Saturday, March 14, 2020

Collins online Essay Example

Collins online Essay Example Collins online Essay Collins online Essay Essay Topic: The Breadwinner I am going to discuss the aspects that help shape our identities and how much control we have over forming our own identity.  Also how identity provides a link between the personal and the social.  The definition of identity from the Collins online dictionary. the individual characteristics by which a person or thing is recognized  In my view the above mentioned characteristics could be factors including colour, race, gender, class, status and place to name but a few. Identity is not the same as personality.  Personality is made up of inherited traits and behavioral patterns.  Identity comes from choices we make; we have an active role in the forming of our own identity.  Gender we have no control over. Gender is not the same as sexuality. Sexuality is the choice we make.  From the moment we are born we are categorized as either male or female depending on the genitalia we have. This is not a choice we can make.  A gender role is a perceived set of behavioral norms associated with males or females, in a given social group or system. (Wilkipedia, 2007) We are put into the stereotypical groups for our gender: girls wear pink and play with dolls; boys wear blue and play with cars.  Sir Thomas Moore (p49) thought that a girls gender was formed because of the absence of a penis. He thought Boys were superior to girls because of this.  On reaching adulthood we are expected to go into certain job roles. i.e men as builders and practical skills and women as homemakers or secretaries.  Louis Althusser claimed that a persons identity is formed when people are drafted into a specific identity they are interpellated (called) into. For example Mother, Husband Scottish, Irish. These identities can change with time, in the example of a mother or housewife, they may no longer be only a mother / housewife as they may have been in the 1950s but they may have full time careers as well. Or the husband may stay at home because the wife earns more money as so she can be the breadwinner. In 2001 there were 13.2 million women a workforce of 23.5 million (Woodward2003). Our identity can be fluid and changing. Agency allows us to identify with certain groups or people that share similar interests. In the example of religion, if we were Jewish we may attend the synagogue with like minded worshipers.  Or we may wear the claret and blue of West Ham Utd when watching Saturday football on TV, because this identifies you as a West Ham supporter.  This shows that as individuals we take up identities of things we enjoy and relate it to the social. The West Ham supporter is a member of a club where he can discuss his main interest and share common opinions with others. The wearing of the symbols, colour or badge shows this. The above person may change his identity when he goes to work as a teacher.  Discussing West Hams game may not be appropriate in a math lesson. This persons body language will change as will the verbal language.  Here structure is directing him in his identity in the appropriate way to act and dress in a professional role. This person then goes home to his wife and becomes a lover and a father and again identity changes to the family man.  Ervine Goffman believed that we act out roles of identity and this may change depending on the place we are or the people we are with. Mead believed that our identities were formed via visualization and symbolization and there is a clear link between how we see ourselves and how we believe others see us.  Freud believes that our identities are formed by unconscious feelings or repressed experiences from childhood. These early experience come out through the way we treat others and the decisions we make through life.  From these three theorists it shows that identity is formed in many different ways and that identity is clearly linked to the social.  To conclude there seems to be no rigid ideas regarding how identities are formed. Identity is influenced by various factors in society, people are able to change their identity to a certain extent; identity is also brought about how other people see you as well as how we see ourselves.  (personal to social) The control we have is via agency and making choices to join certain social groups. The restrictions we have are from our gender, our race or ethnicity.  Ã‚  TMA01 part b  How does class influence identity in a contemporary society?  I am going to look at how class influences our identity in todays society.  The three key question are: How do economic structures shape our understanding of who we are?  And, what is the justification for saying that there has been a move from collective to individual identities? Which social science arguments support the idea that class identities are eroding? To look at economic structure shaping identity, I am going to look at occupation  in the contemporary world.  Occupation is a useful tool to link a persons situation to class or status. The first questions asked in first encounters is what do you do?, which means what is your occupation. By having a particular occupation societys discernment will differ, for example doctors are perceived different to hospital cleaners. This will affect the way we perceive ourselves and have an impact on identity.(personal to social). Life in the western world has faced many diverse changes creating insecurity of work identity, mainly due to the changes in societys expectations, the creation of new technology and the disintegration of labour intensive, heavy industry occupations such as mining.  People are migrating to different areas for work, consequently there is a fragmentation of the traditional large work orientated communities that once existed. Resulted in the degeneration of collective identity to individual identity, which is important for a sense of belonging to a community. John Hargreaves(2004) testimony clearly suggests that we are not able to exercise much control over identity. He claims that prior to 1984 he was part of a traditional mining industry, where communities and culture grew; John was interpellated by that collective identity (Kath Woodward 2004).  After 1997 as a result of unemployment he had lost his financial security and also his collective identity, which was his sense of belonging. Johns account put a large emphasis on the importance of paid work, suggesting paid work provides self worth.  If this is the case then people who work, but are not paid such as carers or housewives may be valued less in the community.  This finding clearly emphasises how the importance of paid and unpaid work can influence a persons identity our identities are influences by the shape of the income distribution(Kath Woodward 2004)

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