Identity: argued as being what makes
us individualistic. Identity is summary
of who we are.
1 Ethnicity (Ethnic Identity)
1.1 Ethnicity is often determined by:
Skin colour, origins, religion or
spoken language. Which are all
aspects of culture.
1.1.1 Sociologists have studied how different 'races' and religions
experience racism and other treatment in varied forms.
184.108.40.206 Winston James (1993) explains how
afro-Caribbean's in the UK, may have been
divided by darkness of skin. Yet the
common experience of racism often brings
black people together, the label 'black' is a
resistance to racism.
1.2 Post-modernists argue that ethnicity is now a choice
due to globalisation and cultural hybridity, ethnicity is
now mixed and difficult to differentiate.
1.2.1 Despite this hate crime based on ethnicity (specifically skin colour and
religion) are still common and possibly rising. Meaning that
discrimination and separation is key, meaning ethnicity continues to be
a huge part of our identity as it is what divides and separates the
220.127.116.11 Dawney (2008) found evidence of racism against European migrants. Suggesting that it
stems from the fear of numbers that is seen as a threat.
18.104.22.168 Hewiit (2005) considers white people are against
multiculturalism. As policies to create an equal society are
impacting negatively on the majority population ()and are
2 Gender and Identity
2.1 Gender is constantly changing. It is debated that gender relates to the nature Vs. Nurture
debate, and is based upon the biological differences between male and female (sex) , yet
sociologists argue that gender is a socially constructed term to decide what is seen as
feminine or masculine.
2.1.1 Gender has created roles, which are considered a norm of
modern day society so are regularly followed with little
22.214.171.124 E.g: a the role of a housewife is a constructed
gender role along with the stereotype that it is
the male that must go out and work to provide
for his family,
2.1.2 The biological view stated by Wilson (1975) explain that men
need to naturally be dominant and promiscuous- enabling them
to pass on their genetics. Whereas women need to nurture the
child and stay faithful to their husband.
2.1.3 Radical Feminists argue that the idea of 'gender'
is socially constructed by a male
dominated society (Patriarchal society).
Allowing males to decide how each sex
should act; reinforcing stereotypes. These
behaviours come through socialisation.
First primary experienced from the roles
of the mother and father. But also in
secondary socialisation. (E.g.: Friendship
126.96.36.199 Hey (1997) studied friendship groups of teenage girls. Observing that the power of
the girl and how they behave stems from patriarchy and what is considered
'normal' behaviour for girl. (The conform to societies stereotypes.)
188.8.131.52 Marxism: Popular and Mass culture distract
society from gender ineqaulity. Conflict
theory: gender ineqaullity is necessary.
Society benefits those with power, in a
patriarchal society that would be males
getting the benefit.
184.108.40.206 Fuctionalism: Society benefits everyone differently,
no matter their gender. Gender roles are vital in
society, ensure the society works.
2.2 Aspects of gender behaviour and stereotypes if
followed become part of our identity.
2.2.1 E.g. Boys are expected to enjoy the outdoors and play sports and are therefore
encouraged to do so, making these activities and norms and therefore a part of
their identity. Girls however are encouraged to cook and clean, and play
dress-up/mothers preparation for later life. These are once again reinforced
becoming part of their identity.
2.4 Looking Glass Self: Women are
persuadeded by agencies of socialisation
that they must appeal in a certain way.
Look and act in certain ways in order to
2.5 Mac and Ghaill (19940 Focuses on
"hyper-masculinity" among males. This included
polcing their own sexuality's.
3 Social Class and Identity:
3.1 Class: a group of people who share similar social status and economic/social
situation. Social Class may be judged by: income, possessions, lifestyle, leisure, accent, norms, and even occupation.
3.2 Class is often linked to how wealthy you are and in a world governed by money. Those exposed to wealth compared to those
who are not will have widely different views on: education, occupation, lifestyle and taste. All aspects which impact identity.
Your tastes and interests, level of education are all defining features of who you are.
3.2.1 Post- Modernists argues that we are now all part of a consumer culture and are defined
and categorised buy what we now buy. (Pakulski and waters (1996)) and Offe (1985)
explains that we are all able to create our own identities regardless of the social class
we are currently in or were born into. Depending on the level of education we achieve
and the job we may have.
