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Tiesha Jefferson Professor WGST 304 September 7, 2011 Reflection/Reaction Ppaer #1 The concept of identity is something that at first

seemed extremely simple and basic to me but once we got the opportunity to learn about its complexities, it became much more dynamic and interesting. For this assignment I chose to examine my personal identities. In this paper I will describe my various social statuses, saliency of my social identites in certain situations, and an example of when my social identities have affected the comfort level of a situation. My ascribed social status which is my social status given to me at birth would be; female, African American, Christian, daughter, and upper middle class. Achieved status on the other hand is a social status that is earned throughout someones life. Me being a college student would be an example of my achieved status, as it reflects my work and effort. Before I really thought about the opportunties given to me just based on my ascribed status, I believed that because we live in a society with such social mobility that ascribed status meant very little. I believed that it didn't really matter where people started but it mattered what they did with the opportunitites given to them, but after working at the soup kitchen I realized that ascribed status has a lot to do with how far you get in life and what opportunities are given to you. Pierre Bourdieu first articulated the concept of Cultural Capital. Because both of my parents graduated from fairly prestigous colleges and both work for the government they were able to provide me with cultural capital by giving me knowledge and insight into how I should manueveur myself in the world whereas most people don't get that same information. Realizing this runied my idea

that everyone had the same opportunities and an even playing field. Every job that i've had has been because of connections that my parents had and that would be social capital. My ascribed status, being my parents daughter, gave me opportunitites that others wouldn't get. Everyone has multiple social identites but in certain situations one social identity may be more salient than the others. A basic example of this would be at home with my family my salient identity is "daughter" or "sister". When I am at school my identity becomes "student." When I go to work my identity becomes, "worker" or "employee." My other identites don't disappear but one just becomes stronger and is brought to the forefront in certain situations. When it comes to social identites, sometimes the identites work well together and somewhat compliment each other. There are other times however where various social identites lead to uncomfortable situations. An example of this from my life would be volunteering at a christian based non profit, when the discussion of same sex marriage comes up. As a bisexual lady I of course defended the right for same sex couples to get married and it confused the other volunteers as to how I could be bisexual and also Christian. When I first realized I was bisexual it caused conflicting feelings and just made me generally uncomfortable as to how these two seemingly opposite identites could both truly be me. Whenever I am in Christian social circles most of them don't understand how my two social identites could possibly work either. They don't realize that my sexuality, race, religion, even my socioeconomic status are all what makes me, me. Because I am not one thing, I am nothing but a compilation of many facets that make me whole. Identity is such a complicated concept to grasp but when broken down it seems much more understandable topic. The idea of social and cultural capital is a very interesting one, when looking at your achievements and how you're ascribed status has affected those achievements. Another interesting concept regarding identity is how interconnected out identites are.