Theories on social class in relation to identity

  • Created by: katrina
  • Created on: 05-04-13 15:36
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  • Theories on social class in relation to identity
    • Functionalists
      • Class division- 'natural' and 'smooth running'
      • Distinct class cultures create distinct class identities- similar positions, hence, similar lifestyles.
      • individuals 'know their place' - the 'best people' occupy the highest positions and have the most refined cultural background
    • Postmodernists
      • Class identities are more fluid and unclear than in the past.
      • Now individuals are free to become who they wish, through consumption and creative adaptations of lifestyles.
    • Traditional Marxists
      • A tool of ideological domination.
      • The Frankfurt school argue that the working class are deprived of education and critical thought and are subjected to a diet of popular/low culture which serves to perpetuate their class position.
        • Cultural reproduction
    • Feminists
      • Class identity is over exaggerated.
        • As a result gender relations and identity are ignored.
    • New right
      • Saunders (1990) suggests that social class is irrelevant to peoples lives, with identity and equality now based on homeownership.
      • New right thinkers believe if people work hard they can be any class they wish.
    • Neo-Marxists
      • interested in working class subcultures which are oppositional to the dominant culture of the ruling class.
      • A class identity is created that enables the development of true class consciousness which struggles against the ruling class hegemony.


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