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Using Your Own Experience And At Least Two Of The Concepts Of 'individualisation', 'risk', 'generation' And 'identity', Examine How Social Pattern

1119 words - 5 pages

There have been enormous changes in the social patterns in the past few decades, causing significant changes in the lives of mine comparing to which of my parents. This essay looks at the changes using the concepts of identity and risk. It is argued that the formation of personal identities has been extended and a more unstructured outcome is developed nowadays. The risks in post-modernity also differ from which in early-modernity in terms of the individualised pressure and the breakdown of trust.
My parents’ lives have differed from mine in terms of the structure of the mature identity. Identity is a “sense of continuity and invigorating sameness” (Erikson 1968), which should have a ...view middle of the document...

These very different cultures have contributed to a more diffused identity, which is an incoherent outcome that includes contrastive elements and is changing in different institutions. Overall, while my identity is unstructured and flexible, my parents’ identities are much more structured and configured.
Regarding to the formation of identity, the changing social patterns has extended the transition period from adolescence to adulthood, through which identities are developed (Hadad & Schachter 2011). In my parents’ case, their identities were committed with little exploration, which is at a foreclosures status, according to the fourfold identity status typology discussed by Marcia (1993). As China used to be a highly centralised and conservative country, people had very limited access to the idea of freedom and identity, and hence had little struggle forming their own. My parents have adopted the idea from their parents that they should be pursuing stable jobs, marriages, and should have a child in their 20’s. Interestingly, this plan matches their life patterns perfectly well as mentioned above. In the post-modernity, however, identity is “constantly being formed and re-formed throughout life” (White & Wyn 2013). Considering my own experience, the migration that occurred in my adolescent period has affected my identity development profoundly. It has inspired me to think about ‘who I am’ and ‘how I should identify myself’, whether as a Chinese or an Australian. This exploration brings me to the moratoriums status, where I am “searching for an identity to commit to” (Marcia 1993). My identity is hence developed through more explorations and struggles comparing to my parents’.
Another important social context affecting individuals living within the society is the risks. This is defined by Beck (1992) as “a systematic way of dealing with hazards and insecurities induced and introduced by modernisation itself”. The nature of risks, accompanied by the process of modernisation, has become more and more individualised. In my parents’ age, for instance, government was responsible for social uncertainties such as unemployment, divorce and illness, which frees my parents from worrying about failing to adapting in the social structure. However, nowadays, as a result of globalisation and individualisation, people are usually pursuing unique goals and biographies, leading to each individual to be responsible for his or her own choice (Lupton 1999). Taking education and work as an example, if I am not capable of...

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