Contrast Of Two Upper Class Females

1081 words - 4 pages

The intent of this paper is to compare and contrast the ways in which the identities, aspirations, and achievements of two upper class females were affected by the aspects of family, class, gender, and particularly race. Race will be particularly scrutinized because the individual interviewed, Alesha (or Lee), is a female of Italian/Irish-French-German descent, whereas I am an individual of Mexican/Chinese descent. There are certainly discernible differences in the growth of an upper-class White female and the growth of a minority female, and it is my purpose to dissect those differences and explicate them in sociological terms, while touching upon how the issues of class and gender also have an effect.Lee was born into a family that was already very economically established due to the fact that her parents had her relatively late in life. She was born into a large family of three brothers and one sister, though all were the children of her parents previous marriages, and the only one that lived with her during the entire time that she lived with her parents was her sister, who was ten years older than her, yet the closest in age. Thus it would seem that her father had had considerable time to establish himself as the owner of three supermarkets in New York. Her mother was a domestic engineer.Lee's family greatly values owning material things that are conducive to comfort. This evident in the mansion in which they inhabit, and the luxuries, such as the extravagant vacations taken and the numerous cars, and boats, they own.I was born into a newly economically established family. I am the youngest of two children, but was raised for the most part as an only child because my brother was eight years older and livedwith my father during most of my youth, who left when I was very young. My mother was the sole supporter of me, economically an emotionally, for most of my life, and the role hat he played was very limited.My family values saving money and only spending to impress others. This is evident in that everything purchased by our family is very ornate and extravagant, and usually to serve other people's viewing purposes.Lee's family background was very influential on the shaping of her identity. When she showed a serious interest in playing softball, her father connected with her in this arena of her life, but when she began to show a lack of interest, her father pressured her to continue. This drove her to keep playing and thus it became a part of her identity, in that softball became more than just a game, but part of who she was; it is as if she would not know what to do if she was not playing, even though she does not necessarily enjoy it all that much.Lee's identity in terms of how she views other ethnicities was also influenced by family and also exposure to social forces. Lee's mother and father grew up in primarily white, middle class home environments in New York and segregated from all other ethnicites. Lee herself lived most of her life...

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