My Sociological Portrait

My Sociological Portrait (Education)McKenzie AndersonSociology 101December 8, 2019The day I was born, going to college was not among my destinies. Why could I say this? Well, none of my parents had attended college. First, my dad was a third-grade dropout. My mother had tried bud did not go beyond fifth grade. Looking at my other siblings, none of them was motivated to join any college soon as advancement in education was not a priority. Though the family had predominantly influenced my life, I decided to focus on how an institution like education can affect my life as well. Secondly, education offered me a profound experience with a unique perception of various socioeconomic statuses. During my young age, the education system enormously impacted my physical well-being, where I learned several social norms in the process of interacting with my fellow peers. In this sociological portrait, I will present ways in which the education system impacted me in regard to my gender, status, race, socioeconomic, and ethnicity. Secondly, I will discuss societal forces in the community played a leading role in moving me higher into the social ranks. Lastly, I will incorporate various structural impacts to reflect on how I was shaped by educational experiences and how I also reshaped it. Education is among the most influential institutions in the society. Education plays a great role in maintaining order and promote the development and growth of young children’s minds. Education also helps the inclusivity of new members to the society due to the formal emphasis of cultural regulations, conduct, and procedures through the curriculum. Additionally, individuals learn new social skills apart from teaching students as per school subjects. Other consequences of education include teaching people about proper behavior, development of self-identity and self-esteem, and crime prevention. Personally, education impacted me in a myriad of ways.Through my education journey, certain specific events helped in shaping my identity. Those events profoundly impacted my education. The first event was during my time in kindergarten; I attended a middle-class school dominated by whites. Girls played in the dollhouse with their dolls while boys played with their car toys. This enabled me to learn the interaction behaviors between boys and girls and how I was to mimic them. To interact with other children, I had to learn better ways of interacting in a normal. Pronouncing words with “r” was hard for me, and I had to practice very hard. This helped me be similar to other kids in the classroom, especially when pronouncing words, unlike where I dropped my normal pronunciation. Through this, I was able to understand how I was to conduct myself in order to fit in. Due to this, I identified myself as white due to the influence of education.In my 6th grade, I was transferred to a more diversified school that was located in a poor neighborhood. During this period, the school offered me with physical well-being. I spent the major part of this period homeless and moving from one poor neighborhood to the other. Luckily, the school offered me with basic survival needs, meals, and immunization. I was taught how to comb my hair, brush my teeth, and how to take care of and present myself. Sometimes I could be ignored academically, but I was lucky to be taught some of the basic hygiene like other students. At some point, I could feel that I lacked essential social structures, which lowered my social status. I was humiliated, and I couldn’t tell the person I was. I felt that I lacked fundamental hygiene and social skills, which propelled my desire to seek a better life through advanced education. Secondly, in the halfway of my 6th grade, I moved to another upper-class predominated by whites. Previously, I attended a lower class socio-economic school that taught barely below average. The decision for advancement in education level in this middle class was because the working staff thought that they would be working in offices. At this time, I felt that I was unwanted and invisible. Education that I received before upscaling to the middle-class lacked the necessary quality. Now, I am presented with an advanced curriculum that is preparing me for college education and as well for the career. To perfect in mathematics, I was offered a part-time tutor who helped me dearly in solving hectic math problems. Through this, I excelled and secured a place into gifted class. We once held a one-on-one session where I did exceptionally well. This changed my self-identity because the tutor offered adequate coaching to improve my grade. I also felt that I am worth being offered a personal tutor. By so doing, I was subsequently prepared for adulthood and receive a degree that provided more tools at my disposal to deal with social challenges. Additionally, the school had a well-equipped library. I was as well allowed to take some books home for further research. This quenched my thirst for education and supplied me with the necessary knowledge. Subsequently, I was able to accomplish something that none of my family had been able to achieve; EDUCATION, which was proof that I am intelligent. Attaining this level of education was beneficial since it increased my self-confidence and prepared me for future social endeavors.Despite attaining education successfully, there were several drawbacks when I immediately moved to the white-dominated school. The people surrounding me had difficulties in understanding my culture. Many white families in the neighborhood left, leaving the neighborhood to be more highly diversified. The move also affected my education advancement, which was a major conflicted between my teachers and me, as most of them were stereotypic. Mrkich (2006) noted, “the media continually perpetuate stereotypes of race and religion, thus strengthening prejudices and playing an often harmful role in the construction of cultural and national identities that are disempowering to individuals and entire communities” (para. 19). This made me be treated like an intruder who doesn’t fit in a gifted class. I did not realize the reason why I was treated in that manner until I made a sociological reflection. In addition, I felt that I was a subordinate who was watched constantly when around the deserved white dominant group in the gifted class. The experience offered me an opportunity to express my intensifying capabilities. Also, I realized that tutors do develop ideas of the kind of people they want to teach. Some teachers were ready to accept change, while others remained glued on the conflicted environment. According to Kriesbert, “denigrate others they regard as inherently inferior and feel free to act in destructive ways against the inferior beings” (Kriesbert, 2003, Adversarial Attitude section). Furthermore, once I was provided with a one-on-one tutorial, I got an assurance that I was destined to succeed. On the other extreme, a conflict was created – I was a girl- though I tried my best to gain sociological acceptance, some boundaries were placed on my race throughout my life.In conclusion, throughout my lifetime, I was totally limited by my gender, which hindered my ability to see what I could accomplish, both educationally and professionally. I was brought up in a manner that I was to strictly fill a specific sociological role in the community. Be a wife, mother, and attain a legendary career like secretary, nurse, or caregiver. During my middle school years, my identity was threatened by irrational fears that my ethnicity and race signified to the neighborhood and the school I attended. Due to race, I was offered a downgraded education with meager necessaries — the neighborhood aimed at providing the children from middle-class with a curriculum that prepared them for adulthood. Failing was never an option, and futility was replaced by unlimited possibilities. To enhance this, the students were provided with tutors to help them in areas with the deficit. Being a beneficiary of the same, my identity was impacted by being equipped with the necessary tools to enhance self-confidence and maturity in education. By achieving this, I was able to replicate my possibilities and my value. This meant that I was worth this education and nothing was out of my reach as I secured a place in the gifted class. Therefore, education have been influential in my social life. I am able to understand things that surround me, which are caused by societal forces like race, class, stereotypes, and gender. I am now able to see things in a broader perspective, especially for things that I did when I was a youth, which I used to think I am guilty of in relation to choices I made. In my lifetime, I will remain grateful to this class for positively influencing me. It’s through this class that I now have the sociological explanation to the question of why?ReferencesKriesberg, L. (2003). Identity Issues. Retrieved from http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/identity-issues Mrkich, D. (2006). Do you choose your identity, or is it chosen for you?. Retrieved from http://danamrkich.com/writings/essays/06/dycyi.htmlThe Pindus, N. (1995). Improving the upward mobility of low-skill workers: The case of the healthindustry. Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/publications/406317.htmlWang, W., & Parker, K. (2011). Women see value and benefits of college; men lag on bothfronts, survey finds. Retrieved from http://pewsocialtrends.org/files/2011/08/Gender-and-higher-ed-FNL-RPT.pdfZrkich, D. (2006). Do you choose your identity, or is it chosen for you?. Retrieved from http://danamrkich.com/writings/essays/06/dycyi.html

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