Social Constructionism, Identity and the Concept of Deviance Social constructionist use the term social construction to imply that our understanding of the world in which we live is constructed from the social interactions we have on a daily basis. In reference to identity, social constructionist theory (SCT) proposes that we as social beings actively construct our identities using social tools as the means in which to construct our identities, the foremost one being language. This particular theory views identity as conditional and self motivated as well as being related to one’s culture. Although other theories on identity consider the personal and social identity to be separate, SCT considers the personal and social identity to be …show more content…
He did not consider this a natural development, rather an aspect of his life which he constructed himself, hence constructing his own identity (Mapping Psychology, 2002). Another aspect of constructing identity can be applied to the concept of deviance, symbolic interactionist refer to deviance using the labeling theory, which refers to the meanings that stem from labels, symbols, actions, and reactions that people have toward one another. This theory states that behaviors are only deviant if and when society labels them as deviant. This being the case, members of society that have conformed to what is considered non-deviant behavior, (normal behavior) then interpret behaviors that go against social norms as deviant and as such, attach the label of deviant onto those individuals (Hewitt, 2007). The concept of deviance fits right into the SCT because the individuals that are labeled deviant have in some way shape or form constructed the deviant identity that warrants such a label. Our autobiographical narratives also support the construction of identity, by using cultural models of self narration as well as drawing on our own experiences, who we associate with, when and where, all have an impact on how we tell our stories (Hewitt, 2007). This serves in understanding how identities are fluid and are always changing from situation to situation, an aspect which anyone from the psychosocial school of thought
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According to the symbolic interactionist perspective, meaning and reality are constructed through social interaction; through sharing and communication of symbols (Cartwright, p.156). Through this concept comes the idea of the labeling perspective, which states that deviance is a social construct. Using a number of theories connected to the labelling perspective such as primary/secondary deviance, self-fulfilling prophecy and master status, will demonstrate the subjectivity that many would consider it to be deviant.
The Social Identity theory (SIT) was proposed by Henry Tajfel. It was then later developed by Tajfel and Turner in 1971 to help them understand inter group relations. The Social Identity theory assumes that individuals strive to improve their self-image by trying to enhance their self-esteem, through social (in and out groups) and personal identities. There are 4 main concepts within the social identity theory all of which will be discussed in the essay.
In the movie “looking for alibrandi the director presents the viewer with the idea that people can attain an enduring sense of both identity and belonging. The director believes that many life experiences compel us to alter our sense of self. Both text, movie and the story of my friend suggest that our identity changes depending on
“’Identity has been increasingly used to refer to the social and historical make-up of a person, personality as a construct. Sometimes such identities are conceived narrowly psychological, individualist terms, as the cumulative result of personal experience and family history”
The world has become modern and global. Identification of the self is a complicated, though, an important problem of every individual. Self- identity is based on inner values and reflections on culture, politics and social interactions. The main point is that people label themselves to any particular group in the society (Worchel etc., 1998). According to Ferguson: “Identity commonly refers to which it makes, or is thought to make
This led to Becker to suggest that deviancy was the consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions directed at an offender: the deviant was a person ‘to whom that label successfully been applied, deviant behaviour is behaviour that people so label’ (Becker, 1963:9)
Within the study of deviance, the labeling perspective as well as symbolic interactionism aid in our understanding of the stigmatizing process that takes place. More specifically, these theories help us understand the process of being labeled by other individuals, and our response to this labeling
The social identity theory is a theory developed by Henry Tajfel, in which Tajfel believes that who we are socially determines how many positive feelings we have towards ourselves. Basically, if we like where we stand socially, then we will like who we are and display happiness. In this theory, Tajfel labels the “in group” and the “out group” and says that we will always compare our “in group” to another’s “out group.” By comparing these groups, we develop a better personal view on ourselves (King, 2009). A big factor of the social identity theory is that the groups will tend to critique the differences of the groups, and overlook the similarities. A modern day example of the social identity theory would be your everyday high school cheerleaders versus band members. The cheerleaders think of themselves as the queen bees of the school,
Who are you? Who am I? These are questions that we all ponder at some point or another in our lives. As human beings we are seemingly inundated with the desire to classify and categorise. We are constantly defining and analysing the differences that we observe in the world, it seems only natural that we would apply this method of classification to our position within our society. More specifically, we want to understand our social identities and this can be achieved by acknowledging which groups we identify most with.
Deviance regulation theory seeks to explain why people choose to deviate from behavioural norms in order to create definitive identities for themselves (Blanton 2003:115). The theory states that people want to choose how they are viewed by people, by deciding in which way they are different from others (Blanton 2003:115). Deviance regulation theorists believe that differences in behaviour is what gives people their individuality (Blanton 2003:115). However, people have the opportunity to choose specific ways in which way they would like to deviate from these behavioural norms. Deviance regulation theorists believe that people decide to deviate in ways that are positive and favourable as opposed to the ways that are viewed as negative (Blanton
There are various kinds of identity (individualized or shared) that people are expected to possess. (Hollinger, 2004) namely; personal identity which is known as a
Nevertheless, social constructionist’ theory is contradictory. Having considered that social constructionism points out that we need to doubt the existing social science, and also to question the existing view that conventional knowledge is based on objective and value-free observation (Burr. V, 1995). Accordingly, social constructionists appear unbiased and objective in terms of producing knowledge and analyzing previous social science. However, a value judgment is involved in how they define social phenomena. According to Hacking’s (1999) statement, Social constructionists concentrate on evaluating things and transforming things in order to satisfy themselves. Take the feminist movement as a typical example to illustrate how social constructionism’
Social identity theory, it is a person’s sense that is based around the group they are in, either by their personal identity or with different kinds of social identities. That is, people will try to improve their own image of themselves. The theory was proposed by Henri Tajfel. People can increase their self-esteem by both their own achievement and interaction with a successful group of people. This shows the importance of social belonging. This theory is based around three mental processes, social categorization, social identification and social comparison.
In general we differentiate between two “kinds” of identity. On the one hand there is the so called social identity, which stresses self-interpretation as a member of a certain social group and on the other hand there is the personal identity, which puts it´s emphasis on individuality and distinctiveness. This distinction is widely known as “patchwork-identity”. Both identities are only a subgroup of many different subjectively interpreted identities that everyone of us has innate.
I think more like a functionalist when discussing the issue of deviance. The textbook states that Durkheim’s Anomie Theory claims deviance occurs when social norms have been broken down and there are weak or no control mechanisms in a society. I agree with this because if people do not understand how they should act, then they may act out of character in some people’s opinions. In order to keep people in control, we need laws and social norms that are coherent throughout a society. A conflict theorist might claim that deviance stems from inequality. When someone is not treated fairly and do not have the benefits that another person does, they are more likely to act out. A symbolic interactionist may use the labeling theory to support the idea that people act out only when they believe they are seen as a deviant.