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My Sociological Autobiography Essay
I started taking sociology lessons and I began realizing how my life experiences are greatly redirected by several complicated sociological factors. The lessons have aided my sociological imaginations and therefore I am capable of reconnecting my past sociological experiences in relations to my attitude, behaviors and my social structure. Sociological themes that are distinct in my life include how social class, race or ethnicity, religion, place of birth, social inequalities and gender role socialization. The themes have played a role in shaping my sociological autobiography.
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The Influence of Gender Role Socialization on My Identity
I came into the sociological world on 19th September 1995, with a long and complicated birth of caesarian. My life started with a large scream, the doctors and nurses in charge, immediately sorted my gender. The doctors looked at me and immediately pronounced me a baby boy. This gender assortment then placed me into the social label that I had no influence in, as a social human being I therefore appreciate the biological concepts and hence I don't blame any human being of their social gender. Since the very day I was pronounced a boy, my parents have been treating in consideration of being a boy. This has made me realize the reason why I put on trouser and not skirts, trouser and not dresses. My parents from my birth dressed me black and white trousers, among few colors, but not colors such as pink which they had thought are ladies oriented. The male gender is characterized by masculine and now I understand why my parents used to give me masculine related tasks and not kitchen tasks that my sister used to enjoy. My parents could buy me toys such as cars and robots, but not kitchen staffs. The car toys then began defining my life; I could envision myself making cars, which nowadays I see to be men oriented careers. Now I understand why my sister could play with the dolls hair and my mum's hairs because, I nowadays see most hair dresser to be women. All the staffs we are introduced in our tender age define what we live interacting with. The staffs I handled deprived me the staffs that are believed to be girlish and gave me what are believed to be masculine like toy cars. Gender role socialization is the gradual process in which an individual becomes either famine or masculine. (Ferris & Stein, 2014)
The Impact of Race and Ethnicity on My Social Interactions
Ethnicity and Race differs a little bit, race is a socially defined category linked on perceived biological contrast between groups of people. The social phenomenon of being a white comes with certain challenges and merits, it affects anyone around. Racial inequality is an existing social concept that avails individual's different opportunities and resources. I was conceived from miscegeny, my parents are a mixture of English and Indian ancestry. When I was young in my tender ages the disparity was not conspicuous and therefore everyone knew that I was pure white. I went to a private boy's school that was populated with 85 percent white students; I was included in the list. We did the end year evaluation text and our parents came to school help grace the closing event. Everything was well with me in school, till some of my good friends saw my parents, the latter affected my stay in high school life the following years. My classmates believed that I was a white since I had light skin, brown hair and light eyes. The features never featured in both my parents since one was white and my mum was a middle east and for that I was never conforming to them. My mum had a dark skin color; she had deep brown eyes and, dark hair. My very good friends were seriously mesmerized when they saw my parents and for that reason I had to break their silence by telling them that I was not pure white. Some of my friends who were racists began spreading rumor that I was an adopted son and for that I was playing them prank. Unfortunately I lost those good friends of mine because since them they kept on ignoring my presence. This happening changed my perceptions of viewing people. This event symbolizes interactionist perceptions, which implies that human identity sometimes goes through the race. The identity in relation to the race begins on a micro-level. I unknowingly underwent racial passing meaning that my phenotypic morphology shaped the perceptive of my friends such that they saw me white yet I was not. Our lives are not shaped on social context but instead on social factors, due to these social factors the events in our lives happen are intersectionalities. Intersectionalities imply that several sophisticated social factors affect our life experiences.
