Just Sociology

Exploring the Complex Theories of Identity Globalisation and More

The phenomenon of globalization has become one of the most consequential societal transformations in the world. With the spread of global capitalism and the erosion of the power of nation-states, globalization has led to changes in the ways in which we produce, consume, and communicate.

In recent years, scholars have begun to explore the reflexive relationship between globalization and institutions. Moreover, manufactured risks and increasing uncertainty have become major features of modern society, fueled by the rapid pace of change in the late-modern world.

This article aims to examine the complex theories of reflexivity, globalization, manufactured risks, and uncertainty in detail.

Globalisation and Reflexivity

Global Capitalist Structure

Global capitalism has become the dominant economic system in the world, characterized by the large-scale production of goods and services, commodity trade, and the exploitation of global supply chains. The emergence of global capitalism has led to an erosion of national sovereignty, as transnational corporations exert increasing influence over policy decisions.

This has led to a crisis in the legitimacy of democratic institutions, which have struggled to keep pace with the rapid changes brought about by globalization.

Reflexivity in Institutions

Reflexivity describes the way that institutions try to steer and understand complex social and economic events. Reflexivity requires institutions to constantly update their knowledge, take feedback seriously, and adapt to changing circumstances.

Notably, institutions that have failed to engage with reflexivity such as many governmental institutions have struggled to adjust to the economic and social realities of a globalized world.

Manufactured Risks and Uncertainty

Global Problems

A critical issue facing modern society is the spate of global problems that mankind must contend with. These problems are objective, in the sense that they exist independently of human perceptions or opinions.

Global warming, for example, is a problem that affects humanity as a whole, regardless of peoples beliefs. These global problems necessitate a global response one that is capable of addressing the challenges faced by mankind in a cooperative manner.

Increased Pace of Change and Uncertainty

As we enter the late-modern era, the pace of change has accelerated at an unprecedented rate. This has created a dynamic, constantly changing world characterized by increasing levels of uncertainty.

This has led to the manufacture of risks, which often emerge from the unintended consequences of human activity. In many cases, these manufactured risks are difficult to predict, making it challenging for institutions to create effective responses.


In conclusion, globalization and reflexivity as well as the manufacture of risks and increased uncertainty – are complex phenomena that require in-depth exploration. While these ideas can be difficult to grasp for non-experts, its vitally important that we understand these concepts in their entirety.

As we continue to navigate the complex and rapidly changing world of the 21st century, it is clear that these ideas will have far-reaching implications for human society.

Abstract Systems and Media

Abstract Systems

Abstract systems refer to systems of artifacts, symbols, and signs that people use to make sense of the world. These systems include things like money, clock time, and expert systems all of which are abstract entities that are used to manage and organize complex social and economic processes.

Abstract systems are used to establish rules and hierarchies, but they also limit our ability to think outside the confines of the symbolic order. Money, for instance, is a fundamental abstract system used to represent the value of goods and services.

It is an important tool for economic exchange, but it can also lead to social stratification and inequality. Clock time is another abstract system that structures our days and lives.

Its a shared, abstract language that we use to coordinate our activities, but it also creates a sense of urgency and pressure that can be detrimental to our well-being. Expert systems – such as artificial intelligence and machine learning – are now widely used to navigate complex problems, but their complexity means that they are not accessible to everyone, leading to further inequality.

Importance and Influence of Media

Media, in all its diverse forms, plays a significant role in shaping our knowledge, values, and beliefs. By providing us with information and entertainment, media has the ability to shape our understanding of the world, and in turn, our actions.

However, the availability and use of the mass media can create a sense of homogeneity and conformity that can stifle diversity. The main significance of media lies in its ability to create awareness of diversity.

Platforms such as social media have given voice to previously marginalized groups, and allowed for the expression of various perspectives and opinions. Political activism seeking social and legal justice around the world has been propelled forward by the scope and power of social media platforms, uniting people in common actions across time and space.

