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Culture and Identity overview
Transcript of Culture and Identity overview
Perspectives & Theories
Views society as a 'system' that is made up of different parts known as institutions. Each of the institutions work independently but collectively work together for the greater good of society. Each part insures that society functions efficiently in a way that will benefit everyone.
Functionalists see socialisation as an important process in forming identity. When members of society are commited to the same norms, values and mores they will share similar identities. Shared values, norms and mores within a society create unity and cooperation.
Functionalists view culture as a way of ensuring unity and cooperation. In pre-industrial society, this was known as 'Mechanical Solidarity', where common values were based around work as most people worked in the same area. Industrial society culture 'Organic Solidarity' refers to unity and cooperation through many institutions as people had different employment areas.
Views society in terms of class divisions, conflict and struggle. People who have power, control and ownership (Bourgeoisie), and those who have power and control exerted upon them (Proletariat). The ruling class own the means of production, whereas the working class are exploited as part of the work force to ensure that the wealthy get wealthier.
Marxists view socialisation as a way of instilling the norms, values and mores of the dominant class (Ideology). We learn to accept our social situation and to not challenge the authority of the ruling class.
Our identity is determined by our social class status and consumerism. The things that we take part in and buy shape our identity. Different classes have different passtimes.
Culture is determined by class status. Certain cultural practices and activities are unique to specific class groups.
Society is viewed in terms of small scale interactions between people. Society is constructed through 'symbols' verbal and non-verbal communications which are interpreted in order to discover meaning.
Identity is formed through interpreting messages that we get from other people. We are able to manage our identity in accordance to how we interpret these messages.
The socialisation process provides us with the skills needed to interpret the messages we receive from others. These skills are based on norms values and mores of society.
Culture provides us with the skills needed to interact with others and the basis of knowledge we need to interpret the messages we are constantly receiving from others.
View society in terms of inequality between men and women. Feminists identify that we live in a patriarchal society; men have power, opportunity and authority over women.
Patriarchal values are instilled through the socialisation process. Gender roles ensure that males and females assume their expected positions in society.
Our identity is constructed in accordance to the gender roles in which we conform to. Female identity is constructed for the pleasure and entertainment of men.
Norms, values and mores benefit men and are to the detriment of women. Norms and values are to highlight the superiority of men over women.
Our identity is formed as part of a 'collective consciousness'; we all have similar norms and values which bonds us together.
Theories of Identity
The looking glass self
We can only identify with a sense of self when we put ourselves in other people's shoes. We imagine how others see us (me) and internalise this to form our idenity (I)
We base our identity on the responses and messages we receive from others about our appearance and behaviour.
The world is a stage and we are all social actors. We have a front stage (public) identity and a back stage (Private) identity. Our act changes depending on the social situation and we use 'props' in help execute our performances.
People that fall outside of socially accepted behaviour and attitudes are labelled deviant by society. These people, live up to their label (Self-fulfilling Prophesy) and act out in accordance to their social ascribed status. This affcets identity as they follow a 'deviant career' path and associate with others of the same label.