I am a twenty one years old white man who has been raised in a middle class family. My parents were wealthy when compared to most families within the region. I was brought up in a family of four; me being the last born. My siblings are: Amanda (31), John (29), and Josh (26). The trend and the age differences between my siblings is a sure proof that I was born out of accident. My mother conceived out of will and they did not have an option but to bring me up. Also, I have been hearing hearsays from my elder siblings that I was born out of mistake. Despite the rumors, my parents have never shown any sign of hate or discrimination against me. Being a sociology student, the paper shall focus much attention on my sociological biography. It will reflect on my life and the sociological factors that I experienced in the course of my education, social life, among others. There are many factors which affect or direct the lifestyle of many people. These factors are known as the sociological factors and they include: family life, violence on the media, the school environment, social ties, socio-economic factors, social influences, societal norms, religious factors, and social class, among others. In the course of my life, up to the level I am right now, I have experienced a number of sociological factors which shall be discussed in this paper. My life has had a direct connection with a number of sociological concepts mentioned above. The paper will not only explain the concepts but also explore the connection between my life and the factors. And because the social concepts have an influence on the life and behavior of individuals, I can attest that concepts have had an influence on my life.
Social class is the first sociological factor that has had an influence in the course of my life. This is the status hierarchy in the society which is based on the esteem and prestige acquired through the accumulation of wealth and success. The social class refers to any particular level within the hierarchy. In a normal society, there are four basic levels: upper class, middle class, working class, and lower class. The society in which I reside is composed of the above four classes. The upper class comprises of only 1-3 percent of the societal population, while they possess about twenty-five percent of the accumulated wealth. In addition, the upper class people are mostly politicians, business people, and individuals who have connections with the government. My family belonged to the middle-class level in the social-class hierarchy. These are the “sandwich” class of the society. The middle-class families have more wealth than those below them on the hierarchy, but low in comparison to the upper class. In the society, the middle-class people is characterized by small business people and the educated ones. For instance, in my society, teachers, doctors, managers, CEOs, and small business owners, belong to the middle-class level (Bertaux, 2006). The working class is comprised of less educated people who engage in manual labor. They include maids, waitresses, and cashiers, among others. In most cases, the working classes are underpaid and have no room for career advancement. Some of the working class people earn more than middle-class people, although their jobs are usually physically taxing. The lowest class in my society is composed of very poor people who are homeless and cannot afford the basic human needs (Bertaux, 2006). Most of them meander in the streets borrowing food and shelter. The social class has greatly affected my life in general and how I perceive the society.
Religion is another important sociological factor that has had an influence on my life. Not all the religions in the society share the same beliefs and ideas, although in one way or another, religion is an important factor found in every society. Even the earliest societies in the world had traces of religious symbols and ceremonies. Throughout the history of human beings, religion has been the central part of each society. This is the reason religion has continued to be one of the most important aspects of my life. I have valued religion because it shapes how I react to the environment in which I live in (Yinger, 1957). Because of the importance of religion on the society, I have decided to cover it in-depth in the sociological context. Religion is also a belief system and a social institution. It is a belief system because it shapes how people think and perceive the world as a whole. Many people, including me, have used religion for guidance in most endeavors in the world. For instance, I acquire assistance on and guidance from the Bible when I need to make an important decision. I ask for guidance from God. From the sociological perspective, it is important that people understand about religion. The important part is the ability of people to examine religion in an objective way in the social and cultural context. Religion also inspires me to appreciate other religious beliefs that have contrary beliefs to mine. It also influences me to always have a religious perspective and a belief. The concept has also helped me to understand the fact that the society is moving from the secularized society where religion is a private issue to a society where religion is becoming only visible through the media (Yinger, 1957). Religion has also become a political and a moral force in the society that we live in.
The third sociological factor that influences my life is ethnicity and racial discrimination. The concepts of race and ethnicity are the most controversial of all classifications in the social and scientific landscapes. Ethnicity and racial discrimination occurs when a certain group of people are discriminated against based on their skin color and origin. My society has been comprised of several types of races which include: whites, Caucasians, blacks, Latinos, and Indians, among others. In the society, there have been many cases of social inequalities in income distribution, education, resource allocations, and other factors which contributed to disparities and segregations within the community. Racial discrimination occurs in two different ways: personal and institutional level (Sellers, 2003).The personal level discrimination occur when a person is exposed to prejudice and racial discriminations from another person or group of people. For instance, in the society, black and the Latino are discriminated against. This is an act of cruelty which has affected my life directly. Black people and Latinos are not allowed access to certain places in the country. They are also taken for granted and despised because of their origins and skin color. In most classrooms, tutors were not willing to teach black students because they are thought to be dumb and slow. However, the teachers have been proven wrong because, in most cases, blacks lead in most classes. This has affected me because the ones who practice these behaviors are my fellow white people. However, I have been at the forefront opposing racial discrimination and ethnicity in the society. This is because from my analysis, I have found out that black people and Latinos who are prejudiced against have the same capabilities as other people (Sellers, 2003). They are also affected mentally and socially by the actions which deem them dumb undeserving.
The final social factor that has a hand in influencing my life is the violence on the media. There has been an increasing trend in the violence within the media, which is now reaching proportional heights. Today, when one turns on a television, there is violence there. The same is experienced when one goes to a movie (Haneke, 2010). On average, I watched television or a movie for five hours a day. It is evident that about two-thirds of television programs contain physical violence. Even the video games that teenagers play contain many aspects of violence. The violence in the media has helped me decipher the fact that anything that promotes a certain issue is propaganda. This implies that whatever people refer as entertainment is actually a propaganda for violence. If, for instance, one manufactures guns, they do not have to advertise their products because they media will do it free of charge. Violence in the media has promoted the aspect of violent crimes in the society. There has been a lot of instances reported which are directly connected with the violence that children are exposed to. In the last few years, there have been incidents reported where school children are involved in gun violence within the school compounds. In addition, crimes have risen in the community because people have access to information which gives them an idea on the best type of weapons to use.
The above sociological factors have a direct connection with my life. They have played a significant role in influencing the way I live and make decisions. Some of the factors are also important because they affect the immediate institution in which I am a member, such as school institutions and religious places. The paper has addressed my sociological biography while paying much attention on the relationship between the social factors and my life.
Bertaux, D., & Thompson, P. R. (2006). Pathways to social class: A qualitative approach to social mobility. Transaction Publishers.
Yinger, J. M. (1957). Religion, society and the individual; an introduction to the sociology of religion.
Sellers, R. M., & Shelton, J. N. (2003). The role of racial identity in perceived racial discrimination. Journal of personality and social psychology, 84(5), 1079.
Haneke, M. (2010). Violence and the Media (pp. 575-579). Wiley‐Blackwell.