Duality of Structure

Empowerment and Constraint of Social Structures

Social structures – such as those based on dependency, class, gender, ethnicity, and global capitalism – have a dual nature, both empowering and constraining individuals. Social structures provide the impetus for many of our individual goals and aspirations, often creating a sense of purpose and meaning.

However, social structures can also be constraining, limiting our ability to act in ways that are not aligned with the larger social structure. Dependency is one social structure that can be both empowering and constraining.

In some cases, levels of dependency are so intense that it is difficult for individuals to act independently. At other times, dependency can provide a necessary level of support and communal solidarity.

Global capitalism, which has created a complex web of social and economic dependencies, has had a profound impact on modern society – both in empowering entrepreneurs and innovators while constraining matters of labor rights, environmental protection, and equitable distribution of resources.

Freedom and Existing Structures

As our societies become more complex and interconnected, it is often difficult to discern where freedom ends and existing structures (such as laws, regulations, and social norms) begin. In some cases, we are actively constrained by the choices available to us.

In other cases, however, our actions are largely unconstrained by social structures- we can choose to think and act in ways which have not been previously identified. The influence of media technology on individual freedom underscores this dual nature of social structures.

For example, the rise of the fashion blogger has been facilitated by the internet, enabling individuals to buck traditional fashion structures and designing for themselves. Media technology has opened up new possibilities for self-expression and creativity, challenging existing structures and encouraging individual freedom to develop and pursue their own ideas.


In conclusion, the complex theories of abstract systems, media, duality of structures, manufactured risks, globalization, reflexivity, and uncertainty have far-reaching implications for modern society. Understanding these concepts is crucial if we are to navigate the complexities of the 21st century.

These concepts have the potential to drive change, promote innovation, and empower individuals, but can also create unintended consequences, widening social inequalities, and stifling diversity. It is critical to maintain a balance between understanding and engagement with the tools and structures that shape our world, and the freedom to challenge them.

Identity and

Narrative of Self

Identity as a Task

Identity is both pre-existing and open to question it is both given and achieved. The process of constructing and reconstructing our identities is a task that requires self-reflection, self-criticism and deep introspection.

This ongoing task of constructing and reconstructing our identities is at the core of our being in the world, and it shapes the way we think, feel, and interact with other people. In this sense, identity is not a fixed entity.

Rather, it is something that is constantly evolving. This means that we are always reflecting upon ourselves, trying to understand who we are, and re-negotiating our positions in an endlessly dynamic social world.

Narrative of Self

Narrative of self refers to the way in which our life story provides us with a sense of coherence, stability, and continuity. By organizing our experiences into a coherent narrative, we are able to make sense of the events that have shaped our lives, and to give our lives meaning and purpose.

Narrative of self provides us with a sense of identity, and a sense of direction a sense of what we want to achieve in the world. The way in which we frame our life narratives can have a significant impact on the way in which we live our lives.

For some individuals, the ability to construct a coherent, meaningful narrative may be linked to a sense of contentment or happiness, while for others, the inability to create such a narrative can lead to feelings of confusion, uncertainty, and angst.

Therapy and

New Social Movements

Therapy as a New Expert System

Therapy has become a new form of expert system that is increasingly used to help individuals to construct and reconstruct their identities. Therapy, which often relies on its own abstract systems (such as diagnostic categories and therapeutic techniques), aims to help individuals to reconstruct their identities in epochal moments of change, such as after a traumatic event or loss.

Critical reflection, self-criticism, and introspection are central to the therapeutic process, as individuals work to understand and work through their experiences. Therapy is useful also because it allows individuals to reflect on their life narratives in a shared space, often providing a safe and supportive environment in the process of identity reconstruction.

It is important to note that therapeutic efficacy is not only about fixing an individual, but rather about enabling him/her to construct a more empowered and authentic self.

New Social Movements

New social movements, such as the Green movement and other efforts tackling moral and existential questions, have put issues of self-identity, values and life narratives in the forefront of contemporary societal discourse. These movements have mobilized individuals around issues that are crucial to personal identity and self-empowerment, seeking to challenge existing social configurations that are seen as constraining and limiting.

