Social location, or the status in life that people have because of their place in a society, have a huge impact on everyone. The impact that social location created could be neutral, but most of the time it will have a positive or negative impact on people. For example, an African American could be discriminated because of his ethnicity, or a patient will choose an older doctor when he needs a treatment. Different social location that we have will affect our decisions in everyday life, and most of the time it happened subconsciously, which means we don’t realize that the decisions we make are based on our social location.
Like everyone else, I was affected by my own social location, both positively and negatively. One of my social locations that affect me the most is probably my ethnicity. I was born in southern China, and live there for almost 13 years. Unlike America, China is a high-context society, which means people often avoid talking to stranger, and will emphasis interpersonal relationship with other people. I, too, will subconsciously avoid talking to strangers, and will automatically keep a distance with them. In America, that is often a negative thing because it could makes me harder to develop trust with a stranger.
The ethnicity that I have brings me not just the negative impacts, but also some positive impact as well. In Chinese culture, people will have a tight bond with their family members. I remembered that few years ago, a conflagration occurred in San Diego and burned down lots of homes. At the same time, there were lots of phone calls that were from my family relatives, asking if we are okay. Even a relative from New York gave us a call, making sure that we are all safe. It touches me greatly, and I am very glad that I have a strong bond with my relatives.
Like culture, education also has a great impact on my life. For the past 13 years, I had spent most my time in school, and I will need to spend 6 more years to finish my education. School had not only given me knowledge, but also changes my perspective on life. When I was in high school, my English teacher gave us an article that is called “What is the Value of Life”. The article was about the US government sending money to the family that had members died during the 911 event. It talks about the government tried to determine how much should they pay to those family.
My English teacher wants the class to discussion about whether we should put a money tag on human being or not. Everyone seems to have a different idea. At the beginning, my idea was that we should not put a value on a human life, but after listening other students’ ideas, my mind was going back and forth. This was one of the most important lesson for my life. I learned about moral issues that the government needs to face, and I also learned that different people have different ideas. School also taught me important issues like juvenile crime, discrimination, racism, and extra.
Education had changed many decisions that I made, and helped me to develop a mature though. There are more locations that I have on the society that affects me, and they all changed not only the way I look at people, but also the way that others look at me. Sometimes, my social location gave me lots of troubles like discrimination, and sometimes, it could be really helpful. Overall, it is the key element that shaped my personality. It is very important for me and everyone else. And we should accept it, and tried to improve it.