I have chosen the topic to develop a critical, sociological understanding of identity in contemporary society. I will begin to differentiate the different forms of identity in modern society and as well how it impacts or may affect individual style and lifestyle. I will then provide a knowledge and understanding of modern society. I will discuss the meaning of identity, how it is formed and what identity can do. I will research different theorists and use different sources to support my findings and answers. I will provide examples of identity.
We can see from to Grace and Woodward In sociology, identity is a view associating with the groups we belong to, from the way we see ourselves to the outside world and to our own personal wisdom of knowing who we are. (Grace and Woodward, 2016). This indicates that every individual has a sense of who they are and it may be persuaded by our environment and who we grow up with, it may lead us to have certain characteristics or different personalities.
The identity is about being accepted also a sense of belonging, primarily about your similarities with other people and what separates you from others. It brings people a sensibility of own location, personal individuality. On the other hand it is also regards people’s social relationships and multiple association with other individuals. (Weeks 1991, 88). Identity is mainly about individuality, showing ways in which everyone is unique and differentiates from everyone else, it also helps us individuals to have a sense of security and being our own person without having to copy anybody.
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Identity had methods of answering the acknowledging ‘who am I?’ it may seem to be about originality and uniqueness. Identity is completely different in personality, individuals may have similar personality or behaviours with other people, but disclosing an identity with another individual definitely portrays certain constant engagement on our part. We individuals prefer to associate with a certain identity or the crowd. At times, some individuals may have further options than others. (Grace and Woodward, 2016). Identity helps us individuals to recognize the type of person we are, it endorses individuality, people may get it confused with personality. Forgetting that personalities can have a match for other people but nobody could match your identity, as it is who you are.
Structures are the strengths past our control that form our identity. These structures include political, economic, social or cultural. Agency joins with the degree of control, we have over shaping our personal characters. Our identities are formed by social shaping but also people take part in forming our own identities. (Woodward, 2000: 1). This statement indicates that either one of them factors form our identity, for example, you can be born in a certain place with a certain nationality.
Lawler debates that identity needs to be comprehended not as fitting with the person, but it should be recognized as formed amongst people and in social interactions. Lawler also reasons that sociology allows us to think about identity as socially formed, socially fixed and worked out in people’s daily social lives. (Lawler, 2008: 8). What Lawler is trying to suggest is that in a specific period of life peoples individualities are influenced by and recognized by communication too.
According to Lawler history, memory and storytelling are very important ways that lead to people developing identity, where they experience a procedure of identification and a way they can achieve their own particular identity. Our own individualistic biographies and the histories we share with other people as possible associates of individual social classes, gender, religions, beliefs, and other groups – this impacts our identity and may lead to what we identify with. (Lawler, 2008:8). Due to people having different genders etc. makes them different in their own way.
Identity is a sociological perception. Bauman expresses to us that identity is copied into the social environment and also he believes that it is found within chronological interactions such as an impression of contemporary society, the future and the early year’s affects identity function and identity ways. By asking the question, ‘Who am I?’ people are encouraged to establish identity signs found in the past and the present. The association between past, present and future in the continuing function of emerging an identity implies that who we are, and what we become adjusts with time and goes on like a lifecycle, the creation of identity stays delicate and unsteady which leads settlement as impassable.
Bauman strongly proposes that forming an identity is an outcome that contemporary individuals are unable avoid. He implies identity being essential because without it we would either go crazy or remain lost. Though Bauman recaps that identity is copied in the area of the social, more theoreticians concentrate on the daily social exercises that form an impression of identity. (The Open University, 2019).
The Bahktin circle of linguists functioning in 1930s Soviet Russia, highlights the significance of the social world as different forms including communication, producing active and generative forms of identity-work. Routines including communicating to others becomes crucial to expressing an individual and their place in the world. (The Open University, 2019).
For Volosinov (1973) his views on language is that it is a method of symbols created in a precise ancient and social setting. Volosinov views language as a community aspect with actual accurate symbols, According to him it leads to a sign which develops a creation in interaction. His study of the progress forms of human sounds position vast importance on the social way of speaking and the social environment of all interactions. (The Open University, 2019).
