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Life History – Research Paper

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Research Paper代写 In sociology, social structure refers to the steady arrangement of various social institutions according to which people communicate with each other, behave, and spend their lives. 

Life History – Research Paper

Introduction

In sociology, social structure refers to the steady arrangement of various social institutions according to which people communicate with each other, behave, and spend their lives. Usually, social structure is considered in relation to social change, which primarily focuses on the elements that could change the society’s existing norms and behaviour and social structure (Nadel, 2013). It makes a society and keeps it together with organised set of relationships.

Social structure not only helps in directly determining social instruction but is also a product of it. Social structure affects every part of a person’s life and life experiences, but it is generally not visible to any observer. This paper is going to study how social structure and social processes affects a person’s life by analysing the life of an elderly person. An interview with an elderly person has been conducted for the purpose of this study – after obtaining her consent – but she requested her real name not to be made part of the study so hereinafter that elderly person will be referred to as Ms. Lee.

Elderly Person’s Profile  Research Paper代写

Ms. Lee, now a widow, is a Chinese-Canadian. She lives with her son and two grandchildren in a very good home that belongs to Ms.Lee and her husband. She was born in China and at the age of 8, she along with her parents moved to Canada. Her initial schooling was done in China, so during her early years in Canada, she faced a lot of language barriers as she couldn’t speak, read, or write English properly. She’s been bullied by a few during her initial school years but that led her to make some really great friends who Ms. Lee claims were always by her side – one is still in touch she recalls. Ms. Lee met her future spouse during her college years, he came from China to study.

They got married and had a fairly happy life, but faced bit ups and downs, which Ms. Lee faced because she has completely adopted Canadian culture and her husband held onto his Chinese culture – where gender equality is still a distant dream. Due to this cultural diversity within their home – Ms. Lee faced a few problems but learnt a great deal about the importance of it. She taught her kids to respect other human and celebrate individuality no matter where they are. About her interaction in the society, she says that it is very rare for her to face any kind of racist comments or something, but when she was young she used to face some rude comments about her nationality or looks at least once in every quarter.

How Ms. Lee’s experiences are affected by larger social processes and structural forces?

She was raised in a family that was not completely open to adopting Canadian culture and wanted to keep their own culture intact as well. This is a problem most of the immigrants face when they immigrate to a new country. But Ms. Lee and her family started to adopt the culture after realizing that this is the best way to become an active part of this society. They started interacting with people within their community and outside and exchange ideas. The increased social interaction helped Ms. Lee and her parents to transition to Canadian culture more easily.  Research Paper代写

Social interaction is a social process, which is the manner in which the relations of every member of the society when viewed together appear to be of a different character (Thibaut, 2017). According to Sherif (2017), social processes of a society mean availability of different channels of interactions among groups or individuals including but not limited to conflict, integration, cooperation, development, decay, and arrest. There are hundreds of social processes a society may use, but on a larger scale they affect the life experiences of every person living in the society (Nadel, 2013). Ms. Lee and her family couldn’t have adopted the culture of another land if it wasn’t for the social processes that were there. At large, they felt welcome, valued, respected, and recognized – a few traits of Canadian culture known to the world.

Sociological Theory on Life History  Research Paper代写

With the application of sociological perspectives to aging, one can identify the factors that affect an individual’s life and understand the structure of a society as well as its processes. After interviewing Ms. Lee for this research paper, it has become evident that an elderly person who have migrated from one country to another has multiple aspects of life, which if explored can help understand not just one but two different cultures and their social processes. There are three perspectives sociologists apply to the aging process including disengagement theory, activity theory, and conflict theory.

According to Barkan (2011), disengagement theory argues that for younger generation to take on responsibility and important roles, it is important for a society to encourage its older generation to disengage and let go of their previous roles. Disengagement theory also presents the view point that older people should take on roles that are appropriate for them as per their physical and mental health (Bengtson & Settersten, 2016). In the process of aging, this theory provides a functionalist application. If Ms. Lee’s life experiences are to be analysed using this process, it can be said that it suits her aging process completely.

She has taken the role of grandmother and looks after her grandchildren in the absence of their parents. At this age, her mental and physical health does not allow her to take on a role that demands too much energy or focus. Thus, she prefers staying at home and using her experience to guide her kids and grandkids. However, before reaching the age of retirement, Ms. Lee was active in community work and had a good job, but she let all these roles go and thus fits perfectly to the definition of disengagement theory.

Research Paper代写
Research Paper代写

According to Katz & Calasanti (2014), activity theory argues that if older people remain active even in that age, then it will benefit not only them but the society as well.

However, for older people to stay active and contribute to the society, they need to have a positive life perception. In the process of aging, this theory provides an interactionist explanation of it (Bengtson & Settersten, 2016).

If Ms. Lee’s life experiences are analysed using this theory, then it also suits her. She’s still active and doing what she can to make sure her family stays healthy and happy. She has a positive perception about life, because according to her the most memorable moment of her life was the birth of her grandchild, and now she’s still positive to see her grandchild grow into an adult. She is active in her life. She cooks, teaches her grandchildren, and hangs out with her friends.  Research Paper代写

As per the conflict theory, elderly people have to face discrimination and prejudice on the basis of their age. There are various inequalities that elderly people have to face because of their social class, gender, race, and ethnicity. This theory not only defines the aging process but is also linked to the general theory of conflict in the society Barkan (2011). In her early 30s, Ms. Lee did experience some instances where she thinks have been discriminated because of her race.

She still thinks that due to her social class and age, which falls under the upper middle class, she sometimes get these strange looks.

The judgemental looks as per Ms. Lee “make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin” It’s like I being a person of a different race living in Canada am not entitled to have the luxury that I have even at this age.” But these instances are not common, so Ms. Lee doesn’t pay heed to such conflicts, but it does add to her life experiences.

Plainly speaking, these three sociological perspectives on aging are applicable on almost every person’s life experience. During one’s course of life, a person faces various things, interacts with people of different race, sex, or religion, and engages with different segment of the society. Everybody in a society is entitled to their opinions and thoughts, which do get affects by the larger social process but on a smaller scale every person is different. Ms. Lee’s life experience makes one thing very clear that Canada was and is a tolerant and inclusive country where diversity is appreciated and individuality is celebrated.

Conclusion  Research Paper代写

It is complete true that social structure is made of various social components working together and forms of established relationships, but it is important that social structure be identified in the contemporary environment as social networks, which connect one person with another and affects our life experience. The analysis of the interview made one thing clear that there are various aspects of a person’s life experiences – and sometime it become impossible to analyse the life experiences with just one theory or paradigm. Every person’s life experiences have different facets and can be understood if a combination of various theories is applied to that person’s life experiences.

References

Barkan, S. E. (2011). Sociology: Understanding and changing the social world. Flat World Knowledge, Incorporated.

Bengtson, V. L., & Settersten Jr, R. (Eds.). (2016). Handbook of theories of aging. Springer Publishing Company.

Katz, S., & Calasanti, T. (2014). Critical perspectives on successful aging: Does it “appeal more than it illuminates”?. The Gerontologist55(1), 26-33.

Nadel, S. F. (2013). The theory of social structure. Routledge.

Sherif, M. (2017). Social interaction: Process and products. Routledge.

Thibaut, J. W. (2017). The social psychology of groups. Routledge.

 

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