Last Updated 28 Jul 2020

The Impact of Work-Based on our Identity

Category work
Essay type Research
Words 916 (3 pages)
Views 458

In all modern societies, work fills a basic and central role in human life. The centrality of work is demonstrated by the personal responsibility individuals assume for their work, the amount of time they devote to it, and the significance it has within the general context of their lives. Work has important social and economic implications as well, on both an organizational and general social level. Identities within society have been determined largely by the work that people do.

It has a major part to play in shaping our sense of self and affects how we see ourselves and how others see us. It's formatted by large number of influencing factors, like which are interpellated and which we make a conscious decision to choose or exclude. We all know the first question asked in many situations of primary social encounter: 'What do you do? ' by which we really mean 'What is your job?. ' we do not answer with our hobby, or with our religious identity, but with all the certainty in the world with our occupation: 'skilled worker for '.

If we know our interlocutor's occupation then we think we know him or her. The occupation serves a mutual identification pattern, with the help of which we can assess personal needs and abilities as well as economic and social position. I will discus the story which written by john greaves, the coal miner and his identity's change during the time, after that I will discus the employers of developing industrial country and how they work now, then I will compare between this two employer, and I will explain how work influences and shape people identity .

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Firstly, the coal miner, who spend most of his life and time working more that twenty years in this field, he was working and get up early every day, actively, satisfied and without any fear. His identity was as a coal miner as an individual and also a member of a community with a shared collective identity. His village, Goldthorpe, in South Yorkshire, revolved both economically andsocially around the pits. He did not think that he will be unemployed on day and he will lose it.

And now, after all this years and after closing the mine, he talk about his feeling of uncertainty or the future, and he feel sad about losing his job, identity and the symbol that relate to his job. He say that he lose his powerful identity, he mean "collective identity" which can be found among workers whose lives are closely bound up with their involved in coal mining. this changes in the economy lead to considerable anxiety among white working class men. In other hand, developing industrial country is a major reason for increasing levels and number of service and employers that is largely part-time , such as "call center" , Which connects large computer and telephones together.

We can find more that hundred of employers work there with different job titles and careers , like direct seller, customer services, managers and others. It's described as white collar factories as the workload is constantly monitored and performance related pay is often used as an incentive. Now, if we compare between the coal miner that lost his work and his correlative identity and one of call center stuff, it would be clear to identify how work influences and shape our identity. There is little sense of community or collective identity.

John Greaves was clearly interpellated into his role as a coal miner and his identity associate with his community, whereas call center staff work for instrumental purposes, define himself by what he purchase and his spending power. We are now more likely to identify ourselves through our income and spending power rather than job title. This is backed up through recently research that tell us we have leave our collective and occupational identities to more individual consumption based ones. Also our identities are shaped by our income.

Income allows us to consume and depending on the amount of income we generate this results in what we consume and our ability to selectively purchase goods. Bourdieu (1977 pg 107/8) argued that people are able to express their identities through consumption and also that as taste differs between social class then consumption will also differ. People in different social classes are unlikely to have the same consumption patterns, which leads to a difference in the ability to portray identity.

For example, the ability to purchase expensive ca and material goods such as cars from being in a well paid job will create an identity of a middle class citizen compared to coal miner wage on which limited items can be purchased. Consumption preferences and abilities are highly symbolic markers of status and dividers in social class. Some sociologists have argued that consumption has replaced class and that this now is the key factor in the structure of social division and identity. We can conclude that income, socialisation in the workplace, unemployment and social class.

It is evident that work is a contributory factory in influencing and creating identities. Also identities which are created by work are not unfixed, it can change by economic changes. Change of work from collective community base to individual to and material one would be clear today . Like what "call centers" employers do, they don't identify with their work, they define themselves by what they are spending and what they have. There is also an evident link between income and person, people's behaviors in the way which identity is created.

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The Impact of Work-Based on our Identity. (2017, Dec 01). Retrieved from

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