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

Discuss the view that social class is no longer the most important source of an individual's identity (26)

Extracts from this document...


Matthew Hunt ? Discuss the view that social class is no longer the most important source of an individual's identity (26) The concept of social class is a difficult one to come to terms with. This is reflected by the many disagreements (in society as well as Sociology) as to the significance of social class. Some sociologists, for example, use the concept as a convenient way of classifying different occupational groups in society (managers, supervisors, employees and so forth). In this respect social class is seen to be a statistical category that does not have much significance outside the fact that it allows us to conveniently group people of similar occupations. This usage is probably closest to the Functionalist perspective in Sociology. Other sociologists, however, view social class as far more than a convenient classification of related occupations. Marxist sociologists, for example, see social class as a much more active concept. ...read more.


The second reason to support the argument is that while many respondents can identify a class structure and classify others in terms of class, they feel awkward about self-identification. It seems that they feel personally threatened by placing themselves in a class hierarchy, which is after all a set of power relations. Furthermore, they are unclear how they can use appropriate criteria to know their true class identities. Combining these points, many respondents wish to be treated as just individuals, and not to be labelled as belonging to one or another class. However, there are some reasons to doubt the key argument. The first reason, as correctly mentioned in the article, is that for some respondents class still is a political badge, and signals their political allegiance. For instance, to claim to be working class may imply that you are left wing, whereas claiming to be upper middle class can mark you as right wing. ...read more.


It's also worth taking a look at the other sources of identity. These are: Gender Nationality Age Ethnicity Compared to the other sources of identity, social class is the most difficult to define. If you asked someone "what gender are you?" they would be able to give an answer without hesitation. The same applies if you were to ask "what age are you?" or "what nationality are you?" or "what ethnicity are you?". Although, if you were to ask "what social class are you?" I would imagine there would be some confusion. This is because there is now a crossover between the classes. The traditional "working", "middle" and "upper" have began to merge together, making it difficult for people to choose which one they belong to. There is also no fixed definition of what it means to be "working/middle/upper" class. Ultimately, this begs the question - how can something that is impossible to define have any relevance to anybody? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology 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 GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Marriage is no longer important. Evaluate the arguments for and against

    4 star(s)

    Marriage is no longer important, because so many people are beginning to get divorced. Today divorce is a lot more socially acceptable, with lots of media influence and more benefits for single parents and also the fact it is a lot easier.

  2. ‘Gender Identity is not simply a matter of biology’

    Wilson and Barash see that a women always knows that her child is certainly hers, therefore be more willing to perform care towards the child, further more be willing to be a housewife in a modern society. The larger and more aggressive males will be more successful, females have no need to act in this way.

  1. What is more important to your identity? Your Social Group, Nationality, Gender or Ethnicity?

    I'm a Turkish Cypriot just because I was born in England doesn't make me English or British when I see (in newspapers/television) that we (English/British) did this (achievements in sport etc) I don't feel part of it, but when I see and hear about achievements of the Turkish people I feel proud that my nation is doing something good.

  2. How important is the relation between a person's occupation and his or her identity?

    in many cases such an identity did not exist previously' (James, 1993, p.243). v We can see from these two examples that identity is continually changing and has a direct relation to what surrounds us. What we are is determined by what others are and how they see us, this

  1. Young people, class and gender

    In 1975 the Sex Discrimination Act was brought in to stop discrimination on the grounds of sex in employment, education and equal chances of promotion. Women in work i.e. paid employment have recently increased, between 1971 and 1997 (E.O.C. briefings, Work and Parenting)

  2. classifications and social identity What have you learnt thus far about your identity and/or ...

    Taking this further into consideration, their definition of classification suggests that we as human beings place ourselves, objects and others into certain categories. The categories which are created are often imbricated in our lives and are ordinarily invisible. When considering certain categories, which are created by ourselves and created by

  1. Explore conflicting accounts of Jewish Identity in

    Only half right the other half wrong"[22][22] so she wouldn't be a great loss so far as Jewish purity was concerned. Barbara receives teasing at the hands of her younger Jewish cousins who ridicule her for her lack of knowledge about their customs, for example Barbara almost uses the same

  2. The growth of New Social Movements is evidence of a post-industrial society in which ...

    This finding links to my third objective of my rationale as I am investigating into this area. My three objectives stated in my rationale are interrelated social developments, which are used by some as evidence of a post-industrial society, one where traditional class struggle and political issues no longer exist.

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