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Sociological Portrait M. Foster Essay

2555 words - 11 pages

We are all the product of our sociological environments. Millions of different things combine to make millions of different combinations, resulting in unique individuals that can potentially find something in common with anyone that has a shared sociological background. This includes race, gender, education experiences, social status, sexual orientation, societal roles, familial expectations, and so on. What I have experienced is what has made me who I am and how I live my life is a result of what I have learned is expected of me, what I have decided makes sense to me, and what I have realized I like and dislike.
I was born the third of four children to a stay at home mom and a civil engineer. My parents eloped in 1965, and I heard a number of stories as to why they chose elopement over a traditional marriage. According to my parents, both of my grandfathers were abusive drunks who each had several affairs. In the 1940's and 1950's, society expected women to stay with their husbands, regardless of abuses they may have endured. According to Stephanie Coontz, my grandmothers may have had trouble finding places to live due to a possible inability to obtain legal residence on their own or to sign contracts (1995). This may have been one reason why my parents chose to elope and keep their marriage a secret for a few months. They were in love, and could see how my grandparents' marriages were broken, and perhaps thought that the last people they wanted to get marriage advice from were people who were still married out of necessity or social expectation. My parents were also from different religious denominations; my father was raised Catholic, and my mother was raised Anglican. My father was a devout Catholic and my mother had to take catechism classes. This was a divisive matter, and my parents' marriage resulted in my mother's parents shunning them for a few years, until after my older brother was born in 1967. My older brother and sister were baptized Catholic.
The late 1960's were a time of radical social change, and my parents were young adults during this pivotal time for the country. My parents were fairly socially active and the stories my mother told me of their marijuana use certainly shocked me. One never expects their parents to do things like that. The Catholic church had also changed its mass from Latin to the language of the country, and my father, once devout, now wondered how the leaders of a religion could be satisfied with changing something so dramatically. The textbook says that when the Catholic church changed mass few who threatened to defect actually did, (Manza, 2013) but my father was dissatisfied and after a few years discovered and converted to the Baha'i faith in 1975. Baha'is are somewhat progressive, and encourage diversity and inclusion amongst their people. I've seen pictures of my parents participating in peace marches and civil rights marches with other Baha'is, banners painted with nine-pointed stars declaring...

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