Sociology; Concepts of self, identity and difference

This is for the 'culture and identity' syllabus.

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  • Created by: Sam Hill
  • Created on: 16-04-09 14:28

Concepts of self, identity and difference; Concept

Structural theories see identity as imposed on them, wether it be through capitalism (Marxist), cooperation wthin social structures (functionalist) or patriachy and male somination (feminist).

The social action theory states that interaction is important in develping a sense of self, and that how we intepret small scale stuff imposes on our identity and through that, culture.

Charles Cooley developed the idea of 'the looking glass self', in that our formation of ourselves is formed by others, e.g. we make think we look the ********, but if someone says differently, this affects ourselves and our identity.

Goffman - 'all the world is stage'

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Concepts of self, identity and difference; Concept

The concepts of social stigma is something that can be seen as detrimental to society; physical (e.g. disability), personal (e.g. criminal) and social (e.g. relegion).

Responses to this stigma could be attempting to hide it, admitting the stigma and recieve treatment or protesting against it.

Through the accepted values and norms, society creates these stigmas.

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Concepts of self, identity and difference; Importa

The concept of labelling is a label that is placed on an individual though deviance.

It can lead to deviance because they acheive a master staus, and this means they are treated differently. They will believe this and associate with others like this, leading to deviance. This is Becker's labelling theory.

Through moral panics, certain labels will be applied to certain social groups (e.g. asylum seekers), leading to negative reaction and measures taken place to deal with them.

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Concepts of self, identity and difference; Role of

Various social institutions affect our identity;

Family - older children may have more responsibility, families have different expectations of their kids.

Peer Groups - More in common, begin to identify ourselves.

Education - private have more upper class identity, smarter kids have a more positive identity than them of less knowledge.

Relegion - some believe women are inferior e.g. catholics. More significant as more turn to relegion as a reaction against globalisation.

Mass media - Media-saturated society. Moral panics leads to labels sticking, influences status and identity.

Workplace - Higher icomes = higher status. Unemployed is seen as a stigma.

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