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

How is gender influenced by social structures

Extracts from this document...


How is gender influenced by social structures What is meant by identity? Firstly this essay is going to explore what is meant by identity. Identity is made up of individual characteristics by which a person is known. Internal factors such as physical appearance, personality, mental ability and sex would have an affect on a person's identity. Then there are the external factors such as family, class, religion, culture, occupation and nationality which would influence one's identity. Then, even beyond all these personal and social structures, societal opinions about gender, race, culture, ethnicity and nationality must have an impact on identity. Many attributes of identity are formed from childhood experience, adolescence, early adulthood and are ever forming. Identity can therefore be ever changing externally according to the life experiences through which a person goes through. Births, deaths, marriage, divorce, abuse, immigration, good or bad fortune for example are likely to cause change, and therefore influence change to identity. These may ultimately result in a change to the internal identity: physical, mental etc Gender identities are formed by several different factors, i.e. individual and collective; social and biological. Biologically, it would be quite easy to look at the body of a person and be able to distinguish between a male and a female, from their genitalia. ...read more.


Class, our economic background, education and the lifestyle we have. Occupation and Income. Life experience and upbringing. Change. Biology and Genetics. Society. All the factors that make up a person's identity are so complex and often intertwined, it is impossible to any one of them, but all are ever changing and always developing, which is why the identity of a person is always changing and forming. Word Count: 595 In what ways can occupation and employment affect identity? Occupation plays a great role in who we are. In earlier times it was men who went out to work and were the sole breadwinners, while women stayed at home to care for their children and the home. In more recent times, although men are generally the primary breadwinners, there are a significant number of women who are in paid employment. Many women go out to work to help support their families financially and in few cases are even the main earner, but nowadays there are a large number of women who choose to have careers before, as well as or instead of having families. As much as the occupation or career path that a person chooses has an impact on their identity, often their identity itself would have played a key role in them choosing that occupation. ...read more.


Whereas in an occupation such as hairdressing, fashion or beauty, you would dress in a more trendy fashion as you are selling an image to your clientele. The colleagues with whom you work often become a part of your social group of peers. It is more likely that people will socialize in circles of people with common occupations or similar earning power. As well as "putting food on the table, clothes on our backs and a roof over our heads", employment provides us with a sense of worth, it feeds our pride. Someone who is unemployed, whether or not by choice, may be labeled as lazy and useless, and have a general lack of respect from society. Especially if it is not by their own choice, they probably feel worthless. Although it is now common for women to go out to work, men still see their roles as the main breadwinner. Where once that was their role, and the women stayed at home to look after the needs of their husbands and children, women are now holding down high-powered jobs, as well as still seeing to the general needs of their families. Occupation and income are both important aspects of identity, who we are, how we see ourselves, how we represent ourselves and how others see us. ...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. Sex is biologically determined, however, is gender the product of social construction or predetermined?

    There is also the private body of the transsexual where they need to be cautious and avoid certain situation if they have not undergone the appropriate operations. Gender is certainly not shaped through biology. Although some people are attributed with a certain gender along with hormones, chromosomes and genitals, they don't necessarily coincide.

  2. Culture & Identity

    Post modernists claim that most of the meta-narratives or major myths that justified scientific progress are no longer necessarily , regarded as true. Amongst the meta-narratives are the myth of truth and the myth of liberation. The myth that the use of science and technology would somehow make people free

  1. Sociology: Identity

    power', wealth gradually became more identically distributed in capitalist societies (ibid, 85). Apparently, inequality still remaining due to groups attempt to achieve higher status, wealth and power; whereas consumer power has increased. The underprivileged, Pakulski and Waters referred as 'ascriptively disprivileged underclass', being marked out by their inability to engage in 'status consumption'.

  2. Differences between sex and gender

    Such examples are visible body hair, physical appearance, clothing and behaviour, to name a few. In contrast, the 'sex-gender distinction' is moreover backed up by Garfinkel (1967) who examined that western societies rely on a dimorphic model of sex. This model suggests that as soon as a newborn child is

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

    Within the comprehensive system school diversity developed, with Specialist schools n a particular area, such as science, being allowed to select up to 10% of their intake; beacon schools (lower performing schools) were given increased funding to improve teaching practice.

  2. 'why do some do better at school than others?' This essay explores the home ...

    They are more likely to have a quiet place to do homework. For example working class may be living in crowded, unhealthy living conditions etc... Middle- class parents are also more likely to be able to provide 'cultural capital'. For example, there may be money for a tutor, more books

  1. Young peoples decision making is influenced by a number of social factors. Identify three ...

    they make in the future due to the guidance issues they have faced in the Past, this can be the same case vice-versa with the mother and daughter situation. " The family holds within itself the future of society....the family is the vital environment where every child brought into the world is welcomed" (Pope John Paul 2nd (1993))

  2. Biological and Social Constructionist explanations of Gender development

    sex chromosomes, some baby boys have an extra X chromosome (XXY) these boys grow up to have more feminine traits as well as more female looking bodies. This lends weight to the biological argument that chromosomes have a major effect on gender.

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