Every individual combines different identities. These are different characteristics of a person that give him or her membership in different social groups. These characteristics – like the identities themselves – can sometimes be mutually dependent, complementary or even mutually exclusive. Thus, the idea of being identical to oneself is a misconception.

These multifaceted identities are accompanied by various privileges and challenges, or even experiences of discrimination, that each person faces in one way or another throughout their lives. Accordingly, the stereotypical white old man would be privileged because of his race and gender. But he might live with a disability and thus face discrimination. He might be homosexual and also be discriminated against because of his sexuality. In this case one would speak of intersectionality.

So these different aspects of identities are about noticing nuances. Each person has different experiences, most of which are rooted in historically grown hierarchical structures within a society. Knowing about the facets of identities with all their advantages and disadvantages and how they are structurally anchored facilitates self-location.