Sociology of Identifying and Identity

(Chicago Blackhawks team logo)

Continuing on with Theories of Race and Ethnicity, I will talk about the sociological definitions of identifying and identity, which was coined by Jean-Paul Restoule, in this article. This is an important concept to grasp because it is a such a great tool for understanding yourself and your true feelings
about your ethnicity.

Concepts of Race and Ethnicity Continued

(A picture from the Holocaust. Via http://www.mtholyoke.edu)
On the previous Sociology of Race and Ethnicity article, I talked about what 'race' is and how it is not real. I also discussed the concepts of racism and discrimination. For this article, I will continue on with the concepts from this subject.

Peter Berger's Society as Drama


In Peter Berger's Invitation to Sociology, he brings up Erving Goffman's interesting idea of society being a drama. In this theory, Goffman says that humans are only characters (with specific roles based on their group) that society has dealt them. For instance, a doctor is meant to have the role of a healer. But if we look deeper into society, we can see that it also hands out the roles of the scary thug black man or the obedient wife with great kitchen skills. For Berger, he believes that we have to use this knowledge to escape the "tyranny of society."

Sociology of Crime and Deviance

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When sociologists study deviance, they look at people or groups who violate social norms, such as drug addicts, murderers, child molesters, Satanists, Nazis, etc, and then observe to see why society deems these people/groups as deviants. Sociologists also try to figure out how these individuals/groups became full-fledged deviants.

As well, some sociologists also consider people with conditions such as mental illness, disabilities, obesity, etc, as deviants. But not because of the person's personal self, but rather because of how society looks at and treats them; they are not acceptable in the eyes of their fellow humans.

Sociology of Race and Ethnicity

(W.E.B du Bois)
The Sociology of Race and Ethnicity was my favorite course back in university because it revealed so many aspects of people and society that I didn't realize. I hope that through this post -- and many more like it -- you will achieve the same realizations I did.