Sociological Perspectives on Race, Ethnicity and Life Chances.

Posted by on October 3, 2016 in Connecting Classrooms 16-17, Dialogue Blog | 98 comments

location-11399658Students,

This discussion is focused on understanding our world from a sociological perspective.  To bring that into focus please comment on the following sentence:

How has your social location affected your life chances with a particular focus on gender and ethnicity?

Before you post a comment, consider the following definitions.

1. Social location is composed of all those social characteristics that define your identity.  History (meaning the year you were born) and where you were born both have strong impacts on life chances. Pay particular attention to those characteristics by which people who don’t know you judge you.  Most important for this discussion are your gender, your ethnic background and your social class status (meaning if you were born rich, poor or in between)

2. Life chances are defined as all the opportunities and disadvantages you experience as a result of your own social location (see above.)  For example, if you were born a hundred years ago and you are a woman it’s likely you would not have been allowed to go to college.  If you are a man born during the 50’s it may have limited your career choices.  Don’t limit yourself to just age or era.  If you are white, how do you experience the world and your life chances?.  Do you imagine it would be different if you were an immigrant with brown skin?

Clearly, these are complex questions and require a bit of thought.  As C. Wright Mills tells us, a sociological imagination allows us to connect personal struggles and troubles to social forces.  Please reflect on your own understanding of how you shape society and how society shapes you.

Remember to put MILLER SOC 110 next to your name for extra credit for SOC 110.  

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Susan Miller
Susan Miller

Hello Students, This is Dr. Miller from your sociology class. I want to welcome students from both Sociology 100 and 110 to this discussion. Please post your thoughts on the above topic. The more you can bring a bit of sociology to the table, the better. Think about our theories and about some of the things you have learned. I will post to start you off……. For me, as a white woman born in the late 1950’s, I can clearly see how my race/ethnicity has benefited me with a set of unearned privileges and I can also understand some of… Read more »

Consuella Davis Miller Soc 110
Consuella Davis Miller Soc 110

I was born in 1973, raised on welfare and have had some unique experiences (for a white person) with racism. I was born out of the country in Brisbane, Australia and am a naturalized citizen. My mother is American and my father is Tasmanian I moved to Carlsbad when I was in 2nd grade with my mother from Australia. My legal name is Consuella though I now use my middle name Christy, I still have to use Consuella when filling out legal paperwork. Many people have assumed before seeing or hearing me that I am Mexican. For instance, when my… Read more »

Jasmin Tyler (MILLER SOC 100)
Jasmin Tyler (MILLER SOC 100)

As you know my name is Jasmin Lizett Tellez before I got married let me rewind to the time when I was not married before my daughter was born and everything acquired. I was born in Orange County and lived with my two parents, remembering the time when my mother would take me to the bus stop to get to school. Orange County is one of the beautiful counties in California which people tend to assume that rich people lived. My parents were not even near that my mom did not make enough money just working a full time job,… Read more »

Cindy Sanchez

Hello, My name is Cindy Sanchez I was born on July 31, 1992. I was born and raised in San Diego California. My parents come from a small town 2 hours away from Mexico City. I have two older sisters that were also born in Mexico. My parents came to this country illegally when my sisters were both very young. After the years my dad became a U.S Citizens and my mom and sisters residents. I don’t come from a wealthy family but my dad always worked real hard. I remember him always having two jobs to provide for our… Read more »

Cindy Sanchez MILLER SOC
Cindy Sanchez MILLER SOC

Hello, My name is Cindy Sanchez I was born on July 31, 1992. I was born and raised in San Diego California. My parents come from a small town 2 hours away from Mexico City. I have two older sisters that were also born in Mexico. My parents came to this country illegally when my sisters were both very young. After the years my dad became a U.S Citizens and my mom and sisters residents. I don’t come from a wealthy family but my dad always worked real hard. I remember him always having two jobs to provide for our… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous

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Anonymous
Anonymous

MILLER SOCIOLOGY 110 Author: Micha Jenkins I was born on February 14, 1996 in Hollywood, CA. Despite me being born in a glamorous city such as Hollywood, my life has been far from glamorous. I am a 20 year old, lesbian woman that is Japanese and African American. In terms of income, I would be classified in socioeconomic terms as poor. I am working a part-time job but I also live with my girlfriend, whom I split the costs, in a modest apartment. I was born into a poor family with my mom working mostly six days out of the… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous

Maria del Rocio Gomez de Oropeza MILLER SOC 110 Hi….I was born in Mexico City in the 1960’s. I grow up there and move to live in the United States seventeen years ago. I was born in a middle class family and both of my parents had the opportunity to go to college. My father studied medicine and my mom chemistry. My father worked very hard all his life to give us a good education and a very good example. My mom was the only one in her family that went to college, and at that time, that was very… Read more »

Maria Gomez de Oropeza
Maria Gomez de Oropeza

Maria Gomez de Oropeza MILLER SOC 110 Hi….I was born in Mexico City in the 1960’s. I grow up there and move to live in the United States seventeen years ago. I was born in a middle class family and both of my parents had the opportunity to go to college. My father studied medicine and my mom chemistry. My father worked very hard all his life to give us a good education and a very good example. My mom was the only one in her family that went to college, and at that time, that was very uncommon for… Read more »

Breanna Guiffredo
Breanna Guiffredo

MILLER SOC 110 I am a female who was born in 1984 into a white, middle class family in the San Diego area. Both my parents are white, I know that my fathers family is of german decent and my mom was adopted and knows nothing of her biological family. My mom was able to stay home for the first five years of my life and when my sister was born she went back to work to help bring more money into the household. Life was going pretty good until I turned 12 and my parents got a divorce. I… Read more »

Breanna Guiffredo
Breanna Guiffredo

Hi Cindy, Thanks for sharing, I’m glad your family was able to work hard and provide a better life opportunity for you. It must of been hard and scary for your parents to come here knowing that it was illegal and the consequences of being caught could of been severe. I’m glad it worked out in the long run. I found it interesting when you mentioned visiting Mexico that the Mexicans would assume that you feel superior for being born in the United States, I haven’t ever heard of that happening. I think it would be hard to balance the… Read more »

Breanna Guiffredo Miller SOC 110
Breanna Guiffredo Miller SOC 110

Hi Micha, Thanks for sharing, and kudos to you for taking the right steps in the right direction by getting an education. I recall that our textbook notes that a higher education is needed to help keep poverty at bay. I agree that we are lucky to be alive at a time when we, as women are allowed to attend college and society doesn’t look down on us for it. Its great that we have a women running for president and all around we can see women in powerful positions to look up to. I wouldn’t consider it a complete… Read more »

Breanna Guiffredo Miller SOC 110
Breanna Guiffredo Miller SOC 110

Hi Cindy, Thanks for sharing, I’m glad your family was able to work hard and provide a better life opportunity for you. It must of been hard and scary for your parents to come here knowing that it was illegal and the consequences of being caught could of been severe. I’m glad it worked out in the long run. I found it interesting when you mentioned visiting Mexico that the Mexicans would assume that you feel superior for being born in the United States, I haven’t ever heard of that happening. I think it would be hard to balance the… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous

This really is a great appraisal of the situation women often find themselves in. My own feeling is that women who stay at home to raise kids and keep a nice home do not get nearly enough respect for their hard work. First of all, raising children and managing a house takes a lot of work and a wide range of skills. The fact that this labor is unpaid or paid by an agreement with a husband who is in the workforce seems a little bit unjust. Women who stay home are working hard and yet not able to contribute… Read more »

Bernadette Corona Sociology 100
Bernadette Corona Sociology 100

My name is Bernadette Corona and I was born March 31st, 1989, according to my birth certificate I was born in Montebello, CA and for the first 3 years of my life I have no clue where I was living, my twin sister and I unfortunately were taken from our birth mother the second we were born due to her drug addiction. We were considered as “crack babies”, luckily who we consider our mother fostered us from the age of 3 and eventually adopted us and then we lived in the desert town of Adelanto, Ca. From this day, I… Read more »

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MILLER SOC 100 -- Edith L.
MILLER SOC 100 -- Edith L.

