Individual Uniqueness and Social Work

Topics: Sociology, Asian American, Social status Pages: 4 (1493 words) Published: April 21, 2011
This paper examines the meaning of difference and how it is individualized by peoples own personal life experiences. Society molds our definitions of difference by the process of dichotomization. As we change and develop, so does our definition of difference and self. Our sense of self can be conceptualized into statuses. Of those statuses our master status is the one we identify with, the most of the time. Within this paper, I define what I believe to be my own master status, alone with its stigmas and privileges. This paper also examines how ones individual experiences and definitions of differences affect how you as a social worker. Individual Uniqueness and Social Work

Society has influenced the masses, whether those influences were positive or not are up for interpretation. It attempts to categorize the world into simple black or white. According to society if it were not one extreme it is the other. Society has taught us that being different is a negative thing and that everyone should strive to be “normal.” Society attempts to personify what they view as “normal” and thrusts it upon the masses without a second thought about the negative consequences of it. As the world continues to globalize there will always be a demand for people to “pick a side” or pick a master status. Among all of the statuses that you may acquire in life many there are certain statuses that you may not be given the choice to choose. Difference

The effect of society has inevitably affected our definitions on certain things that pertain to our individual views of world. The term differences states that identities are grounded and that are not caused by some type of metaphysical substrate but by what they are not, usually in what they are lacking (Webb, 2009). Difference is the opposite of being similar. The act of being different can be taken positively or negatively. I choose to look at the word difference as something that makes things unique. The differences...

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Barreto, M. & Ellemers, N. (2010), Current Issues in the Study of Social Stigma: Some Controversies and Unresolved Issues. Journal of Social Issues, 66: 431–445. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.2010.01654.x
Marshall, G. "master status." A Dictionary of Sociology. 1998. Retrieved February 21, 2011 from
Rosenblum, K.E., & Travis, T.-M. C. (2008). The meaning of difference: American construction of race sex and gender, social class, sexual orientation, and disability. McGraw-Hill HumanitiesSocial SciencesLanguages.
Webb, S. A. (2009), Against difference and diversity in social work: the case of human rights. International Journal of Social Welfare, 18: 307–316. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2397.2009.00659.x
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