Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Social Identity Theory Essay Example for Free

Social Identity Theory Essay Summarise two theories of identity and compare their usefulness for explaining the real world issues discussed in chapter 1, Identities and diversity. The study of identity is primarily the study of who we are and who we are not in comparison to other people, what makes individuals and groups of individuals unique from each other is a very controversial issue. This essay will look at two theories that aim to address this issue, namely, the Psychosocial theory and the Social Identity Theory (SIT). Whilst examining these two theories this essay will also look at their relevance to some every day issues. The view of Psychosocial theorists is one that identity is produced simultaneously by both personal and social factors. Psychoanalyst Erik Erikson was the first theorist to view identity this way, for Erikson identity consisted of a conscious sense of individual uniqueness, an unconscious striving for continuity and a solidarity with a groups ideas (Erikson cited in Phoenix, 2007, p.53). He believed that a solid understanding of who we are, how we fit in to and are viewed by society forms a core identity, which in turn will create a sense of continuity. Erikson lived through two world wars during which many people feared for their lives. This heightened sense of mortality led to identity confusion. Hence Erikson believed that identity crisis was prevalent at this time. Identity crisis for Erikson was a certain period of time when some young people could not create a solid Ego Identity (a clear understanding of oneself) and were confused and unable to commit to a certain path, the form that this crisis took would be socially and historically variable. This lack of a solid Ego identity Erikson termed as role diffusion. Erikson believed that identity was an ongoing lifelong process through eight different progressive stages ranging from birth to late adulthood, each stage encapsulated many times of crisis and conflict which he saw as normative crisis and essential to the development of identity. Although he saw the period of adolescence as the most important stage, with the majority of adolescents achieving a solid Ego identity after a socially accepted period of trials, trying out various social roles in order to find their ideal path. It was abnormal to be normal during adolescence (Freud cited in Phoenix, 2007, p.56) Erikson calls this period a Psychosocial Moratorium. During this period of Psychosocial Moratorium Erikson viewed the solidarity of adolescents with groups and their ideas as important to identity, as young people struggle to find a niche in society they can often over identify with various groups. Within these groups the feelings against other groups ( outsiders ) can often become cruel or even violent if there is any threat to their sense of identity. This identity battle between groups is addressed by the Social Identity Theory (SIT) which was developed by Psychologist Henri Tajfel. Unlike the work of Erikson, Tajfel concentrated more on the social than individual process of identity development. He considered the development of individual and group identity as being separate processes. Tajfel was a Jewish holocaust survivor, his experiences with the Nazi regime was the driving force of his studies, he wanted to know what it was that led to prejudice between different groups. Tajfel mainly focused his studies on trying to identify the minimum requirements needed in order to form group identities, which he did by studying the intergroup relations between minimal groups. These minimal groups were a number of individuals with nothing really in common with each other, apart from the fact that they were categorized as being in the same group (ingroup), they also had no reason to oppose any individual or group outside their defined group (outgroup). Tajfel found that the simple fact of being categorized within a group was enough to cause prejudice against another group. It is the subjective feeling of belonging to a group which is important in SIT rather than membership as defined by outsiders or simply sharing some characteristics with other group members (Turner cited in Phoenix, 2007, p.63). The SIT theory suggests that the status of an individuals group identity can directly affect a persons individual identity, and that the need to belong to a high status group is paramount to a sense of high self esteem. Therefore groups are continuously striving to be dominant and superior, in doing so dominant groups will often inflict prejudice and discrimination against inferior groups as a means to increase their members self esteem. likewise individuals of inferior groups will strive to increase their self esteem by attempting to increase their status by means of social mobility ( move to a higher status group). Some groups will often try to affect social change in order to improve their social status by means of social creativity,(redefining their social status in a more positive way) or social competition, ( revolutions and civil wars). Both the Psychosocial and SIT theories of identity are relevant in different ways when considering real life issues, one of which being the embodied identities of people with physical disabilities. Embodiment is a factor in both theories, SIT considers embodiment (of physically impaired people) as a category for discrimination whilst the Psychosocial theory is concerned with the continuity of ones body to function as an issue of identity. People becoming physically impaired later in life will have a heightened sense of identity, this can be explained by both theories. Psychosocial theorists would see this as a break in the continuity which is central to this theory leading to an identity crisis, whilst in the context of SIT the change in social status by being categorised in a minority group would be the explanation. In summarising the theories of Erikson and Tajfel it can be clearly seen that both approached the complexity of identity in very different ways, both drawing from their own life experiences as a focus for their studies. Although they both draw different conclusions each theory has some relevance to the identity of physically