Thursday, April 3, 2008

Do You Control Your Identity?

As suggested in class, the ideological state apparatus is the reproduction of values of the dominant culture. As cultural norms form and the public is made aware of expected social behaviour, socialization occurs. The values of the dominant culture are enhanced and, more significantly, a sense of identity is created. Not until the point was raised in class was I aware of how prevalent the values of the dominant culture are. Socialization appears within the household, the workplace, the educational system and the church. Each domain maintains a set of practices that conveys society’s members as subjects and encourages them to strive for an unattainable image of perfection. For example, when applying for a job, a potential employee must follow a standard format of handing in a résumé, going for an interview and attending training. Potential employees are subject to those in authority. While encountering each stage, subjects must aim to achieve specific requirements such as the proper layout of a résumé, responses during an interview and dress code. In addition, qualities such as confidence and initiative are expected. The subject’s ability in getting the job depends on how closely he comes to the socialized image of perfection.

Authoritative roles such as parents, teachers and police officers constantly induce other members of society, commonly those of lesser influence, into subject positions. Such contact creates a separation of identity. Is it possible that you don’t control the basis of your identity?

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