How Does Class Influence Identity In Contemporary Society?

812 words - 3 pages

Social class is a very important and highly contested concept within social science. The meaning and measurement of social class is a subject of continual arguments. However the concept of social class is dominated by two distinguishing traditions of thought - Marxism and Weberianism.Karl Marx produced his theory of class in the nineteenth century when the European and the British society was going through the 'Industrial Revolution'. His theory was only a part in the exploration of a new type of society, the industrial capitalism. Marx and his associate Engels suggested that there were two main classes generated by the capitalist society; 'Bourgeoisie', the capital-owning or ruling class who owned the property and took advantage of labour for their own benefit, and the 'proletariat', the propertyless or working class who received only a wage for their labour. Marx suggested that a people's identities are mainly shaped by the class they belong to. Class consciousness is based on common situation and interest shared by mass of people which is typical of the working class.Max Weber shared the view of Marx's but he saw class as a group of individuals with common interests, similar opportunities for earning income. It can be summarized as market position. (Woodward,2004, p.100) However these market positions can result distinct situations which can be either beneficial or disadvantageous for different class groupings. Weber recognized four main classes; upper, middle, working class and the poor. He argued that our status in social groups has a significant impact on how our identities are shaped but not the only factor.In the middle of the 1990s surveys showed that significant number of the population thought that their opportunities were affected by the social class they belonged to and there was an inequality in the distribution of incomes. Social class can provide us with a sense of belonging; it can tell us who 'we' are and who 'they' are, and how to relate to the world around us. (Woodward,2004, p.96)It has been said by sociologists that class does not play an important role in shaping identity. Some sociologists have gone as far as to say that 'class is dead' (Pakulski and Waters, 1996) Manufacturing and mining of the immediate post-war era offered far more employment than the 1990s. Working-class identification was reflected in mass membership of organizations such as Labour Party, trade unions and work-based social and political clubs. These groups shared...

Find Another Essay On How does class influence identity in contemporary society?

Cults and Sects and Their Influence in Contemporary Society

1414 words - 6 pages Cults and Sects and Their Influence in Contemporary Society A sect is a small religious group that has branched off a larger established religion. Sects have many beliefs and practices in common with the religion they have broken off from, but are differentiated by a number of theological differences. Sociologists use the word sect to refer to a religious group with a high degree of tension with the surrounding

Can Society Influence One's Identity? Essay

1010 words - 4 pages Chopin’s “Story of an Hour,” we see that society can influence one’s identity. Expectations, rules, and or laws set by society may prohibit certain behaviors, such as rejoicing at the death of a loved one. Being denied the right to be yourself can bring with it feelings of repression or resulting guilt for being that way. Society in general does not easily accept change or deviance to the norm. A difference in views, opinions, and feelings creates change for the better, and can only be voiced through different individual identities.

In what ways does one's race/ethnicity shape one's life-chances in contemporary society?

1721 words - 7 pages ' based on their colour, race and ethnicity (Jakubowicz 2002:107). Anglo-Celtic individuals from countries like Australia, the United Kingdom and North America were considered white whereas other Europeans like the Greeks and the Italians were considered not as white as people from Anglo-Celtics origins but were whiter than the Asians (Holmes at el 2007: 159).What ethnicity one belongs to does shape one's life-chances in contemporary society. Life

To What Extent Does Difference in Gender, Ethnicity and Class Influence Health Inequalities?

2801 words - 12 pages inequalities affect many aspects of everyday life. Though this division is sometimes just down to pure chance, there are structural factors which mean that those who face ill health often come from particular groups. Gender, ethnicity and class all have an influence on health inequalities. Those from lower social classes are more likely to be unhealthy, work and live in hazardous conditions are have more unhealthy lifestyles including poor diet and

Influence of Society in Meena Kandasamy’s Social and Poetic Identity Reflected in her Poetry

2646 words - 11 pages Shudra girl. And display, “the end product. It is a Brahmin” in a concluding step. Stating a pathetic condition of a dismal class, it records the gloomy predicament of the so-called lower class people of Indian society. It is a social document, a startling reality where gender identity and casteism take a shape of anger, protest and self-assertion in which she talks about the journey of becoming a Brahmin, by recording a hypocrisy of a society

Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally: Character identity conflict/How does this book provide inspiration for hope in modern times? (Also recieved an A in an 11th grade AP Lit. and Comp. class.)

