Interrogating Social Identity

In recent ‘Readings’ classes, we have been considering the challenges of “stereotype threat” through the ideas found in Claude Steele’s Whistling Vivaldi. In hand with that exploration, we have been introducing the Critical Thinking concepts of ‘paradigms’ and ‘assumptions’. This Blog post is an extension of that work, and in many ways the hope is that you tie these various threads together in some way by offering up your response to your Interview and, in that response, negotiating the assumptions and paradigms at hand as well as exploring the stereotypes or “threats” felt by your interviewee.  As mentioned on the assignment sheet, your task is to explore the experience of someone with a different set of social contingencies than your own, and to report what you’ve found in an insightful way.  So, taking into consideration the additional details found on your assignment sheet, please present your interview and share your thoughts about just how we ARE all living “under a cloud” (to use Steele’s terms) as a result of our identity contingencies.

46 thoughts on “Interrogating Social Identity

  1. Many people make assumptions about people before they get to know them. They also look at things through a specific paradigm that doesn’t allow them to get the full story. People begin to judge before they get to know others. They especially judge those with tattoos, they look at them and immediately draw a conclusion about who they are. They don’t give people with tattoos, or anyone with a different social identity from theirs, the chance to let them know who they really are. If people took the time to get to know someone, they would be very surprised to get to know who they really are. Just because someone has a different social identity and looks different, doesn’t mean they really are that different. This proves to be true after I spoke to Sierra, a woman with tattoos.

    Before getting to know Sierra, I judged her for her tattoos just like most people do. I asked her how she thought people looked at her for her social identity. She said, “when people look at me, I think they see someone who is confident in her own skin. They see a girl who has learned to not care about the opinions of others on her image, personality, or what is to be expected of her from society.” Right from the start of the interview, I could tell that she didn’t care what others thought of her. She was confident with who she was. She was not going to let her social Identity bring her down. I also asked her if she suffered from the assumptions people make of her. She responded by saying, “I think certain people do look at me differently and assume things based on their opinions of people having tattoos, but no I have not personally felt effected from how people view me. Also, many people will not be open about their opinion up front. They usually keep to themselves if they didn’t like the fact I have chosen to put tattoos on my body.” Sierra is a strong woman and she is happy with her tattoos and she doesn’t not believe that she suffers at all.

    People who come from a more conservative background, may look at tattooed men in women through a different paradigm than those in a less conservative background. I believe that opinions and assumptions all come from the framework people use to look at the world. Sierra and I had different paradigms in the beginning. I have zero tattoos, and I did not believe that those with tattoos could share the same opinions and ideas as me. But I was wrong. If people change their paradigms, they are opened up to a whole new world. Sierra opened my eyes to new things. I did not believe that people could benefit from their tattoos, but I was wrong. Sierra mentioned, “I benefit from my tattoos. I have developed into who I am today by my experiences in life and learning from them. Also, over the course of the past few years I have gotten more tattoos and each one has a specific meaning for something that occurred in my life, making me who I am now.” Without her tattoos, she would not be who she is today. She has grown from her tattoos and experiences that inspired her tattoos, and by doing so she inspires me.

    Lastly, I asked Sierra if she had any difficulties with her social identity, and if she had to overcome those difficulties. She replied by telling me, “my social identity isn’t much to overcome, unless you’re on the outside looking in. I am perfectly comfortable with who I have become and the changes I have made to get to this point in my life. The only people who would need to overcome my social identity are those who do not like who I am or my choices. They should become more open minded and accepting of the fact that every person is different and has their own story and their own way of expressing it.” Sierra has changed my world and the way I look at it. She really helped me understand that you can’t judge a book by its cover. If you really get to know someone you may be surprised. Which brings me to the final question I asked her, I asked her if people were surprised when they got to know her, and did their opinion of her change. She said, “I believe when people meet me they are surprised by how much dedication to my loved ones I have and how deep I can become with things. When I share my stories of each of my tattoos and the reason behind each one, it is like I am letting people into a background of my life in which they wouldn’t know just by looking at me. There’s a much bigger story behind every person and their social identity, and its not always what other people think of them.” I know I was surprised and my opinion of Sierra changed when I got to know her. If you take the time to get to know someone, and get past the different social identity you will be amazed and what you will find.

    • There are so many different people in this world along with many different paradigms. Assumptions get made often due to what we are not used to. It’s what we as humans do. People have a tendency to assume certain things when we are not used to seeing what we know. People are too quick to judge whether it is due to someone else’s religion, race, sexuality, etc. Unfortunately that is how we are as humans. We judge, we assume, and we categorize people. It isn’t right but it is something we all do. I’ve been judged before just like the rest of the world has. But I’ve never experienced it from another point of view, say through another culture. This is where I bring in Nagla, a woman with a very different social identity than myself.

      I remember the first time I met Nagla. She is a good friend of my cousins. When I first saw her, I knew she was very different from me and the rest of my family. Did we judge her? Maybe just a little bit. Doesn’t make us inconsiderate and it doesn’t mean we don’t have the most upright respect for her. Nagla is a Muslim American woman. When I first saw Nagla, I assumed a lot of things. Because of her apparel, I assumed she was a terrorist, which she confirmed that she has been called that before. That has been an assumption towards her. Everywhere she goes, attention is drawn to her. People are always staring at her because she looks different and dresses different than the rest of us. She says the stares are curious and nasty. Just like me, I’m sure people assumed she was a terrorist due to her hijab. Nagla explained how she has always been a self-conscious girl. The stares and ridiculing didn’t necessarily help her, but it didn’t take her away from her religion. Staring isn’t the only dilemma. Nagla attended Rutgers University. At Rutgers, there are buses that take you from campus to campus. One day, she stepped on the bus like any normal individual would and took a seat next to an American man. As soon as she sat down, he looked at her and got up to change his seat. The man probably assumed she was a terrorist and felt uncomfortable having a woman with a hijab on sitting right next to him. Like I had said earlier, Nagla is good friends with my older cousin Nikki. They are both teachers and love to travel around the world. Whenever they look into a new location for adventures, Nagla has to be careful for where they’re going because certain countries could be extremely dangerous for her to enter due to her relgion. She said to me, “everyday is a new potential struggle”.

      I asked Nagla how her identity has changed over the years. She responded, “my identity changed dramatically over my life. I always knew I was different from my peers. I didn’t grow up around any Muslim people but I always defined myself as Muslim regardless. It was a huge change having my [big] hair always out to never being shown. It was a way people identified me. I’ve struggled with my identity basically my entire life until I started wearing hijab. It gave me an opportunity to have a solid identity that I’ve never really had before. I didn’t really know where I belonged and didn’t feel like I fit in. I mean I still feel that way sometimes as does the rest of the world every here and there. As I grew up, I started to figure myself out and who I am. My religion has a lot to do with who I am. I’m also a teacher and I am very passionate when it comes to that. Today I see myself as a Muslim, Egyptian, American woman”. We all struggle with finding ourselves in this world and why we were meant to be here.

      Lastly, I asked Nagla, “what are people surprised about when they learn more about you?”. There are many surprises that I thought were really interesting. She was born and raised in America and has no accent. Everyone who meets her assumes she is not from here and assumes she doesn’t speak English. She is also very straightforward and outgoing. She isn’t quiet. She Is outspoken. People are surprised by that because it is a known stereotype for Muslim woman to follow men and just stay behind and be quiet. Nagla is a teacher and coach’s volleyball at her school. Many are surprised that a Muslim woman wearing a hijab is teaching and coaching at a public school. She is athletic and when she runs, people stare and some have come up to her saying it is shocking that she is athletic. All of the “normal” and daily routines are normal for her and people are surprised by that. Interviewing Nagla was an awesome opportunity considering I have known her for a few years now and never really gotten a chance to know all about her. Even though her social identity is very different, she is very similar to any girl.

  2. When Mariah was a little girl, she always knew she was different and stood out from the crowd. She is one of the most honest, talented, loving girls I have ever met. At the age of 17 and a high school junior, she came out as lesbian. Having to hide this from a very religious grandmother, she found to be very difficult because her grandmother did not condone of this lifestyle. She was against gays and against anyone who had the slightest thought of questioning what they liked. Mariah found this very tough being black and lesbian. Not only did she find this hard to come out to her mother, she found this nearly impossible to come out to her grandmother.

    When I asked Mariah how she defined her social identity, she simply said that she was different from the rest. When people see her with her girlfriend, Jamie, they are immediately stared down and given bad looks. “People say that lesbians have a certain look,” Mariah stated. She thought that everyone who looked at her instantly knew that she was lesbian because of the way she dressed, had her hair done, and the way she acted. Mariah is now 24 years old and happily in love with Jamie. I, for one, am very proud of her because first, she followed her heart and went against the social norms, and second, found someone she truly loves given the fact that not a lot of people are also lesbian or condone of that lifestyle just like her grandmother. I then proceeded to ask Mariah how she benefited from her social identity. Now that the ‘Love Wins’ campaign and being gay is now morally accepted and legal in the US, she feels more comfortable being able to hug Jamie or hold her hand in public. “Before I felt that we could only act like best friends hanging out in public, until this campaign started and then I started to feel more comfortable.”

    When I asked Mariah how she suffered from being lesbian she started to get emotional. I could tell this question bothered her a little bit, but was well aware of her condition. From her first experience with girls, to falling in love with Jamie, it has definitely been a roller coaster ride. Even as a little girl, she always hung out with the guys, then started dressing like the guys, and when she realized she liked girls at a younger age she knew that socially, many people would not accept it. Her mother was very strict and her grandmother was much worse. Being raised in a religious family and being gay was a struggle everyday for her, walking down the street trying to hide who she truly is was hard for her, and being judged everywhere she went was hard for her. From the time she first came out to now, her social identity has changed dramatically. She went from hiding who she truly is and feeling uncomfortable to feeling accepted and having thicker skin. Mariah told me that she could finally feel that no matter where she went, there will always be at least one person who will accept her for being lesbian, and because of that, she was able to meet the love of her life, Jamie.

    People who knew Mariah as a high school student did not expect her to come out as early as she did; nor did they think that she thought of that lifestyle. She said she felt like behind the scenes people secretly knew she was lesbian, even if she wasn’t in a relationship. “When I first meet people, telling them that I am lesbian is not exactly the first thing I think of, even if they can tell.” Mariah was not too confident when she came out as lesbian, so just as a normal high school is, rumors go around and everyone knew she was a lesbian within minutes. Mariah knew that some people we’re not really surprised at the fact that she is lesbian, but when people knew how nice of a person she really is they put it aside and loved her for whom she is, not for the gender she likes. If I personally had to walk a mile in Mariah’s shoes, I do not think I could do it. Having a rough childhood and facing the constant need to hide your true identity is something I would find very difficult. Mariah is one of the strongest women I know and I am so proud to have met her. She is the type of person that everyone needs to have in his or her life because even though she struggled everyday, she never let a single negative thing bring her down. She stayed positive even through it all, and look at where she is now, in love and being socially accepted.

