Week questions identity focusing on the individual’s perception

Week 7:

In this extract, Woodward K. (2004) questions identity focusing on the
individual’s perception of themselves in relation to others through the
discipline of sociology. She goes on to explore how our world is becoming more and
more unstable, but prevailing changes offer new opportunities as well as new
challenges for everyone around the world. Woodward deliberates whether or not gender,
class and ethnicity offer lucidity about who we are, or if these factors are to
be seen as constraints on our autonomy to choose our own identities. Moreover,
she explores the philosophy behind whether or not we are bound by the social
constraints and inequalities which we are born into. This text gives an easily graspable
examination of identity by weaving references to multiple social theorists such
as Mead (1934), Williamson (1986), and Goffman (1959) throughout the text to
critically analyse how identities are shaped. Woodward uses the evidence well
to support his argument that identity is fluid and is ever-changing. He puts
forward the argument that we build our identities through symbols and social
interactions, as a result of living in a fast growing changing society, our
identities are regularly being challenged and redefined


week 8:

In This extract, Tsolidis, G. (2013) draws on a larger wealth of
knowledge about diaspora using the case study of the Greek community of
Melbourne, Australia to examine the means through which young people from
minority ethnic groups form their own identities. Tsolidis beguines by describing
the long-standing community as “diverse”, to then go onto explaining that the young
people who were involved in this study give an insight into cultural processes through
which their identities are constructed. In most scenarios throughout he text,
it was the young people’s grandparents or great-grandparents who migrated to
from Greece to Melbourne which tells us that they don’t have a first-hand
experience of the Greek culture. This article examines the essence of what “home”
is in these young people’s self-identification, whether it’s the place in which
they are born and raised or the homeland to which they belong to through kinship.
Drawing on De Certeau’s (2001) work, Tsolidis, G. puts forward the argument that
the young people’s everyday experience can be seen as an act of “anti-discipline.”
as “users” of the Greek identity, they are bestowed through family, community,
and schooling. Further, the young people use “tactics” of cultural reformation
which allow for fusion of both “Greekness” and “Australianness.” This
demonstrates that although some may share two or more nationalities they can
adopt the cultures which come from both sides to shape their identity.


Week 9:

this extract, Eriksen (2010) presents a clear outline of
anthropology, targeting fundamental topics to the discipline, such as, age,
gender, and ethnicity, offering an array of examples which exhibit the vast
scope of anthropology and the essence of identity around the world. What makes
‘Small Places, Large Issues’ (2010) so potent in presenting argument on the
subject of age, gender and identity is his reviews of crucial monographs to
illustrate his argument. Eriksen’s clear and accessible text analyses the evidence
coherently as he picks apart the main argument made by ethnographers such as
Weiner (1988), Rosaldo and Lamphere (1974) and Bamberger (1988). What I find
interesting is that Eriksen delves deep into the distinct difference in moral
values that men and woman hold by putting forward the example of the two gendered
values in the Carrabin; men peruse to enhance their reputation; however, woman strive
to gain respectability which entails two different ways of perceiving and
experiencing the world (Wilson E. O 1978). Moreover, Eriksen talks about the
complexity of explaining or pinpointing what gender is for example in certain
societies, gay men are considered to be “intermediate” meaning they are nor
male nor female.  This exemplifies the
alteration in the definition of traditional male and female gender



Week 10:

After having carried
out a considerable amount of anthropological fieldwork in Calcutta, India, Donner, H. (2016) presents unprecedented ethnography
on the way in which the newly immerging middle-class, pacifically women, experience
economic prosperity through the evolution of their family life. Initially, this
extract explored intimate components of the woman’s lives, by analysing their
experience of marriage and childbirth, then proceeds to examine the repercussions
globalisation is having on the newly immerging middle classes in Asia,
specifically from a domestic point of view to explain how this is re-defining
woman’s identity. By making maternity the focal point in her writing, Donner
explores how the family is affected by the newly immerging neo-liberal
ideologies. Donner sheds some light on women’s influence as “wives mothers and
grandmothers” (p17) in these new structure, Domestic Goddesses confer the experiences
of the different generation whose identities are going to be affected by changes
as they recognise that woman’s identities are transforming according to changes
to attitudes in society. Through a precise evaluation of women’s narratives, Donner
concludes that the domestic sphere represents the key location for the
regeneration of Indian middle-class citizens in a globalised world. This
unprecedented insight into the class system through the family structure is
unusual but very effective in explaining the most fundamental factors
contributing woman’s experience of social class.


Week 11:

In the newest edition of her book, Cockburn (2015) gives the
reader an in-depth account of the most important theories and issues on gender
identity with reference to theorist such as Peterson
and Runyan (1993), Enloe W G (1996) and (Kramer 2000: 8), we
find that the book is written from a feminist perspective, explaining the importance to
contemporary global issues such as human rights, rape in war, terrorism, human
and arms trafficking while discussing woman’s experience of identity and sexuality in
the context of war.
Furthermore, the insights of feminist theory are often merged with a range of
other disciplines including International Relations (hence forth IR) to create
a new perspective entirely: Feminist IR. I believe this has changed the way we
look at feminism as it is no longer a stand-alone theory but is now linked with
a discipline which examines global issues surrounding age gender and ethnicity.
extract considers how contemporary the military has become as they are
increasing the inclusion of women in a range of roles within the armed forces.
Cockburn (2015) draws on the idea of the “retendered military” (p113), as she
presents a conceptual strategy for considering how feminist theorising about
the gender–military nexus can take seriously women’s military participation
while remaining alert to feminist political goals of gender equality, peace and

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