Social Class and Its Role in Shaping My Life Path
Social Class is a social inequality that discourse the formation within a society influencing what a person gets and how to get it. Social factor that correlates with social inequality is the social class. This social factor has impacted both positively and negatively in many ways. First and for more my social autobiography has been shaped by my social class. According to the United State of America social class ladder, I can proudly say that I have been natured in the so called middle class family, and am foreseeing my life remaining in middle social class future due to the middle social class factors orbiting around my day to day life activities. This idea of stagnating in one social class due to where we were born is linked to postmodernism perspective social reproduction as per Pierre Bourdieu a sociologist. Bourdieu explains that social is hereditary and is passed from one generation to the other. The only benefit I claim from social class is that I have enriched my culture and this makes my parents happy. The only challenge I am projecting is that I will have middle class education in my entire life and even get a middle class job. This concept of postmodernist perspective will make me explain to my juniors, who are in lower hierarchy of job description, how the concepts have shaped our environment.
The Role of Religion in Shaping My Beliefs and Values
Religion is social factor that plays a role in shaping lives of individual. Alternative region shapes the attitude and believe in which people view things that happen in day to day activity. Just like race and ethnicity, region is another social factor that bares negativity and positivity in our lives today. I was born and raised in a religious family. I have grown in church as my religion since I was born, but is still wonder my duties in religion each and every day since it gets complicated each and every day I try to understand it better. Being a kid raised within the doctrines of church, the church has played a critical role of shaping my culture, my feelings and my social structures. When I began thinking about culture what cling in my mind is its definition as the doctrines, believes, values, knowledge, language and material objects that humans share in common and are transmitted from one generation to the other.( Croteau & Hoynes, 2013). Of all the aspects of culture I have come to realize that material culture involves the physical structures that are carried by fellow humans into our believes for example, clothing, tools, toys, housing and works of arts. Social structures include church institution for example Cathedral Baptism Church where I spent my life which defined my durable patterns and routines. The church has made me believe that some things are not right and unethical for example murder, stealing and fornication. The church have also deprived me night peer parties and alcohol, it has made me believe they wrong values of life.
The Significance of Place of Birth in Influencing Sociological Factors
Place of birth is another lethal determinant of my sociological environment. Being born in a certain country, county and locality influences several sociological factors in our live today. Born from wedlock of mixed originality I have enjoyed several merits that comes along side it, for instance it has made me know Hindu culture when I travel to my mum's place in India. It has shaped my multilingual skills. I was born in America and therefore I have been influenced by my relatives in India to claim their originality, something that has been traumatizing my brain since then as a result I have realized that place of birth comes' alongside challenges of sociological factors.
The Role of Technology in Shaping my Social Interactions
Technology has played a key role in depicting a faster revolving world. Through technology I have interacted with very many peers from across the globe. This has been made successful through the existence of social sites like face book and tweeter and many more. I have also been up to date with the trending world issues at a touch of button making me interact with every moment of my life even when am lonely. Technology has also realized that some website and information are distinct for the general public, family, kids and teenagers including the elderly.
Croteau, D., & Hoynes, W. (2013). Socialization. In Experience sociology New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Ferris, K., & Stein, J. (2014). The real world: An introduction to sociology.New York: W.W. Norton & Co
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Essay:
Question: how has gender role socialization influenced the author's upbringing and identity.
Answer: Gender role socialization has had a significant effect on the author's upbringing by assigning specific tasks, toys, and clothing that reflect their assigned gender. This led them towards engaging in activities typically associated with being male as they gained confidence through gender socialization. This has affected their identity development as they gravitated toward masculine-focused activities and careers traditionally associated with being a boy.
Question: How did the author's experience with race and ethnicity impact their social interactions in school?
Answer: Answers vary; in this instance, the author's mixed racial and ethnic background created an abrupt mismatch between their appearance and expectations of peers and reality. When their classmates found out their non-white heritage, rumors and prejudice began surfacing that eventually caused some friends to distance themselves from them. This experience highlights how race can influence social interactions.
Question: How does the concept of social class influence the author's outlook on their future?
Answer: As someone born into a middle-class family, this author acknowledges the role social class plays in shaping opportunities and resources available to them. They express belief that their social class will likely remain unchanged over time as suggested by social reproduction theory; their understanding of class influences expectations regarding education and job prospects highlighting its influence over individual lives paths.
