In what ways has occupation influenced identity?

Essay by sophia_nichol May 2007

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Social class, gender and ethnicity play significant roles in creating identity and this essay will focus on how these three factors are related to how occupation has influenced identity. In order to do this I will use course literature and other relevant materials to discuss the ways in which people create their identity.

Social class is being part of a group which share similar interests and experiences and it refers to the hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups in societies or cultures (Wikipedia). Having a sense of belonging to a particular community who share common cultural traditions is known as Ethnicity (Popeau, 1998). In different cultures it can be observed that women stay at home caring for their family whilst the male members of the family do masculine jobs to feed their family.

However, recent changes have enabled people from different cultures to work in the UK and earn money to send home to their families.

This is evident in care homes where there are male and female care workers, who send their earnings and clothing home to their country. This then gives these people a status of importance with in their family.

Gender frequently refers to the socially constructed categories of masculine and feminine. Different jobs influence identity and social scientists refer to this as gender relations (Woodward, 2004). In early society care work and domestic work were classed as women's work whereas building and manual labour was seen as mans work. During the nineteenth century nursing was seen as a female occupation, wives and mothers caring roles were transferred out of the home and into the hospital setting (Stephenson, 1970).

Society uses the biological differences to allot various social roles to each gender, for example, the age old saying a woman's place is in the home while...