Week 7: In this extract, Woodward K. (2004) questions identity focusing on theindividual’s perception of themselves in relation to others through thediscipline of sociology. She goes on to explore how our world is becoming more andmore unstable, but prevailing changes offer new opportunities as well as newchallenges for everyone around the world. Woodward deliberates whether or not gender,class and ethnicity offer lucidity about who we are, or if these factors are tobe seen as constraints on our autonomy to choose our own identities. Moreover,she explores the philosophy behind whether or not we are bound by the socialconstraints and inequalities which we are born into.

This text gives an easily graspableexamination of identity by weaving references to multiple social theorists suchas Mead (1934), Williamson (1986), and Goffman (1959) throughout the text tocritically analyse how identities are shaped. Woodward uses the evidence wellto support his argument that identity is fluid and is ever-changing. He putsforward the argument that we build our identities through symbols and socialinteractions, as a result of living in a fast growing changing society, ouridentities are regularly being challenged and redefined  week 8:In This extract, Tsolidis, G.

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(2013) draws on a larger wealth ofknowledge about diaspora using the case study of the Greek community ofMelbourne, Australia to examine the means through which young people fromminority ethnic groups form their own identities. Tsolidis beguines by describingthe long-standing community as “diverse”, to then go onto explaining that the youngpeople who were involved in this study give an insight into cultural processes throughwhich their identities are constructed. In most scenarios throughout he text,it was the young people’s grandparents or great-grandparents who migrated tofrom Greece to Melbourne which tells us that they don’t have a first-handexperience of the Greek culture. This article examines the essence of what “home”is in these young people’s self-identification, whether it’s the place in whichthey are born and raised or the homeland to which they belong to through kinship.Drawing on De Certeau’s (2001) work, Tsolidis, G.

puts forward the argument thatthe young people’s everyday experience can be seen as an act of “anti-discipline.”as “users” of the Greek identity, they are bestowed through family, community,and schooling. Further, the young people use “tactics” of cultural reformationwhich allow for fusion of both “Greekness” and “Australianness.” Thisdemonstrates that although some may share two or more nationalities they canadopt the cultures which come from both sides to shape their identity.  Week 9: Inthis extract, Eriksen (2010) presents a clear outline ofanthropology, targeting fundamental topics to the discipline, such as, age,gender, and ethnicity, offering an array of examples which exhibit the vastscope of anthropology and the essence of identity around the world. What makes’Small Places, Large Issues’ (2010) so potent in presenting argument on thesubject of age, gender and identity is his reviews of crucial monographs toillustrate his argument.

Eriksen’s clear and accessible text analyses the evidencecoherently as he picks apart the main argument made by ethnographers such asWeiner (1988), Rosaldo and Lamphere (1974) and Bamberger (1988). What I findinteresting is that Eriksen delves deep into the distinct difference in moralvalues that men and woman hold by putting forward the example of the two genderedvalues in the Carrabin; men peruse to enhance their reputation; however, woman striveto gain respectability which entails two different ways of perceiving andexperiencing the world (Wilson E. O 1978). Moreover, Eriksen talks about thecomplexity of explaining or pinpointing what gender is for example in certainsocieties, gay men are considered to be “intermediate” meaning they are normale nor female.  This exemplifies thealteration in the definition of traditional male and female gendercharacteristics.   Week 10:After having carriedout a considerable amount of anthropological fieldwork in Calcutta, India, Donner, H. (2016) presents unprecedented ethnographyon the way in which the newly immerging middle-class, pacifically women, experienceeconomic prosperity through the evolution of their family life. Initially, thisextract explored intimate components of the woman’s lives, by analysing theirexperience of marriage and childbirth, then proceeds to examine the repercussionsglobalisation is having on the newly immerging middle classes in Asia,specifically from a domestic point of view to explain how this is re-definingwoman’s identity.

By making maternity the focal point in her writing, Donnerexplores how the family is affected by the newly immerging neo-liberalideologies. Donner sheds some light on women’s influence as “wives mothers andgrandmothers” (p17) in these new structure, Domestic Goddesses confer the experiencesof the different generation whose identities are going to be affected by changesas they recognise that woman’s identities are transforming according to changesto attitudes in society. Through a precise evaluation of women’s narratives, Donnerconcludes that the domestic sphere represents the key location for theregeneration of Indian middle-class citizens in a globalised world. Thisunprecedented insight into the class system through the family structure isunusual but very effective in explaining the most fundamental factorscontributing woman’s experience of social class.  Week 11:In the newest edition of her book, Cockburn (2015) gives thereader an in-depth account of the most important theories and issues on genderidentity with reference to theorist such as Petersonand Runyan (1993), Enloe W G (1996) and (Kramer 2000: 8), wefind that the book is written from a feminist perspective, explaining the importance tocontemporary global issues such as human rights, rape in war, terrorism, humanand arms trafficking while discussing woman’s experience of identity and sexuality inthe context of war.Furthermore, the insights of feminist theory are often merged with a range ofother disciplines including International Relations (hence forth IR) to createa new perspective entirely: Feminist IR.

I believe this has changed the way welook at feminism as it is no longer a stand-alone theory but is now linked witha discipline which examines global issues surrounding age gender and ethnicity.Thisextract considers how contemporary the military has become as they areincreasing the inclusion of women in a range of roles within the armed forces.Cockburn (2015) draws on the idea of the “retendered military” (p113), as shepresents a conceptual strategy for considering how feminist theorising aboutthe gender–military nexus can take seriously women’s military participationwhile remaining alert to feminist political goals of gender equality, peace andjustice.


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