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When we make decisions and experience things, we often describe them as being our own, ours. However, when we think about why we made those decisions and why we experience things we come to realize that we are influenced by society to make decisions for us. There are many external societal factors that influence our beliefs and values which in turn affect how and why we make decisions. My family, friends, and society in general have heavily influenced the way I have lived my life and the person that I am today. I was birthed into this world on January 24, 2002 in the city of San Jose, California, eyes wide open, ready to be shaped and molded into the individual that society wanted me to become. Immediately I was given the ascribed status of a girl. A quick glance was all it took to confirm what then became my gender and that was that. With this social label my parents, in result, treated me according to society's view of how a girl should be treated. This included pink and purple everything, dolls and dollhouses. It wasn't until I got a little older and would play with my cousins that that stereotype began to change. I grew up surrounded by a lot of family mainly because my culture is very family-oriented, but also because my family was so large in number.
Most of my first cousins, especially those close to my age, were male. Because many of my cousins who I played with as a child were male, I started to participate in more boy activities. For example, playing in the dirt and mud, playing basketball, and playing video games. I do not recall my parents or family ever saying anything about me participating in these activities however, I do remember an occurrence when I was in kindergarten in art class. The art teacher had assigned us an art project where we were to paint a picture for our dads for Father's Day. I decided to paint flowers for my dad because at the time he liked to garden and had all kinds of vegetables and flowers growing in our backyard. When I had told the art teacher what I was going to paint she told me to paint something else, like a car. At the time I didn't understand why I couldn't paint flowers for my dad when I knew that he would like it, but that didn't matter because flowers are girly and not meant for boys. This was just the first of my experiences with society's gender roles. I am the youngest and only girl out of three other siblings. However, they are all half-siblings. I have two older brothers from my father and one older brother from my mother. Because of this, and because of the large age gap between my brothers and I, I never experienced that close sibling relationship with them. Being not only the youngest, but also the only girl had a huge influence on who I am today. My dad had only ever had sons, so he, in a way, treated me like another son.
He wanted me to play all kinds of sports like my brothers did. I was never an athletic person, and still am not, so I never played any sports that my brothers played like football and baseball. My dad also was rougher with me because he didn't want me to be soft. Because of this I was called a baby or wimp if I cried over little things. My mom however, always defended saying that it was okay for me to cry though her reasoning was because I'm a girl and you must be more careful around me because I am not as tough as a boy. Growing up in the Bay Area the community that I was surrounded by was extremely diverse much like here in Sacramento, if not more so. There was a great mix of people from different cultures, religions, and backgrounds. The neighborhood that I grew up in specifically was inhabited mostly by middle class families, my own included. Being around people of the same or similar social class and economic backgrounds caused less discrimination and prejudice toward people when it came to social statuses and salaries. Being raised in this community also encouraged diversity especially in race and ethnicities, so even at a young age, seeing people of different skin colors participating in various cultural practices became a norm. Though I am half African American and half Chamorro, I was raised predominantly by my maternal side of the family. My mother and my mother's side of the family being Pacific Islanders, I grew up with their beliefs, norms, and values solely because that was what I grew up with. As a Pacific Islander, more specifically a Chamorro/Guamanian, our culture is centered around a very social lifestyle. Our culture is also extremely family-oriented and that includes both immediate and extended family members, so as I was raised, family was taught to be one of the most important values in life.
Another important value that was taught is storytelling. Passing down stories through generations was taught to be important in order to keep the culture alive. Because Pacific Islanders are not a very common race compared to others based on population sizes, there is often prejudice towards Pacific Islanders since there is such little common knowledge about us. Pacific Islanders as a group are often generalized to all be Hawaiian or the same as Hawaiians when that is not the case. At a young age when people would ask me where I am from and I would tell them that I am from Guam, they would be confused, which even at a young age I understood because it is a very small island on the other side of the globe, and I wouldn't expect them to know.