Hello, My name is Edith L. and I am in Dr. Miller’s online SOC 100 class. After reading the prompt, it became apparent that often times we may go through life without paying too much attention to how our social location affects our life chances. For instance, as a woman who was born into a middle class family in the 90s, I can still remember the time I was first able to recognize that I had certain opportunities that others did not. I must have been around 14 years old. One of my friends was visiting and we were talking… Read more »

James Angels (Soc 100)
James Angels (Soc 100)

Born in the late 90’s, into a upper-middle class Hispanic family, I consider myself as having lots of opportunities and privileges growing up. I grew up in the San Elijo and RB area as a kid, so I like to think I did stick out like a sore thumb with the other neighborhood kids but, that did help me shape me into the person I am. Growing up in that environment I believe it helped me build a hard shell, in the means that I don’t let many things get to, I stand my ground, and will fight back if… Read more »

Trevor Dingmon - Dr. Miller Soc 100
Trevor Dingmon - Dr. Miller Soc 100

My name is Trevor Dingmon and I was born in upstate New York in the early 90’s. When most people hear New York, they automatically assume New York City, which is a wildly diverse and liberal area that is open to people of all kinds. The area I was born is quite the opposite. Hadley, NY is about an hour away from Canada, and almost exclusively white. Growing up, I had little to no interactions with anyone who wasn’t white and if it wasn’t for television, I might have not known that people existed that didn’t look like me. My… Read more »

Angela Bellamy (SOC 100)
Angela Bellamy (SOC 100)

My name is Angela Bellamy. I’ve thought about this question a lot as I’ve tried to understand the circumstances of some of the issues regarding these topics going on in the world today. Particularly the idea of race. It is true that in my world, race is not an issue. I remark on this because when I say my world, I mean the people and places I make direct contact with on a daily basis. I grew up in southern California and in my neck of the woods there has always been a mixing pot of ethnicity. I am a… Read more »

Miller SOC 110 Jaquelin M
Miller SOC 110 Jaquelin M

My name is Jaquelin, I am a female born to two Americans in San Diego, California, in the early 1990’s. I came from a middle-class family. Neither of my parents went to college, my mother got a government job in the Department of Defense (DOD) right out of high school and climbed the ropes to the highest paid position in her department. My father served in the Marine Corps and took a job working for the DOD in the same department as my mother, following his discharge from the military. I believe that I had equal opportunity to go to… Read more »

Amanda Estrada Miller 110
Amanda Estrada Miller 110

Hello, my name is Amanda Estrada I was born September 4, 1991. I was born and raised in Escondido California. My parents had me at a young age my dad was 19 and my mom 17. I have one younger brother who is 21 years old. Both of my parents are Mexican however my dad doesn’t speak Spanish only my mom does. Due to my dad not speaking Spanish my brother and me don’t. By not knowing Spanish I have got backlash from older Mexicans and even Americans. While at stores an older Mexican will begin to speak Spanish to… Read more »

MILLER SOC 100 -- Edith L.
MILLER SOC 100 -- Edith L.

Hi Angela Bellamy (SOC 100), After reading your post, I found that you brought up a number of interesting points. In your sharing that being a woman led many women to feel more cautious about men in our society, I thought about how this particular sentiment has evolved over the years. For instance, today women have more rights and freedoms compared to the 1950s. Your post highlighted the fact that while women’s rights have come a long way, there is still a long way to go to reach gender equality. Not only are women still paid less than men, but… Read more »

MILLER SOC 100 -- Edith L.
MILLER SOC 100 -- Edith L.

Hi Jazmin Tyler (Miller SOC 100), After reading your post, I thought you did a great job of addressing the way stereotypes can have negative consequences for everyone involved. Not only are those stereotyping limiting themselves by basing their opinions of others on misconceptions and generalizations, but they are also hurting those they stereotype by treating them as mere statistics, not human beings with unique perspectives and characteristics. You brought up a very good point about race and ethnicity in regards to stereotypes. As you mentioned, many people often expect people to behave a certain way just because they are… Read more »

Samantha Cruz
Samantha Cruz

I am a woman born in 1998 into a middle class family. I grew up in Linda Vista, then my parents relocated to Escondido when my brother was born in 01. My parents then had the house foreclosed on us and we moved in with my grandparents in Penasquitos, till my parents could get back on their feet. After my grandfather passed away, we moved back to Escondido along with my grandmother. My Father was adopted and grew up in Mission Bay till he was 4 and then moved to Sonora, Mexico. He was an extremely white green eyed kid… Read more »