220.127.116.11 Savge et. al (2001) Most saw themselves as
outside social class. He describes a paradox-
class is an important structural force in peoples
lives,, yet class identities are usually weak.
3.3 The Upper Class: Traditionally inherited wealth. Mooney (2004) The Upper class operate 'social closure' the defining
differences between education, leisure and daily lives. They also partake in activities viewed as private for those of
wealth. E.g.: Polo and hunting.
3.4 The Middle Class: Now seen as the majority of the UK. Middle class are associated with owning their own home, and have a higher level of education. But this
is so widely spread the norms and values are so diverse. Yet Class isi still a defining aspect of your identity.
3.5 Working Class: seen as manual workers without trade employment. Hutton
(1995) expresses that their has been a decline in manual work meaning the
working class are now uncommon.
3.6 Underclass: The lowest section of society. Now seen as those who rely on benefits, with a lack
of education and opportunities. Murray (1984) argues that now the government supply the
population with benefits people have developed a set of norms and values (aspects of identity)
where they feel they do not need to work or take responsibility for their own actions.
3.7 Feminists: Gender inequality women earn less and gain less
power than men. Working class women perform unpaid
labour such as running a household.
3.8 Functionalists: Society benefits everyone of all social classes. The
class system and roles in classes are needed to keep society running
4.1 Is an area of our socials lives that society is obsessed about.
4.2 Various sexuality's are often seen in
various scales and are viewed/reacted on
4.2.1 Weeks (1987) Say sit is not common for many to declare 'they
are straight' but saying you are 'Gay' or 'Lesbian' is a bold
statement of self-definition. A huge part of ones self-identity.
4.3 In the UK attitudes towards
homosexuality have publicly changed.
the equality Act 2019 makes is legal for
same sex marriage, 'we are now more
4.3.1 Homosexuality used to be considered a mental illness. In some counties such
as Uganda and Nigeria homosexuality is still illegal, with some homosexuals
being denied human rights, seen in Russia.
4.4 Radical Femisim: Heteronormativity is still the
"norm". Women are sexualised for men in the
4.5 Marxism: Society is distracted by popular culture; distracts from
issues with non-heterosexual individuals. Conflict theory;
heterononormativity versus diverse sexual orintations.
4.6 Fuctionalism: Roles ensure society works, the
traditional nuclear family is belived to be best.
4.7 Post-modernism: Sexual diversity
establishing among society.
Heteronomativity is breaking down,
more rights to non-heterosexual
individuals. media starts normalising
4.8 Weeks (1991) "Sexual identification is a strange thing" Sexuality is more complex than other
aspects of an identity. People may or may not participate in sexual activity with those thye are
sexually attrated to.
5 Age and Identity:
5.1 Age is seen as the only
aspect of our identity that
will change over time. from
children, to adults to
5.1.1 Childhood: The first stage of our lives. Despite being viewed as the
time period where we are kept innocent and oblivious to the dangers
and horrors of society. Yet in childhood you are able to join the army,
in certain cultures children are web and have children themselves.
5.1.2 Youth is socially constructed and is viewed as a
stage of rebellion, often seen is More
economically developed countries.
5.1.3 Old age is often a major part of your identity, it is a stage of reflection. But also a stage of negativity. Seen in
the study by Corners 1999. You have been convinced that part of old age is being ill and weary, but this should not
define everyone. It is once again a stereotype which we have conformed to, therefore making it part of your
5.2 Post-modernists look at trends (E.g: anti-ageing products as an extension of
youth and how age is now just a concept. Featherstone and Hepworth (2005)say
that media, show ageing negatively creating stereotypes and intentities
However, the return of old fashions 80's and 90's fashion shows that the
boundaries of time and age are no longer as defining.
6.1 It means that you are
physically or mentally
6.2 Marxism: Conflict: as being
disabled is established as a
medical problem, It clashes with
6.3 Functionalism: Society can
benefit both the able and
6.4 Post-modernist: say that disability is now
being presented positively by the media.
Advanced technology is now helping the
disabled to blend into society.
6.5 Impression Management: People with disabilities would have to act in a more brave and
independent manner when in public.. In private, the would feel most comfortable as they
are alone or surrounded by close friends/relatives.