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what can social science tell us about the formation of identities

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  • Essay length: 899 words
  • Submitted: 03/05/2009
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AS and A Level Crime & Deviance

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What can social science tell us about the formation of identities?

"Identity offers a means of thinking about and understanding how the personal and social are connected" (Woodward, 2003, p 19). The concept of identity in social science has many personal and social dimensions to be accounted for. For instance, gender, social class, nationality, and ethnicity. Some aspects are formed through official documents such as a passport or birth certificate. According to Woodward (2004, p 8) Madan Sarup uses passports from different stages of his life to convey some aspects of his identity. All three passports reveal his name, gender and categorize him as to what nation he belongs to, suggesting continuity to his identity. The passports also reveal his physical appearance. The question, "which is the real you?" by Sarup's friend, suggests that identities are not fixed but changing over time, acquiring multiple identities is possible. Woodward (2004, p 151) identified that multiple identities can lead to diversity. This essay will examine what factors contribute to shaping identity: discussing how much control is exercised by social structure, and how much control an individual or society have constructing identity. The link between the personal and social. Furthermore, this essay

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