How Is Identity Formed, A Look At Some Of The Theories

842 words - 4 pages

Identity can be defined as 'how I see myself and how others see me.' (Questioning Identity. 2000. p7) An identity involves a sense of belonging, an individual chooses to identify with a group and actively engages in doing so, showing agency. This sense of belonging involves being the 'same' and recognising that others are 'different'. An individual can have multiple identities e.g. gender, supporting a football team; all of these identities make up the individual. Structures such as gender and class, influence, encourage or prevent individuals from identifying with certain groups and therefore shaping the identity.The class structure always involves some degree of inequality, usually ...view middle of the document...

He suggested that there were levels of market position within classes. Webber recognised that status is also important within social groups, he believed that status 'may confer certain benefits or rewards, or prohibit people from access to them' (Questioning Identity. 2000. p101) this statement could have been written about the class structure. This would suggest that status could have as much influence on identity as class. Webber's theories would suggest that class is an important structure within the formation of identity, but that it's far from the only factor involved.It has been said by many that class is becoming more diverse with wider reference points within the structures. Some sociologists have gone as far as to say that 'class is dead' (Pakulski and Waters, 1996) although a survey in 1996showed that two thirds of those interviewed felt that 'there is one law for the rich and one for the poor' (Adonis and Pollard, 1998).One school of thought that is moving away from the original ideas of class is the idea of consumption based classes and identities. Post war Britain has seen a large shift in employment types, consumption and class. A study of car workers at a Luton car plant (Goldthorpe et al, 1969) concluded that the working class identity was fragmenting and that a new type of working class was evolving.This would suggest that work based identities are becoming less...

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