Shaping Identity Using Social Structure

1487 WordsMar 21, 20136 Pages
INTRODUCTION Social structure and social interaction are integral in evaluating a person’s identity. Identities are the sets of meanings people hold for themselves that define “what it means” to be who they are as persons, as role occupants and as group members (PJB article) People are generally influenced by the norms and beliefs of society. A person’s identity is formed through a combination of factors derived from social structure (macrosociology) and social interaction (microsociology). The self influences society through the actions of individuals thereby creating groups, organizations, networks, and institutions (PJB a soiciological approach to self and identity). Reciprocally, society influences the self through its shared language…show more content…
In addition, individuals can also reinforce their identity by using status symbols in as part of their appearance. This can be in the form of a work uniform to signify an occupation, or in a fashion sense, the type of clothing worn is a silent statement of what sets you apart from others. PARAGRAPH 3 As Linton states, “a person holds a status, and performs a role”. Simply put, a status is a position and a role is a set of behaviours. With each status, follows a certain role for us to take part in. People tend to adapt to roles, moving through different roles in fluency as student, son, friend.Because people tend to have many different statuses and therefore, many different roles, conflict occasionally occurs among the various roles. The concept of role conflict is "conflict among the roles connected to two or more statuses" (ref). A good example of role conflict lies in the working mother; she must take on the responsibilities of mothering the children at home while taking on the responsibilities of working outside the home, away from the children, in order to earn an income (RR). This kind of conflict involves roles which arise from separate statuses, but the same sort of conflict can occur from the roles of a single status. Role strain, then, is "tension among the roles connected to a single status". A teacher, for example, can be friendly with his or her students, but must remain objective in grading them.
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