Tag Archives: Dj Sabroso

Polemic : The shameless arrogance of an amateur identity historian

The shameless arrogance of an amateur identity historian.

Identity history : The act of interpreting parts of history in order to project onto yourself the roll of hero of victim or project onto others the roll of the villain.

Most historians shun this amateurish approach to historical narratives due to obvious reasons. Most examples of Identity history seem harmless enough, genealogy for instance often focusses on ancestors that were somehow notable, mostly ignoring the lesser known forebears. The famous ancestor then somehow reflects its attributes on the contemporary individual, although odds are that (s)he is just as unremarkable as most of the genealogy that was ignored. The BBC show, “who do you think you are?” is a good example of seemingly innocent identity history. Famous people track down their ancestral roots until they find some remarkable story about the success or grievances of somebody down their family tree.
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