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Social Construction of Identities

Social identities are the categories we use to specify who we are, both to ourselves and to the world around us (Newman 2016). These identities include race, class, gender, sexual orientation, etc. For this discussion, you will explore how these identities are formed and maintained over time.

To help you complete this discussion, review the following resources:

There are also additional resources listed under Recommended Resources that you can review if you would like additional information.

Using the resources above as evidence to support your ideas, address the following:

  • Explain what sociologists mean when they say that identities are socially constructed. Select a particular racial or gender identity, and give an example of a characteristic of that identity that is socially constructed (rather than based on any biological truth).
  • Stratification refers to the hierarchical ranking of individuals within a given group (Newman 2016). Describe the stratification system of either race or gender (use the identity you selected above) and explain how this hierarchical ranking is a social construction rather than based on biology.
  • Chapter 1 in your text argues that what is at stake with these social identities is power and privilege. Using either race or gender, describe how one of the theories of inequality discussed in Chapter 1 (structural-functionalism or conflict theory) would explain why some groups within the identity experience inequalities.

Reference:
Newman, D.M. (2016). Identities and inequalities: Exploring the intersections of race, class, gender, & sexuality (3rd ed.). Retrieved from https://www.vitalsource.com/

Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7.

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