  3. The person I interviewed is Ms.Moy I know her for a long time. When I asked Ms.Moy how would you describe your social identity she said “I’m a Chinese-American Female, who is a chief cat scan technologist in charge of ten people at a hospital and a NJ resident also I like to travel.”. Then I asked Ms.Moy what do people see when they look at you? her response was “when people see me that they think I have a good career, family, and family life.”. So there is a lot that goes with a Chinese-American Female who works there are stereotype and stereotype threat for her but she never experience stereotype threat. She benefited from her social identity by she was able to get her own car and home, also is independent and accomplished. Another thing she mentioned “after college my first job I didn’t make as much money as I do today.”. Today she is in the middle class. Now she enjoys what she does and her social identity. When I asked if she suffered from her social identity she said “I haven’t suffered from my social identity.
    Secondly, when Ms.Moy was asked how did her social identity has changed over the years the response I got was “It has changed financially, economically, and experience.” Her job changed over the years and got better and better. Also she learned so much over the years.
    Thirdly, then I asked what are people who don’t know you surprised to learn about you “People are surprised to learn that when I was in high school I was shy and quiet. I performed in junior high choir. I am caring person and very helpful.” I think people judge person without any information about a person and they where totally off about them. Which everyone judge and can be helped because you have to get to know people with an open mind. Furthermore Ms.Moy is an example of that.
    Lastly, Ms.Moy told me “If you walked in my shoes you would know what kind of heartache I’ve been through along with the happiness that have had in my life.”. Doing these questions I got to know Ms.Moy better and understand her past. Also to see what hardship she been through and can’t put people in a stereotype because of their social identity

  4. CJ Middleton
    25 September 2015

    Social Identities

    Many people are often judged by their social identities. Unfortunately it can cause people to feel pressured in everyday scenarios. Throughout his novel, “Whistling Vivaldi,” Claude M. Steele often discusses something call a “stereotype threat.” A stereotype threat can be defined as some type of assumption people make by your race, ethnicity, sex, religion, etc. and something that causes pressure when doing an activity because of that assumption. For an example, a white person can feel stressed about trying out for a basketball team. Due to the fact of the stereotype threat of white people not being good at basketball. As Steele uses examples of African-American college students in his novel as examples of different stereotype threats, I also got a taste what it is like as I spoke with an African-American student. Mr. Davis elaborates on his view of his social identity and how if it affects him.

    Steele often describes African-American college students on the outside looking in. In the novel Claude states “they did seem worried that Michigan was not the right place for them” (Steele 19). Mr. Davis doesn’t have the same view as he states “not about being at college, but everyone has insecurities when they have to adjust to a new environment and I personally believe that is OK and I embrace it.” Compared to the students in the novel, they feel out of place because of their skin color, but Mr. Davis feels it as an adaptation to new surroundings. Also, Mr. Davis believes that skin color doesn’t determine how “intellectually advanced” you are, it’s more how you prepare yourself for college. He does not let what people think of him stop him from pursuing he’s education.

    Next, in the novel there was a certain scenario that relates with Mr. Davis well. In the first chapter Steele discusses how there was an educated African-American walking down the streets in the city of Chicago. As white pedestrians saw him that made it a priority to get out of his way. They seemed uncomfortable in his presence, he was being stereotyped as an aggressive violent man. Until he began to whistle Vivaldi, classical music as he walked. Then they viewed him in a different way, people felt less threatened. They knew he was educated man because most young people walking down the streets don’t whistle classical music (6, 7). Mr. Davis explains how he is always dressed in a professional manner and always has a smile on his face. “People know that I am friendly” and people feel comfortable around him. Both proved that just because they are African-American does not mean that they are harmful, as they are stereotyped to be.

    In a like manner, Mr. Davis feels as if when people see an African-American they think they are “gangster or hood,” but he is the opposite. Mr. Davis believes that people would be surprised to learn that he invests a lot of his time into community activities, he’s done numerous service projects, and attended orchestras. Also, he’s interests differ from what a stereotyped African-American’s are. Which is reading (member of a book club), writing, and poetry. Every single person is different in their own way and should not be judged by what people see on the outside. They will be surprised by what they find behind the stereotype of an individual.

  5. Lisa McDermott
    Dr. Geoffrey W. Gust
    FRST- 1002 Reading
    September 22, 2015

    For my interview project, I decided to interview one of my good friends who is disabled. Pronio was born missing his left arm. Growing up with one arm, Mr. Pronio faced a lot of negative adversities in his life. He went through a lot of things as a young boy. He was bullied as a young child with that continuing up until high school. Mr. Pronio said that he could remember how in high school that one kid was making fun of him all day everyday. Mr pronio didn’t want to tell his parents because he felt that they would be upset and it would bring them down. Mr
    Pronio said everyday when he came home from school he would throw his backpack down against the wall and his parents would say how was school today. He would look at them and say everything was fine but really deep down inside he was filled with anger. Mr Pronio said that the comments the students said were very hurtful. He said he could remember on the bus ride home the student sitting next to him would pull up his shirt on the bus leaving one hand out and the other one tucked inside and stood up in the back of the bus and said look at me i look like Mr. Pronio.

    Mr. Pronio said this was the worst feeling in the world everyone looking at him and laughing at him. He said it was like a fifty pound weight on his back that he couldn’t get off. As i continued with this interview Mr.Pronio said his parents were very supportive about it. They always treated him as a normal person. Not once did they ever look at him different. His parents put him in sports and he did exceptionally well. He played football, soccer and basketball. Mr pronio continued to say the negative comments that were said to him, he kept they all inside never really expressed himself. He said he regrets not talking about it to people but the past was the past and now is the future. Mr. Pronio said that his goals were never affected by his appearance. He did everything he wanted to do. He continued to play basketball four years in high school and never took it that he was different than everyone else. Mr. Pronio always had a chip on his back that everyone judged him when he played sports but exceed everyones expectations.

    Mr. Pronio said that it really affected him emotional in high school really bad. some nights in his room he would go into the bathroom and move his tooth brush and belongings into the shower because he was disgusted to look at himself because he could not understand why he was like this. Mr Pronio continued to say that his family would ask him questions and he would really get upset with they and not really want to talk about it. It was a tough time growing up for him and he really wants to learn and except the fact that he is different and embrace it now. Mr Pronio said he gets stared at every time he goes out and he tries not to get bothered by it. He gets looked at every time he goes somewhere and when he gets questioned about it he said when he was fourteen to sixteen he would get really upset and start yelling at the person who questioned him.

    He said there were a lot of things going through his life at the time. as Mr. Pronio was growing as a young boy he was treated the same because he was a young boy and people never really said anything to him. But he said he could remember one time in kindergarten he was picked on about his arm that he wanted to go home but his teacher did not let him go. He went home and told his parents what was happening and they talked to the school about it. They let him handle it himself. That was the right thing to do because it made him realize that everything is not going to be fair to him. Mr.Pronio said that he had an interview at WAWA and they never gave him a fair interview. They treated him like an object. They specifically told him that he “needed to arms” for the job. He said it didn’t matter if he didn’t get the job, all he cared about was just getting a fair chance like everyone else did. Later in life Pronio began to deal with his disability a little better, he realized who his friends were and became more comfortable with the idea that he was “unique” instead of “different.”

  6. The person that I interviewed for my blog was a close friend of my mothers. My mothers friend was a woman and she came to America when she was seven years old, in 1977, from the country of Ecuador. That makes her ecuadorian in the United States which also makes her a minority. In the United States people for some reason just feed off minorities by making fun of them and coming up with jokes about them. So in this case minorities have a hard time living in the United States without getting judged by others.
    In my interview my mothers friend discussed with me a big deal of issues that she encountered during her move to the United States. Ecuador is a spanish speaking country and therefore my mothers friend had only spoken spanish, not a word on english. One of the questions I had for her was how was the transition to a different country and was it hard to learn english? She replied with ease she said that moving from this country was only hard because she had to leave her grandparents and cousins behind but other than that she said she was actually excited to move and start her new life with her family.
    Next, she answered the question about learning english. She said it was very hard and frustrating to learn because it took her so long. Stereotype threatening is a situational predicament in which people are or feel themselves to be at risk of confirming negative stereotypes about their social group(google). This woman said it was hard enough to learn english on its own but it didn’t help that other kids talked,made fun of, and looked at her weird because she was different from them. She was teased because she didn’t know the english language good enough yet, which is so wrong. She explain to me what she had to go through for the year and half that she was learning english and even when she did, she still got made fun of because her english sounded different from other people. But this woman is strong and said she lived with it and she’s happy it happen because it made her stronger as a person.
    One of my last questions I asked her was, was it harder to get a job for you rather than a someone’s who’s not a minority? Her response was “not really actually”. I was kind of surprised so i asked why and she answered me by saying actually businesses like to have minorities working for them because it makes the company or business look better. So I guess that can be taken as messed up but then it’s also an advantage for minorities. In my opinion this woman has went through a lot as a kid and she says she still gets put through stuff now to but not as much. She told me since she’s from Ecuador a spanish speaking country everyone considers her Mexican or from there. That’s what everyone in america does if you’re spanish or latino they consider you a Mexican, and she told me that’s offensive because that’s not what she is and not where she’s from. In conclusion, this is all part of stereotype threatening and the woman that I interviewed definitely went through this and it’s rough for minorities because it happens all the time to people like that and it’s just a shame.

  7. Zach Chapman
    25 September 2015

    Social identities are just one of the many ways that people are judged in our world. Nobody has the same exact social identity as the person next to them and that is why people are judged the way they are. Because being different is viewed weird now-a-days. On the cover of “Whistling Vivaldi” Claude M. Steele puts 9 different social identities on it. There are many more as you can imagine. I spoke with Sam who is a Jewish college student trying to get by like the rest of us with his social identities. I asked Sam how he would define his social identity and what people see when they look at him and he said that he is a runner and is Jewish and people see a small, scrawny kid that is the stereotypical Jew.

    Sam said that he benefited from his identity because it made him who he is today and he also met a lot of friends from it. Steele noticed that when he was at the University of Michigan that the African American students there didn’t fit in and were underachieving when it came to their grades. They felt like they didn’t fit in because they were in a new environment and didn’t know anybody with the same social identity as them. The only obvious one was that they were black. In the book when the young black kid was walking down the street he was getting these looks from people and he knew that they were stereotyping him. Sam feels he gets stereotyped by people because he is Jewish and he said “I feel like when people look at me they see the typical cheap Jew that picks up coins when they are on the ground.”

