Psychology & Understanding Human Behavior: the Individual

Topics: Barack Obama, President of the United States, Democratic Party Pages: 7 (2666 words) Published: November 26, 2012
Psychology & Understanding Human Behavior: The Individual PSYC120-1203B-06 Introduction to Psychology IP5

Psychology & Understanding Human Behavior: The Individual
President Barak Obama is who I have chosen to do my research and analysis on for this class as he is one of the most controversial people that I can think of today. With him being the President of the United States he is known all over the world. After being the President for almost four years a lot of what he has done in office has really upset a lot of people by him going against what the Presidents before him had worked so hard to establish. This country was built on Christian principles by our founding fathers and it seems that this country in the last 4 years has strayed very far from where it was and should be. With that being said I chose him because I wanted to delve into his childhood and his upbringing to see what if anything may have caused him to become who is known to be today. Barack Hussein Obama, ll was born August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is the older of two children. Barack is what you would consider bi-racial individual. His father’s name is Barack Obama, Sr., and he is African American. His mother’s name is Ann Dunham and she is from an English ancestry mixed with Scottish, German, Swiss, and Irish cultural backgrounds. His parents met when they were students at the University of Hawaii in 1960 in a Russian class. Barack’s father was a foreign student who was attending the college on a scholarship. His mother was originally from Wichita, Kansas. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor her father, Stanly enlisted in the service, and her mom got a job on the bomber assembly line. When the war ended her parents bought a house through the Federal Housing Program and finally after many moves the family ended up living in Hawaii. His parents got married on February 2, 1961 however they separated when his father went to Harvard University on scholarship and eventually the couple divorced in 1964 (Main article: Early Life and Career of Barack Obama). His mom later remarried an Indonesian man name Lolo Soetoro who was attending college in Hawaii as well. From the age of six until the age of ten Barack lived in a city called Jakarta where his younger sister Maya Soetoro Ng was born.

In 1971 after being scared for her son’s life on several occasions and wanting him to get a good education, Ann decided to send her son to Hawaii to stay with his grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Armour Dunham. He gained a scholarship under his grandparents’ guidance and attended a private preparatory school where he was one of three blacks. He started there in the fifth grade excelling in basketball. It was at that school when he became attentive to racism and what it meant being a black man. However, that did not keep him from graduating with honors in 1979. His mother was there to see his progress until having to leave in 1977 to go back and work in Indonesia as an anthropological field worker. She did however return back to Hawaii in 1994, but in 1995 she passed away from ovarian cancer. He struggled though with the fact of his father being absent from his life who he saw only once after his parents divorced for a short visit. At the age of 22 he learned that his father who had lost his legs in a previous car accident had now lost his life due to a car accident in Nairobi.

After finishing high school, Obama took classes at Occidential College in Los Angeles for two years, and then later transferred to Columbia University in New York. Receiving his degree in 1983 from Columbia in political science and working in the business sector for two years, he moved to Chicago. He was involved in the communities, and started working on the South Side as a community organizer for low-income residents in the Roseland and the Altgeld Gardens Community. He also during this time joined the Trinity United Church of Christ even though he admitted...

References: 1. Edwards, Roberta (2008). Barack Obama: United States President
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6. Mendell, David (2002). Obama: From Promise to Power. New York: Amistad/HarperCollins.
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7. Obama, Barack. (2012). Retrieved 10:44, May 23, 20122 from
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