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Examine the Contribution of Interactionist Views to Our Understanding of Identity

  • Date Submitted: 03/10/2013 10:42 AM
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Examine the contribution of interactionist views to our understanding of identity

Interactionist's are a part of the action approach that focus on the individual micro level of society. Individuals are not born with their identity, it changes through time by social interactions or life events such as bereavement, mutilation, redundancy or being labelled as a criminal. Also people may adopt certain mannerisms or dress to a certain style deliberately to make a statement to the society, this explains that identity isn’t forced upon the people of society.

Bradley attempts to pull together classical and post-modern sociological approaches to understand the relationship between identity and inequality. There are two types of identity, personal identity which is visible to the public and social identity which is our identification with a particular social group. The process works through three levels of identity's working; The passive identitie is your class but most British people tend to ignore their class inequalities, active identities are what people are conscious of and this controls their actions and   politicized identities this is   formed by campaigns highlighting the importance of a particular identity and using it as a basis for organising collective data, for example feminists succeeded turning gender in 1970's and 1980's. Bradley agrees that there is a large choice of identity however she see’s identities are still rooted in memberships of social groups. Bradley examines four aspects of inequalities: class, gender, race/ethnicity and age.

Mead argued that the basic feature of humans is the possession of a sense of self or identity. Mead sees that language allows us to ask are selves questions like what sort of person am I? From a young age children grow up and develop a sense of themselves and what makes them different to other people. People communicating with others start to develop how people see them by the responses they get. Language gives us...


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