How Is Gender Identity Influenced by Social Structures?

1278 words 6 pages
What is meant by identity? Firstly this essay is going to explore what is meant by identity. Identity is made up of individual characteristics by which a person is known. Internal factors such as physical appearance, personality, mental ability and sex would have an affect on a person's identity. Then there are the external factors such as family, class, religion, culture, occupation and nationality which would influence one's identity. Then, even beyond all these personal and social structures, societal opinions about gender, race, culture, ethnicity and nationality must have an impact on identity.

Many attributes of identity are formed from childhood experience, adolescence, early adulthood and are ever forming. Identity can
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In more recent times, although men are generally the primary breadwinners, there are a significant number of women who are in paid employment. Many women go out to work to help support their families financially and in few cases are even the main earner, but nowadays there are a large number of women who choose to have careers before, as well as or instead of having families.

As much as the occupation or career path that a person chooses has an impact on their identity, often their identity itself would have played a key role in them choosing that occupation. For example, a person who has grown up with professional parents is probably more likely to take on a higher managerial or professional career path. This can also be because they are more likely to have the financial resources to go to university. A person who has grown up with a less fortunate upbringing, or parents who live off the state is more likely to follow in their footsteps and choose not to go out to work but also to rely on state benefits. Otherwise they may choose an occupation in manual labour, such as construction. This may also be because they have not had the education or opportunities to study towards a profession. A man who has had a harder upbringing may have a macho identity and therefore choose to work in an environment that is more commonly associated with masculinity, i.e.


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