    Sam said that his social identity didn’t really change over the years. The only thing that changed for him was he had glasses and he grew. He didn’t really change to try to fit in with the other people he was around. But still he was at the wrong end of some religious jokes. As you know that Jewish people are “known” for being cheap or “known” for having big, pointy noses. Those are just two untrue characteristics about the whole Jewish religion. Who knows where they even came from. There always will be stereotyping in this world which is unfortunate because some are extremely hurtful and just flat out wrong.

    When the young African American kid was walking down the street he could just tell he was being stereotyped by every single white person he passed. He knew that those people had some uneasy thoughts in their heads. He eased their thoughts when he started whistling and showed that he wasn’t one of those thug black people. That’s what it was like to walk in his shoes. For Sam, he is stereotyped too but not too such extremes. Walking in Sam’s shoes might be hard because of all the jokes that are poked about his religion but he knows that is what they are. Just jokes. Either way Sam said it best, he said identities of him don’t make him weird or different in a bad way. They just make him unique.

  8. I’ve been told that the typical Asian is good at math, shy, loves anime, loves Asian entertainment, knows martial arts, owns a nail salon, somehow wants to be somewhere in the medical field, bad drivers, and are all the same as far as looks. The list goes on and on. Is that true though? I’ve asked a series of questions to an Asian female, Chinese to be exact, who we’ll call Jane Doe, on how she feels about her social identity and stereotype threat. Her responses opened my eyes to a whole new view on what people think about Asians.

    She feels as though people are ignorant to think most of those things without even knowing her. When people think Asian, they think Chinese. Is that person really Chinese though? Maybe, maybe not, but the fact that they think all Asians look alike would just lead them to think that they’re all Chinese. Why Chinese though? It wouldn’t even matter if they were Vietnamese, or Korean. They would just answer “oh they all look the same anyway.” People like to judge a book by its cover. Its human nature to judge. Most people never took the time to ask Jane what she actually wanted to be when she grew up. The people who did ask her what she wanted to be, she replied, “I wanted to be an Archaeologist.” People responded, “oh really? I never would have expected that from you.” Now why would you think people would say that? They probably don’t expect an Asian female to become an Archaeologist. All they could see is her owning a nail salon, or working in the medical field. She changed her mind though, and now she wants to be in the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

    Somehow people get the impression that Asians are good at math. Who knows where that stereotype came from. Jane Doe was never a strong mathematician, but she was good at English. When she was in school, she would feel pressured to do well. It’s as if people would expect her to be the top of the class, and if she wasn’t, she felt like she was a disappointment. As a minority, she also felt as though she was discriminated upon. “ In high school I felt like the teacher would ignore me when I tried to participate in class because I was the only Asian.” It seems as though minorities have to work harder to be recognized. People can do a lot of good in this world, but once they mess up, that’s all they are seen for. That has a much bigger impact on minorities. Even though they aren’t on the radar as much, once they do something wrong, it’s as if they committed murder.

    I asked Jane Doe, what would I learn if I walked a mile in her shoes. Her response was, “you would learn that I am an independent woman, and everything I do is for myself no matter what the stereotypes are, because in the end we’re all just humans.” The phrase we are all just humans really opens my eyes. Imagine putting a blind fold on over your eyes, and you’re talking to someone. How would you treat them? All you know is that they’re another human being, until you take the blind fold off. People treat people differently because of the way they are. We need to learn that it all doesn’t matter. How would you feel if you were in Jane Doe’s shoes, and people treated you differently because you were Asian?

    Now Jane strives to be her own person. She tries to forget about the stereotype threat she faces. She adapts and overcomes all the obstacles that come in her life, and keeps her mind on her goals.

  9. Purvi Patel
    Social Identity
    My interview was with my close friend Gonzales. She is from Philippines, and English is her second language. When she started her first year in 7th grade she experienced many ups and downs. She said in her interview that there were many people who kept on passing her comments on how she looked and behaved. The turning point in her life was when all her teachers found out about her financial state, they decided to help her. So they started looking for houses and apartments for her family. When they found the house the teachers helped them buy furniture. This was really amazing and wow moment for me when she said this.
    Her social life wasn’t that bad, but still she had no friends. The girls in the school thought that she can’t understand English so right in front of her the girls used to say that, “oh she is not from here so she might be dumb and how funny her accent is.” She being a spot ignored all the comments and focused more on how to overcome her fear of what will people think if she went up to them and asked, “will you be my friend.” Her social identity was always as a shy person.
    As time went she explored more about herself, she got more strength to try new things. Stereotype threat that she had was of not being able to speak clear English and how students mocked her. She used to feel low, depressed and her self-esteem was also low. When she was in high school she joined ROTC, where she busted her confidence and started interacting with more people and made new friends which included me during her freshman year. Right now she is living her life free of identity contingencies, also learning how to be out going. She overcame all the riddles in her life which were stopping her from being who she wants to be.

  10. For my social identity assignment I interviewed my friend Shera. While interviewing Shera I asked her a couple questions that related to her social identity. I first started off by asking Shera to define her social identity. She described her identity as being Asian. “I think people see me as being a typical Asian, someone that is good at math and thinks of us as being geniuses” (Shera). I then asked Shera if she has benefited from her social identiy. Shera gave me an example as to how she has benefited form her social identity. She explained that when she was in a group setting where people wanted diversity, they chose her because she was a minority. “Being Asian does not come with a lot of complications, people see you as being good and studious so there is never really anyone who is suspicious of what I’m doing” (Shera).

    I asked Shera if she has ever suffered from her social identity. “I feel like sometimes people see me as fascinating because I am different from them, I speak a different language and eat different foods” (Shera). She explained that when she was younger that she would get made fun of, and that people would call her names like “Chink” or “Kim Jung il”. Shera felt like people expected more of her because they believe in the sterotype that all Asians are smart and are good at math. I was then curious as to whether her social identity changed over the years. “I used to be ashamed of my nationality, I thought people saw me as being weird because I spoke another language” (Shera). Shera explained how she used to speak English to her parents in front of other people because she thought that they would see her as a freak if she spoke korean. It did not quite make sense becuase Shera knew that If she spoke in English to her parents that they would not understand her either way. Over the years Shera has come to accept that she is bilingual and eventually saw that it benefits her in more ways than ever. It seemed like the older Shera got the more accepting she became and the more accepting others seemed to be.

    It was interesting to wonder what people who don’t know her are surprised to learn about her. “They are surprised to learn that I am just like them, I have the same interests as them and I’m not that much different from them” (Shera). People are also always surprised that she can speak another language and are always asking her to teach them. She also believes that her insecurities have become her strength. My last question had to deal with how I would feel if I walked a mile in her shoes and what I think I would learn. I would learn that in her eyes she does not see herself as much as others see her. When she is walking around she feels as though she is not any different from others. Shera in fact loves playing games, hanging out with friends, and I eats’ all types of foods. Shera doesn’t think she lives up to the typical stereotype of a typical Asian, because in fact she is not that smart when it comes to math.

    Shera’s experience has to deal with identity contingencies, and what she had to deal with because she was Asian. She had to undergo people calling her names, and people assuming that just because she was Asian that she was supposed to be good at math. Shera was under a stereotype threat based on her nationality. At times it made her feel uncomfortable based on the comments that people made about her or the way people looked at her when it came to certain situations. People assume that Asians are smart based on how strict their parents are. Asian parents always want their children to excel and be the best that they can be. With this thought in mind this causes other people to see why most Asians tend to get good grades. People fail to realize that not everyone is the same and not every Asian is good at certain subject like people assume. When it comes to other races and stereotypes people don’t always fall into those specific categories because everyone is different and a stereotype should not define who a person really is.

  11. In today’s society, many people have become aware of their identity’s as well as the stereotypes that follow that identity. In attempt to see how strong a stereotype could affect someone, I interviewed a stranger. When I asked them how they could define their social identity, she replied back and said that she was Latina and Italian. She continued on to state that she believes that people see her as a Latina based off of her skin tone and body structure. However, not addressing if this was a good or bad thing, she then stated that people view her as a Lesbian because of her short hairstyle. Based off the response that she gave as well as the attitude, I could tell that she did not enjoy this type of stereotype because she in fact was not a Lesbian.
    She then continued on to state that even though she was very aware of the stereotypes attached to her race, certain stereotypes benefited her, such as being able to receive jobs much easier than others because she spoke two languages. I found this very interesting during the interview because as she was speaking, I didn’t stop to think whether or not she would really be able to benefit from her attached stereotypes.
    However, what really caught my attention was when I asked her if she had ever suffered from her social identity as she stated “Yes, I had a very racist teacher once in high school, who would fail me on every test I took because of my race. Every time I would try to privately talk to them about my grades, they would look at me with disgust and tell me to go back to my country and try going to school where I belonged.”
    I as the interviewer felt bad, why? Because I knew how that felt. Here I am listening to this girl and trying to get to know her, and I become more involved into her emotions than I planned. It hits home sometimes. In today’s society, people are highly aware of the stereotypes that are present, but the question is “What do they do to try and prevent it from happening?” I find it cruel and disgusting how comfortable America has become with the fact that people are being categorized and bullied because of their social identity, race, class, profession, gender, disorder, appearance etc. As a society, we need to put forth more effort in trying to eliminate stereotypes that discourage us and damage us.

