Examine Sociological Contributions to Our Understanding of How Identity Is Shaped by Nationality and Disability

Topics: Nation, Sociology, Culture Pages: 2 (733 words) Published: May 12, 2013
Nationality usually involves the rights and responsibilities to being a citizen such as health care and education, having a passport and paying taxes which is a part of an individual identity which primarily defines ‘who you are’, as Woodward suggested. Nationality is often based on place of birth or marriage but can also be achieved through naturalization, where people choose their nationality after meeting legal requirements which contributes to our understanding of how identity is shaped by nationality. A national identity is formed by the agencies of socialisation (primary and secondary), through which it is passed from one generation to the next. Hall suggests that every nation has a collection of stories and symbols which help people to construct their national identity. In Britain; the Queen, national foods (e.g. fish and chips) and drinks (e.g. tea), national sports, dress, music, language, flag and an anthem help individuals to construct their national identity. This helps us to understand how social identity is shaped by nationality because this gives people a sense of belonging to a nation-state and allows them to share things in common with others of the same nationality. National identity and nationalism (sense of pride and commitment to a nation) are usually linked to nationality and membership of a nation-state, but this is not necessarily the case in Britain. This is because Britain is made up of a wide variety of ethnic groups including the English, Scottish, Poles, Asians and African Carribeans, therefore it’s difficult to identify a specific British identity. Some sociologists argue that there is a ‘British identity crisis’ as core values like tolerance, respect, freedom of speech and justice are declining features of British identity in particular, as they are found in all Western democratic countries. Hall suggested that globalization is changing national cultures, leading to new cultures of hybridity and new hybrid identities. This is...
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