• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Evaluate the view that class is the most important source of an individuals identity.

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Melissa Dawes Evaluate the view that class is the most important source of an individual?s identity. Social Class is known as the position in the social and economic structure. Most sociologists find it convenient to use occupation as a measure of a person?s social class. Different social classes have their own identities, own set of values, and their own lifestyles and habits. Every person has their own identity. Identity is an individual?s concept of themselves. This can be related to class, gender or ethnicity. It is said that class has a powerful impact on a person?s identity. One of the classes is upper class. It is often claimed that the upper class has a strong sense of collective identity because it is ?closed? i.e. not open to entry from below. According to John Scott (1982), upper class people maintain their class position, and gain a sense of collective upper class identity through such things as education, inter-marriage, and social / leisure activities. ...read more.


Roberts argues that the middle class place a high value on the ideas of a ?career?. This means they try to achieve a secure job, which has opportunities for promotion and is reasonable well paid. To do this they will need to achieve as many qualifications as they can and are therefore highly motivated and encouraged by the parents to do well at school. Once in a job they are very likely to work hard and become very work-centred. Roberts also argues that the middle class are claimed to be involved with more leisure activities and be generally more active than said working class. More holidays, sports, more visits to the theatre and countryside etc take place and this happens much more frequently than other classes. The economic basis for class identity and solidarity has weakened for the working class due to the heavy manual jobs declining , making room for the new, modern forms of work. However, despite all that, there are still things that branch the class together to create an identity. ...read more.


argued that class is the most common and powerful source of social identity. He found that 60% of the sample he studied thought of themselves as belonging to a particular social class. Over 90% could place themselves in a class if prompted. Marxist theory supports this where they say social classes are based on their economic position. On the other hand, Mike Savage?s research suggests that class is still an important influence on people?s lives and living standards but class identities have weakened. Most people recognise the relevance of class in the wider society but are not keen to express their own personal identities in class terms. So the typical attitude towards class identity is one of mixed feelings. Whilst social class proves very important for someone?s sense of identity, other aspects must be taken into account. Ethnicity, age and gender all affect our collective identity as well. To conclude, class is important as a source of collective identity as people learn to identify with members of their own social class and become aware of the differences that separate social classes. It makes People become ?class conscious?. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Assess the view that cults, sects and new age movement are fringe organisations that ...

    They bring people of different backgrounds together and allow for social solidarity. However it can be very hard to put religions like this under a particular category as they can overlap. For example a NRM could also could under the inclusive or exclusive definitions.

  2. Culture & Identity

    more inquisitive the division of work makes apparent the need for specialisation. This means then that individuals become less like each other but still require each other. For example a medical patient may need a doctor to relieve illness such as a doctor needs patients for research of improving their profession.

  1. Sociology: Identity

    Robertson (1992, p8) defined globalisation is 'the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole' (In Held et al., 1999). Greater global awareness through media coverage might have stimulated global tourism and established new consumption patterns. Ease and frequency of the internet technology and communication spurred consumption extended across national boundaries.

  2. Changes in the social structure of education and its impact on class and gender ...

    home with their mothers and learning domestic skills considered to be acceptable. Secondary schools for upper and middle class girls were gradually established during the late 19th century and early part of the 20th century but were far less numerous than those for boys.

  1. The issue of two interwoven entities - personal identity and ethnicity

    They are as follows: the common origins (whether this is understood by one's nationality or geographic origin), traditions and culture, religion, the same race, the common language, the common values and ethos, or the same minority status. However, in my essay I conceive ethnicity of studied as reflected by their origins.

  2. Explain and briefly evaluate the view that education is the most important agent in ...

    However, an individual who attends private school will most likely participate in sport activities, such as; polo and golf, both these activities tend to be from higher culture based activities which are associated with the upper/higher class families. On the other hand, the family too does a play an important

  1. Explain and briefly evaluate how class influences an individuals age identity? [24 mk]

    Norms would include the type of car driven, places to shop for clothes, hobbies and holiday destinations. Values may be concerned with health issues of life. All of these may differ according to class. In many respects middle age like old age can be identified as having a low status.

  2. Explain and evaluate the use of unstructured interviews/qualitative data to research the lifestyle choices ...

    much of the sample rested upon the choice of individuals at the first stage. 1. Was the selected sample ?representative?? In terms of social characteristics such as age, class and occupation it seemed to be a fair reflection of the target population namely retired senior managers.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work