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social action v social structure

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Introduction

Social Action The Social Action theorist's view point is that the individual is able to control his or her own actions, make choices and behave in a way they choose to rather then being controlled by society. This does not mean the individual will ignore the social norms and values it means they will interpret them in there own way. Social action theorists believe that individuals judge and interprets the situation and then acts on these things. Evaluation Social action theory's look at small scale situations but it could be argued that as we have meetings and exchanges in small scale situations with various people over the day it is important to helping us from our character and social identity. Symbolic interactionism is also something which we do in everyday life; we are always trying to interpret what is going on around us and how we fit into it. We act on our view and interpretation of the situation and sometimes it's wrong. It could be argued all people have free will to make decisions in life but to the extent they practice it is dependent on how happy they are with the situation they are in. Social Systems From the social Structure theorists' view point is that the individual is controlled by society, Society is moulding us to conform to different groups and once we have we take on there norms, values and behaviour to fit in. ...read more.

Middle

Again some may argue that this is also ignoring individualism and free will, a person will make there own choices. It could be argued that now more than ever before the youth culture is demonstrating free will, becoming more individual and stretching the limits societies norms and values. This could be seen as conflict. In this essay I will be discussing how influential the post-modernists' view on class and gender are with shaping our identity. It is obvious that there is still a class structure in Britain today although it seems that there is less extremes of class; very rich & very poor. The working class has changed over the years with Britain becoming less industrialised and trade orientated. The working class would have been manual workers such as ship builders, miners or factory workers. These workers would have lived near their place of work along with their colleagues, they would socialise together and had probably formed a very close community. These things would have helped them form their identity and relate to those around them through their class but, in recent years with Britain's decline in exporting goods many of the manual jobs have disappeared. This means those communities will have broken down and people will have moved away to find new work. ...read more.

Conclusion

As the world is becoming more materialistic possessions and lifestyle determine your class not occupation. Gender is a very big part of our identity, from a very young age we are reinforced with gender appropriate toys, games, stories and views. Children learn from watching those around them, little girls want to be like mummy so they will have dolls and Hoovers to copy mummy. But postmodernists are arguing that gender characteristics are being transferred between the sexes. More and more woman are becoming assertive and concentrating on their careers before having a family this means woman are becoming more powerful, no longer the weaker sex this, could be threatening male identity of being the bread winner. This could be the reason the 'new man' is appearing. Males are taking on feminine characteristics, they pay more attention to their appearance, use more beauty and styling products and there are more men's' lifestyle magazines than ever before. As woman are getting better jobs/ careers they will be earning more money giving them economic independence. The mass media now target woman more in their advertising as they know more and more young single women have the means to live a better lifestyle, buy more goods and pursue different leisure activities. It is becoming more apparent that typical gender characteristics are becoming interchangeable with actual gender. The postmodernists see that your social identity is now being based on consumption of goods and lifestyle rather that class or gender. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jill Hehir SOCIOLOGY ...read more.

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