It was often difficult to feel involved or connected with classmates and groups in school because of the race being so underrepresented. In turn, I embrace my ethnicity and culture as much as possible and will be sure to pass those values on to my future children. One way I embrace my culture right now is through cultural dancing. I have danced with a local Polynesian dance group since I was nine years old. In the group we perform Hula, Tahitian, and other Polynesian dances. Hula and Tahitian dancing are often sexualized because of the movement of the hips and the type of attire worn, especially by women, when dancing and performing.
When I would tell people that I danced Hula and Tahitian, many times guys would say things like, Oh, so you can move your hips? Society portrays the Hula Girl in a way to attract tourists or a public relations campaign. As a result, sometimes people don't take the performances seriously or do not recognize the significance of the dance. This is just another example of the lack of common knowledge of Pacific Island cultures. Another value that Pacific Islanders have is practicing religion. There is no one religion that is enforced specifically however, Catholicism is predominantly practiced within the race. My father is not a very religious person and that was just how he was raised, but my mother was raised in a very Catholic home. Consequently, I was raised in a Catholic family. My maternal grandmother often pushes Catholicism on me and my other cousins. If someone were to ask me right now what religion I follow, I would tell them Catholicism but only because that is the only religion that I was taught about or practiced.
As I have grown older and have been more educated on different religions and on how different people view religion, my belief about certain practices and their purpose has faltered. I believe in God, but many of the beliefs and rules of the Catholic faith I have begun to question. Religion is very complicated. As I am growing and truly finding what I believe in, I begin to question who is right? Who is wrong? Is there a right or a wrong? Overall, my religion is something that I am continuing to question every day and will continue to change as I discover myself and my true beliefs. Sexuality and my sexual orientation were not something that I ever really thought a lot about. Growing up I knew that I was attracted to the opposite sex. It wasn't until I got older, around middle school, when I was properly educated about the different sexual orientations. At that time, it was starting to become more common for people around my age to discover their sexuality. Becoming more educated on the various sexual orientations, my orientation did not change however, I became more open to a possible change. All my life thus far I have only ever been attracted to the opposite sex, heterosexual, but I cannot say that I will never be attracted to someone of the opposite sex or someone of a different gender identity. The way that society and the people in my life have defined race and ethnicity, social class, and gender have greatly affected how my life has developed thus far. They have shifted the way I view my roles as a mixed race, middle class, female. The things that I have experienced and learned have affected and will continue to affect the way I live the rest of my life. Society has a huge impact on our lives and will continue to change and shape the way we live throughout time. Our experiences in the social world are what make us who we are.
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Sociological Autobiography of My Life
683 words 3 page(s)
As far as the major agencies of socialization in my life are concerned, they are family, religion, school, friends, parenthood, education, and cultural factors. The significant others in my life are family, especially my grandparents and my teachers in school. One early message that I internalized about myself from significant others was that I am one-of-a-kind and loved by everyone including my family and god. I also came to believe that I will do great things because I have a very good heart. Thus, my significant others have had great influence on my personal habits and traditions. First of all, I am family-oriented because I believe family is the sincerest thing to you. I also believe in service community because I believe that is what god expects from us. I celebrate all important religious festivals with family such as Easter and Christmas.
My family taught me that all men are equal before god irrespective of their skin color, thus, I have been a lifelong believer in racial equality. My family also preached to me the importance of community service because god wants us to help those who are less fortunate. I also want to transmit these same values to my family because I believe a society cannot prosper unless it helps everyone stand on their feet and realize their potential. I also believe that community service is our way of thanking god for giving us good life. I also want to persuade my children and others in the future generation to experience other cultures so that they get rid of their bias and truly appreciate social diversity.
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The generalized others in my life were my friends, fellow students, and teachers in the school. Like every child, I wanted to be cool and popular and I also knew that one’s academic performance shapes others’ expectations of one’s future prospects. Thus, I studied hard to gain the respect of everyone at school and when they would acknowledge my academic accomplishments, it would make me feel really proud. At times it would feel I do not work hard for my own sake but in order to gain acknowledgement from others.
The generalized others did motivate me to take school seriously and to have a proper career. Even though one should achieve for his own sake, I acknowledge the role of generalized others in keeping me on track and eventually going to college because some of my fellow students barely managed to finish high school. The generalized others also boosted my confidence because I would be acknowledged by my teachers and friends when I would perform well in the test. The feeling was always pleasant, thus, it inspired me to go to college and build a future.
I fondly remember my elementary and secondary school years because I learnt not only in classroom but also outside classroom. One of the things I observed was that social and economic status matters and even if most may not acknowledge, they are impressed by one’s social and economic background. Another I learnt in school is that life is not perfect and bad things can happen to good people. I also learnt people feel more comfortable with their own ethnic groups because one’s ethnicity provides him with an identity. In addition, people in the same ethnic group tend to be quite similar. I did have friends outside my racial and ethnic group but my best friends came from the same ethnic background as me.
I now give more value to my personal opinion of me than those of others. As a result, I will be more independent-minded rather than someone who always takes others’ opinions into account. As far as diversity is concerned, I will make greater efforts to interact with other racial and ethnic groups. I believe the reason I had few friends from other racial groups was that I really didn’t show interest in their cultures even though I would always be respectful towards them. As a result, I will attend more events and festivals that represent minority ethnic and racial groups in America.
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My name is X Y; I was born in 1986 in Bangladesh, a small country with a rich cultural heritage. The most fundamental part of my life was spent in Bangladesh with my mother and her side of the family, while my father was away in United States. The only sibling I have is my sister, who is currently happily married. I am a 24-year-old student, aspiring to join X Y College. Education is an essential part of my life as it presents me with skills towards gaining knowledge; it instills values of proper conduct as per societal norms; and provides me with the necessary technical expertise to bring about the desired societal change in future (Mills, 2000). Although my life has been ridden with many challenges so far, I plan to overcome them one at a time someday. My primary goal is to excel in school, both to obtain a better future and to make my parents proud. While employing C.Wright Mills’ idea that sociology describes the intersection between history and biography, I will reflect on the problems that I have faced in my biographical background that are connected to the social institutions and in the large part to the social culture located in history
Growing up in Bangladesh was like a dream, as I believed that I had it all; friends, family, love, care and everything one could possibly yearn for. I always took for granted the simple, joyful and fun-filled life in Bangladesh, such that if I were given the wish of backdating time, I would go back and relieve those precious moments. Back in Bangladesh, as per societal values, the meaning attached to the word ‘family’ was different, owing to the strong bonds, ties and connections we shared as family members (Mills, 2000). We believed in strong family ties and togetherness, in both good and bad times. Family’s reputation is an integral part of the Bangladeshi culture, where the reputation of one family member is a symbol of the entire family’s reputation. For this reason, most families in Bangladesh are very careful in their children’s upbringing, as they will be judged based on the performance of their children in the society.
In 1990, my father won the Diversity Visa lottery, leaving my family under the care of my mother’s parents when I was at the age of four years. Although I was still young, I vowed to take care of my family, as I was the only son. My mother was from a big family of six sisters and one brother. All my aunts, in exception of three were married by then. After moving in, my aunts were in charge of our upbringing, while my grandfather was in charge of our excellence in studies. My grandfather translated into my favorite personal tutor, but this was not true in my sister’s case as he always scolded her for attaining poor grades in school (Mills, 2000). Although, I was my grandfather’s favorite in terms of studies, I was rebellious in such circumstances as when my mother forcefully put me to sleep in the afternoon. I would always find a way of sneaking out of the room, to join my friends in the playground. My mother was always aware of this phenomenon and whenever I sneaked out, she would follow me to the playground to ensure that I did not involve myself in any type of fighting.
