Social History: It is somewhat of an autobiography and only needs to be 5 pages at the most. ABOUT ME: White, female, 22 years old, social drinker on occasion, participated in girl scouts and high school sports and was captain of my field hockey team which provided me with leadership skills, suburban north of Boston living at home with my parents, i have 3 brothers (1 is 19 and is gay, my parents and family are supportive), we are of Irish Catholic decent, i have a good relationship with my family, my parents expect me to do well and are supportive, graduated in high school in the national honor society but i am trying to find my way through college, trying to get into a nursing program because my job experience as a patient observer and a Certified Nurse’s Aide have urged me to go on to do better things as a nurse, i am a registered independent but i voted for McCain, not very religious but more spiritual,my parents are stuck between making too much money to qualify for financial aide for their kids to go to college but cannot afford to send all 4 of us so we kids end up taking out loans and working full time while in school, I’m a broke college student. Everything else can be made up for all I care :). The following is text from the syllabus about my social history paper. Please email if any questions arise…..:
“We are currently learning the many components to sociology- the study of human behavior in society and within group interactions. As psychology deals with the individual, sociology deals with the individual and human behavior within a group(s) or societal context. Sociologists view all human behavior as occurring in the context of the social institutions and the culture of society. They believe that all human behavior is therefore influenced by groups. Therefore, they believe that the ability to see the societal patterns that influence the individual and groups of individuals is essential. (Andersen, 2003)
There is no better way, or more relevant way, of understanding this concept then to use ourselves as subjects. This paper will explore you, your own group process and patterns within your own race, class, gender, education, religion, family, culture and other group relationships. (see handout wheel) As we start to focus and discuss these aspects, you will be asked to see yourself and your own dynamics within these topic areas and critically think and describe your own socialization process and patterns. For I truly believe that you cannot begin to understand another person’s or group’s journey until you have critically examined your own.
Some things for you to think about and examine:
How does your race, class, gender, education, religion, family, culture, and other groups you belong to influence you. Please break each of these topics down individually and examine them separately.
Examine your own diversity, using the broad understanding of diversity presented during discussions in class. How would you compare yourself to the emerging patterns of diversity in the USA, and reflect on how you can prepare yourself to better live with that diversity and to relate to it. Do you consider yourself to be a diverse person? How diverse are the groups you belong to? Write a short description of the culture of a social group you are a part of, taking into account the characteristics and elements of culture described within the text and in discussions in class. Explain whether the culture is part of the dominant culture, a subculture, or a counterculture.
Chapter 3 in the textbook discusses socialization. Please discuss your own socialization patterns as they relate to the theories of socialization. (handout to be given pp. 24-27) Give autobiographical accounts that effectively demonstrate the sociological point that how you see yourself and the groups to which you belong largely depends on how others in society define you.
Look back on your early socialization and reflect on what factors in your family experience and structure do you feel most strongly influenced who you are today? Consider the role of other agents of socialization, including media, peers, religion, sports, and schools. Did you experience contradictions between the socialization in your family and socialization from other agents of socialization? How did you handle this contradiction? What was the significance of gender, social class, race, and ethnicity in your early socialization?
Your textbook discusses Rites of Passage that mark abrupt role changes that begin or end ach stage of life. Select one or more of these life transitions and describe your own rite/rites of passage and what you think would be an effective and meaningful rite of passage. Do you think your rite of passage would work for all groups in US. Society, or only for particular subcultures? Have they been different then those of your friends, peers, other family members? Or have they been because of the groups you are involved with. Discuss your experiences/ patterns.
What are the reference group or groups (example family, friends, etc.) that are meaningful to you. Analyze the role of this reference group and how it affects your identity, self-esteem, and behavior. Do you belong to a group or groups? How does the group serve as a generalized role model? In what ways do they imitate the reference group? Do you feel this imitation has positive or negative effects. ?Think of your (wheel handout). Who are your own role models? Have they changed as you aged?
Diagram your own social networks, including those you know on a personal basis and those to whom you are linked through organizational affiliation, electronic networks, or other impersonal connections. Characterize the nature of these networks according to categories that are meaningful to you, also indicating what networks are based specifically on race, class, or gender. Who is in your system? (We will do much of this in class)
What bureaucracies do you interact with? Put them in your diagram.
Write about your own ethnic identity. If you have no specific ethnic identity, but identify as “White” or “Black”, etc. explore the privileges, inequalities, discrimination, biases, prejudices, etc. attached to that identity.
Reflect on the process of your own gender socialization. What were the expectations and influences of parents, peers, schooling, religious training, mass media and other agents of socialization? How were gender linked behaviors reinforced? Did you experience contradictory influences? Do you recall any particular events or turning points that marked a significant transition in your gender identity? What are your current interests, skills, interpersonal style, occupational aspirations, and so on say about your own conformity or deviation from the gender expectations you grew up with? Do you experience pressure to conform, or experience negative consequences from over-conformity to gender expectations? What effect does your race, class, age, sexual orientation, and other social factors have on your gender identity?
Age and sex: think about your own aging moments and of those around us who we may be close to. Include contacts and interactions with people of different ages, gender identity, sexuality, etc. Reflect on your own aging, gender and sexuality issues? How did you come to learn or think about these issues? What about your own sexuality?
Describe your ideal family. What are the features and experiences of your own family. What is the role of your family in your life? How important are they and how have they influenced you?
Describe your own process of religious socialization? Did your beliefs fit into the ?usual patterns of your community?
Discuss how your education, community, where you were raised, and your work place and peers, colleagues have influenced you?
How has your government, government/state/local policies influenced you? Have you been more or less/ positively or negatively influenced by the US government and globalization since Sept. 11, 2001?
Discuss any other social issues, groups and/or policies that have had an influence on your life.”
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