• 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?

    The Psychoanalytic Theory explained that gender identity is fixed before children are aware of genital differences. Person (1974) found that blind children develop stable gender identities and share social definitions of feminity and masculinity.

  2. 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'.

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

    Schools involve values derived from middle class experiences and the concerns and norms that reflect these values. Hand in hand with this goes the self-fulfilling prophecy. When labelled by a teacher the child may accept this and start to believe it.

  2. Culture & Identity

    We are ever influenced and react towards such perceptions. Social class can be used as an example. By having an identity that relates to a class in which you belong then we accept and internalise the roles and values of that position.

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

    Ethnicity The minorities who do least well are Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and Afro- Caribbean because they are from working - class backgrounds. Working - class children may find it hard to adapt to the English needed in schools. Asian children are likely to be bilingual.

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

    The research tool I used to collect the date in my empirical study is a questionnaire that I distributed among the teenagers at the Highland Park High School. The questionnaires were distributed at random and filled out by the children of the newcomers to US (mostly from Latin America, Asia,

  1. Differences between sex and gender

    Such examples can be seen in research on transgendered individuals. For instance, transsexuals, are individuals who psychologically feel that they a 'trapped in the wrong body' i.e. their biological identity is not correlated to their gender. Bornstein (1998) supports this view, in arguing that the discrepancy between sex and gender

  2. Biological and Social Constructionist explanations of Gender development

    in the Dominican Republic. Four of the ten children in the family were born daughters with normal female body shape and function, yet at age twelve, due to a flood of testosterone which in turn produces dihydrotestosterone (DHT) their vaginas healed over, two testicles descended and they grew full size penises.

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