Miller Soc100 - Samantha Cruz
Miller Soc100 - Samantha Cruz

Sorry forgot to put Miller soc 100 in my header

Miller Soc100 - Samantha Cruz
Miller Soc100 - Samantha Cruz

Hi Maria,
It’s great to hear your parents were able to provide you a better life and the ability to go to college. I’m the first one to go to college in my family and I hope I can provide the same for my children when the time comes. Having the perspective of being a mom and the chance to go to college is amazing. Most people only get one or the other. The functionalist perspective was definitely evident in your case. Thanks for sharing!

Miller Soc100 - Samantha Cruz
Miller Soc100 - Samantha Cruz

Hi Jasmin, Sometimes even I am guilty of stereotyping all orange county residents as rich and stuck up, but unfortunately that is what the media portrays. Living in Escondido many people on the coast will say “oh you live there? Yes there are some not so nice parts of Escondido but it is still a beautiful area. People base the majority of the pre conceptions on what the media says or on others judgement. I was a social butterfly in high school and I always hung out with different groups and races. My volleyball team was pretty divided half white… Read more »

Miller Soc100 - Samantha Cruz
Miller Soc100 - Samantha Cruz

Hi Consuella,
My last name being Cruz many people assumed I was 100% Mexican and spoke spanish, and were often shocked when they first met me face to face and saw I had very white skin and was 5’10. My situation wasn’t as extreme as yours I couldn’t imagine the frustration after repeated misunderstandings. Unfortunately everyone has their pre conceptions no matter what. Its hard to go into every situation with a beginners mind. Thanks for sharing!

Neeta Lachmandas SOC 100
Neeta Lachmandas SOC 100

My name is Neeta Lachmandas and I’m in the SOC 100 online class. I’m 18 years old, I was born in 1998, so I would be considered a millennial. Our social location, gender, ethnicity, and even sexual orientation can have profound effects on our life chances. I was born in San Francisco and lived with my parents there for two years before we moved to Escondido for my dad’s job. My socioeconomic status would be considered upper middle class. My parents are both from New Delhi and their culture played an essential part in my upbringing. Bollywood movies and indian… Read more »

Neeta Lachmandas MILLER SOC 100 (reposting because i messed up the caption)
Neeta Lachmandas MILLER SOC 100 (reposting because i messed up the caption)

My name is Neeta Lachmandas and I’m in the SOC 100 online class. I’m 18 years old, I was born in 1998, so I would be considered a millennial. Our social location, gender, ethnicity, and even sexual orientation can have profound effects on our life chances. I was born in San Francisco and lived with my parents there for two years before we moved to Escondido for my dad’s job. My socioeconomic status would be considered upper middle class. My parents are both from New Delhi and their culture played an essential part in my upbringing. Bollywood movies and indian… Read more »

Neeta Lachmandas MILLER SOC 100
Neeta Lachmandas MILLER SOC 100

Hello Jasmin, I have also heard the stereotypes about Orange County. I don’t think I’ve ever stereotyped people from Orange County, but I have heard of that notion before. I live in a wealthier part of Escondido that is sometimes stereotyped the same way, so I do understand those stereotypes. I do think, at least, for Orange County, shows that portray Southern California life (The O.C., 90210) have taken a large part of perpetuating these stereotypes. When I was growing up, I did not have many friends who looked like me (I’m Asian Indian). Most of my friends in school… Read more »

Neeta Lachmandas MILLER SOC 100
Neeta Lachmandas MILLER SOC 100

Hello Angela Belamy, I admire that you acknowledged that it is “your world” that has taught you whatever it is you believe, whether it is about gender or sexual identity. You made a lot of interesting observations about what your experience as a woman has been like. The fear of unknown men, especially when walking alone, is definitely something I, and a lot of other women can probably relate to. I also think it’s okay to know your perspective on race and equality, given that you have never seen any actual discrimination, given that you live in a very socially… Read more »

Braxston Carlton (Miller Psych 205)
Braxston Carlton (Miller Psych 205)

