Culture and Identity

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BROWNE CH 1–4 (M1203).qxp:John Q7

26/3/08

10:47

Page 29

CHAPTER

2

Culture and Identity

BROWNE CH 1–4 (M1203).qxp:John Q7

26/3/08

10:47

Page 30

Contents
Key issues The meaning and importance of culture Dominant culture Subculture Folk culture High culture Mass, popular or low culture The changing distinction between high culture and mass culture Global culture The concept of identity Different types of identity The socialization process Primary socialization Secondary socialization Socialization and the social construction of self and identity Theoretical approaches to the role of socialization in the formation of culture and identity Structural approaches Social action approaches A third way: structuration Social class and identity Social class Life chances Objective and subjective dimensions of class Social class cultures Is social class of declining importance in forming identities? The continuing importance of social class Gender and identity Sex and gender Gender and biology The significance of gender as a source of identity Gender stereotypes and hegemonic gender identities in Britain The social construction of hegemonic gender identities through socialization Changing gender identities 31 31 31 32 32 32 33 35 36 Is there a crisis of masculinity? Is gender still an important source of identity? 74 74

38 41 43 44 44 46

46 47 47 50 50 51 51 52 53
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63 63 65 70

Sexuality and identity Gender, sexuality and ‘normal’ sex Changing sexual identities Stigmatized or spoiled sexual identities Gay and lesbian identities A note of caution Ethnicity and identity What is meant by an ethnic identity? Diaspora and globalization Changing ethnic identities: new ethnicities and hybrid ethnic identities Ethnicity as resistance Ethnic identities in Britain Nationality and identity What is nationality? Nationality as a source of identity What is meant by a British identity? Globalization and declining national identities A British identity crisis? Disability and identity The social construction of disability Disability, socialization and stereotyping Disability as a ‘master identity’ Disability – a stigmatized or spoiled identity: an identity of exclusion Age and identity The social construction of age Age groups and identity Leisure, consumption and identity Postmodernism and identity The creation of identity in a media-saturated society How much free choice is there in choosing identities and lifestyle? Conclusion on leisure, consumption and identity Chapter summary Key terms Exam question

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BROWNE CH 1–4 (M1203).qxp:John Q7

26/3/08

10:47

Page 31

CHAPTER

2

Culture and Identity
K EY I SS U ES
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● The meaning and importance of culture The concept of identity The socialization process Socialization and the social construction of self and identity Theoretical approaches to the role of socialization in the formation of culture and identity Social class and identity Gender and identity Sexuality and identity Ethnicity and identity Nationality and identity Disability and identity Age and identity Leisure, consumption and identity

The meaning and importance of culture
The term ‘culture’ refers to the language, beliefs, values and norms, customs, dress, diet, roles, knowledge and skills, and all the other things that people learn that make up the ‘way of life’ of any society. Culture is passed on from one generation to the next through the process of socialization. Although there are many aspects of everyday life which are shared by most members of society, there are different conceptions and definitions of culture within this general approach. These are discussed below.

The dominant culture of a society refers to the main culture in a society, which is shared, or at least accepted without opposition, by the majority...
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