Labels, Categories, and Identity

Bonnie Reimer

Last week, I was watching the Country Music Awards (CMA) on which Beyonce performed with the Dixie Chicks, who are traditionally know as country western singers.  There was a lot of backlash after her performance, mostly related to her right to be on the CMA considering she is known as a mainstream pop rather than country artist.  It seemed to me that Beyonce could have been trying to construct a new identity, but others would not accept it.  This reminded me of Eva, the Polish woman whom I discussed in my presentation on October 20. Likewise, Eva was trying to construct an identity in which she would be accepted into the social network at work (Norton, 2013). Eva also felt her accent and limited English hindered her struggle and identified her as an uneducated immigrant. Because of Norton’s longitudinal study on Eva, there was a lot of insight into how she felt though no research has been done on Beyonce’s feelings, at least none that I know of.  The point is that people have different identities and may be constructing new ones, but that does not necessarily mean that other people will recognize nor support these identities.

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