Identity in contemporary society Essay

How does category influence individuality in modern-day society? The category construction involves some grade of determining our individualities. Income and paid work are of import beginnings of single and corporate individuality. Social category is a agency of sorting the economic and societal divisions of a society. which involve some grade of inequality. For illustration sorting some people as hapless. working category or in-between category. We may follow or contend these representations.

Peoples define their economic place through thoughts about the incomes and chances of others. therefore individualities are influenced by income. whether we imagine peoples incomes to be in the center or if we see it as between the rich and hapless.

There are two chief traditions within the construct of societal category and its consequence on individuality. These traditions are in the plants of Karl Marx ( 1818-1883 ) and Max Weber ( 1864-1920 ) . While they differ in the apprehension of category and society. they portion positions on categories structured out of economic relationships.

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The Marxist theory of category shows that the category a individual belongs to is a cardinal portion of their individuality. For Marx. society generated two chief categories. a capital-owning category and a belongings less category. They called these the opinion category and the on the job category or the middle class and the labor. Class is rooted in the economic organisation of production i. e. those groups who own mills. farms. coal mines or natural stuffs. These groups look after their ain involvements. live in similar milieus and send their kids to similar schools. Marx believed that category consciousness is peculiarly of import to our apprehension of individuality. This is an consciousness of a shared category involvement and the being of categories with opposing involvements. Class consciousness would emerge through solidarity and corporate action. For Marx. the cardinal factor is private ownership of economic resources.

Max Webers theory saw category as of import when organizing an individuality. Weber saw category as a group of persons who have certain involvements in common ; this is known as market place. for illustration holding similar chances for gaining income through work or trade. Weber recognised that position is besides of import within societal groups. Status is the different sums of prestigiousness. honor or societal standing that is attached to different societal groups. So where we live. mode of address. our schooling and leisure wonts make up one’s mind our societal category. This would propose possibly position could hold every bit much influence on individuality as category. Webers theories would propose that although. like Marx. agreed that different categories exist. Status was the cardinal factor in make up one’s minding our individualities and which group we belong to.

Class is going more diverse with wider mention points within the constructions. Some sociologists have gone every bit far as to state category is dead ; ( Pakulski and Waters. 1996 ) . although a study in 1996 showed that two tierces of those interviewed felt that there is one jurisprudence for the rich and one for the hapless ( Adonis and Pollard. 1998. p. 11 ) Sociologists and political scientists have argued that there has been a displacement from corporate to single individualities and besides a displacement from business to ingestion forms. It was argued that good paid working category were following in-between category values. hence gnawing category individuality.

A survey at Vauxhalls Luton auto works ( Goldthorpe et al. . 1969 ) . on auto workers attitudes and category individuality showed marks of a fragmenting working-class individuality and a new one development.

This would propose that work based individualities are going less of import. The alteration in employment constructions every bit good as occupation stableness has possibly caused this displacement.

Peter Saunders put forward that ingestion and life style are now more of import in determining individualities than occupation-based category. He argued that there was a turning division between those who could fulfill their ingestion demands. through lodging. autos and private wellness attention and those who relied on public conveyance and province provided lodging and wellness attention. Saunders was criticized for being unable to turn out that ingestion influences peoples individualities.

To reason. societal category can supply us with a sense of belonging and how we can associate to the universe around us. Who we are and what we do and have. alteration over clip and economic constructions such as inequality have an consequence on our thoughts of who we are and can be. However. although societies exist and map within category constructions it does non intend that all members of that society place with a category. It seems as category is going more diverse. it is going less of import within individuality as individualism becomes more valued and encouraged.


Adonis. A. and Pollard. S. ( 1998 ) A Class Act. Harmondsworth. Penguin.

Goldthorpe. J. . Lockwood. D. . Bechhoffer. F. and Platt. J. ( 1969 ) The Affluent Worker: Industrial Attitudes and Behaviour. Cambridge. Cambridge University PressPakulski. J. and Waters. M. ( 1996 ) The Death of Class. London. Sage.


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