IDENTITY To what extent is our identity determined at birth?
You are the fairy godmother to these newborn twins. Write down all the things you would wish your male/female child to be when they grow up congratulations!!
Describe how social identity is formulated and developed
Debate whether identity is determined or socially constructed
the construction of social identities We will do this by We are learning about
A sense of self that develops as the child differentiates from parents and family and takes a place in society (Jary and Jary 1991)
SOCIAL IDENTITY has been defined as out understanding or who we are and who other people are (Jenkins 1996)
People associate themselves with those that are similar and distance themselves from those who are not. (Sub cultures)
Defining Social identity
Social identity theory
Our ‘unique’ social identity is our understanding of ourselves and who we are in relation to other people or groups.
We label (I am a girl)
We categorise ourselves (I belong to the Pink Ladies)
We make comparisons (the Pink ladies are prettier than the Goths)
Sources of identity nationality ethnicity sexuality gender class Identity is also related to the groups in which we belong
Socialisation is important in shaping identity.
Identities are linked to particular roles
Identity defines who we are but are also shaped by social factors
What age do you become an adult?
How to behave as a man/woman
As we age some aspects of our social identity change due to new experiences that make us think differently of ourselves and how we have been treated by others.
The social roles we occupy have a strong influence on how we see ourselves
Reflect natural differences between people and cultures
Suggestion that roles are shaped by social factors and is an integral part of social life.
Class Culture Family Individual Identity Age Gender Ethnicity Region Socialisation Roles Values Norms Status Subculture Media Work Politics Religion Peers Education The Web of Identity
The formation of identities
Mead – development of self and being able to imagine how others see us
Goffman – All the world is a stage and we are actors with a variety of roles.
Freud – childhood experiences are vital for the development of an adult identity
Parents expect children to behave in certain ways according to their sex
Children are typecast into masculine or feminine gender roles
Reinforced at school
Books and toys present typical stereotypes
In what ways are boys and girls treated differently and by who?
Sex and gender are an important part of our identity, who we are and how we think of ourselves
Margaret Mead studies 3 tribes in New guinea and concluded that gender roles were culturally determined
1. What would happen if a family from any one of the tribes went to live in another? 2. How might their behaviour be described by the dominant culture? 3. How might the ‘immigrant’ family view the behaviour of the others? GENDER IDENTITY – Nature or nurture
GENDER IDENTITY – Nature or nurture
The roles of men and women complement each other
Women involved in bearing and rearing children and programmed for softness and affection
Men have been ‘biogrammed’ to be aggressive, powerful and decision makers
To go against biogrammar is to go against nature (Tiger & Fox 72, pg 37)
Theoretical perspectives of the development of your identity Read pages 37 – 40 (Barnard) and elsewhere to find the answers FUNCTIONALIST INTERACTIONIST POST MODERNIST FEMINIST MARXIST Nature or Nurture? Is the individual active or passive? Description of how identity is developed
To what extent is our identity determined at birth? 
Identity development is affected by the needs of the state
Our identity is affected by the value consensus that most people share within their culture that bonds us together
we internalise what society says is important and make it part of us
Eg I am quite clever, competitive when I need to be and I'm usually kind. (society values and has a use for all of these things)
Talcott Parsons -Two main functions of the family
Socialisation –woman is in command and the ‘expressive’ partner of the marital relationship
Stabilisation – man goes to work brings home the money provides for the family
Murdock suggests that the division of labour is an efficient means of dividing socially necessary tasks
Division comes about from differences in strength (males) and demands of pregnancy (females)
Feminists argue that social influences are more important than biological
Gender is one of the primary aspects of a person’s individual identity if not THE primary factor
Identity is shaped and channelled through the socialisation process (both primary and secondary)
Women are shaped into seeing themselves as second class citizens because we live in a patriarchal society
The capitalist state breeds gross inequalities.
Points to the effect of the consumer society of a woman’s self image
Fashion, diet, sex objects, magazines
All impose impossible images which is damaging to self esteem
People have little control over how their identity is shaped because it will be totally ties in to the economy
Being born working class means you have lower self esteem than upper class
We are shaped to become workers and think ourselves as workers
The media is the new opium, it keeps people docile and fuels consumer society and a constant feeling of inadequacy
There is an interaction between people and the meanings they share which is incorporated into an individuals self image
According to labelling theory an individuals identity is shaped by the labels others give him/her, creating a self fulfilling prophecy
John is the life and soul of the party
The Johnson family are a bad lot
Identity is not a fixed thing, key features can be changed if the person wants them to be
Individuals can ‘pick and mix’ when it comes to choosing who they are and create their own narrative
Language and symbols are important for the individual. We care more about looks than substance, eg designer logo is more important than the function of the trainer
Key terms: SEX: matters of biology – not as straightforward as it seems GENDER IDENTITY: a person's own feelings about whether they are male/ female, both or neither GENDER ROLE: a set of behavioural prescriptions assigned by a culture to particular gender MASCULINITY: a gender term associated with male traits FEMINITY: a gender term associated with female traits ANDROGENY: a type of gender where the individual shows masculine and feminine traits