564 words - 2 pages soon finds himself performing favours for his Jewish workers, and befriending his accountant, Stern, and Goeth's abused maid, Lina.Schindler has, by this point in the book, found himself in conflict with every fiber of his identity; both his up-bringing as a German, and his adulthood as a member of the Nazi Party and a prominent figure in German society. When he learns that the camp is to be closed and his workers sent to Aushwitz, his conscience

Influence in Shaping Identity

1284 words - 5 pages There are two levels of analysis used in sociology, macrosociology which explores the social structures of society and microsociology which investigates social interactions and how people behave towards each other (Henslin, Possamai & Possamai-Inesedy 2011). Whilst social interaction is important in shaping identity and shouldn’t be ignored, this paper will argue that, due to its ability to embed behaviours and beliefs that directly drive our

How does life in exile influence kinship[ practices?

2203 words - 9 pages kinship practices. This is mainly seen through the marital ties both cultures undergo. It was looked at how these ties and other kinship practices are influenced and affected by the individuals living in exile. In both cases it can be seen that it is a lot harder for the individuals within the society to continue the kinship practices the way they are used to, yet this does not stop them as shown that Tamils take up several jobs and Tibetans still try to maintain their traditional identities.

Celebrity Activists in Contemporary Society

3715 words - 15 pages Celebrity Activists in Contemporary Society Works Cited Not Included According to the book Celebrity Politics, approximately 10 percent of Americans get national political news from nightly entertainment shows such as the Tonight Show. For Americans under 30, the number is nearly five times as many (Orman and West 100). Citizens are looking to be entertained rather than simply educated by the nightly news. As David Schultz aptly put it

Witchcraft in Contemporary African Society

2464 words - 10 pages in every human being that manifests itself in all areas of life society, politics, economy, religion, etc.” When something bad happens, people hardly ask how it occurred but who did it. It is believed that every misfortune is caused by humans or spirits. There might be exceptions when it comes to global catastrophes, but personal or family problems are always caused by someone. If the individual or the clan cannot find personal faults that

Class in Victorian Society

2187 words - 9 pages Class in Victorian Society Victorian society was very different from ours. The age was in fact revolutionary. Many writers's for the first time expressed their views in writing and books were widely available to anyone with the money to buy them. Despite this, most readers were still upper class and most books were written for upper classes. This age in literary has given us a very stereotypical image of the

Similar Essays

How Does Class Influence Identity In Contemporary Society?

766 words - 3 pages Introduction:Part (b) In order to answer this question we must compare the influence of class in contemporary society against that of earlier times. The earliest time we can do this is from the point when the concept of class first emerged (Marx and Weber). We must also understand what 'class' is.Social class is a very significant as it can provide us with a sense of belonging. It is however a highly disputed concept within social science. The

How Does Class Influence Identity? Essay

1282 words - 5 pages . Three such works consist of Horatio Alger's "Ragged Dick", "The Lesson" by Toni Cade Bambara and Gregory Mantsios' "Class in America: Myths and Realities". Each of these writer's at one point or another had to make the decision of "How does class influence identity" and each of them confronted this topic in different ways.Horatio Alger's "Ragged Dick" is a book based upon the fact that success is based upon an individual's merit. Alger tackles the

Identity Theft In Our Contemporary Society

2949 words - 12 pages Identity Theft in Our Contemporary Society Introduction How do you secure your identity with the Internet developing faster than can be protected? Attempting to stay ahead of the hackers and attackers has been a contentious effort since the Internet’s earliest days as a research project. Today, after thirty years of prolific development, security concerns have only increased. Designing computer systems and devices which are capable

Class In Contemporary New Zealand Society

1459 words - 6 pages to the relevance of Marx's theories on class to New Zealand society. Traditionally, class was one of the big three (along with gender and race) when it came to social divisions. In the case of New Zealand however, there are those who argue it is not considered a key source of identity nor central to the structuration of society (Open Polytechnic, 2014; Roper, 1997) . This may be due to the idealised view of New Zealand that people have been