There are many sociological theories to explain and describe how different groups and cultures fit into society and the effect that they have on it. I will be addressing two theoretical perspectives in this paper: pluralism theories, and psychological theories. I will also discuss my knowledge of the racial and ethnic identities of my parents, grandparents, and myself. Furthermore, I will explain how the theoretical perspectives relate to one another in accordance with my racial and ethnic identity.
The pluralism theory was formed as a reaction to the idea of a “melting pot”, and “ethnicity remains a powerful force” (Aguirre, and Turner 34-36). To clarify, pluralism is when subgroups or minorities in a society retain their distinctive cultural identities. An ideal pluralistic society would encourage unique cultural traditions and practices, as opposed to blending in with the dominant society (which is known as assimilation).
According to the textbook, social identity theory is the most outstanding aspect of the psychological approach to understanding cultural relations (Aguirre, and Turner 34-36). This theory addresses how people view themselves according to the various perspectives they man have on their personality. One level of this theory is a social identity that emerges when people see themselves as members of a social category. For example: male/female, African American/Native American/et al, etc.. The psychological perspective takes into account how the cognitive processes may be affected by categorization with social identities.
My father was born in New York, after my grandparents moved there from Puerto Rico. I assume they moved to the United States to give my dad a better opportunity to be successful, which he did with hard work and perseverance. For most of my dad’s life he lived in the U.S., but he did live in Puerto Rico for some time and he studied medicine in several countries. He is very culturally enriched, and speaks three languages with Spanish being his first language.
I have been to Puerto Rico 5 times in my life, to visit my grandparents and other family who live there. Spanish is the primary language there, but it seemed like many of the people also spoke English. This however, could have been due to that fact that most of the places we went to were hotels and tourist locations. People seemed to be a lot happier there, with constant beautiful weather and typically a simple lifestyle. I ate a few Spanish dishes, my favorite being arroz con pollo (Spanish rice and chicken).
My mother is a very traditional Irish Catholic, and has lived in the United States her whole life. She stayed home while my dad was at work, to raise me, and my younger brother and sister. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about the details of my grandparents’ on my mother’s side. As far as I can recall, we never celebrated any Irish...