Video Transcript: Social Identities

What’s up guys in this video, we’re going to go over eight examples of social identities. These are the eight big social identities that we usually talk about in sociology classes and when we’re talking about things like social identity theory, so let’s go through them one by one really quick right now.

The first one is age.

Age is one of the few social identities that change throughout your life. So you go through different phases of life and in each different phase of life, you might be exposed to different stereotypes. Young people are often stereotyped as being naive. Old people might find it a bit more difficult to get a job because people stereotype them as not having as much stamina as younger people.

We can also think about age in terms of your generation. So you could be generation X, generation Y generation Z, and each of those generations also have some stereotypes applied to them. So for example, the millennial generation or generation Y is often stereotyped as being, uh, lazy, obsessed with their phones, self absorbed, as opposed to caring about their communities.

Those are some stereotypes that people of generation Y such as myself might have to face throughout their lives.

The next one is ability. So usually we think about this as people who have some disabilities. So we’ve got a picture here of someone in a wheelchair. What stereotypes might they face throughout their lives?

And you could sit there and you could think about whether or not you might have some certain disabilities or abilities that might privilege or disadvantage you in society. So part of your identity might be, you might have some anxiety for example, and that might be a mental health concern that might influence your sense of self and other people’s sense of you.

Next one is ethnicity. Ethnicity is not race. Race is going to be the next one. So ethnicity refers to your cultural origins. It’s more about culture. Whereas race is more about biology. So when you think of your cultural origins, we’ve got a picture here of people getting married. Different cultures often have different ceremonies around getting married. You might think of other things like food, uh, morals in different cultures might be a little bit different, or even taboos across different cultures. I’ve got a whole article about different taboos in different cultures. I’ll link to it in the description below.

Next one is race.

So you should pretty easily be able to think about what your race is. Usually it’s identifiable by skin color, but that is not the only factor. Other factors influencing race may have to do with, for example, facial features, some racial groups may have certain facial features that others do not.

Gender is one of the biggest ones that we think about in today’s age.

Often, we’re thinking about gender these days, not just as male or female binaries, but a spectrum of different genders. So we can also have things like transgender as well. So when you think about your gender, how do you identify yourself? Do you identify yourself as a male, as a female as possibly trans or any other genders?

You know, if you think about Canadian society, for example, we have a lot of, uh, first nations in Canada with the gender of two spirit. The next one is sexual orientation. Not to be confused with gender, sexual orientation has to do with your attraction to someone. So the traditional heteronormative sexual orientation is men attracted to women and women are attracted to men, but we are increasingly accepting of people who have sexual orientations that are homosexual meaning men attracted to men or women attracted to women. So your sexual orientation may be a significant part of your identity, how you see yourself and how others see you.

Next one is socioeconomic status, which we can mean, roughly, uh, also called your class status. So socioeconomic status primarily refers to your wealth, but there are tons of other cultural markers going around your class or your socioeconomic status. Things like the type of job you have, even the food preferences you have, you might think of wealthy people being a loving the caviar. Whereas poor people may be more interested in hamburgers from McDonald’s. That’s a stereotype of people of different socioeconomic status. Values may differ as well across social classes. That’s a really deep um, sort of dive that we could do on different values of different social classes. So, for example, often we can think of people of the working class having strong community values within their class groups. So people work in classes helping out one another, and often that’s got to do with the fact that they need to help out one another, because they don’t have things like money to get themselves out of problems a lot of the time, so they need to rely on members of their own community.

Okay. And religion. So religion, obviously referring to your belief in a God, most people who are strongly religious will see these as the center of their identities. So you can think of Mike Pence, the former vice-president. When he talks about his identity, he said, I am a Christian first, conservative second and a Republican third. He said at the center of my identity is my religion, and I identify as a Christian, but you could also identify as all sorts of other religions or even no religion or atheist.

So those are the eight big social identities that we usually think about in sociology and even psychology classes. If you want to get more information, I do have a blog writeup of this topic below. If you’re writing a essay, for example, you could get a lot of information and scholarly sources from that blog write up. If you’re interested in social identity theory, or you need to talk about social identity theory in an essay at university, I’ll also leave a link below to our social identity theory article, where you can get more information for writing your essay on social identity theory, including more examples and some pros and cons strengths and weaknesses of that theory, that would be really good to include in any essay. Thanks for watching guys. And don’t forget to like, and subscribe. If you want to get more information and more help from the helpful professor brand.

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Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education.

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