Dear Readers, Social location: a complex, man-made ideal that measures/compares your stance among those in the society you live in. The higher your social location, the more life opportunities will be available. Social location is composed of any worldly measurements that can separate you from someone else, such as: ethnicity, income, gender, social class, family history, living location, etc. As a young man who just turned 20, I’ve been able to experience different levels of social location due to income and environment. I was born in San Diego and raised in Los Angeles for most of my life. While living… Read more »

Sarah Steele Soc 110
Sarah Steele Soc 110

MILLER SOC 110 I was born in 1995 in Burlingame, California, which is a suburb about 10 minutes south of San Francisco. My parents are both still married and are both white. Burlingame used to be more of a working people neighborhood, lower to middle-class, but with the increase of tech companies in the Bay Area a house for sale in my neighborhood can go for about $2 million. My father has worked in construction since he was 18 and has worked his way of to superintendent. My mother worked in retail at a few clothing stores and Potterybarn and… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous

Sana Amini; Miller SOC 205. I was born on June 11th 1996, born and raised in California. My parents are from Afghanistan. I am an Afghan-American. I have two brothers that was also born and raised here in California. My parents moved from Afghanistan when they were in their 20s due to the war, they were one of the lucky ones to make it out alive. I have never been to Afghanistan yet, it is very difficult to go there only because it is very unsafe. We still have family there, they struggle everyday just to have a meal each… Read more »

Myron Cuenca, Miller Soc 205
Myron Cuenca, Miller Soc 205

Being an American born and raised 19 year old boy in an upper-middle class society in “America’s Finest City” in the “Golden State”, it is an undeniable fact that I have many opportunities that many other people are simply not born with. Despite America being the Land of Opportunity, it’s a large misconception that everyone in the world has the same amount of opportunities, and I am grateful for where I am. Being a nerdy/geeky Asian American boy with glasses, people frequently misinterpret me as being smart and always having the good grade and right answers (especially in Math), and… Read more »

Stuart Parker - Miller Soc 205
Stuart Parker - Miller Soc 205

for many people in this room, i came from a very similar background as many of the middle class people who are posting in this chat. i was born on April 4th, 1995 in orange county’s saddleback hospital. when i was around five years old, my family moved down to North county San Diego to be closer to family. from my upbringing, it would seem that people would see that i would be sharing the same kind of ideologies as the middle class orange county citizen. but that is not always the case. i was part of the so called… Read more »

Yliana Gonzalez-Miller(stats205)
Yliana Gonzalez-Miller(stats205)

My name is Yliana Gonzalez and I was born in Escondido on March 30, 1996 and was raised in Valley Center my entire life. Growing up in a Mexican/Italian household I have learned just how hard an individual needs to work in order to make it in the stereotypical “American Dream”. I come from a line of both Italian and Mexican grandparents who stressed the importance of just how much your social location can grant you certain opportunities that other countries aren’t even close to giving you. Both cultures influenced my parents and my upbringing and I couldn’t be more… Read more »

Justin King

Miller, SOC 205. My name is Justin King, I was born on March 23rd, 1982 in Orange, Ca. I was raised in Garden Grove in Orange County until shortly before my 8 birthday when we moved to Murrieta in Riverside County on March of 1989. I have live in Murrieta for more than 27 years. When I was 2 and a half years old, I became very sick and with spinal meningitis, this cause me to become deaf. I am the oldest of my family of four, have two sisters and 1 brother. My family social class is considered lower… Read more »

Emily Holland
Emily Holland

Hello everyone, my name is Emily Holland and I’m a multicultural mix. When I say multicultural I mean my ethnicity is: Irish, Dutch, Welsh, Spanish, Italian, German, Mexican, and French. I grew up with a mother who is catholic and a father who is Protestantism. I’m female which already limits my opportunities for example, I’ve studied the issue of men getting paid more than women. Yes it’s a real thing and is happening. Now that I’ve explained a little about my gender and ethnicity I have a personal story that should open up everyone’s eyes to face the fact that… Read more »

