Identity fieldwork in Calcutta, India, Donner, H. (2016)

Identity and intersectionality:

In this extract, Woodward K. (2004) questions identity focusing on the
individual’s perception of themselves in relation to others through the
discipline of sociology. She goes on to explore how our world is becoming more and
more unstable, but prevailing changes offer new opportunities as well as new
challenges for everyone around the world. Woodward deliberates whether or not gender,
class and ethnicity offer lucidity about who we are, or if these factors are to
be seen as constraints on our autonomy to choose our own identities. Moreover,
she explores the philosophy behind whether or not we are bound by the social
constraints and inequalities which we are born into. This text gives an easily graspable examination
of identity by weaving references to multiple social theorists such as Mead
(1934), Williamson (1986), and Goffman (1959) throughout the text to critically
analyse how identities are shaped. Woodward uses the evidence well to support
his argument that identity is fluid and is ever-changing. He puts forward the
argument that we build our identities through symbols and social interactions,
as a result of living in a fast growing changing society, our identities are regularly
being challenged and redefined

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Class and identity: change


having carried out a considerable amount of fieldwork in Calcutta, India, Donner, H. (2016) presents unprecedented ethnography
of how middle-class women in India experience economic prosperity through the evolution
of their family life by using the discipline of anthropology. Initially, this extract
explored intimate components of the woman’s lives, by analysing their
experience of marriage and childbirth, then proceeds to examine the repercussions
globalisation is having on the new middle classes in Asia, specifically from a
domestic perspective to explain how this is re-defining woman’s identity. By
making maternity the focal point in her writing, Donner explores how the family
is affected by the newly immerging neo-liberal ideologies. Donner sheds some
light on women’s agency as “wives mothers and grandmothers” (p….) in these new
frameworks, Domestic Goddesses confer the experiences of different generation
affected by changes as they recognise that woman’s identities are transforming
according to changes to attitudes in society. Through a careful analysis of
women’s narratives, Donner concludes that the domestic sphere represents the
key site for the remaking of Indian middle-class citizens in a global world.
This unprecedented insight into the class system through the family structure is
unusual but very effective in explaining the most fundamental factors
contributing woman’s experience of social class.


Gender age on identity,

this extract, Eriksen (2010) presents a clear outline of
anthropology, targeting fundamental topics to the discipline, such as, age,
gender, and ethnicity, offering an array of examples which exhibit the vast
scope of anthropology and the essence of identity around the world. What makes ‘Small
Places, Large Issues’ (2010) so potent in presenting argument on the subject of
age, gender and identity is his reviews of crucial monographs to illustrate his
argument. Eriksen’s clear and accessible text analyses the evidence coherently
as he picks apart the main argument made by ethnographers such as Weiner (1988),
Rosaldo and Lamphere (1974) and Bamberger (1988). What I find interesting is
that Eriksen delves deep into the distinct difference in moral values that men
and woman hold by putting forward the example of the two gendered values in the
Carrabin; men peruse to enhance their reputation, however, woman strive to gain
respectability which entails two different ways of perceiving and experiencing
the world (Wilson E. O 1978). Moreover, Eriksen talks about the complexity of
explaining or pinpointing what gender is for example in certain societies, gay
men are considered to be “intermediate” meaning they are nor male nor female.  This exemplifies the alteration in the
definition of traditional male and female gender characteristics.



Identity: gender and war:

In the newest edition of her book, Cockburn (2015) gives
the reader an in-depth account of the most important theories and issues on gender
identity with reference to theorist such as Peterson
and Runyan (1993), Enloe W G (1996) and (Kramer 2000: 8), we
find that the book is written from a feminist perspective, explaining the importance to
contemporary global issues such as human rights, rape in war, terrorism, human
and arms trafficking while discussing woman’s experience of identity and sexuality in
the context of war. Furthermore,
the insights of feminist theory are often merged with a range of other
disciplines including International Relations (hence forth IR) to create a new
perspective entirely: Feminist IR. I believe this has changed the way we look
at feminism as it is no longer a stand-alone theory but is now linked with a discipline
which examines global issues surrounding age gender and ethnicity. This
extract considers how contemporary the military has become as they are increasing
including women in a range of roles within the armed forces. Cockburn Draws on
the idea of the “regendered military”, as she presents a conceptual strategy
for considering how feminist theorising about the gender–military nexus can
take seriously women’s military participation while remaining alert to feminist
political goals of gender equality, peace and justice.




In This extract Tsolidis, G. (2013) draws on a larger wealth of knowledge
about diaspora using the case study of the Greek community of Melbourne,
Australia to examine the means through which young people from minority
backgrounds form their identity. Tsolidis describes the long-standing community
as divers. As a result of this, the young people who were involved in this
study give an insight into cultural processes which are not at all related to
migration. In most scenarios, it was the young people’s grandparents or
great-grandparents who migrated.








Many of the boys have one parent with no familial link to Greece. This
article examines the essence of what is “home” in these young people’s self-identification.
Drawing on De Certeau. M’s (2001) work, Tsolidis, G. puts forward the argument that
their everyday experience can be seen as an act of “anti-discipline.” As
“users” of the Greekness, they are bestowed through family, community, and
schooling. Further, they use “tactics” of cultural reformation that allow for fusion
of both “Greekness” and “Australianness.” This demonstrates that although some
may share two or more nationalities they can adopt the cultures which come from
both sides to shape their identity.