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Discuss the proportion that whilst class may have lost its force in the collective sense nevertheless class remains fundamental both to culture and perceptions of individual human identity

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Introduction

Discuss the proportion that whilst class may have lost its force in the collective sense nevertheless class remains fundamental both to culture and perceptions of individual human identity Since ancient times, most of societies have been divided by a hierarchy ladder between their members. During the course of history, humans have been classified in many ways - by wealth, power, status, education, occupation and gender. The term 'class' has always been difficult to explain. According to Karl Marx 'it is an explanatory term linking the economic sphere of production with political and ideological superstructure' (Pakulski and Waters,1996, The death of class: p1). Weber said that ''classes are composed of the various groups whose market opportunities and life - chances are similar''. Another opinion about class was developed by Emile Durkheim and defined by Talcott Parson, who described class as an one organism where any part of organism must be seen in terms of the organism as a whole.(Haralambos, 2009:p8) The first theory about social classes was given by functionalists, who compared society with the human body and find lot of similar things. For instance human body grows and develops, the same process they found in society: society also develops and changes. ...read more.

Middle

They thought that the function of these cultural institutions is to keep up class inequality and influence on human identity and culture. This plan and ideological device were so successful that the majority of working class believed that their position in society is deserved. Through ideology capitalist shaped the way of life of an identity. For instance TV, cinema and music advertise us that to buy more and more material goods, which would make us happier. This means that most of people are not suspecting about their real identity. Marxists determined it as false class consciousness. They believed, that working class will find the real truth and fight for their rights against capitalist system. Max Weber was another sociologist who took a conflict perspective. Weber agreed with Marx that social class was main source of unfairness between people of different classes, but Weber argued and thought that status more important than class. For example injustice between White and Black in South Africa, 1950s: poor White had more power and status, than educated and successful Black. Weber thought that people from the same status group share a similar lifestyle and identity. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is goes without saying that even though 'class' no longer exists, but we could easily identify person`s class, status and possessions from their clothing and way of behaving. The principle of the identity is closely linked to the idea of culture. As I have already mentioned identities could also be formed through the cultures to which people belong to. "Culture is the language, beliefs, values and norms, customs, dress, diet, roles, knowledge and skills which make up 'the way of life' of an individual society "(Ralph Linton, 1945). For example norms and diet, in the UK at 17 o`clock most people have their couple of tea. Culture includes teaching and learning such process like socialization. We gain our identity through "socialisation". Socialisation is the process by which we, as individuals, become members of our society or culture. We are also active participants in this process - we decide what to accept or reject. Process of learning culture or socialization includes family, school, peer, media and religion. For example: family, your parents give you name, first beliefs and tastes; school, teaches person rules and gives knowledge; religion, teach people to appreciate some values; peers, teach person how to socialize; media, gives people ideas about gender, status and class. ...read more.

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