Being the little menace I was, how can anyone blame her for following me? Especially, when other parents came complaining due to the fights I had with their children. A day never passed without my mother receiving negative complaints on my behavior. At that point in my life, cartoons, games, sports and friends were everything to me. I loved and enjoyed playing cricket, soccer, badminton and a variety of other sports as well as playing with video games. Back then, I had not arrived at an understanding of the cultural aspect of family values and norms. However, when I reflect on my past today, I can comfortably understand that my current personality is based on the values I acquired from watching my grandfather’s behavior and his social interaction with our family and the society at large (Mills, 2000). He instilled in me the social aspects of kindness, respect and good manners when interacting with diverse people in the social structure. Additionally, he always encouraged and motivated me to excel in school. I always admired my grandfather for the respect he was accorded everywhere he went and although, he is long gone, he definitely influenced my life significantly.
Whenever my father visited Bangladesh, all my family members and relatives gathered to discuss the cultural differences between Bangladesh and America. In their discussions, some would ask questions based on the American politics, government, law enforcement, education and freedom. In turn, my father would explain that the American culture and way of socialization was completely different from that of Bangladesh, owing to such factors as a strong legal system, strict laws, human rights, a better education system and diverse social, cultural and political opportunities (Mills, 2000). In addition, he supported the American social belief in equality and freedom of religion regardless of a person’s background, origin and social imagination. After listening to their discussions, I would go and share the vital information acquired, with my friends and neighbors, who would completely disagree with the social institutions set-up in America.
Some religious groups based on the available information, viewed the American people as non-believers based on their shunning of religious beliefs owing to their lack of faith in God and religious practices. They also viewed the American culture as a symbol of cultural and social degradation as the female gender in America dresses openly in public, which can be translated into promiscuity in Bangladesh’s cultural and religious aspects (Mills, 2000). Essentially, societal norms are not expressed in parents-children relationships in America, owing to the fact that children do not respect their parents and in turn, parents are forced to throw out their children following a certain period. Due to this factor, many social groups espoused that I would be influenced by peer pressure after relocating to America such that I would engage in the social evils of eating haram food, drink alcohol, disrespecting my parents and converting to Christianity.
As per the views of my peers in Bangladesh, the American culture translated to both positive and negative aspects. Negativity was linked to the oppressiveness of the American foreign policy, which is based on the aggressive domination of inferior countries. At that time, I did not posses any experience for agreeing or disagreeing with their expansive views. The day I relocated to New York with my family ten years ago, is still fresh in my mind. It was one of the best moments in my life, as well as an unexpected life changing experience that I will never forget. To date, I still cannot come to terms with leaving behind my friends, family and the people I grew up with, as it was one of the hardest experiences in my life. By then I was only fourteen years old and I was not prepared for the cultural shock that hit my mother, sister and I. To me, embracing another culture would encompass a lot of getting used to (Mills, 2000).
After a few weeks of living in New York, I was enrolled in 8 th grade, at the beginning of middle school. School in America was completely different as compared to school life in Bangladesh because, instead of staying in the same class and experiencing a change of teachers for different lessons as in Bangladesh, here in America I had to switch classes for the different lessons. In middle school, I experienced various challenging tasks with the most prevalent translating to language barrier. This hindered my level of communication with the teachers and students due to my poor command of English (Mills, 2000). Making friends was another challenge that forced me to take lunch all by myself. The type of food served at the cafeteria was another challenge and I could not eat well because I was not aware of the different types of food and I had to be careful to stick to my Islamic religion when consuming food.
In this case, the first waves of culture shock based on language barrier, culture and different lifestyle hit me badly in school, though I had a few friends who were trying to help me to adjust. In sociological terms, I was going through the negotiation phase as the differences between my old culture and the new culture became apparent, therefore causing anxiety and low adaptability level for the new culture (Mills, 2000). I always felt left out because, I lacked the superior communication, cultural and socialization skills required for blending into a new culture. At this time, I missed my family and friends back in Bangladesh and wished that I could go back to the culture I had been used to all my life. This was remedied by the interest I developed for computers in school. My first impression after the exposure was that I had to learn the function of these machines but no student was willing to assist me in the learning process. I watched them as they navigated their way through them and by the time I joined high school, I had gained superior computer knowledge as compared to my classmates.
