J Ay Bobv Paper

2116 words - 9 pages

This essay explores the importance of both interaction and structures on shaping individual identity. It will be argued that each has significant impacts at different points in individuals’ lives, and that both are essential for the development of individual identity. Additionally, it will be argued that structures provide an identity guide for individuals to adhere to, whereas interactions is a means which allows for alterations and reinforcement of one’s displayed identity.
Identity is, in essence, how one defines oneself. This could be based on many facets, such as one’s: needs, consumption of goods and services, clothing choices, fashion styles, ties to certain a cultures, subcultures ...view middle of the document...

22). This can be best understood by utilising the Dramaturgical analysis, which understands social interaction as a play where people attempt to adorn themselves (Furze et al. 2012, p. 109). Further theories of interaction include: the exchange theory, which posits that interaction involves trading of valued resources, such a pleasure, information, approval, and attention; the rational choice theory, which focuses on the perceived costs and benefits of these interactions and examines how interacting people attempt to maximise their benefits; and the conflict theories of social interaction, which explains that statuses are hierarchized during interaction, and this inequality alters the character of the social interaction (Furze et al. 2012, p. 108-115).
Furthermore, interaction allows us to both exhibit and create our identities. Socialisation, the process of acquiring knowledge and developing skills necessary to function adequately in society via interaction, has two stages: primary socialisation, where it is generally understood that one’s family plays the biggest role; and secondary socialisation, which usually takes place amongst schools and peer groups (Furze et al. 2012, p. 83). The process of primary socialisation has an array of theories which collectively emphasise the importance of interaction. Feud posits that one’s self-image only emerges as one’s demand for immediate gratification is denied (Furze et al. 2012, p. 79). Cooley theory of socialisation, the looking-glass self, is where we rely on others’ gestures and feelings that occur during interaction to image how others see ourselves (Furze et al. 2012, p. 80). Mead argues that the objective component of the self only emerges gradually during social interaction, via symbolic communication or by taking the role of the other (Furze et al. 2012, p. 80-81). Piaget proposes four stages of socialisation, in which from the age of 2, social interaction is required for progression (Furze et al. 2012, pp. 81-82). As you can see, these theories of socialisation emphasise the importance of social interaction, particularly early in one’s life.
Social interaction occurs within certain structures of society which govern how one should behave. Some structures in society include: family, economic, language, school, workplace, and political. An overt structure is the economic structure, where class gaps are distinct. Marx posits that class gaps were due to the higher class owning production means, such as factories or shares, and the lower classes only able to sell their labour (Back et al. 2012, p. 50). Although this gap is decreasing in contemporary times, the economic difference is still well understood by each status group, which create and reinforce their own particular norms including: dress, decorum, and leisure activities (Back et al. 2012, pp. 49-51). Simply being positioned within an economic position not only affects one’s identity, but also prescribes one’s chances and possibilities –...

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