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SOCI 3060 Study Guide - Final Guide: Racialization, Paradigm Shift, Symbolic Interactionism

Course Code
SOCI 3060
Natalie Weiser
Study Guide

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LECTURE 1 - Identity Multidimensionality
1)identity is who we are in relation to the other people we interact with
-the names we call ourselves-our idea of who we are in the world
-a social process
2)there are three different forms of identity (a spectrum of identities):
-SITUATED identity: lasts for the duration of the situation in which the role is locat-
ed; context dependent; example being ‘pitcher/catcher’
-2 related concepts: ANNOUNCEMENTS and PLACEMENTS; cues
that others can use to interpret the role you are trying to enact ; taking those
announcements and placing them in roles by defining those behaviors; an-
nouncements and placements must match for interaction for continue smoothly
-SOCIAL identity: identify with others who are perceived as being like oneself; basis
of identity is membership or identification with a community/social group; sense of
differentiation from others; example being ‘athlete
-PERSONAL identity: focus is on an individual’s life story; uniqueness and differ-
ence; example being your name
3)the term ‘identity’ is like the self as being a process
-our identity is always being developed and is never a final product
4)MULTIDIMENSIONALITY: we posses multiple identities simultaneously and they are always in
flux; changing and evolving based on context
-qualitative research demonstrates that identities are multifaceted, complex and fluid
5)INTERSECTIONALITY: our multiple identities often intersect
-they interact and operate all at once
-Brekhus reading demonstrates that we carry so many identities that we are unlikely to have a
‘master status’
6)IDENTITY STRATEGIES: 3 Types of Ideal Identities
-highlights the fluidity of identities
-IDENTITY LIFESTYLERS: organize their lives around a particular identity
-IDENTITY COMMUTERS: travel to a specific place to immerse oneself in an identity
-IDENTITY INTEGRATOR: able to see oneself as defined by multiple identities simul-
Notes/ Key Concepts of Lecture 1 Readings
Trends in the Qualitative Studies of Social Identities” Wayne H. Brekhus

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-the Brekhus reading “examines identity strategies, claims to identity authenticity [being vs. do-
ing], identity shifts and transitions, and the contextual situatedness and multidimensionality of
-one has an identity, one is situated in social relations; identity is established when others place
the individual as a social object by assigning [them] the same words of identity as they appropri-
ate of announce for themselves.
-identity is one of the most extensively studied topics in sociology
-identity is complex and multifaceted; sociologists interested in studying the the complexity, mul-
tidimensionality and FLUIDITY of identity
-social networks, significant others, and generalized others influence our self-identities and lead
to a self that is pulled in multiple directions; there is no anchored or ‘core’ self (multidimensional-
-qualitative sociological analysis has taken an interest in politically salient identity attributes such
as race, class, and gender and on how these attributes shape individual identity
-STANDPOINT THEORY: challenges the generic implicitly unraced, ungendered, un-
classed ‘everyman’ implied in the early interactionist theories of Cooley, Mead, and
Blumer; self-identities are demographically structured based on the social categories
individuals belong (race, class, gender, etc...) to and on how the relations of those
categories to other categories shape their experiences and therefore their social stand-
point and worldview
-it is not only stigmatized identity that must be negotiated and analyzed but privilege that must
be managed and analyzed as well (i.e. white/male/heterosexual privilege)
-the intersectionality approach note that individuals have multiple intersecting social and identity
attributes that comprise self-identity
-marked identities like race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality are often assumed to be a
‘master status’, whereas intersectionality research shows that identity influenced by multiple at-
-”the modern self is comprised of so many memberships that no single identity membership is
more likely to comprise a large percentage of a person’s overall self.” (1064)
-the problematization of authenticity to one’s category identity and to one’s own self-identity
-person identities (self) are based on internalized personality characteristics whereas so-
cial identities (category) are related to group or category memberships
-authenticity is a key place for ‘identity disputes’ or struggles; the tension between ‘being’ and
-“Modern approaches to identity highlight a shift from static notion of being and the self to a
more fluid notion of doings... not[ing] the distinction between between attributions to person and
attribution to situation.” (1066)

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-“In the past, analysts have favored ‘being’ claims over ‘doing’ claims... recent... turns in identity
studies may lead to a greater privileging of ‘works’, ‘acts’, and ‘performances’...” (1072)
-auxiliary characteristics are those that are adopted and expected to go along with a
given identity or role (contextual)
-‘authenticity work’ involves showing that one is true to one’s identity category and/or true to
oneself, often simultaneously; requires maintaining a consistent set of values across different
contexts even though the self is not static
-IDENTITY STRATEGIES: ways of seeking authenticity: identity lifestylers, identity commuters,
and identity integrators:
-identity lifestylers choose a particular identity and organize their lives, activities, auxil-
iary characteristics, and social networks around that identity as their ‘essence’; they
stay true to their category and thus stay true to themselves
-recent work on identity shows that identity and authenticity are context and setting dependent;
people use time and space to accentuate and express their identity
-identity commuters travel to identity-specific spaces to immerse themselves in a subcul-
ture; they are committed to taking on an identity in its most ‘pure’ and authentic form
-identity integrators sees themselves as defined by a ‘constellation’ of attributes and
characteristics at once and rejects a singular identity approach
-DISCONTINUITIES between the past and present, where an individual’s identity changes over
time but isn’t necessarily an abrupt change between one identity and another
-abrupt discontinuities include watershed moments, crossroads, turning points, revela-
tions, rites of passage, transformations, and conversions
-the individual may want to ‘reset the odometer’ and claim and new self-identity altogether, creat-
ing a rigid split between past and present self
-a recovery identity indicates a move from a disordered label (like ‘alcoholic’ or ‘addict’) to a tem-
porary recovery identity as a middle point between disordered and transcendent identities
-other temporary identities are ‘time outers’, who choose to temporarily abstain from something;
‘waiters’, who intend not to abstain but do until that point; and ‘quitters’, who permanently transi-
tion from ‘doing’ to abstaining
-“The growing emphasis on MOBILITY in identity studies show that identity, its authenticity ...
are fluid and context dependent.” (1071)
Social Identity excerpts by Richard Jenkins
-all human identities are by definition social identities
-“Identifying ourselves or others is a matter of meaning, and meaning always involves interac-
tion: agreement and disagreement, convention and innovation, communication and negotiation.”
-“identity can only be understood as process, a ‘being’ or ‘becoming’. One’s identity - one’s iden-
tities, indeed, for who we are is always singular and plural - is never a final or settled matter.(5)
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