COMPONENTS FOR YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL (SELF REFLECTION) SOCIAL HISTORY PAPER How does your race, class, gender, education, religion, family, culture, and other groups you belong to influence you, as a person? Please break each of these topics down individually and examine them separately. Examine your own diversity, using the broad understanding of diversity presented during discussions in class: How would you compare yourself to the emerging patterns of diversity in the USA, and reflect on how you can prepare yourself to better live with that diversity and to relate to it. Do you consider yourself to be a diverse person? How diverse are the groups you belong to? Write a short description of the culture of a social group you are a part of, taking into account the characteristics and elements of culture described within the text and in discussions in class. Explain whether the culture is part of the dominant culture, a subculture, or a counterculture. Chapter 3 in the textbook discusses socialization. Please discuss your own socialization patterns as they relate to the theories of socialization. Give autobiographical accounts that effectively demonstrate the sociological point of how you see yourself and the groups to which you belong. This might also depend on how others in society define you? Do you agree/disagree? Look back on your early socialization and reflect on what factors in your family experience and structure you feel most strongly influenced who you are today? Consider the role of other agents of socialization, including media, peers, religion, sports, and schools. Did you experience contradictions between the socialization in your family and socialization from other agents of socialization? How did you handle this contradiction? What was the significance of gender, social class, race, and ethnicity in your early socialization? Your textbook discusses Rites of Passage that mark abrupt role changes that begin or end at each stage of life. Select one or more of these life transitions and describe your own rite/rites of passage and what you think would be an effective and meaningful rite of passage. Do you think your rite of passage would work for all groups in the US, Society, or only for particular subcultures? Have they been different than those of your friends, peers, other family members? Or have they been because of the groups you are involved with? Discuss your experiences/ patterns. What are the reference group or groups (example family, friends, etc.) that are meaningful to you? Analyze the role of this reference group and how it affects your identity, self-esteem, and behavior. Do you belong to a group or groups? How does the group serve as a generalized role model? In what ways do they imitate the reference group? Do you feel this imitation has positive or negative effects? Think of your own circle of reference groups and institutions. Who are your own role models? Have they changed as you aged? Think of your own social networks, including those you know on a personal basis and those to whom you are linked through organizational affiliation, electronic networks, social media, or other impersonal connections. Characterize the nature of these networks according to categories that are meaningful to you, also indicating what networks are based specifically on race, class, or gender. Who is in your system? How influential are these groups on your own socialization and behavior patterns? What bureaucracies do you interact with? Write about your own ethnic identity. If you have no specific ethnic identity, but identify as "White" or "Black", etc. explore the privileges, inequalities, discriminations, biases, prejudices, etc. attached to that identity. Reflect on the process of your own gender socialization. What were the expectations and influences of parents, peers, schooling, religious training, mass media, social media, and other agents of socialization? How was gender linked behaviors reinforced? Did you experience contradictory influences? Do you recall any particular events or turning points that marked a significant transition in your gender identity? What are your current interests, skills, interpersonal style, occupational aspirations, etc. and what are they reflecting about your own conformity or deviation from the gender expectations you grew up with? Do you experience pressure to conform, or experience negative consequences from over-conformity to gender expectations? What effect does your race, class, age, sexual orientation, and other social factors have on your gender identity? Age and sex: think about your own aging moments and of those around us who we may be close to. Include contacts and interactions with people of different ages, gender identity, sexuality, etc. Reflect on your own aging, gender and sexuality issues? How did you come to learn or think about these issues? What about your own sexuality? Describe your ideal family. What are the features and experiences of your own family? What is the role of your family in your life? How important are they and how have they influenced you? Describe your own process of religious socialization? Did your beliefs fit into the usual patterns of your community? If they did not, how did that influence you? Discuss how your education, community, where you were raised, and your work place and peers, colleagues have influenced you? How has your government, government/state/local policies influenced you? Have you been more or less/ positively or negatively influenced by the US government and globalization? How has the political climate and policies impacted you, your thought process and behavior? Discuss any other social issues, groups and/or policies that have had an influence on your life. What is the most important lesson you would like your own children to learn? What kind of a person do you want your own child to become? How could you achieve this goal? What type of an impact would like to have on this world? Do you see yourself as a social change agent? If you could, what would you like to change?

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