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How Much Agency Do We Have In Shaping Our Identities
Before we answer this question it is very important we understand what identity is. Identity can de defined as the individual active engagement, identifying with or several groups of people through differences or similarities. It is a link and product to the society that we live in and our individual relationship with one another. Conclusively, it is a link between social and personal relationship.
Identities can be categorized as fluid or liquid, collective or individual as well as how others see me or how I see my self. Our identity, social progress and personal attributes are formed through interacting with other people. The main cause of this formation is the society structure that we live in (Woodward, 2004, p.14).
The main objective of this essay is to look at the structure as well as agency in the formation of our identity and highlight the structure that governs it. We are going to examine three major categories of identity formation including class, race or ethnicity and gender.
Identities based on gender are non essentialist due to the fact that we can not categorize them (watt and Gove, 2004). Because of this the agency which is based on gender must consider biological and social factors. It is argued that, symbols can be used in construction of our identity and so it is correct to state that existence of agency is mainly in the symbolism of clothing which aligns us with stereotype of societal gender. Although through surgery we can change our anatomy, some structures are still not movable. Gender is assigned to us when we are born in Britain on the basis of biological evidence (watt and Gove 2004). Once this happens, it can never changed and if affects all other life documents that one may possess including a passport. By this watt and Gove argument that gender can be socially constructed is supported by this social structure. Never the less there is a fixed social structure that exists in Britain far from agency. The question is, do similar restrictive structures stay alive in the class identity?
For self identification, we do so by trying to find feeling of belonging, similarities or sometimes making statements to the whole world that is who new are. We mark this differences and similarities with supporting vices which may include symbols like emblems or budges as well as other representations. This proves that we have an extent of capability towards formation of our identity. Another proven fact is that symbols, representations and social groups are socially developed in order to bring us back to a structure as well as provide a link between social and the personal, who we perceive ourselves to be and how others perceive us. According to (Louise A, 2004), he argues that recruiting of people into their identities most likely through the media is the process through which compare themselves in liking the images that are portrayed and identifying them selves with them by thinking “that can be me”. This happens unconsciously or consciously depending on the standards of control which we might posses over the construction of our identities. For example if we consider gender, what does it really have to do with how we perceive ourselves? It is obvious to say that a division exists between us that is either male or female but this does not socially categorize us. It have become accepted that female can handle male occupations, as well as other fields that have been known for generations to be male dominated. This means that biological factors and social stereotypes have been influencing us. nowadays in this contemporary society, there is a biological freedom of gender whereby one can change his or her sex. A person who does this mostly have a feeling that they came into the world not the way they wished they were born. They face constrains of their personal certificate of birth which unfortunately cannot be changed.
Although we can argue that social status has replaced class identity on the basis of our consumption pattern, there remains some relevance in the social class. A survey in Britain known as the British social attitudes survey in 1995 proved that on more that 68 percent of the people who were in the survey that, the opportunities of a person are affected by his or her social class (Mooney & Mackintosh, 2004). Their interpretation of class help to demonstrate the amount of controls we.............
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