  12. T’Azjsha Hart
    Dr. Geoffrey W. Gust
    FRST- 1002 Reading
    September 22, 2015

    The concept of the stereotypes threat is serious and people swear they know who and what another individuals are about because of the way they look, act or speak. Another barrier, includes the paradigms we come to the table with. Growing up around a certain race, believing in a certain belief, or as simple as learning how to do things in a certain way plays a very important and big role in judging someone. The fact of getting to know someone before you judge could really decrease stereotypes. Just believe someone looks, talk or acts differently then you does not mean they don’t belong. I interviewed an average Mexican that goes by the name of Juan.
    Before getting to know Juan, I honestly didn’t think differently of him. I was always told to never judge a books by its cover. I am a very open-minded person that welcomes people of all kind. I asked him, how does he define his own social identity? He replied, “I define my own social identity as a young Mexican male who is smart, outgoing and well-rounded.” Since I knew Juan personally, I knew stereotypes didn’t affect him as much as most. “Being Mexican I feel as though I am constantly being looked at differently. I feel as though I am seen as just another “illegal” immigrant. When in reality that is not the case” is how Juan believes he is seen through the eyes of others. Which, to be honest, I have heard that specific stereotype from others about Mexicans. The aspect of benefiting and suffering from his social identity, in his opinion does not compare. I asked him how he suffers from his social identity, he replies with, “Moving here from Mexico was hard because I could not understand the English language. I was constantly looked down on and people assumed I wasn’t intelligent. People also assumed I am not a good driver once I got my licenses because I was a Mexican.” I remember hearing my mom yelling in the car about another driver not driving right, and she assumed it is a Mexican. It is terrible that others truly have these certain stereotypes and not aware of how they affect them.
    People come from diverse backgrounds, and may have grew up around a different set of minorities. Those people may look at Mexicans through a different paradigm than those who are more social diverse. I believe that paradigms and assumptions all come from the framework people use to look at others in the world. Juan and I has similar and different paradigms. Some factors of similarities may include attending the same schools, and growing up in the same community. However, Juan speaks two languages, and I only know one. Also, Juan is from Mexico and I am from America. Juan stated, “When I was younger my social identity was not how it is today. I did not feel as smart as the other children in my classes due to my language barrier. I also didn’t have any Mexican friends so I felt alone. Now, I’m more advanced in my studies, I have realized that I am smarter then what other portrayed me as. My social Identity is not impacting my life as much as it did when I was a child.” I think Juan is a very strong human being, and it is very good that he does not let the words of others discourage him to be himself. To this day he still loves soccer and can drive, laughing out loud.
    Connecting to the experiments of Whistling Vivaldi, Juan was intimated by others when he was younger, due to the fact of English not being his first language. Claude Steele conducted am experiment involving women of the same math abilities take a test. Woman are stereotyped as being less intelligent then men, especially in math. As more and more men were asked to come on and take the test, the performance of the women tends to decrease. With the presents of English speaking students surrounding Juan, resulted in the deduction his academic performance; little do you know he was held back.
    After completing the interview, I asked Juan just one more question. I questioned, “After grasping your stereotype threat, do you still tend to feel the pressure of expectations from others? In other words, are you still effected by the stereotypes of others?” Juan hesitated, and responded by saying, “Even after dealing with the stereotype threats, I still tend to feel the pressure from others. The stereotypes will continue to exist no matter what, I can’t change the fact that I am a proud Mexican.” I honestly understand his power of drive and motivation. Everyone or every specific group has stereotype default. Even though the assumptions of other based off little knowledge is all they have, does not make the factors of assuming is right.

  13. Numerous social contingencies stem from the lack of perspective. To understand how stereotypes affect different people in terms of race, I interviewed a close friend, Youmin. Youmin is Korean and was born and raised in New Jersey but attends college in Korea. My goal was to further investigate the stereotypes and how assumptions are prevalent here in America and Korea. I called him while still in Korea to interview with him.
    He opened the interview by responding to my question when I asked how people see him without meeting him at first. He answered by saying people perceive him to be this intelligent Asian without meeting him. Knowing Youmin throughout high school, he has not exemplified himself as this genius Asian by any means. Although he maintains good grades, he is not considered an above average student like the other students would expect. However, he did say that most of the time, his peers at school always came to the conclusion his grades were above average at school and looked at him for help. Because so many people assumed this in high school classes, it did have its advantages he explained. From this experience, he gained power in his self-confidence. As a result of the assumption placed on Asians in an academic environment by his peers, it became a positive stereotype to some extent.
    Next, I further investigated the topic of homosexuality. Youmin is often perceived as gay by the way he dresses from those who don’t know him. He is very into fashion and can be described as clean looking. He goes on to state, “There is no definition stating that being gay is determined by the way you dress, so why do I get misunderstood?” In Korea, the fashion is much different than in America. It’s easier for him to dress like most of the guys in Korea because he identifies with more people because he looks physically similar to them. He feels there is not threat when he looks the same as the rest. He also responds by saying, “Men over there tend to dress more on the flamboyant side, it’s just how it is and it’s a different style than America completely.” Each time he comes back to America, the adjustment he tries to make to fit into the same fashion is always difficult. In addition, when he comes back home, he is looked down upon by other friends because he is being educated in Korea. Many Americans have an association with Korea that is negative due to the reputation of North Korea. He attends school in South Korea which is completely different than North Korea and is still judged. Finally, I asked the question if he had been ashamed of his identity at any given point. Abruptly, he commented saying, “No. This is who I am and if people cannot learn to accept this, then they have not fully dealt with their own stereotype.” His statement explained that he didn’t need to prove anything to anyone about who he is. If people want to judge him they can feel free to do so. He is aware that everyone at some point in their life becomes judged, therefore, he does not make pity for who he is.
    To end the interview, I made him aware that stereotypes were local. If they were local then there would be different stereotypes in Korea. I then asked him to explain some of those contingences he feels when he spends his time in Korea. He recalled the other day having a conversation with his friend who has never been to America. After mentioning that his friend in fact rarely sees Caucasians and made assumptions based on what media has told him, it brought to my attention of how unaware people are and how negative these stereotypes can be if they are not addressed. He describes the conversation with his friend as being absurdly offensive considering himself being American. At the end of the interview I reconciled my thoughts. I came to the conclusion that if everyone is more aware of the stereotypes around them, they can learn to ignore them and embrace the diversity. All of these contingencies are placed upon people because they confirm the belief they are existent.

  14. Alex Souvannavong
    9/24/15

    Not many people may notice it, but social identities are very often used to judge people. Whether we like it or not, that’s just the way it is. This is generally the same principal Claude Steele was trying to explain in Whistling Vivaldi. Judging by social identities and stereotypes instead of actually getting to know the person, you may not know what they’ve gone through or had to experience throughout their lives. To test this theory, I have interviewed my mom’s co-worker, Daquan, about his experiences with his social identities. Daquan is just an average black male who is an inner-city casino worker. Daquan told me a lot about how his social identity affected his life in a few ways. After he told me these things, I had to rethink about how major this problem is.

    I asked Daquan about how his social identity affected his life good or bad. He replied with stating that he’s had a few incidents. He began telling me about the time when he was called a couple of racist remarks by players at the casino. He explained that the customers at his blackjack table were very angry at him because they lost money on his game. The racist insults just flew out of their mouths and were directed to Daquan. Another incident wasn’t as straightforward as the last one. Daquan was never chosen to deal at the high-limit pits in the casino due to the fact that he was a black male. Daquan noticed a pattern that every one of his co-workers was picked multiple times but he was not even picked once. I find this hard to believe in this day and age this still exists. On the other hand, he did tell me about the time his social identity actually helped him out. Daquan said he learned that most from the people who were the worst to him. The most notable quote he said was that, “There is good and bad in all races. You shouldn’t dwell on the bad, but focus on the good.” Daquan has a positive outlook on these kinds of things and won’t let anything bring him down.

    Daquan has gone through many problems because of his social identity. All of these people try to judge each other from their social identity but these things may not even be true.
    I found it pretty surprising on what you could find out about Mr. Daquan when you get to know him. It turns out he was raised by a middle-class Asian-American family. If you were a person that did not know Daquan, you would have not guessed this fact about him. Social identities prevent you from thinking about these kind of things. He also went on telling me that he was a very shy person. I was also amazed by this because casino dealers are supposed to be very talkative and outgoing. Even though these things are uncommon to a normal person, Daquan tries to see the positive in things. He just sees these “flaws” as something that separates him from the other people.

    I’m starting to understand the kind of things Daquan had endured. Some of these people don’t know the problems he has gone through. If you were to walk a mile in Daquan’s shoes, you’d find a good amount of information. You will find out that Daquan as a regular black male who works in the casino as a dealer. He has problems like anyone else in his position. People are not that much different from each other. Social identities can really have a huge impact on society. Social identities are just assumptions that are almost always incorrect. It is wrong to judge somebody before you know them. Walk a mile in their shoes and then say what you want. Daquan has put aside his social identity and has moved forward all of his life. Our society needs to do the same as Daquan, move forward and leave the social identities and stereotypes behind.

  15. Social Identity- Unfortunately individuals are categorized within certain groups. How do they come up with these groups, well, it’s based on skin color, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc. I am a foreigner and that is my social identity, not being an American, I am just the guy with the accent. The benefits of being a foreigner is that sometimes I can pretend not to speak, or understand English. Unfortunately there is more disadvantages. For example, I am usually labeled as a Mexican because I speak Spanish, some Americans think I am illegal because I have an accent, and I am assumed to be from Latin America. In reality I am from Spain which is in Europe, and I was born in The U.S but moved out when I was a baby. When people learn that I am in fact from Europe they get socked by the news. People would definitely learn that I am not Latin-American and that I have goals in life, becoming a lawyer for example, if they walked a mile in my shoes. The only stereotype threat I’ve experienced is that due to the fact that I am a foreigner, I will perform really bad in standardized tests such as the SAT.

    Foreigners are not the only social identities in America. I interviewed a friend of mine named Katie and asked her what group does she belong to. Katie told me that she fits in three groups because she is a female, white, and gay. She feels that she has some advantages for being a female. People underestimate her strength, and don’t really know what she is actually capable of. She also thinks that she has more employment, and education opportunities for being white than other races. However she feels that some individuals just value her body and not her capability. She also feels labeled as racist for being white, and feels rejected by both the gay, and straight community because she labels herself as pansexual. Pansexual means that she would date anyone not based on biological sex, gender, or gender orientation. When she was a little girl she thought she was straight, however than changed as she got older. Often people don’t understand what the term “pansexual” means. Sometimes people even ask her if being pansexual means that she would also date an animal. These type of comments of course make her feel rejected by people. As a female she feels intimidated by men because they are physically stronger. She plans to major in computer science, however due to the fact that she is a female she is very nervous. She has to take several math courses, and she feels she won’t perform as well as males. Every individual is part of social group, and unfortunately every individual is stereotyped. This interviewed also proved what the author of “whistling Vivaldi” Claude M. Steele expresses through his book. Individuals that are that belong to these groups are affected in lot of different ways, they can be affected in English class for being labeled as a foreigner, or in math class for being a female. Stereotype threat is the cause of certain individuals underperforming in certain tests and subjects, and all due to the stereotype that they are part of. Individuals that have social identities also have a different way in seeing things. For example, as a foreigner I call Americans lazy because they don’t cook. However if you ask the same question to an American they would tell they just don’t have enough time which might be true. As a woman Katie regards men as scary and physically stronger because she grew up with that ideology. These are examples of paradigms, and how they are linked to social identity and stereotypes.

