Examine the contribution of interactionist views to our understanding of identity
Interactionist's are a part of the action approach that focus on the individual micro level of society. Individuals are not born with their identity, it changes through time by social interactions or life events such as bereavement, mutilation, redundancy or being labelled as a criminal. Also people may adopt certain mannerisms or dress to a certain style deliberately to make a statement to the society, this explains that identity isn’t forced upon the people of society.
Bradley attempts to pull together classical and post-modern sociological approaches to understand the relationship between identity and ...view middle of the document...
Language gives us the ability to have internal conversations, this enables us to reflect and this shows that everyones identities are constantlychanging and developing in everyday life. The I is known as knower and is accumulated by individual's impulses, creativity and ego. The Me is known by how others see ones self, this can be changed in time or dramatically changed by life events, such as being labelled as a criminal. The me is accumulated by being socialised in norms and values.
Charles Cooley looking glass self concept conveys the idea that we see ourselves by what other people think of us, as the 'glass' refers to a mirror reflecting back to us from others this is called reflective appraisal. The concept makes us able to change our identities easily as it is the way we look and behave, also it makes us realise what kind of personality we need to fit in. However there are times when people view themselves as kind, beautiful and friendly but others may see them as unfriendly etc., and this makes people adopt to a new self identity. Overall this proves that identities are not a personal but they are shaped by socialising.
Goffman 1990 thinks that people deliberately arrange the way they look to make a public statement, they do this by performing to the society Goffman calls this 'presentation of self'. The individuals are trying to get across to others what their identity is and they do this by their appearance, mannerisms, religion etc.
Impression management is when individuals try to convince themselves with the identity that suits them, they do this by copying or creating the type of identity they want to be. For example changing their clothing, appearance,body language, and the words they use. They...