One of sociology’s central tasks is to show the ways in which an individual’s life is inextricably embedded in and influenced by the social world. Using all the sociological ideas you have learned so far in this course, write a brief reflection on yourself and your story in sociological terms. You may ask such questions as:
- What is my social identity? In other words, what groups and categories do you belong to? In what ways do you identify yourself in social terms (i.e. by your membership in these groups)? In what ways are these memberships relevant to you? Consider that group and categorical memberships may be anything from a club you intentionally joined to something that was assigned to you by society (such as race, ethnicity, class, and gender).
- What are the elements of my culture? In other words, how do the social formations (society, family, community, groups, etc.), which you grew up in or later became aware of, teach people to understand and act in the world? Consider that “culture” can contain everything from traditions and customs to morals, beliefs, and values.
- Where am I positioned in my society’s structure? Recall that social structures, typically, are hierarchical ways of arranging the elements of a society – including all the groups and categories to which you belong. How do you think this has been relevant to your life? What do you think would have been different about your life if some aspect of your social identity had been different?
Note that you do not have to go into detail about anything you feel is too personal or sensitive.
Your report may take one of the following forms: