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The Importance of Identity in Nowadays - Case Study Example

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The paper "The Importance of Identity in Nowadays" highlights that identity is impression management where every individual’s performance is not authentic but is like a rehearsed theatrical performance. It is formed in relation to others through negotiations…
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The Importance of Identity in Nowadays
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Download file to see previous pages According to Kirpal (2011), the company and occupational categories are the sources of work-related identity formation processes. Employees form identities as they engage in their job and as they interact with their colleagues and customers giving them a source of commitment, motivation and effective job performance (217). People are also judged according to the work they do rather than who they are and a result people are in continuous search for the right job which brings meaning into their lives. This depends on what individuals view as meaningful work to them and the community as a whole. The question that begs an answer then is what constitutes meaningful work? Klein (2008) observes that content and meaning of work for individuals evolves as technological and economic circumstances change thus making it difficult to find meaning in work and form identities. This paper will explore how paid employment affects identity-based on the contextual nature of identity. Identity is defined by Goffman (1959) as impression management where we monitor all aspects of the behaviour of people we encounter. Identity is therefore like a theatrical performance where actors try to convince the audience that their actions are real when in reality they are not authentic. Actors thus identify the things to be taken into account, act on the basis of these identifications and attempt to fit their actions with others in the situation (Burke, 2006). Just like in performances, the actors in society have roles to play and they attach meanings which are derived from culture or from own understanding to themselves while performing the roles. However, the individuals must negotiate meanings derived from own understanding with others who have different views such that self meanings correspond to role behaviour. For example, in a work setting if the role of the worker means service to others, then the worker’s actions or behaviour should match the meaning by attending to customers needs promptly. Jensen (2011 p. 163), defines identity as “a process of recognizing and being recognized by those who count.” The nature of identity, in this case, is relational as individuals try to distinguish themselves from others. For example, in a work situation an individual tries to identify himself by distinguishing himself from a non-work situation, therefore, an individual constitutes his context of development. Jensen also acknowledges that individuals have various identity options which vary across cultural contexts but the individual has to explore the most convenient identity from the available options and make a decision to adopt the chosen identity. According to Goffman (1959), choosing the right option requires negotiation with the other pathways available. For example, people can negotiate on the requirements to fill a certain position or occupation hence set a criterion for identifying with that option. In traditional societies, options were limited as children followed the path of their parents through apprenticeship hence identified with parent’s occupation. For example, a child from a poor background or uneducated parents was also not educated hence ended in the same occupation as parents. However, Rehn (2009) acknowledges that children learn differently from adults and should not be ignored as they also form a work-identity through popular culture. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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