  16. Bailey Taylor
    Blog Post Written Response

    Judging a book by its cover is something all of us have done one time or another. We make assumptions about people that we have never met before. We think we have that person all figured out based upon their appearance when in fact we don’t. We all seem to forget that everyone is diverse and unique in their own ways. Not everyone is the same and until we all come to that realization there will forever be paradigms. If everyone was the same then this world be tasteless and unimaginative. So, I took it upon myself to interview Amanda, a so called “misfit” in today’s society.
    When I first met Amanda, I critiqued her based on her fiery red hair, piercings and dark apparel. She looked as if she were an “Emo” or a “Goth”. My take on Amanda was just like many of others people’s take on her as well. She seemed so dark and mysterious with an unwelcoming presence. So I began to inquire Amanda a few questions about her social identity. I asked her if people see her as the stereotypical “Goth?” She replied “yes, in fact a lot of people do. My close friends know me for me and don’t judge me by my appearance but the unfortunate part of it all is that my own parents even see me as that Gothic girl and they’re the ones who know me the best and it can be very frustrating at times”. This began to make me wonder that if her parents are so quick to judge her then the outsiders must be even more hard headed and judgmental.
    I asked Amanda if she felt that people are too quick to judge her based on her appearance and she quickly said “absolutely, everyone judges everyone but then everyone seems to forget that we are all different and express ourselves in different ways. Looks don’t always mean everything. I could be dressed the way I am now and be the smartest person you have ever come to meet but if I’m not dressed the part does that make me any less smart? No. So does dressing the way I do make me emo or gothic? No.”
    Lastly, I asked Amanda that if I walked a mile in her shoes what she thinks I would learn. She responded with “I think you would learn that being “different” or being dressed differently isn’t always the easiest especially when you have to face this on a daily basis. Even though people will judge you no matter what, they will judge you even harder for being you”. Although Amanda is faced with daily criticism she is very open minded and happy with the person she is and I don’t think she would change who she is or the way she dresses for anyone or anything because after all, it makes her the humble person she is. Every person has their own story and if you just your time to get to know them before jumping to conclusions you may actually be quite surprised with what you find out about them and what you learn about yourself.

  17. “I would define social identity as who you betray yourself to be, not necessarily the real you but who you let people see” said Steve. I was lucky to have a sit-down interview with one of my good friends, Steve, who is a 37-year-old African-American male who is involved with pretty much everything. He works as an EMT for Galloway Township and a youth group leader at Beacon Evangelical Free Church. Just like everyone he has his own social identity, which in his eyes his social identity is portrayed differently throughout each individual social circles. He has four social crowds, beginning with his Facebook friends who know him as an outgoing, fun loving human but doesn’t sweat the small things type of guy. Steve’s second group includes his work colleagues, who know him as “the guy with all the answers.” His third major group comprises of his church family, which he feels the most like himself there, mainly because of how open and accepting everyone is. Lastly, he has his blood family, who no matter what he portrays to them, they know the real him.

    Steve is involved in pretty much everything he can be in and is the top dog in each of his circles. With being such a great role model and so involved, Steve has a lot of stereotypical threats. When people look at Steve, people tend to think he has a lot of experience. He jokingly said “It’s because of the glasses, I’ll be honest.” Steve is a well-rounded father who everyone looks to for advice and answers. Every day he feels the pressure of being an intellectual young African-American working hard to find the right answers at work and providing for his family. This affects him greatly when he is preforming a job at work. He tends to do more work than needs to be done and does it precisely. Just like the stereotypical threats, Steve feels pressure in his party circle. His party friends only see him as a good person for taking shots and generally only call him on Saturday nights. The pressure he feels is to exceed their expectations of being a good friend by partying twice as hard even when he doesn’t want to.

    Never would I have thought when I first met Steve that he would be so involved and outgoing. By this I mean, my first impressions was exemplified as him being a geek who has glasses and kept to himself, mainly due to the stereotypical idea of a geek that society has implanted in me. As I grew to know and love Steve I found out so much more. His outer shell of looking like a shy innocent guy is the complete opposite of who he truly is. He’s an outgoing, wanting-to-please, caring, partying type of guy. He is a great example for when someone wrongly makes assumptions of a person. After interviewing Steve and learning more about his identity, it really made me really contemplate how I create stereotypes and assumptions. If right away I give someone a label, which humans are program to do, I am already limiting my chances of connecting with this person on a whole different level. If I assume, I’m making a fool out of you and me. No one likes to have limits, especially when things aren’t true.

    No one wants to be labeled or feel threatened. We all have our own obstacles we have to overcome whether that be being a girl, being young, rich, foreign, or disabled, we all have disadvantages and advantages in our lives. We’ve all been through things that shapes our identity as well. Steve went through a couple huge events in his life, such as when he was eight years old his mother and father we’re in a heated debate, when his father lifted his mother from the neck off the ground. Little Steve had to break it up with his baseball bat from that day forward Steve became protective and searching for a father figure in his life. This was a huge event that impacted his identity. Along with small things, such as being in a lot of clubs in high school contributed to his identity as well, which encouraged him to learn about blending in. That goes for every little thing that happens in your life that is leading you up to who you are meant to be. Every club you were in, every fight started, and every lost friend contributes to shaping your identity that no one can take away from you. Although people want to label you and put a stereotypical threat on you, at the end the day everyone is different and exactly who they need to be. We should allow every new person we meet a thriving chance to be the person who they want to be.

  18. I had the pleasure to interview one of my friend’s roommate Alexis. I met her once briefly and one of the most interesting facts about her was that she moved to New Jersey from Ecuador about two years ago. I immediately knew that she was the perfect candidate for this unique interview. I came from a completely different world from Alexis and I knew that I could definitely learn something new.
    To start off the brief interview I introduced her to my project and started the questions right away. Immediately when I asked her to identify her social identity she responded with “I’m Hispanic. I have the basic traits of being Hispanic, and when people see me they will automatically think I’m Hispanic.” I thought this statement was quite interesting since she yielded towards her race vividly. She kept saying “I’m Hispanic” in her response to this question, and it made me think she was affected by the “stereotype threat” that Vildaldi discussed. She feels as if people assume that she is Hispanic, without even knowing someone’s assumption of her identity. Past experiences and cultural affects have shaped her to think this sort of way.
    Alexis was a part of the bilingual student program for the first year of high school when she moved to America. I asked her how the change affected her emotionally, and she replied with “It was very different because I would be with people like me in Ecuador. When I first came here I didn’t know the language. People who spoke English didn’t want to join the bilingual students or talk to us.” I never felt out of place before in my high school because I grew up with kids I knew all of my life. They sort of learned to accept my differences and never questioned them. Although I am Hispanic I don’t think I’ve ever felt the way Alexis has.
    Alexis shared with me that most people assume that her mom isn’t educated in the English language since she has a thick accent. And they are wrong. Alexis stated, “When you listen to my mom it sounds like she doesn’t know English. But she basically reads full books in English.” This shapes an assumption as well, since most people would primarily assume that. Alexis explained that her mother has a thick accent that also was controlled by the stereotype threat.
    She believes that people in America are becoming more accepting to people discovering themselves from a different country. Alexis stated, “The counselors would help us and they would work for us. They use to help us with college applications because that was what we most struggled with.” She attended school in Newark NJ, and was awarded a great scholarship to attend Stockton University. If more programs are like her high school, more bilingual students will have the chance to succeed in America, and live a privileged life just like the rest of us.

  19. I had the pleasure to interview one of my friend’s roommate Alexis. I met her once briefly and one of the most interesting facts about her was that she moved to New Jersey from Ecuador about two years ago. I immediately knew that she was the perfect candidate for this unique interview. I came from a completely different world from Alexis and I knew that I could definitely learn something new.

    To start off the brief interview I introduced her to my project and started the questions right away. Immediately when I asked her to identify her social identity she responded with “I’m Hispanic. I have the basic traits of being Hispanic, and when people see me they will automatically think I’m Hispanic.” I thought this statement was quite interesting since she yielded towards her race vividly. She kept saying “I’m Hispanic” in her response to this question, and it made me think she was affected by the “stereotype threat” that Vildaldi discussed. She feels as if people assume that she is Hispanic, without even knowing someone’s assumption of her identity. Past experiences and cultural affects have shaped her to think this sort of way.

    Alexis was a part of the bilingual student program for the first year of high school when she moved to America. I asked her how the change affected her emotionally, and she replied with “It was very different because I would be with people like me in Ecuador. When I first came here I didn’t know the language. People who spoke English didn’t want to join the bilingual students or talk to us.” I never felt out of place before in my high school because I grew up with kids I knew all of my life. They sort of learned to accept my differences and never questioned them. Although I am Hispanic I don’t think I’ve ever felt the way Alexis has.

    Alexis shared with me that most people assume that her mom isn’t educated in the English language since she has a thick accent. And they are wrong. Alexis stated, “When you listen to my mom it sounds like she doesn’t know English. But she basically reads full books in English.” This shapes an assumption as well, since most people would primarily assume that. Alexis explained that her mother has a thick accent that also was controlled by the stereotype threat.

    She believes that people in America are becoming more accepting to people discovering themselves from a different country. Alexis stated, “The counselors would help us and they would work for us. They use to help us with college applications because that was what we most struggled with.” She attended school in Newark NJ, and was awarded a great scholarship to attend Stockton University. If more programs are like her high school, more bilingual students will have the chance to succeed in America, and live a privileged life just like the rest of us.

  20. Carly Shaup

    Everyone has a different social identity and everyone should be accepted for who they are. But that’s not the case, in Claude Steele’s “Whistling Vivaldi” he explains how social identity and stereotype threats play a role in people’s daily lives. On the cover of his book there are 9 different identities and they aren’t the only ones. I got the chance to talk to Evan who is gay. He identifies himself as more of a stereotypical gay, but isn’t going to break out in song and dance. People look at him as “the gay kid” but there is so much more to him he kind and caring but sometimes sassy and people would know that if they spent the time to get to know him.
    Evan and I talked about how he benefits from his social identity and he feels he does in many ways. Being open and accepting himself made him lifelong friends that he beyond grateful for. He also feels being open makes it easier for others, they aren’t questioning him or his social identity because he makes it clear. It’s the part after they find out who he is that he can’t control and doesn’t want to. He is who he is, and no one should ever change over someone else passing judgment or stereotyping them. We are all different in many ways so therefore we should all accept one another because you are never going to find someone for exactly like you.
    Being judged for social identity causes people lots of pain. Evan has suffered a lot because of people jumping to conclusions Looking at him people would mutter insulting comments such as “faggot” or “queer” because immediately they labeled him. They see him and automatically think the sassy, over the top, dramatic gay kid. Which isn’t fair for anyone because you don’t know enough about him to pass any judgment. Taking one look at him they see his social identity and think that’s all that there is to him which is not the case. People find it so easy to jump to conclusions about people without even knowing one thing about them and that’s not ok. People shouldn’t have to live their lives in fear that they are “proving” their stereotype right, we should all be able to live our lives the way we are.
    Evan said if you want to walk a mile in my shoes you would realize that you cannot go about life worrying about what everyone thinks about you. You have to get over the fact that not everyone is going to accept you or like you but that can’t stop you from living your life and being happy. Just because there are people out there who aren’t going to accept you that doesn’t mean you’re not going to find people out there who love you with all their heart and soul. Evan makes a good point, stereotypes are going to follow us around for the rest of our lives but that can’t stop us from being who we truly are.

