Essay on The Concept of Identity
To answer this question, it is important to first understand what is meant by identity. Identity concerns both self-identity and social identity. It is best understood not as an entity but as an emotionally charged description of ourselves. It is about the personal and the social as well as about us and the relations of others. It has been argued that identity is wholly cultural in character and does not exist outside of its representation in cultural discourse. Identity is ultimately not a fixed ‘thing’ but a becoming. As Hall (1990, 1996a) pointed out, it is a strategic ‘cut’ or temporary stabilization in language and practice. For the purpose of this essay, I will only concern myself with ethnicity, race and …show more content…
Max Weber is well-known for his work on a theory proposing that stratification is based on three factors that have become known as the three p's of stratification: property, prestige and power. The German sociologist claimed that social stratification is a result of the interaction of wealth, prestige and power. Whereas Karl Marx theorized class stratification constructed through the relations between human beings and their means of production. Class division within this system was constructed in relation to the separation of the class in a struggle against forces of domination and subordination. While both Marx and Weber spoke about class and social stratification which bears some elements to the concept of identity, their ideas and designs are of an over-simplification and unified identity in terms of its biological and cultural essence. The modern take on identity adopts a different paradigm of understanding because of the multiplicity of formations and process of identifications.
Note that Marx’s work has however become a basis of identity politics. Identity politics are often seen in Marxist understanding as a diversion from the central problem of capitalism. In neo-Marxist approach (Miles, 1982, 1989) the category of races an ideological construct in service of world capitalism. Throughout this essay, I will explore in