impaired people, this reinforces the view that there is no single answer to the question of identity. References Phoenix, A. (2007) Identities and Diversities, in Miell, D. and Thomas, K. (eds) Mapping Psychology, Milton Keynes, The Open University. Part 2 The aim of the study is to research the importance of work for identity. The researchers propose to recruit participants by putting a poster in a job centre inviting unemployed people to volunteer to be interviewed about their employment history. People who express interest will be given a date and time for an interview and asked to sign a consent form. They will be offered a small payment (Â £5) for completing the interview. When they attend the interview, they will be told that the interview will be video-recorded and later transcribed (i.e. the questions and answers written down) for the researchers to analyse. They will be promised confidentiality. The ethics committee does not grant approval, for several reasons. One is that in the proposed study the researchers do not adequately obtain the informed consent of the participants, as required by the British Psychological Society. 1. Explain the problems with the proposed study concerning informed consent. (150 words) Informed consent was not adequately obtained as it was not clearly stated as to why the research was being done nor was it made clear as to how the interview would be structured (use of a video tape, questionnaire, etc) It was not made completely clear as to how the data will be used and for what purpose. There was also no explanation of the fact that after the interview had been transcribed, further consent would be needed before it could be used. 2. Explain three of the other ethical problems raised by the proposed study. (200 words) a. There was no mention of the participants right to withdraw at any time which should be done at the point of first contact. It should also be explained that if they did decide to withdraw during the interview that the payment they received would not be withdrawn. This was not made clear and the statement could easily be read as if there will be no payment unless the interview was completed. b. Participants should not be promised confidentiality as a number of people would probably see the data given in order to analyse it. Instead they should have been promised anonymity whereby not only their name will be removed but any clues to their identity too. If this is not possible then consent would be needed for disclosure. c. It should have been made clear that before signing a consent form participants would be given the choice as to what questions they wish to answer and given the option to refuse to answer any questions they were uncomfortable with. 3. Suggest a possible improvement to the study and explain the ethical problem(s) this would address. (150 words) The participants could have been informed that they can view the data collected at the end of the interview and that they have the opportunity then to withdraw any information they were unhappy or uncomfortable about making public. This would help to uphold the dignity of the participant, in case in hindsight they had revealed something about themselves that they wanted to keep private.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Female Literature Deserves the Same Regognition as Traditional Male Lit

Female Literature Deserves the Same Regognition as Traditional Male Literature Literary critic, Jane Tompkins targets the "male-dominated scholarly tradition that controls both the canon of American literature - and the critical perspective that interprets the canon for society" (502), in her exploration of the canonical exclusion of Kate Chopin's The Awakening, written in 1899, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 1892 short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper." Tompkins further notes that "the tradition of Perry Miller, F.O. Matthiessen, Harry Levin, Richard Chase, R.W.B. Lewis, Yvor Winters, and Henry Nash Smith has prevented even committed feminists from recognizing and asserting the value of a powerful and specifically female novelistic tradition" (502-3). Tompkins' criticism of the scholarly tradition not only asserts the existence of a male-dominated literary paradigm and exclusivity but, with this literary 'gate keeping', also questions how tradition becomes imprinted upon us so as to color our judgment. Tradition becomes the constant, the thing we write, read, rebel against and, interestingly, the thing we supplant with a new tradition once we are excluded from the established boys' club. But how does a so staunchly established tradition, which determines the inclusion and exclusion of literary works, come to be? Tompkins posits the existence of a male-centered agenda that masks its biases as "universal standards of aesthetic judgment" (503). These "universal standards" of aesthetics are subsequently biased against domains which have traditionally been declared feminine. Tompkins indeed contends that "twentieth-century critics have taught generations of students to equate popularity with debasement, emotionality with ... ...knowledging and paying homage to the powers that we keep in power, all in the name of tradition. Tradition is a paradox, for it oftentimes seems bigger than us; our own creation becomes a wall, seemingly insurmountable and impenetrable, that indeed crumbles by our own questioning and refutation. Works Cited Baym, N. (1978). Woman's Fiction: A Guide to Novels By and About Women in America 1820 – 1870. Ithaca: Cornell U.P. Bloom, H. (1975). A Map of Misreading. New York: Oxford U.P. Kolodny, A. (1980). A map for rereading: Or, Gender and the Interpretation of Literary Texts. New Literary History: A Journal of Theory and Interpretation 11, 451-67. Tompkins, J. P.(1985) Sentimental power: Uncle Tom's cabin and the politics of literary history. Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction, 1790-1860, New York: Oxford U.P.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Billie Holiday’s Cruel Life

