Social Class and Identitity

  • Created by: clararose
  • Created on: 15-10-15 09:22
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  • Social Class and Identity
    • Social informs- sense of identity and status that comes from individuals recognition of social economic position relative to theirs. General relates to the type of work someone does- based on what you have compared to others.
    • CASE STUDY: Mackintosh and Mooney (2004) Key feature is their invisibility. Social class operates 'Social Closure' - education, leisure time and daily lives are separated and partially invisible from the rest of population. We don't know what they do because they have closure unlike working class (stereotypical)
    • Idea that wealth is inherited. There is 'super rich' which is achieved rather than ascribed and is now more significant in contemporary society.
    • Cultural Capital
      • The knowledge , attitudes, skills and education given to a person that has a higher  status in society. Parents transmit the attidues and knowledge needed to succeed in the current education systems (ways of speaking, behaviour, knowledge of 'high culture')
    • Middle Class- Majority of the population
      • Professional or managerial careers, university educated, self employed, very diverse (sexualities, age  groups and subcultures)
    • CASE STUDY: Fox (2004) Upper middles, Middle Middles and Lower middles. Big difference between teachers and nursers compared to lawyers and bankers. Not everyone in middle class will share common experience (don't all go to uni) PRIVATE: business, banking and PUBLIC: teachers, army, police and fire.
    • CASE STUDY: Hutton (1995) Decline in the trade union memberships and the manufacturing sector and the dispersal of working class communities has eroded working class identity.
    • CASE STUDY: Skeggs (1997) Working class women. Sense of humiliation by others. Made a strenuous effort to show they were respectable- dress, leisure pursuits and home décor.
    • Underclass- Marxist are controversial
      • Controversial term used by conflict theorists. Highlight the social exclusion experienced by those at the bottom of society and who lacked opportunity in terms of education, health and earnings. Now used to describe people on benefits- blamed for the choices they have made.
    • CASE STUDY: Murray (1984) Over generous benefits encourages people to not take on responsibilities. They think the state will look after them. (Policies changed so raised age of leaving school). Single parents using the benefits and don't want younger people claiming benefits should beat work or school.
    • Theories
      • Marxists- focus on class. they argue influencing factor in shaping identity.
      • Postmodernists- reject class.  Some argue class is irrelevant now- fragmentation and hybridity.
    • Agents and class
      • Peer Groups
      • Education
      • The Family
      • Media
      • Workplace
    • CASE STUDY: Pakulski and Waters (1996)- we are now defined by what we buy not what we do- consumption. Offe (1985) Fewer people share a common, unifying experience of full time work.


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