How is identity formed, a look at some of the theories Sample Essay

Identity can be defined as ‘how I see myself and how others see me. ’ ( Questioning Identity. 2000. p7 ) An individuality involves a sense of belonging. an single chooses to place with a group and actively engages in making so. demoing bureau. This sense of belonging involves being the ‘same’ and recognizing that others are ‘different’ . An person can hold multiple individualities e. g. gender. back uping a football squad ; all of these individualities make up the person. Structures such as gender and category. influence. encourage or prevent persons from placing with certain groups and hence determining the individuality.

The category construction ever involves some grade of inequality. normally affecting stuff resorts. There are two chief traditions within the construct of category and its consequence on individuality.

The Marxist theory of category clearly shows that the category a individual belongs to is the cardinal portion of their individuality. It theorizes two categories in which all society tantrums. the owning and the belongings lupus erythematosus. Marx believed that ‘class concision is peculiarly of import to our apprehension of identity’ ( Questioning Identity. 2000. p980 ) this concision would happen one time persons came to gain at that place shared relationship to the agencies of production ( MOP ) . ( Marx believed that category was decided by an persons relationship with the MOP. ) and that some persons shared a different relationship with this MOP. Class-consciousness would be cemented through corporate action and would do persons to see themselves as portion of a corporate. moving and believing as one within all countries of societal contact. Marx believed that category. entirely. forms individuality.

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Webber besides saw category as of import when organizing an individuality. Webber nevertheless saw category as a group if persons with similar market places i. e. similar chances with respect such things as instruction.

He. like Marx. recognized category divisions. but on a much wider graduated table. He suggested that there were degrees of market place within categories. Webber recognised that position is besides of import within societal groups. he believed that position ‘may confer certain benefits or wagess. or prohibit people from entree to them’ ( Questioning Identity. 2000. p101 ) this statement could hold been written about the category construction. This would propose that position could hold every bit much influence on individuality as category. Webber’s theories would propose that category is an of import construction within the formation of individuality. but that it’s far from the lone factor involved.

It has been said by many that category is going more diverse with wider mention points within the constructions. Some sociologists have gone every bit far as to state that ‘class is dead’ ( Pakulski and Waters. 1996 ) although a study in 1996

showed that two tierces of those interviewed felt that ‘there is one jurisprudence for the rich and one for the poor’ ( Adonis and Pollard. 1998 ) .

One school of idea that is traveling off from the original thoughts of category is the thought of ingestion based categories and individualities. Post war Britain has seen a big displacement in employment types. ingestion and category. A survey of auto workers at a Luton auto works ( Goldthorpe et al. 1969 ) concluded that the working category individuality was break uping and that a new type of working category was germinating.

This would propose that work based individualities are going less of import. The alteration in employment constructions every bit good as occupation stableness. it is suggested. has caused this displacement.

Saunders has put frontward the thought that ingestion and life style are now more of import to society than business set category. He states that in the hereafter ‘an progressively seeable mistake line in British society. non along the lines of category. but on the footing of private ownership of the agencies of ingestion. ’ ( Saunders. 1984 ) Although Saunders has been criticised for being unable to turn out that ingestion can act upon individuality the thought of ‘off the shelf identities’ has emerged as they are available through ingestion and can supply ‘status’ to suit within any construction.

To reason. ‘social category can supply us with a sense of belonging. it can state us who ‘we’ are and who ‘they’ are and. hence. how to associate to the universe around us’ ( Questioning Identity. 2000. p96 ) However although societies exist and map within category constructions it does non intend that all members of that society place with a category. Class is going. it seems. more diverse and broad ranging than of all time before. The Marx theory of two stiff categories seems to be wholly lost and a more individualistic. loose fitting system of ingestion linked with category emerging and developing. It seems that category is going less of import within the individuality as individualism becomes more valued and encouraged.


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