Identity

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  • Identity
    • Richard Jenkins (1996) argues that social identity is 'our understanding of who we are and of who other people are,'
      • Something that is negotiable and which is created in the process of human interaction.
      • Identity is an integral part of social life.
    • Uncertainty and identity in the UK
      • There is increased uncertainty over identities in the UK.
        • Changes in the social structure have reduced certainties about social class.
        • Family roles are an important source of identity, and family life has also undergone radical changes.
        • New social movements have developed, such as the women's movement,movements of gay rights, peace,environmental and rights for the disabled & black civil rights.
          • Positive identification with these groups.
        • Certainty about national identity has been reduced as Britain is increasingly multicultural.
        • Growth of consumer culture increases people's choices about identity.
          • What people buy becomes a source of identity.
      • There are structural constraints that continue to prevent some people from adopting the identities they would like to have.
    • Class
      • Bradley (1997) does not see class as the strongest source of identity in contemporary Britain, she sees it as a source of passive identity.
      • Class is less visible and obvious in everyday world that age.
      • Class is fragmenting.
    • Gender
      • Gender, for both men and women is a very important source of identity in contemporary Britain.
      • Gay men and lesbians will have different experiences of masculinity or femininity, and have rather different identities from their heterosexual counterparts.
    • Ethnicity
      • It has become more important in contemporary societies due to the visibility of skin colour differences.
      • The importance of race is a source of identity depends upon how it is used politically to mobilise groups and provide them with a sense of belonging.
    • Age
      • Age has become a more active identity.
      • Some aspects of youth culture express a sense of conflict.
      • Political aspects of youth culture are more likely to be related to other aspects of stratification.
    • Consumerism & Personal appearance
      • Individuals can manipulate their identities through their personal appearance.
      • Katz & Sugiyama (2005)
        • Mobile phones have become a fashion statement as a utilitarian item used to make phone calls.
          • Mobile phones provide information about their owner and help to establish their identity.
      • Ling (2000)
        • As mobile phones become more and more common, they are increasingly becoming part of the individuals 'personality kit' - which expresses their personality to others.

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