My Social Location Marisa Markwardt November 5, 2009 Sociology 201 – Section 9
Gender Growing up, like many other girls, I was automatically signed up to take ballet and dance lessons, along with gymnastics by my mother. For both of these activities, girls are encouraged to be delicate, polite, and dainty. They require the material culture of very sparkly, shiny, and elaborate costumes, and I remember being able to wear makeup and curling my hair for performances. While my dance and gymnastics careers were short lived, I did take piano for 10 years, another hobby girls are encouraged to take part in. From these experiences, I was socialized to have a better appreciation for the arts.
Gender In eating at the dining halls at Clemson, I have noticed that when I get dishes from lines where the cafeteria workers dish up your portion, I tend to get served a smaller amount of food than my guy friends. Because I am a female, I am stereotyped into eating less. This is not always the case, which means I often have to get a second plate of food to fill up, while my guy friends can get full on less helpings because they receive bigger servings.
Gender As a girl, I feel like my parents are more concerned and protective of me than they ever were of my brother. In coming to Clemson for college, my parents continually warn me about walking around campus alone, especially at night. They ask me to call them when I am walking to and from the parking lot, which is a long way away from my dorm and can be a desolate area. They hear news stories about young girls getting kidnapped or put in danger on college campuses and worry about me. This has made me more concerned about being venerable to some sort of attack. This is a legitimate concern because women are the most common victims of domestic violence, sexual harassment, and rape.
I am a psychology major, which is dominated by women. This is an example of gender tracking. If I would have majored in science or engineering, I would have received more scholarship money because Clemson is trying to encourage women to get into male-dominated fields and sciences and engineering.
Age I was a Girl Scout from 4 th grade until 12 th grade. The program benefited me greatly. I received my Gold award in 11 th grade, which allowed me to travel to the international Girl Scout center in London, England this past summer. It helped me make friends, become a more confident woman, and learn essential leadership skills. However, people often teased or criticized me for being a girl scout while I was in middle and high school. The public thinks Girl Scouts is only for little kids. As I got older, it also became harder and harder to sell cookies to support all of my activities. People assumed I was not selling anymore because I was too old. When I did booth sales outside of my local Wal-Mart each year, sales decreased as I got older.
One of my favorite holidays is Halloween, and my friends would always go trick or treating, even through middle school. As we got older, it became unacceptable for us to go and my neighbors would complain that we shouldn’t be trick or treating at our age , but we all just loved Halloween!
Age For all four years of high school, I was an active member of the Speech and Debate team. My sophomore year, I started to become very good and was winning trophies at every tournament. To qualify to the national tournament, one had to get 1 st or 2 nd place in the district tournament. Only four students were chosen from each school in each event to participate in the district tournament. Though I was the most successful from my school in my event, my coach did not choose me for the districts team. This was because there were four seniors who did my event. They were chosen first because of seniority, and it was their last chance for a national bid. I did not understand or think this was fair at the time, because I had the best chance of succeeding at the tournament. However, when I was older, I got my chance.
Age I am 18 years old, which means I am now able to vote. Unfortunately since my birthday is in May, I did not get to vote in the recent 2008 presidential election, while a lot of my friends and classmates did. I am very interested in politics, and I keep up fairly well with news and current issues. I was disappointed that I missed out on voting in this election, especially because this was such an important election. Some of my friends who were able to vote didn’t seem to care enough to, which I felt was lazy.
Race In high school I worked part time at Old Navy during the school year and in the summer. I am typically a cashier. I’ve noticed that customers will tend to choose to come in my line first, over other open check out lines with cashiers of different races. Customers also trust answers I give them to questions they ask and will ask me to double check things my different race co-workers have done. If I make a mistake at the register, it is less likely to be noticed by the customer because of selective perception. The customers showed discrimination towards my coworkers when they picked me to trust or check out with over them.
Race When I was looking for college scholarships to apply for last year, my race affected me. As I looked through search engines and my school guidance office for applications, most of the scholarships were only for minority students to apply for, and I had difficulty finding ones I was eligible for. This could be considered a type of institutional discrimination as colleges are trying to help minorities pay for and go to college over the majority group.
Race There is a disadvantage to being white that no one really appreciates – it’s kind of boring! When I find myself doing projects like this one, about my culture, heritage, ancestry, or race, I feel like I have nothing interesting to say. Being white is considered the norm or average. Also, in being white, I have to be very careful as to what I say about others of different races. People expect white people to be racist or have prejudice, so I am not really allowed by societal norms to be proud of my heritage or race. There are little or no clubs or organizations strictly for white people that I can join or associate with, unlike many other races.