  21. Your social experiences can easily shape your outlook on life. Paradigms in your life such as your religion, race, family, interests, and even politics can influence how you look at different situations. For example, if you come from a Christian background, you may look to God as a solution to your problems, and you will look at situations from more of a religious standpoint. The lens that you look at the world through will be different compared to someone who isn’t religious, or someone who comes from another religious background, such as Hinduism or Judaism. Paradigms play an extreme role in everyone’s lives, and sometimes people can allow their own paradigms to stereotype and judge others. Everyone’s social experiences and identities can be different, and if we get to know one another, we can get a better understanding of each other as individuals and eliminate the threats that hover over our heads.
    The book “Whistling Vivaldi” by Claude M. Steele highlights social identities, and how people can be affected by them. I interviewed a student at Stockton University named Lauren, and we discussed her social identity and her social experience. Lauren considers herself to be Caucasian, Christian, blonde, in the middle class, and dyslexic. Each of those descriptions can cause her to be stereotyped, and ultimately outline her social experience. A question that I asked Lauren involved whether she thought that her social class determined her future. She replied by saying, “It definitely plays a role in whether things come easily or difficultly. But I believe everyone has the opportunity to be successful in their lifetime.” By Lauren growing up in a middle class family, it taught her that people can find success despite their social class, and it’s all about what you make it. Another question that I asked Lauren dealt with growing up dyslexic. Lauren described a time in eighth grade when being dyslexic really affected her. Lauren said, “This person that I used to be very good friends with in eighth grade knew all about it [her being dyslexic] and she knew that I worked really hard in each class because I wanted to be that A student. The next year she wasn’t really my friend and she actually started spreading rumors about me being dyslexic and how it’s easier for me, but she knew that I had to work twice as hard.” Lauren’s social identity, concerning being dyslexic, affected her and how her old friend viewed her.
    Interviewing Lauren allowed me to get a better understanding of her social experience, and how it has affected her throughout her life. Lauren will go on in her life to be stereotyped based on her being Caucasian, Christian, blonde, in the middle class, and dyslexic, and it is possible for them to become threats to Lauren, and her ability to be the best that she can be.
    In conclusion, your social experiences and paradigms can sculpt how you view situations, and your social identity can sculpt how you are viewed in other people’s eyes. People shouldn’t allow their paradigms to cause them to stereotype and judge others because that can threaten the improvement of others. Everyone’s identities can vary, and understanding one another can help us grow together.

  22. When we received this assignment I had already knew in the back of my mind of whom I would interview. It’s my sister’s best friend Joe. Joe is like a brother to me. He watched me grow up and I seen where he came from. Joe grew up in a religious house. His grandmother got him into church. He evens sings for the choir. Now Joe is 2 years older then I. When I was in 8th grade people began to ask me this same question “ Is Joe gay?” I would always say to people I’m not sure why don’t you ask him. I always knew what Joe was, but it’s the fact the way people would come off about it, that I knew he would be judged. Joe is an African American male. I knew that growing up as a Christian that his church wouldn’t think that was right. That he liked the same sex, but I sat back and thought about it. Who are you to judge someone for the person they like. It didn’t bother me one bit that Joe was gay. What did bother me was the fact that he couldn’t express himself because he would be stereotyped just because of who he was and what he liked.
    Joe went through high school being harassed and being called gay. He did nothing about it. Instead he showed them that nothing they said would bring him down. Joe wanted to prove that being gay is okay; it’s your social identity. Its what makes everyone unique. I asked Joe “tell me some things that got you through this, like who or what so to speak’’. He responded with my sister. They have been friends since 3rd grade and they are still friends till this day. I continued to ask why, to elaborate on that. He basically said she understood me and didn’t judge me for who I am. She told me that who cares what anybody will think of you. Just be happy with yourself and everything else will be okay. That really stuck to him because that was his best friend and she didn’t care what he liked. Come to find out my sister also came out the closet about a year later. That’s partially why I think my sister understood him and helped him through it because they were just the same.
    After everyone found out that Joe was gay and that my sister was gay. Then I began to be questioned like “ well since all the people you know are gay will you turn gay too”. I felt super offended by that. They basically said I’m guilty by association. They were stereotyping me because I was friends with someone gay. Like how does their gayness affect me? I have no control over their social identity and I’m glad that they didn’t change because the world doesn’t see it as right. Who are we to say that how they think is wrong. We don’t have that right.
    I want to tell my little story of my own personal account of being stereotyped, when I was with Joe. We had just showered and put on our pj’s and my mom wanted something from the store. Joe and I volunteered to go get it for her. So Joe drives to Family Dollar. We get there and get the stuff my mom needed and go to check out. Mind you Joe and I are ready for bed. We have on sweatpants and a t-shirt. The guy rings us up and tells us the total. I’m going to grab my form of payment and he automatically says are you using EBT. I was completely in awl. I looked at Joe like I can’t believe he just said that. He just full on stereotyped us because of what we looked like in terms of clothes. The other reason was because we were black. I told the man no I will be using my debit card and swiped it and left the store as quickly as possible.
    Joe is now continuing his schooling to become a teacher. Right now he does the after school program at our local YMCA. He also works there during open hours and with the kids after school. He is applying to become an aide at local schools in our area to get experience before he becomes a real teacher. I look up to Joe because he strives to still be the best despite all his negative pressures. He puts all his other worries aside and focuses on what’s important. I can definitely respect Joe and I give him props for being him.
    Stereotyping is becoming more of an epidemic. I think that there needs to be an end to this. You can’t go to the grocery store without walking in there and being put into categories. I am who I am. I am a woman that is both white and African American descent. I grew up with morals that I value each and every day. I strive to be the best me, that I can be. I think that my social identity is very important to me because without that who am I. I learned a lot from Joe’s personal experience and I hope that with this our generation can start to change the way we see things and put an end to these stereotypes. Just because people are different doesn’t mean that they don’t belong. The next time you stereotype someone think about how you’re the same don’t think about how you’re different.

  23. Viv is a long-time friend of mine, we have known each other since we were in elementary school. Viv’s social identity is a teenage Vietnamese girl. She was born in America, and learned English well by the time she was in second grade. Being of Asian descent she has faced different stereotypes revolving around her ability in math and science, her being a girl, and her cultural knowledge.
    Even though she is a girl, she has never had to prove her ability in math because everyone just assumed that she was good at it since she is Asian. People have also thought she was smart and did well in math and science courses, she didn’t do badly in these classes but she was better at reading and writing. Which surprises people if they didn’t know her before. Her guidance counselor and her teachers would tell her to pursue harder math and science courses even though she would have a hard time keeping up with them and as a result she would receive worse grades. She also didn’t like anything to do with health care. She would get creeped out by any mention of blood. Instead of a doctor, physician, or lawyer she wants to bake pastries. Her dream is to own a bakery and sell cupcakes.
    Besides making a fantastic cupcake, Viv is a Vietnamese girl. A stereotype that Asian girls face is that they are short, petite, and thin. She doesn’t fit into those boxes. She is tall and a bit heavier. Viv thinks that the first thing that people notice about her is her weight because she doesn’t fit into the box of the Asian female norm.
    Because she is an Asian female she is able to talk about different Asian cultures and not be questioned. Even though she is Vietnamese and she is from America she can say anything about Japan or Korea and she will most likely not be discredited. Which she loves to do. She loves talking about Anime and Japanese culture. But if a white person were to talk about japan they would be looked at as weird and strange. People always think that she knows what she is talking about.
    Is it safe to “think” something about someone before you know them? To guess things about their lives and where they will go in them? Probably not. Assumptions about people create uncomfortable situations in which someone may be insulted and another person may be confused.

  24. Juliana Vernacchio

    In many ways people let stereotypes shape who they are. Claude M. Steele the author of “Whistling Vivaldi” has proven this to be true. In many of his experiments we see that stereotypes that are said to an individual affects the way they act in a specific task. Stereotypes are many times proven wrong. Breaking the norms of society is something that many people in this generation are facing.

    For this assignment I decided to interview a girl that lives on my floor. Ms. Fernandez is one hundred percent Asian. Being Asian she says there are plenty of stereotypes that she has faced over the years. As our interview went on I learned many different things about Ms. Fernandez more than I thought I would have. Many have to do with her identity, and how she looks at stereotypes. One thing that she has benefited from because of her social identity would be college. She said because she is a minority she has had a bigger chance of getting accepted into colleges. A question that I had asked to counter this was “How have you suffered from your social identity?” Ms. Fernandez answered with “People always make fun of me because of my eyes, and they automatically expect me to be smart. Both of my parents were not born here in the United States so people expect me to speak two different languages fluently. People also assume that I eat all of my food with chopsticks.” She says that she can understand Tagalog but she cannot speak it, and she does not even know how to use chopsticks. “There are two sides of the stereotype” she says. “No one should have to live by their stereotype you have the power to prove people wrong. “Nothing is set and stone.”

    “You can prove stereotypes wrong!” says Fernandez. An example of this is when I asked her “What are people most surprised to learn about you?” She had answered my question with “I like rap and hip-hop.” After she had answered with this I was quite confused as to why this was the most surprising thing about her. She simply explained to me that people would think she listens ‘oriental music.’ She had said to me that it just fits the stereotype. She finishes with “Sometimes stereotypes are not all that bad. Some make people think that you are automatically smart. But they can also sometimes give you a laugh.” I do agree with this statement because we should make light of some situations.

    Many people struggle with stereotypes but you can break them. Fernandez left me with “People just need to be comfortable with who they are, and be you. Do not let stereotypes make you who you are. You cannot be afraid of who is watching.” She I feel is a perfect example of living her life and not caring what others think about her. In a way I feel stereotypes have made her stronger as an individual. You just cannot crack under a stereotype. Sometimes the only thing you can do is just to shake them off. One quote that I feel is a perfect way to look at this whole situation is “I have no need to conform to the stereotypes others have defined for me.” (Jonathan Lockwood Huie.) I feel Ms. Fernandez was the perfect candidate to interview for this topic. I feel this way because she is very confident, and comfortable in her own skin. She does not let others define who she is as a person. Even with assumptions being made you just need to be true to yourself.

