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Identity can be defined as how I see myself and how others see me Questioning Identity 2000 p7 An identity involves a sense of belonging an individual chooses to identify with a group and actively engages in doing so showing agency This sense of belonging involves being the same and recognising that others are different An individual can have multiple identities eg gender supporting a football team all of these identities make up the individual Structures such as gender and class influence encourage or prevent individuals from identifying with certain groups and therefore shaping the identity The class structure always involves some degree of inequality usually involving material recourses There are two main traditions within the concept of class and its effect on identity The Marxist theory of class clearly shows that the class a person belongs to is the fundamental part of their identity It theorizes two classes in which all society fits the owning and the property less Marx believed that class conciseness is particularly important to our understanding of identity Questioning Identity 2000 p980 this conciseness would occur once individuals came to realise there shared relationship to the means of production MOP Marx believed that class was decided by an individuals relationship with the MOP and that some individuals shared a different relationship with this MOP Class-consciousness would be cemented through collective action and would cause individuals to see themselves as part of a collective acting and thinking as one within all areas of social contact Marx believed that class solely shapes identity Webber also saw class as important when forming an identity Webber however saw class as a group if individuals with similar market positions ie similar opportunities with regard such things as education He like Marx recognised class divisions but on a much wider scale He suggested that there were levels of market position within classes Webber recognised that status is also important within social
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