Identification, for Freud, describes a process by which one seeks to assimilate an aspect or attribute into the self such that one appears more like others, and it through a series of such identifications that subjectivity is constituted. There are two ways in which the term is often used: where the subject identifies the self with the other and where the subject identifies the other with the self. The term, however, does not refer to object choice: for example, if a child identifies with a parent, it wants to be like the parent. If the child makes the parent the object choice, it is to have or possess the parent, not to identify with him or her. The term should not be confused with incorporation and introjection: both these refer to drawing the object towards the self, and it is also different from imitation, which is voluntary and conscious. Ultimately, for Freud, the concept of identification has a central place in his understanding of how the human subject is constituted.
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