To understand the controversy that Billie presented one must first go to the root or source of such controversy and examine Billie's childhood. Billie was born Eleanora Harris to her father Clarence Holiday and mother Sadie Fagan who were just fifteen and thirteen years old, respectively, at the time (A 91). Born between 1912 and 1915 in Baltimore, the date unsure, Billie grew up without her father, who moved away early on in her life. Billie and her mother used to fight a lot, when her mother was around. Much of the time Billie was left in the care of relatives or friends, many of whom were unloving (E). Billie's relationship with her family was very weak, as Billie throughout her life and career never or rarely got family approval or recognition (W 13). The extent to which Billie did not get along with her family is evident as she was chastised for her grandmother's death at the age of six (E). The turmoil within Billie's family was manifested when Billie commented later on in life that â€Å"As far as I'm Concerned, all the Fagans are dead† (W 14). This made her family very mad and lead to their further abandonment of Billie. Aside from the superficial tension between Billie and her mother, they did their best to remain loyal to one another and provide for each other (W 201). As Billie grew older, life grew harder and reality slowly became more and more real for her. At age 10, Billie was raped, further strengthening Billie's image of reality. As Billie grew older she became carefree and grew to have a strong temper. One musician remembers Billie as â€Å"a child, 11 or 12 years old, shouting the worst words she knew in the street, anxious to be grown up† (W 35). And on the numerous occasions when Billie's mother was out of town, she would be out having fun without any worries. Billie grew accustomed to using men to get money. Billie would pick up guys, pretending to be a hooker, and then she and her friend would jump him and take his money (W 28). â€Å"She became a fast woman. She wanted fast money, fast life† (W 26). Her life did become faster and faster as Billie was brought further down into the truths of the world when Billie became a prostitute. â€Å"[Billie] ran errands for a brothel in Philadelphia and in 1927 moved to New York, where for the next three years she earned a living as a prostitute† (E). These aspects of Billie's life molded her attitude towards life in the future, and her future decisions and goals. These influences became her boundaries, her disposition, and in some cases, her limitations. Educationally, Billie was deprived. Never getting beyond the fifth grade, Billie was the victim of the educational restrictions that were imposed on many of those who dwelt in Black Ghettos (BB 67). As Billie grew older her education became a limitation. â€Å"This woman's talent and her looks, and yet in some ways she really had the mind of a 12-year-old† (BB 67). This lack of education would haunt Billie later in her career, a startling reminder of her childhood, and its definite shortcomings of providing safety, an education, and a moral base. Musically, Billie grew up listening to the blues, although it never really was her type of music. Billie loved listening to Jazz records as a child, early influences including Louis Armstrong. Eventually, Billie moved on to attempt a singing career. â€Å"Inspired by her love of singing, she talked the manager of a club into letting her sing a few tunes with the house band- she made $57 in tips† (E). In this way, Billie was motivated to become a singer, a decision that will prove not only to be beneficial to her, but also to be a risk factor that would threaten her health.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Benjamin Franklin Self Improvement Essay - 944 Words

â€Å"The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement†(Schmidt). Not a single person currently on this earth is perfect, everybody has their flaws. Benjamin Franklin recognized the imperfections in his habits and wanted to eliminate them to the best of his ability. He created this ingenious plan to abolish or at least improve upon these imperfections. He started by making a list of what virtues or characteristics he wanted to gain from his plan and clearly defined them. Franklin them proceeded to create the schedule for which he would diminish the imperfections in his habits. Benjamin’s plan has had multiple effects on self-improvement, some of the most significant being the virtues and characteristics acquired, the learned†¦show more content†¦Order allowed Franklin more free time for activities that he liked to partake in. These virtues were some of the most important and helped him to improve himself, but this does not take away from any of the oth er virtues, for they had their part as well in the self-improvement of Franklin. These virtues clearly had an enormous effect on the self-improvement of Benjamin Franklin. Another major effect of the self-improvement plan from The Autobiography is the persistency and patience that was learned from acquiring the virtues. This quote represents how Franklin felt while trying to overcome his weaknesses with the self-improvement plan, â€Å"A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success†(Hubbard). Franklin found the most difficulty in overcoming order, he found that it was difficult in regards to organization. He found organization hard because he did not know or understand where to put things and organize it so that it was orderly. He even said in his own words, â€Å"This article, therefore, cost me so much painful attention...that I was almost ready to give up the attempt†(145), that he was ready to give up. Of course, knowing Franklin and the fact that his plan for self-improvement has become so popular, he didn’t give up in the end. He decided to work even harder than before and was able to conquer the virtue that is order. Another trait he gained from theShow MoreRelatedBenjamin Franklin Essay894 Words   |  4 PagesINTRODUCTION Benjamin Franklin was born in Milk Street, Boston on January 6, 1706. Throughout his existence Franklin exemplified a life of self-improvement. His eagerness to improve himself trickled over into his eagerness to help others improve themselves. Franklin was the youngest son of his father’s 17 children. Coming from such an enormous family, his education ended at the age of ten years old. At the age of twelve Franklin began to work alongside of his brother James. 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