knowing about the past, one can know what happened when something was done, and the result will help one decide whether or not such action be repeated. This helps shape their very nature making them who they are. History allows people to connect with others. It helps them have a feeling of empathy towards others. History allows them to have roots thus providing them with a strong foundation to build their life upon. Our language, culture, beliefs, festivals, etc. are all a result of the past.


Liu, J. H., & László, J. (2007). A narrative theory of history and identity. Social identity, social representations, society, and the individual. Teoksessa G. Moloney and I. Walker (edit.). Social representations and identity. Content, Process, and Power. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 85-107.

Megill, A. (1998). History, memory, identity. History of the human sciences, 11(3), 37-62.

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