Interpretation Of Gender Identity

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According to some sociologists and psychologists, identity potentially has two interpretations. Identity is interpreted in a public sense and then also in a personal sense. The personal identity is more about your own inner thoughts and feelings and the perception you have of yourself which is not shared with society. Your public identity is the perception society has of you which you create to be seen a certain way by the world, an identity only exists in terms of a social aspect. You don’t particularly have an identity when alone and by yourself, just considered alone. In terms of thinking about performance, the public identity is more about who you make yourself out to be to society – how well you perform your identity to the public. Your…show more content…
Oakley (1985, P16.) suggests that sex is “the biological differences between male and female” whilst gender refers to “the social classification into ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’”. This definition of gender assists the concept that gender is a ‘continuous performance’ and the discourse surrounding gender identity is continued. Gender is considered a performance because it only exists through the actions you take and the image you create. The gender performances come from stereotypes which make up the ‘male and female’ genders and make them ‘masculine and feminine’. Through this, gender is a ‘scripted’ performance which ensures that people conform to the norms of society and what society deems appropriate for each sex and considers this the correct way to perform gender. The performance of gender ensures that men are ‘masculine’ and that women are ‘feminine’, it’s the concept that gender is how you perform and what you do rather than a specific aspect of who you are. To further this, society determines certain actions to be tailored to certain genders and this is seen in the way that children are brought up in the eyes of the media. Boys are told not to cry as it makes them a girl, young boys are often told “don’t be such a girl” as though it is demeaning for a boy to be feminine and to cry. In this aspect, even if…show more content…
Augoustinos (2006) suggest that role schemas contain information on the “norms and expected behaviours of specific role positions in society”. Most of this information is connected to stereotypes, the pockets of information we have about certain roles in society and the way that we perceive the people who are part of those roles. This suggests that if you are perceived as part of a group, then you must act a certain way to conform to the role-schemas. This can be linked to gender in the way that there are gender stereotypes and that it is heavily enforced for people to conform to them. This is a performance because regardless of identity or your inner thoughts, it is necessary to conform to society’s perception of certain role schemas to fit in with society and to limit the chances of ostracisation. Bem (1981) felt that these gender role schemas had a significant effect on the upbringing of children and thus affected their own self-concept and ideas of identity. The role schemas will affect the children’s developing mind by teaching them society’s views on what is appropriate and what is not appropriate regarding their specific performance of gender, regardless of the children’s own feelings towards is their own identity. This then becomes a gender performance because the children are following the scripted rules of what society has provided for them on what is
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