Over the Past few Weeks of Sociology

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Updated: Apr 19, 2021
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Over the Past few Weeks of Sociology essay

Over the past few weeks of Sociology 1, we have learned several concepts that related to the concept of identity—race, class, and gender. As mentioned in lecture, identity is a complicated concept, which is rooted in a person’s group membership[footnoteRef:1]. A person’s group membership is essential to their social identity[footnoteRef:2]. Our identities are what plays a significant role in determining the advantages and power we would have, and it is also what shapes our life experiences and chances[footnoteRef:3]. [1: Avery, Jacob. Sociology 1. Week 9.] [2: Avery, Jacob. Sociology 1. Week 9.] [3: Avery, Jacob. Sociology 1. Week 9.]

People have a tendency to think categorically, where they tend to discriminate against an out-group member, people not like them, in favor of an in-group member, people like them[footnoteRef:4]. Such in-group and out-group discrimination could be seen with racism, classism, and sexism. Everyone is a different and unique. There are a variety of different characteristics that contributes to a person’s identity. These characteristics can include, gender, family, life experiences, physical appearances, languages spoken, your name, and et cetera[footnoteRef:5]. [4: Avery, Jacob. Sociology 1. Week 9.] [5: Avery, Jacob. Sociology 1. Week 9.]

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On a very surface level, I am a female, middle-class Asian college student, but on a much deeper level, these parts of my identity are what contributes to the things that I experience in life. First, the part of my identity I am most aware of on a daily basis, and was the most important in my family growing up is the fact that I am Chinese. Growing up, my family had always emphasized how important our cultural traditions were and that they must be practiced. So, starting at a very young age, I was placed into Chinese school to learn to read, write, and speak Mandarin Chinese, while at home, Cantonese was mainly spoken. Chinese holidays like the Spring Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival were also much more important than American holidays like Thanksgiving. As a result of this kind of upbringing, this part of my identity is also the identity I became the most proud of.

Next, the part of my identity that I am least aware of on a daily basis is that I am bilingual. Because I speak Chinese and English almost on a daily basis, whether it be talking to friends in English, talking to my parents in Chinese, or translating English to Chinese, it feels so natural to me that I do not really think about it.

The part of my identity that grants me the most privilege on a daily basis would most likely be that I am of middle-class status. Though I might not have the advantages a person from the upper-class would have, I also do not have the disadvantages the lower-class has. This identity has allowed me to gain access to some things that may or may not be accessible for others, such as higher education. And to a certain extent, being a college student also gives me some form of privilege. Because I am a college student, there are some areas, such as restaurants and clothing stores, where I am given student discounts and sometimes even free things.

However, one part of my identity that is most misunderstood would probably be my name. Often, when I give my name to another, I would most likely get a confused look or maybe even a questioning gaze. This is because, despite being a female and looking feminine, I was given a masculine name. These misunderstandings also occur even before meeting a person, where a person would instantly assume I am male because of my name and where I would sometimes be accidentally written as being male in some important documents.

Finally, the part of my identity that is difficult to discuss with others who identify different is the fact that I am an Asian-American. Despite growing up in a household where my culture was emphasized, there were also times where I have been criticized or mocked for the American values that I may or may not have held. At the same time, despite being born and raised in the U.S., there were times where I would be discriminated against because I was Asian.

In class, we also discussed the concept of intersectionality. Intersectionality is how our identities interact and affect our day-to-day life[footnoteRef:6]. It is what provides a “voice to a particular perspective and highlight the needs of people who are otherwise invisible”[footnoteRef:7]. These different parts of my identity mentioned above are what shaped my own unique experiences. For example, based on my own experiences, I could see that with race, or ethnicity, and nationality, even though I feel really proud of my cultural heritage, I have had some negative experiences because of my nationality. The same could be said with my name and gender. From my experiences, I could see that if you are a woman, you would probably be expected to have a feminine name, and if you are a man, you would probably be expected to have a masculine name. Despite being a woman, I was given a male name, Julien. And so, because of this, I have had many confused responses and misunderstandings, to the point that even important documents had been marked wrong. But, regardless of how some of these parts of my identity bring negative experiences, there are currently no part of my identity that I am aware of so far that I would want to change, since these are the unique circumstances that had shaped me into who I am today. [6: Avery, Jacob. Sociology 1. Week 9.] [7: Avery, Jacob. Sociology 1. Week 9.]”

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Over the Past Few Weeks of Sociology. (2021, Apr 19). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/over-the-past-few-weeks-of-sociology/