Volosinov’s study of the social environment of language develops to certain parts that may be seen as ‘psychological’. He outlines ‘inner speech’ as ‘utterance still in the process of generation’ and claims that ‘inner speech’ 3 is just as social in character and focus as its speech by means of expression. In Volosinov’s view methods of communication and encounter are generally faced and granted importance in a social perspective and the wider social class formation. (The Open University, 2019).
Understanding Durkheim (1976), we can view that individuality contains communicating practices of social classification and identification. People categorise themselves and other people as belonging to diverse counties, countries, cities etc. Initial communication amongst strangers is repeatedly a procedure of cognitive planning, giving and receiving signals that allow individuals to collect information that aids them to classify the stranger and make him or her less strange. Symbols are considered and explained such as skin colour and accent. Questions may be requested in order to get as much information to possibly make them feel comfortable. (Local Belonging, Identities and Sense of Self in Contemporary Ireland, p.8).
In Ireland, A common question after asking people their name is to ask them where they are from. Location stays perceived as a main social guide, of culture, class, nationality. It is section of the diversity of indications that allow people to group each other in a social or cultural way. It forms matches and changes and the force of the relationships and boundaries that could join or split them. Amongst people born in Ireland, especially outside Dublin, the primary class is often now in terms of regions. Once it is recognised, strangers may be asked where they were brought up or live. Lastly, depending on the questioner, information may be asked about family, friendship etc.
However, being a social class and cultural guide, location is mainly about a feeling of connecting and a sense of fitting in. It is about attachment with others, that they are not so different, that there are mutual identifications, and ways of living in the world this feeling of fitting in, of being at home, is very much related to family and the public. It is mainly linked with less groups that revolve around consistent face to face communications. There is a same level or sense of belonging to an area, town or as there is to a countryside place. This increases questions of the dissimilarities in connecting and belonging among residents (Local Belonging, Identities and Sense of Self in Contemporary Ireland, p.8).
The procedure in which someone absorbs to become part of a member of a certain society or a certain culture is called socialisation. People study how to occupy their societal life through a custom of socialisation. Socialisation is an enduring social occurrence in which people build their own profile, making every day rules and adapt to the broader customs of their culture. (Macionis and Plummer, 2005: 159).
The power to select from a range of products is based on the dissimilarity between products, and what is only one of its kind within a product must be made to be different. By picking specific products over others we are training our judgement of style, in which we express our perception of class, background, and crucial individuality. Therefore the correlation between style, identity, and daily ways of consumption. The choosing of certain products above others, the judgement of style, is then obtained from our family upbringing and the way we were brought up. In this manner lifestyle, the exercise of judgements of style and our selection of products, is a way of showing our unique identity. Lifestyle has a significant connection with consumption as we express who we are through what we purchase. (Consumption and identity, p.27).
Several of individuals take identity for granted, People seem to know they are, and have sufficient sense of who the further people in their lives are, and they seem to attach to them in a similar way. There are times, sometimes identities becomes a problem. An example involves it you attending the club. The bouncer allows your friend to go in but He takes one looks at you and asks proof of your age. But you do not have your id with you and only have id money with you. Sadly it is not enough so you are left out and walk home alone. (Social identity, p.1)
Who we are or who we are seen to be, can range vastly, identification is just a concern of the meetings and levels of people’s natural life. Even though identification continuously involves people, something else accordingly may also be at stake. (Social identity, p.4).
Advertising has been expressed as the poetry of capitalism. It needs the participation of the media. It turns out to be understood into consumer selection at the level of daily life. There are vast suggestions in relation to race and cultural purpose, and the gendered characters that consumption highlights and continues. We start to question our social identity by linking Bourdieu’s notion of style, lifestyle and habits to youth spending. For example previous war British youth excluded the beliefs of their parents and shaped their own identities and the appearance of their own, diverse cultures across the public show of wealth and high-living. (Consumption and identity, p.27).
To conclude, I have provided my understanding and critical analysis of the contemporary society, as we can see repeatedly I have mentioned different theorist and their view on what identity is to them, and they all mainly have the same thoughts. I agree that Identity is a personal wisdom to who we are and also that there are certain attributes that could lead us to who we are and influence our taste or decision. We can see that identity brings a sense of uniqueness and that no one can compare to, I gave an example as to why we choose certain products and how it gives us a sense of judgement in our own style. Communication and Language is also a big impact on identity because without communication we would feel no self of belonging, it is a creation within interaction. Without communication there would be no sense of identity. Interacting with others is a way of forming an identity.
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