  25. Kellie Underwood
    Dr. Gust
    FRST 1002- Readings
    Blog Post
    “Oh, he’s tall. He must be really good at basketball.” “She’s white. I bet she loves star bucks.” “They’re black. Probably in a gang.” “Nobody could pass this test- unless you’re Asian.” “He can’t play football with us, he’s too gay”. We have all heard these types of comments sometime or another- whether about us or about someone else. Stereotyping, or judging somebody based off of their social identity, has been an issue since America was first founded. Just because you are different than someone else, does not mean you should be treated any differently. In this assignment, our class was told to interview someone who has a different social identity than our own. For this, I interviewed a very close friend of mine, Mariah.
    Mariah and I grew up together. We met in our catholic school, in about third grade. When I met Mariah, we instantly became inseparable. We were always together. Because of this, I was also very close with her family. Mariah had a black father, and a white mother. I witnessed firsthand some of the hardships that this caused for not only Mariah, but for her whole family. Some of her family members did not approve, even some of our teachers in school treated Mariah poorly due to the fact she was interracial. From a young age this taught both of us that the world is not always fair, and that stereotyping was such a sad reality. About a year ago, Mariah then came out as a lesbian. Yes, it was a shock for even me, her best friend, never once did I judge her. Neither did her parents. We continue to love and support her, and treat her no differently than we did two years ago. However, not everyone feels the same way.
    Many of her other close friends left her side during this very new time in her life. She has to face obstacles every day due to the judgments and assumptions that go along with her social identity. When interviewing Mariah, my first question was simply “How do you define your social identity?” and she stated “my social identity is honestly just human. I am a human just like you and that is all that should matter…I am a lesbian interracial human, but the first two adjectives should be irrelevant.”. With that answer, I think it says so much right off the bat about her strength and her thoughts on the topic. My next question was “was it hard to overcome your differences with others, and how did you cope with any troubles?”. She explained that it was hard for her to face the crowd, but she talked to others who could relate to her situation and found comfort and bravery through those who went through her same struggles. She also mentioned that having a great support group behind her helped remember what is really important in life. With my follow up questions being “is there anything you would change about either your own choices, or other people’s choices? And can you give advice to those in your shoes?”, Mariah went on about that she knows it is a natural thing for people to judge. Even she judges others sometimes. With that said, she does not think it’s natural to mistreat someone based off of those judgments. “Judge all you want!” she proclaimed, “but judge in your own head. Don’t push judgments onto others. And do not ever, treat anyone other than a human just because you judge differently than them.” And I agree with her. I believe she is very knowledgeable about this.
    Finally, her advice to others is to be whoever you want to be, do your thing, be safe and be happy. If people love you they will come around, even if it is hard for them, just remember you can’t always change people’s minds. Everyone was brought up differently, and went through different things which altimetry makes them think different and have other morals. Don’t take it to heart if you don’t fit that criteria. Mariah has brought up excellent points during this interview, and hopes that she can help as many people as she can love themselves throughout her life.

  26. There are so many different people in this world along with many different paradigms. Assumptions get made often due to what we are not used to. It’s what we as humans do. People have a tendency to assume certain things when we are not used to seeing what we know. People are too quick to judge whether it is due to someone else’s religion, race, sexuality, etc. Unfortunately that is how we are as humans. We judge, we assume, and we categorize people. It isn’t right but it is something we all do. I’ve been judged before just like the rest of the world has. But I’ve never experienced it from another point of view, say through another culture. This is where I bring in Nagla, a woman with a very different social identity than myself.

    I remember the first time I met Nagla. She is a good friend of my cousins. When I first saw her, I knew she was very different from me and the rest of my family. Did we judge her? Maybe just a little bit. Doesn’t make us inconsiderate and it doesn’t mean we don’t have the most upright respect for her. Nagla is a Muslim American woman. When I first saw Nagla, I assumed a lot of things. Because of her apparel, I assumed she was a terrorist, which she confirmed that she has been called that before. That has been an assumption towards her. Everywhere she goes, attention is drawn to her. People are always staring at her because she looks different and dresses different than the rest of us. She says the stares are curious and nasty. Just like me, I’m sure people assumed she was a terrorist due to her hijab. Nagla explained how she has always been a self-conscious girl. The stares and ridiculing didn’t necessarily help her, but it didn’t take her away from her religion. Staring isn’t the only dilemma. Nagla attended Rutgers University. At Rutgers, there are buses that take you from campus to campus. One day, she stepped on the bus like any normal individual would and took a seat next to an American man. As soon as she sat down, he looked at her and got up to change his seat. The man probably assumed she was a terrorist and felt uncomfortable having a woman with a hijab on sitting right next to him. Like I had said earlier, Nagla is good friends with my older cousin Nikki. They are both teachers and love to travel around the world. Whenever they look into a new location for adventures, Nagla has to be careful for where they’re going because certain countries could be extremely dangerous for her to enter due to her relgion. She said to me, “everyday is a new potential struggle”.

    I asked Nagla how her identity has changed over the years. She responded, “my identity changed dramatically over my life. I always knew I was different from my peers. I didn’t grow up around any Muslim people but I always defined myself as Muslim regardless. It was a huge change having my [big] hair always out to never being shown. It was a way people identified me. I’ve struggled with my identity basically my entire life until I started wearing hijab. It gave me an opportunity to have a solid identity that I’ve never really had before. I didn’t really know where I belonged and didn’t feel like I fit in. I mean I still feel that way sometimes as does the rest of the world every here and there. As I grew up, I started to figure myself out and who I am. My religion has a lot to do with who I am. I’m also a teacher and I am very passionate when it comes to that. Today I see myself as a Muslim, Egyptian, American woman”. We all struggle with finding ourselves in this world and why we were meant to be here.

    Lastly, I asked Nagla, “what are people surprised about when they learn more about you?”. There are many surprises that I thought were really interesting. She was born and raised in America and has no accent. Everyone who meets her assumes she is not from here and assumes she doesn’t speak English. She is also very straightforward and outgoing. She isn’t quiet. She Is outspoken. People are surprised by that because it is a known stereotype for Muslim woman to follow men and just stay behind and be quiet. Nagla is a teacher and coach’s volleyball at her school. Many are surprised that a Muslim woman wearing a hijab is teaching and coaching at a public school. She is athletic and when she runs, people stare and some have come up to her saying it is shocking that she is athletic. All of the “normal” and daily routines are normal for her and people are surprised by that. Interviewing Nagla was an awesome opportunity considering I have known her for a few years now and never really gotten a chance to know all about her. Even though her social identity is very different, she is very similar to any girl.

  27. Ray Hughes
    Why do people stereotype? What is the point? How would it make you feel if someone was singling you out because of the color of your skin, your religion, or your race? It’s nothing that you can help, so why stereotype and be racist? The person that I have interviewed for my project is my friend Justice. He is an African American, and you will be surprised with some of the stuff that he has been through.
    All throughout high school, Justice felt that he was always left out because he was black. When he told me that, I asked him what he thought about his social identity, and he said that he was just like everyone else(because he is). He felt like he was left out because he was in a predominantly white school, and he was one of the only African Americans in the school. During the interview he describes his life as a rough one. I asked him why, and he said “people always treated me differently when I tried to fit in, and I never bothered anyone I was just trying to get through school.”
    When Justice graduates from Stockton, he wants to be in the criminal justice field. In society today, there are always people that are trying to make cops look bad, even if they are just doing their job. If he makes one mistake in the field he feels he may get into trouble, but the thing is no one should feel like that. Weather you’re white or you’re black, you shouldn’t feel like everyone is watching you if you are just doing your job.
    Doing this interview with him really made me realize what discrimination, and racism is like. It just backs up what Steele is talking about in his book “Whistling Vivaldi.” I have come to become great friends with Justice. If people got to know one another before stereotyping them because there black, white, Asian, tall, or etc. this world would be such better place to live in, and it would make everyone feel wanted

  28. “As members of society we have a pretty good idea of what other members of society think about a lot of things” (pg. 5 Steele) including athletes. Being an athlete, many people look up to my friend Justin. There are many expectations towards his athletic performance and many negative stereotypes that are made against athletes that he needs to deal with on a daily basis.
    Walking a mile in Justin’s shoes would teach me a lot about his athletic life. Justin believes that I would learn what motivation is and the meaning of hard work and sacrifice. He also stated that “when something is tough, accomplishing it is the ultimate feeling of hard work and dedication.” While interviewing him, he had mentioned that being white had put a lot of stress on him while performing in baseball. The story of Whistling Vivaldi, by Claude M. Steele, discusses a stereotype against white people during sports. It says how they often do worse at the activity when they know they are being judged on their athletic ability. This negative stereotype proves to be true in Justin’s baseball career.
    Next, I had asked Justin if he ever puts pressure on himself in order to perform to his best ability. He responded “all the time.” Justin had told me how the most important thing he can do while playing baseball is to give himself high expectations and to work his hardest during the game in order to achieve the apex of his athletic abilities. He also shared with me that he puts pressure on himself to help reduce the stereotypes he faces in his life. He wants to prove to others that these stereotypes can be overcome if one tries hard enough. In Whistling Vivaldi, Steele states how threats “can be a tenacious force in our lives” (pg. 11 Steele).
    Negative stereotypes about sports cause a lot of stress for athletes. They are unwanted assumptions that most athletes want to prove false. “The contingencies [athletes] faced were threats in the air” (pg. 11 Steele). There are many ways that one can deal with this type of stress. For Justin, he finds it the easiest to simply surround himself with loved ones and close friends. He likes to realize the “end all be all” is not the type of sport he plays but the people that he loves.
    Justin is a big guy and seems scary to people when they first meet him. But in reality, he is the complete opposite. He is an extremely kind and compassionate person on the inside. He is very intelligent inside and outside the classroom. Justin also loves animals and currently owns three pets. Most people would not normally think of him as a baseball player.

  29. I did an interview on my friend who you might consider a typical “white girl”. We’ll call her G. She was born into a middle class family that never really had a problem with providing for her and her brother. She was exposed to all sorts of identities throughout her child hood. We went to high school together and that’s where we became friends. She was busy with school and work so we did our interview through skype. It went like this.
    One of the first questions I asked was “How have you benefitted from your social identity?” and she could not come up with a single answer and I was honestly stunned. Being that our social identities are so different that I could point out some ways that she benefited just being a white person. Maybe not as much because she’s a woman but just her skin color gives her a huge advantage over someone like me. That got me thinking, do we chose to ignore the benefits that we reap from our identities? Or do we honestly not notice them? As I thought about this I started to explain that even though she can’t think off hand that she does benefit more than I would. She immediately denied my claim. I then asked “Well how many ticket have you gotten out of?” She thought about it for a while and answered a couple. I tried to make her look from a different point and asked if she was a black women would the outcome have been then same. I explain that her skin was almost sometimes a get out of jail free card. Black Americans and White Americans are treated differently in this country based off of the stereotypes that are put on each race. She still couldn’t see it so we moved on to the next question.
    “What are people who don’t know you surprised to learn about you?” I proceeded to ask her. She said “If anything it would be my taste in music” This answer was unclear to me so I asked her to explain what she meant. She said that people look at her but expect her to be into like Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift but she shocked that she’s heavily into what we call “screamo”. I could see how that would take some people back. Here you have this seemingly sweet girl that listens to screamo. So there is an appearance that she have that doesn’t directly associate with that style of music. When you think of the people that are associated with screamo, you have the idea of a kid with spiked hair, dark makeup, and shops at hot topic. But G on the other hand is completely opposite. She’s girly and tends to wear a lot of Hello Kitty. I asked her does she feel like she’s pressured to take on the lifestyle that’s surrounded with that style of music and she said no. I guess that stereotype threats effect everyone differently.
    Overall I would say that this interview was a bit of a success. I didn’t really get much out of her but from the information that I did get, I could see that everyone is aware of a certain stereotype that is placed upon them. You are always going to have things assumed about you just because of who you are. What you do with them and if you conform to them is what matters. You don’t have to try and debunk every stereotype about you, just be you and don’t let them worry you.

