Earlier chapters of this book have concentrated on individual identities and selves, and on issues closest to individual and private concerns. In a sense, we have examined some of the ‘micro-aspects’ of social life, although always with reference to and in the context of wider social structures. When examining work, in Chapter 6, we recognised that organisational structures and social institutions are both constructed by and contribute to social identities and roles, and that the organisational structures in which work takes place are part of social structures that powerfully affect how individuals live their lives. In this chapter we shall begin to examine more explicitly some of the ways in which these wider social structures are conceptualised, and how such conceptualisations are part of our identities and, as such, construct and constrain us. Concepts such as community, nation, state, citizen and ethnicity are simply abstract ideas ‘out there’ — they are social constructs, part of how we understand our own identities and how others perceive and treat us.
KeywordsEthnic Identity Personal Identity Religious Affiliation National Identity Wide Context
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