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How My Life Experiences and Encounters Have Helped Groom Me as a Sociologist

Life Experiences and Encounters Applied Into My Work

In reality, it is very hard to forget the hurt and pain that comes with the deception and disappointments, when we trust those around us. That is just the way society is and carrying out symbolic interactionism with your beloved ones becomes very difficult and guarded. Most people resort to saying that one should not hold on to the past, but the past is what makes the present!

In the book, Social Theory for Beginners, the author states that “George Herbert Mead developed a notion of the self as comprising an inner core or personal (the “I”) and an outer shell (the “Me”)” (Ransome, 2010). This then brings me back to the question of socially interacting with someone, who has done something that you consider unforgivable.

Since Mead has already differentiated that the human body is not just the outer human form, this brings a twist to social interactionism in the real lives of social actors. Real life does not get to be “edited”, “cut”; real life does not get any “retakes”. If the matter is too deep, the “I” part of the self is destroyed and no matter how the “Me” is put forward, the self is never in unison. This is usually what brings about mental cases and insecurities in individuals.

As a girl, who was raised in an Indian reservation in Oklahoma, I cannot speak about my social life there, because I moved away just after turning 1. The past for me, as I recall it, is the life that I opened my eyes to outside Oklahoma. One might argue that the roots of an individual are where they are from, where they were born, but socially, that is not entirely true. Socially, one’s roots are inclined to be at the place, where one relates mostly to. A place called home. Bearing social responsibility is never easy, because in all truth, people are very different in the way they want to be seen, talked to, and classed.

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The social influences around me, the ones that I remember, have always been my immediate family, my peers as I went through school, my opportunities, and my potential.

The present really owes the past a lot of thank you’s and respect. It is never easy to make decisions and I am really grateful for one of them. Throughout my life, I have never gotten into a social interaction turned into a brawl and ended up in jail or with a ticket. Not making immature decisions is what made me join the military and find myself pursuing a Masters in the Social World.

Being part of the military is what I can say really opened the eyes of the inner being and made me realize that I have been blessed with the gift of making a choice. I chose to be real and to deal with the matters that affect people around me. It is not a big secret that most American homes are broken and need social workers and psychologists to work hand in hand and try to bring people together, as well as help to form the way people see each other.

There is no place out of reach, as much as there is no place that far. Working in the military base taught me all of that. I would not be lying if I said I neither knew not had dreams of my own life before then. The bigger picture, however, shows that being in the army made me whom I am today. Working with the veterans and helping them to cope with their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) made me share with them. I learned to embrace their stories, their fears, and their experiences.

Being a social worker is a very hard and strenuous job; while consulting with the veterans, I have to leave out my own personal problems and be a happy person, not happy bubbly, but with a positive energy. After the end of each session, I am left drained as I have listened to the horrific encounters and relived them with each story teller. This made me learn that there is a whole lot more going on outside of my comfort zone.

Nowadays, I just do not wake up and decide at random on what to do; being a social worker has taught me that above all, the present is more important. The past is gone and can never be brought back and the future is unpromised. Every day of my life I wake up and aim to help at least one person to learn the ways to communicate. My goals are not that big, but they are achievable and mean giving back to the society, that makes me happy.

It is true, that there is no such thing as a non-social sense-of-self (Ransome, 2010). This inspires me to learn my sense of social self, so that I can help others to achieve in finding their own. There is nothing that is more exhilarating than giving back someone’s social life. Society has the ability to create sweet and caring people all around the world and, at the same time, that society has the ability to destroy dreams and build a monster.

Being a social worker with experience on the ways to deal with PTSD veterans opened the eyes of my heart. It taught me that there is always a silver lining to every problem, because the soldiers were torn apart, yet, appreciative that they came back home alive. This makes me marvel at them, as I listen to their plans. It makes me want to plan my own future and be as excited as they are.

Life has a lot of greys; nothing is ever black or white. The fact that America is made up of the people, who have such a deep history, culture, and backgrounds makes me excited about my future as a social worker. My biggest plan is to open up my own business and employ former veterans. Working with the veterans, who came back home with only war wounds, stories, and disturbed dreams has made me have time to think outside the box and out of my own comfort zone. Most people find it hard to get rid of their PTSD, because of a weak or non-existing support system. My company will be their support system. As colleagues, they understand each other’s problems more than me, the social worker, who listens and tries to imagine. As the veterans work for a living, they get to share their stories and experiences with each other. This will become a self-healing center that gives hope and second chances.

The symbolic interactionism of an individual might be termed a micro paradigm of the list of what a sociologist should be able to do. However, my future company will work to take interaction and make it a big aspect. Relationship between the veterans coming back and the society they left need a bridge. Most of these bridges were cut, when the veterans left home for the war zone. In order for them to heal the bridges need to be rebuilt and their confidence boosted. The elite usually controls the poor in every situation and event possible. In order to avoid conflicts for the veterans, my company will offer everyone to start off at the same level, so that there are no hierarchies. This might seem like an ideal situation, but it is possible; seeing that at war, they were equal.

There is a reason why sociological perspectives are presented together. This is to avoid a distorted situation that does not justify the society and human behavior. It is important to take one step at a time in order to fully grasp the picture of what happened or is happening in each situation. With each step, a perspective needs to be added. This will help to integrate all the perspectives that apply to that case by the end of the session.

“Erving Goffman develops a dramaturgical approach in which social actors are seen as ‘performing’ their sense-of-self to an audience of other selves”. The society needs to appreciate the fact that not everything is done on a personal note. It has to come first from time to time, so that people stop being self-centered and conscious.

The present activities have the power and ability to alter and influence the future. Currently, since I am dealing with veterans and teaching them on the ways to go back to the society and be able to hold a full conversation without any problems, the future seems to be falling into place. The outcomes that I am achieving promote and motivate me to go ahead and open a company that will be a help center for the PTSD patients. Doing what one loves does not happen on a daily basis; thus, in five to ten years time, I think I will be able to stand and look back at what used to be a plan on paper.

The practices in the societies vary from one context to another. In most cases, the factors that determine these practices are aligned to the historical events of that society. As a sociologist, my work is to develop a system that will work for the good of everyone. The social theory that I come up with and put into use should benefit my society and the social system as a whole.

It is true that each person has their own story and that to every story there are 3 different versions. This is due to the similarities, differences, patterns, and trends of a given population. The human being can never be fully understood and that is what functionalism teaches the sociologist to come to terms with.

The society is faced with a lot of issues that need to be carefully tendered in order to deal with each perspective separately. To draw down the curtains, this assignment was an eye opener. It is the Cherie on top, as it brings out the purpose of this class. During the course of the term, it was never clear how very effective my profession really is.

However, as I embarked on points and flashbacks in order to do this assignment, it hit me just how important being a social worker is. My life experiences and circumstances have greatly impacted and affected who I grew up to be. Had I not left Oklahoma as a baby, I might have gone to a different field of profession. Had I not chosen to work and assist veterans in their PTSD ordeals, I was never going to realize my full potential.

As it is, I have grown not only physically, but in every aspect of my life as well, and learnt that there is a reason why people act the way they do. Each individual has a different genetic makeup and their story is important in determining the future. The society is not made up of a single individual and my future business will aim at celebrating each individual and their story.