The Green movement, for example, seeks to challenge dominant economic and social structures that exploit the natural world and marginalize vulnerable communities. By calling for a new set of values that are grounded in sustainability and social responsibility, the Green movement puts issues of identity, responsibility and life narrative in the forefront of public discourse.

In this sense, new social movements are part of a broader effort to mobilize individuals around shared values and visions of a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.


In conclusion, the concepts of identity and narrative of self, as well as the role of therapy as an expert system and new social movements, are instrumental in shaping how we understand and interact with the world around us. As we reflect on our positions in the world, the narratives that we construct and the values that we embody can have far-reaching implications for society as a whole.

It is by engaging with these complex concepts that we can work to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable world for all.

Generic Types of Identity


Narcissism involves having an excessive focus on oneself, which manifests in a range of ways, including self-consumption, self-promotion, and self-indulgence. Narcissism is driven by a preoccupation with one’s own image and the possibility of others’ admiration.

The preoccupation with one’s own body image and striving for a perfect appearance can be linked with media culture, which is largely centered on the pursuit of the ideal body. The focus on the self often comes at the expense of developing meaningful relationships with others.

In some cases, narcissistic individuals tend to view other people through the lens of how they can benefit them, rather than viewing them as independent, unique individuals. Additionally, the preoccupation with self also entails the domination and control of the body, often under the governance of deeply embedded bodily regimes.


Fundamentalism can be seen as an extreme expression of identity formation, stemming from issues around moral and existential questions.

Fundamentalism is characterized by an unwavering adherence to a particular set of beliefs, often with no room for compromise or negotiation.

Fundamentalism is often associated with religious belief systems that take an absolutist position, unwilling to consider alternative views or interpretations. However, fundamentalism isn’t limited to religious belief systems – it can also manifest in secular expressions of identity politics, such as racism, nationalism, and extreme political ideologies.

The consequences of fundamentalism can be profound, leading to the marginalization and persecution of those who do not share the same views or beliefs. Fundamentally driven identities are often very closed to dialogue, varied social practices or identification with people of other beliefs, and thus tend to reinforce rigid boundaries and homogeneity rather than genuine difference and diversity.


The complex theories of identity are concerned with a broad range of issues including an individuals personal experiences, social structures, abstract systems, media, and therapy, among others. Indeed, it is the intersection of these different areas that create and shape a person’s identity.

Identifying the types and expressions of identity, such as narcissism and fundamentalism provides further insights into the ways in which individuals relate to themselves and society, and ultimately how their identities are formed and molded. An individual’s identity is a task, one that is constantly evolving in response to the dynamic and changing world around them.

Understanding the nuances of identity is necessary for progress and life fulfilment, as it encourages us not only to question existing structures and systems, but to explore the potentialities for new modes and ways of being. Through the exploration and expansion of our own identities, we can work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society for everyone, where difference is celebrated and diversity is recognized as strength.

In conclusion, the complex theories of globalisation, reflexivity, manufactured risks, uncertainty, abstract systems, media, duality of structure, identity, and new social movements provide us with insights into the world we have created, and offer possibilities of how we can progress towards a better future. These concepts are integral to understanding the complexities of the 21st century and to navigate a rapidly changing world, while also providing opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery.

Exploring the nuances of identity, constructing narratives of self, and engaging with one’s surroundings in an open and informed manner are vital for working towards a more just, equitable, and sustainable society for all.



What is globalisation?

Globalisation refers to the process whereby economic, political, and cultural systems become more interconnected and global in nature.

2. What is reflexivity in institutions?

Reflexivity involves using feedback to adapt to changing circumstances, often through updating knowledge and steering events. 3.

What are manufactured risks?

Manufactured risks are unintended consequences of human actions that lead to new risks and uncertainties.

4. What does identity as a task mean?

Identity as a task refers to the ongoing process of constructing and reconstructing one’s sense of self in the world. 5.

What is fundamentalism?

Fundamentalism is an extreme expression of identity formation, often driven by moral and existential questions, characterized by an unwavering adherence to a particular set of beliefs.

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