Carmelita Agustin Soc 205
Carmelita Agustin Soc 205

Hi, my name is Carmelita Agustin. I was born in Mexico on April 7, 1993 but was brought to the United States at the age of 3. Since then I have been living in Escondido along with my two brother, two sisters and my parents. Growing up as a Latina hasn’t been easy, especially learning a new language, being in between the battle of keeping my families tradition but also adapting to new ones. I have come across people who are racists, I have been called horrible names. I’ve lived on the East side of Escondido my street was home… Read more »

Dalia Varona - Miller Psyc 205
Dalia Varona - Miller Psyc 205

I was born in Guerrero (southwestern Mexico) on September 7th, 1995 , and I lived there until I turned 16 years old. In Guerrero, there are not too many opportunities to have a better life, so my dad migrated to the United States, and he ended up working on the crop fields. In 1987, my dad got his residency due to the amnesty passed by U.S congress. After working hard, he was able to bring me to the U.S. in 2012, so I could have a better education because if I stayed in Mexico I would probably end up marrying… Read more »

Gennie Asistio STATS 205
Gennie Asistio STATS 205

Gennie Asistio STATS 205 Hi, My name is Gennie and I am originally from the Philippines. I moved to California when I was 15 years old. Growing up in a different country and moving to the United States definitely was a big culture shock for me. My parents took me, my brother and sister here to have a better future and opportunities. Well I didn’t feel like that when I first came here. I knew English when I moved here from the Philippines so communicating wasn’t that bad. I went straight to sophomore in high school. I remembered my first… Read more »

Alex Greenlee Psyc 205
Alex Greenlee Psyc 205

My name is Alex, In Miller’s Psyc 205 class. I was born and raised in San Diego in north county and lived fairly well off. I received public school education and in college now. I lived in Detroit Michigan for some of my life and saw dividing lines constantly in life, and saw people that did not have nearly the same resources or way of life simply because of where they live. In a city where they cant afford to turn street lights on, and have over 80,000 vacant buildings. I grew up white in a white suburb with access… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous

My name is Christian McAfee I am a young African American. The chances I have taken or have been offered, are what i believe to be fair. Ive grown up in the middle class seeing the best of both worlds. I was born in San Diego and and live in Del Mar. Where I live is predominately white, but I have always been blinded by color. Growing up people always asked, “why don’t i talk ‘black’?. When I was younger I did not know what this meant, but growing up you begin to see what talking black sounds like. I… Read more »

Kevin Hardyway, MILLER PSYCH 205
Kevin Hardyway, MILLER PSYCH 205

Hi, my name is Kevin Hardyway. I am a young African-Amercian male who is also part Hispanic. I was born on February 1, 1996. I was born and raised into a middle class family and middle class environment. My mother was born in Mexico and my father was born in Kansas. I might of not grew up in the best neighborhood because of all the gang-related violence and issues that went on in my neighborhood while living with my grandma, I was able to get a good education still. I had lived in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista and Oceanside. I even… Read more »

Miller SOC 205-Witcher
Miller SOC 205-Witcher

I was born in 1989 in a small hick town in Colorado and am the only child. This has already affected my life chances since I no other siblings to compete with. When I was ten, my mom and I moved with my step dad to San Diego and ever since then, this has been home. By moving out of the small town I was born into, i feel like my life chances changed drastically and for the better. I was able to move somewhere with diversity and a chance to make something of myself. My parents never had a… Read more »

Camyron Dickinson SOCMILLER205
Camyron Dickinson SOCMILLER205

As a young 19 year old female in today society there is a lot of gender bias within the work world. Where I work, Home Depot, they try to eliminate gender bias by giving everyone the same apron. However as a Woman I am not allowed to apply for the job of Loading Assistance or Lot Associate, because clearly as a woman I couldn’t possibly lift up heavy bags. Same with indoors. On a day to day basis I have customers usually males who refuse to let me lift anything although I can completely lift it up because its part… Read more »

Bianca Barreto Soc 205
Bianca Barreto Soc 205

I was born in Fallbrook, California in 1997. I was born and raised in a Mexican family of eight children (me, being the 8th). Both of my parents came from Mexico when they were in their twenties and both went straight to work when they got here so that they could raise their growing family. Due to that, they were not able to have any schooling. Since they did not have schooling, they have always had minimum waged jobs and therefore, we were more of a lower class family. By the time I was born, a couple of my siblings… Read more »