Rising Above : a Sociological Perpective

Topics: Sociology, Social class, Working class Pages: 7 (2461 words) Published: May 10, 2013
Shawn Benavi
Professor Magnuson

Rising Above

Imagine you could be born into any family that ever existed! Would you choose your own family? When I think about that question I imagine being born into royalty, I can visualize the physical perks that come with royalty such as wealth, power, and status, but it is hard to imagine how I would mentally turn out. After snapping back to reality I realize that I would rather keep my own family, and the unique process in which I have learned the norms, values, and skills necessary to survive in society. In my essay I will define socialization and how it is related to our personal identity through the lenses of social classes. I will define and discuss social roles and their place in our lives, as well as their connection to social class “status”. I will analyze how these roles relate to how the society is organized. I will define culture, and analyze the relationship of roles with how culture is socially organized. I will analyze the way culture shapes our lives; ultimately I will connect the relationships between these topics back to social class and how it builds one personal identity. I will show specific examples from the text that support the relationship between these topics and class. I will establish my credibility of knowledge on these topics when I relate them back to my own personal experience of socialization. In modern society socialization, culture, and class shape our personal identity, and force people to survive by conforming with superficial, materialistic, and greedy groups, which expect a money-oriented contribution to the group because of the extreme deviations in the “Economy, technology, and urbanization” over time (Conley: 169). “Socialization refers to these social processes through which an individual becomes integrated into a social group by learning the group’s culture and his or her role in the group” (Kane: 121). These behaviors expected by certain groups are acquired through learning the norms, values, and culture of that group. Human nature drives an individual to feel significant or be a part of something larger than them, the basic steps of socialization is to adapt to a certain group and keep those expectations held by the group. Sometimes there is a very strong pressure to stay in the group, or else ones reputation or “social status” might be damaged. An example of this is evident in gangs, people join gangs because they want to feel as if they are a part of something larger than themselves, but once one joins the gang, it is nearly impossible to leave. This prolonged process contemporarily satisfies the natural human need of conformity, until one realizes the group he/she joined does not accurately reflect his/her true character. Alternatively, he/she may realize the incompetence of being in the group, and still remain in the group in order to achieve a certain status. Some people would rather attain a certain “social status,” than accomplishing complex tasks for one’s personal records. In today’s society people are influenced by the media from an early age to “survive” by achieving success through wealth and materialistic possessions. Hence, most parents prep their kids for college at a young age, and the children are pressured to perfect their grades, balance out extracurricular activities, AP classes, homework, and a life. Some of the students go through all these hardships just to achieve a certain social status in the future of success by wealth. One does not realize that money can only satisfy one for so long. Money cannot buy happiness or love. There is so much stress forced upon students that sometimes it can mentally and physically damage them. Recently, my friend’s brother, a junior in high school, committed suicide because he believed his grades were not good enough to get accepted into college he desired. This is very depressing to me and I am sure there are other students that have committed similar acts...
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