Anthropology Paper #2
September 24, 2012
“Who am I?” Everyone goes through a stage in their lives when they are trying to define who they are, what they believe in, what they find important, and who they want to be in the world. Upon reading, “Identity, Roles, and Groups” in the text, the first thing I thought of was the media and how huge of a role it plays in defining identities for us. The second thing I examined was gender roles in our culture and how these set ideas decide how men and women are supposed to act. I also analyzed Dianna Shandy and Karine Moe’s article on women in the workforce today. I wanted to fully evaluate the situation we are all in and as a result, I think I have a better understanding of the process of identity and how one goes about discovering it.
To start, there is a lot of criticism today towards the media and its influence on society. Regarding young adolescents in particular, they are the perfect targets for companies looking to sell not only a product, but an image as well. If they show a beautiful model, their revenue goes up, but what effects does it take on the viewer? Through the viewer’s eyes, they see perfect skin, a “perfect body”, nice clothes and beautiful, glowing hair. Then they look in the mirror and judge everything they see in themselves. Their identity is affected greatly in the sense that they are putting external identity above their internal identity, just as the media does. That young person does not know that this same beautiful model might be involved with important charities or that they volunteer every chance they get. They don’t know because advertisers are selling superficial stereotypes and in result, altering the perceptions of those who are young and naïve. Another relevant issue that troubles me is gender roles in today’s society and how the identities of men and women are decided by old-fashioned cultural norms.
Gender roles in American society have evolved greatly throughout history...