Follow me @WatHistory
Follow me www.facebook.com/wathistory
Tweet your answer in addition to the blog.
Social action or interactionist theories emphasise the importance of the self. Individuals develop a self-concept, a picture of themselves, which is an important influence on the way they act. This self-concept is developed through interactions with other people because it is based partly on how others react to the individual.
This idea was developed by Cooley, who introduced the term
‘looking-glass self’ to describe this process. Critics of this approach argue that too much emphasis is given to individuals’ ability to shape their own identity. Structural approaches such as functionalism and Marxism are more likely to focus on the role of social institutions or inequalities of power in shaping identity.
Using material from Item 1B and elsewhere, assess the extent to which social identity is shaped by interactions with others. (24 marks)