The social institution installed in America inspired me to learn English at a higher perspective due to the opportunities that I was missing with my poor command of English. After learning English, I moved into the sociological phase of adjustment owing to the fact that I could make new friends easily, which was later followed by the mastery phase. I have been going through the mastery phase but the sociological structure of America still hinders me from referring it to as home. Socialization and social interactions are fundamental for adaptability to a different culture and social structure. In turn, peer pressure can affect a person either positively of negatively (Mills, 2000). As per my case, I have faced both sides of peer pressure. When my father advised me against making friends with the Bengali, I shunned it, as they were the only people I could culturally confer with. Back then, I did not agree with him but based on my current situation I would have taken the advice to heart if accorded with the chance.
In socialization, I made friends from the Bengali, Asian, White, and African-American communities. My favorite friends were from the Bengali community because their culture was closely related to the Bangladesh culture and I felt as a member of one of their sub-groups. The diversity of the social structure of the American culture caused different frictions in our family, which pushed me to skipping class and hanging out with my Bengali friends in order to feel better on the onset of culture shock (Mills, 2000). To blend into their culture, I was forced to mimic their social way of life. I adopted their street slang and their way of dressing, which encompassed baggy jeans. They were more comfortable with this way of life, but due to the values and norms instilled in me by my grandfather, I came to the realization that this was not my way of life. My performance in school had been negatively affected. I vowed to work hard to make my parents proud even though they never provided me with the motivation I required
Despite the many challenges experienced in America, socialization changed my notion about the diverse culture, but this changed on the onset of 9/11. The occurrence of the tragedy met me at home, as I was watching the television and I had to summon my family to come and watch what was going on, as this did not seem as the reality. The aftermath of the occurrence was ridden with racial segregation against Muslims because the perpetrator of the bomb was an Arabic Muslim. Before 9/11, I never faced racial discrimination in school but after, I faced the full ugly side of racial segregation (Mills, 2000). Fellow students started to fear me because I was a Muslim and as I was playing in school one day with my friends, one student confiscated our basketball, when I demanded for its return, he told me to go back to my country, as I was an enemy of America.
In Muslim Americans in The News Before and After 9/11 , the author asserts that , “ perfectly peaceful Arab- and Muslim-Americans as well as persons “looking like them” became the victims of hate crimes and of the stereotypical image of Muslims and Arabs as perpetrators of violence and terrorists” (Nacos & Torres-Reyna, 2002). Nine years have passed since this incidence but the stereotyping views against Muslims have not diminished. Just because they conform to a different culture does not belittle their social structure (Mills, 2000). The media instead of educating people on the positive social values, they contributed to the negative social values exhibited against the Islamic culture. The social institutions created after 9/11, have prevailed as socialization cannot replace the societal norms and values acquired from media presentations after the incidence. This clearly indicates the fundamental role of the media in creating different social institutions, norms and values.
We have continued to experience racial segregation as a family owing to our cultural difference such that after we ordered furniture and it was not delivered after two weeks, we were insulted by the owner of the store after demanding for the refund of our money. When we contacted the police, no action was taken after they discussed with the storeowner and the identity of our Islamic culture was revealed. It is saddening to realize that though American culture boasts of different cultural contributions, the social institution in place are still discriminative of certain diverse cultures (Mills, 2000). Living in America for tens years has provided me with different mental and physical sociological changes which might or might not be translated into the American dream. I have embraced a different social structure in America but this does not mean that I am not aware of my original social structure. As per my biography I do not have a clear realization of the real me because my past and present personality depends on the social culture built from history.
Mills, C. W. (2000). The Sociological Imagination . Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Nacos, B., L. & Torres-Reyna, O. (2002). Muslim Americans in the News before and
After 9-11. Harvard Symposium Restless Searchlight: The Media AND Terrorism , 4 (5), 1-15.
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