  30. I was very interested when I learned that my roommate’s background is so different from mine. Maria’s family come from Peru. However, she was raised in a town near Stockton. I went to school where there are not many people from other countries. In fact, the minority groups were small altogether. So, learning about Maria and her background has been very interesting and an overall learning experience.

    The interview helped me to see things in different ways. For example, in the interview, Maria and I had a conversation about high school. When I asked about her friend group, she replied with, “Most of my friends are Asian.” She loves her friends very much, and feels that she fits in very well with her friend group. She continued to talk about how there were a lot of minorities in her high school. To her, it was not unusual to have such a diverse class. Maria felt that she was able to learn about other cultures through her classmates, as well as her classmates learning a bit of her cultural background.

    A major benefit for Maria is being able to speak Spanish. Her family all speak Spanish to her when she is at home, when she is on the phone with them, or when ever they speak in general. That is how they communicate. She has felt awkward at times when others heard her speaking to her parents in Spanish. She has felt her peers talk behind her back due to the language. But she is now comfortable with it. Another huge part of Maria’s life is something that not everyone would know just by meeting her. Maria’s job is a huge part of her life. She graduated high school in 2014, and then continued her life by joining the United States of America’s Air Force. She is still active with her job. She has to go to work some weekends, and on her days off of classes. She feels like she fits in well, and she has made many friends.

    Overall, I learned so much about people having different identities. People all have different backgrounds, and have felt “put down” because of them at some point in their lives. Maria is able to love her life and her background. Yes, there has been times when it was tough, but Maria was able to overcome these times. She feels that if someone were to walk a mile in her shoes, that they would see that someone’s identity can be the best part of them.

  31. Most of my friends are of the same ethnicity as I am. This isn’t because I’m racist, it’s just simply because those are the people I have known and grown comfortable with starting from when I was young. Since most of my friends that I text on a day to say basis aren’t extremely different from me, some come from a different social upbringing. In school I was sort of the person who knew everyone that was semi-involved in school. I wasn’t a part of any major academic clubs and I went to parties quite a lot. My friend Kayla, on the other hand, wasn’t much like me in high school.
    Kayla is a very intelligent girl. Kayla was in marching band and was the girl to get straight A’s on almost every test. People typically saw Kayla as a nerd. People weren’t always nice, but she had amazing friends who made up for the jerks that would try to make snide remarks. Kayla generally liked high school, except the people who tried to make it hell for her. Kayla was sometimes called overweight as well as being made fun of for her intelligence.
    “Those people didn’t really get me down, though. They were immature and clearly only made fun of me because those the people in my class that were failing.” Kayla suffered from depression. Although she claims the depression is from not being okay with her self image, maybe it’s those kind of people that lowered her confidence in the first place. “When you act like yourself on a day to day basis and suddenly someone questions it, it’s very hard to not question too. You start questioning yourself and second guessing if you fit in. You are so used to being you, that when you realize not everyone does the same things as you and condemn you for it..you start condemning yourself too.”
    Her social identity has benefitted her because she can get along very well with adults. Kayla is very fluent in “adult talk”. She can go to any parent or professor and kindly have a conversation. This mostly comes from how she was taught to be polite around her elders, but also because she is intelligent enough to carry the conversation beyond a, “Hi, how are you?”. Kayla has been the same person for as long as I’ve known her, the only thing she has shaped are her beliefs. Kayla is an active feminist and tries to be as active as possible in politics. She is a great person that usually I wouldn’t typically hang around with. She is so much more than books and trivia knowledge, one day people will realize that and if they don’t maybe they don’t deserve to know her at all.

  32. Ann Gbayee
    Social Identity Interview
    September 25, 2015

    A Brief Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes

    Social identity shapes our judgement of others. The stereotypes that are associated with our identities are inescapable and Claude Steele’s studies have shown that stereotypes affect us enormously. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mrs. G who has one social identity that many of us have not experienced. This identity is being foreign. Moving away from your home and becoming a part of a new culture is something that most of us cannot identify with which is why I decided to interview her. Mrs. G is from West Africa, Liberia. She came to America in the early 1990s and these are her experiences.
    Mrs. G has lived and been a part of our culture for over 20 years now. She has worked amongst many different people of backgrounds different than her own. “Do you feel more comfortable with your identity in the US now than you did over 20 years ago?” Mrs. G: “20 years ago, it was very frightening being who I am and coming to America; but I learned fast, applied myself, and worked very hard to be where I am today”. Mrs. G explained that being foreign comes with stereotypes that are unavoidable. When she first joined her workforce, people did not take her seriously because of her thick accent and lack of education. “I do not allow the judgment of others to affect my work ethic” was Mrs. G’s response when I asked her if she has ever experienced stereotype threat.
    “What is it like being a foreigner in America and what advice could you give to others associated with similar stereotypes?” Mrs. G: “Being a foreigner in this country is tough because you always have to prove yourself just as capable as your peers. My advice would be to spend less time focused on the judgment of others and focus more on improving yourself”. Foreigners deal with stereotype threat more than most because of many factors. One factor would be lack of understanding. Different languages and cultures causes us to act a certain way towards others with different backgrounds. In the interview, Mrs. G talks about how some people avoid her because of her background; “Once they hear my accent, their tone changes”.
    Some of us feel threatened by people from different backgrounds because we do not understand. The issue here is that some of us are very close-minded about the world around us. I could not imagine moving to a different country and becoming a part of a new culture. It is something I know I would struggle with. Foreigners are courageous and speaking more than one language is something most of us cannot do. Becoming a more open-minded society, we can eliminate this threat and people like Mrs. G can be more comfortable with being who they are.

  33. I have recently conducted an interview with a black male who I have previously went to high school with, who wants to be disguised as, Mac. My town is a very urban area with a very high percent of minorities in the school system with very small percent of Caucasian. On the other hand, we have a town right next to us who is predominately white and is a very racist town. Mac tells me he lives on the boarder of my town and our neighbor’s town. To start off, I ask him to share an experience in his life that he was racially profiled against. He told me a story of one morning in eighth grade, when he got in a huge argument with his mother before school and he stormed out of the house an hour before school started. He lives very close to the middle school, so he decided to walk through our neighbor town for a little bit to cool off before going to school. He walks for a few blocks for about ten minutes then he sees a cop car drive through the intersection he was walking towards. Two minutes later, two cop cars drove straight at him. Then another cop car blocked him from his left side. Now there are three cop cars, four white officers, and one black eighth grader. “They accused me of picking pad locks, smoking cigarettes, peeping into cars to rob, and skipping school, when school is a fifteen minuet walk and didn’t start for another forty-five minutes.” The social group these cops perceived him as, is a no good black male. Mac is a very well clean cut, well dressed, male. I asked what grades he received in middle school and he replied, “Straight A’s.” The moral of this beginning is that, the social identity perceived is nothing like his image of social identity.
    I asked Mac, “Do you think there will always be a person to look at the black culture and think they are so ignorant, labeling every single black person?” He scoffed at the question and replied, “That will happen until the day we’re all dead.” Mac strongly believes that racism will always be around because judging, distinguishing, and separating, will always be natural things to do as humans. He told me he feels like there has to be eighty percent of black people in the white house to gain one ounce of respect in this country. Mac says, “I feel like there is always going to be people holding me down just because of my race.” I asked, “How do you feel on stereotypes with the black social group.” He feels some of them are true, such as him enjoying chicken and watermelon. On the contrary side, he feels they are ignorant, unreasonable stereotypes such as, at age twenty most black males will be in jail, dead, or on their way to both. The idea of stereotype threat applies here because he feels like this is how life is supposed to go for him. He feels he is not even supposed to attend Rutgers University because he should have been selling drugs or dead way before college.
    I see Mac becoming frustrated and solemn. He is not engaging in eye contact anymore and he is nervously interlocking his fingers and twiddling his thumbs. I offer to stop the interview and he says, “No, keep going. This is the only time that someone cares what a black male’s opinion is anyway.” I was shocked with the response. I thought to lighten up the mood and ask him what has benefited you from being in your social group, whatever group you see yourself in. He talks about the academic social group he sees himself in. He jokes around and says, “Girl’s love them an intelligent black male.” He also says that there are a lot of scholarships, and he is serious about the girls, with a smirk on his face. “Mac, what did you get on your SAT’s?” Mac said, “An 1850.” The stereotype threat here is that he is a smart, outstanding student, but feels like he is no better than being a street, foot soldier. Growing up in our town there is a lot of gangs, drug dealers, and deaths. After over-achieving high school, getting into a University, there is still a cloud that follows him around consistently. The cloud tells him to live up to stereotypes, and to just go out and be a drug dealer. It is like he has a devil on his shoulder he has to consistently fight to not become another statistic.
    “Stereotypes are local,” says Valerie Purdie-Vaughns in her lecture at Stockton. This statement could not be any truer. I asked Mac if he agreed to this statement and he said, “Absolutely.” The stereotypes that are in our town, Rahway, are not the same in Galloway. To wrap up the interview, I asked, “If I was going to be you for the rest of my life, what advice would you give me?” He sits and thinks for about thirty seconds. He answers, “Don’t be afraid by other people’s view of you, because at the end of the day you have to believe in yourself to be successful.” These words are interesting because it describes himself perfectly. He lives under a cloud, a devil on his shoulder, and a life of stereotypes being a black male, he perseveres to become the best man he can be which is fascinating.

  34. Stereotypes is a situation that we are faced with. Everyone is always caught up in their paradigms and let them affect the way they think of people who are different from them. To learn more about this, I conducted an interview with someone who I’ve known for a while but never talked with about Stereotypes and the problems she faces with it. The person I interviewed is one of my good friends Steph. I have known Steph for about 6 years now. We went to the same middle school, high school, and now college. It’s crazy how time flies by and how you know someone for so long, but become oblivious to some of the aspects of their lives referring to stereotypes.Steph is an Asian-American who has grown up in America. She is from a wealthy (higher middle class) Filipino family. Her parents came to America for a better life with more opportunity before she was born. However, after knowing her for so long, I have never sat down and talked to her about a serious subject like this.

    I asked Steph a series of 6 questions, starting with how she would define her social identity, and what she thinks people think when they see her. She defines her social identity as Asian-American but more specifically Filipino. When asked the second question, she replied “when people look at me, they look at me as a typical Asian, as in someone who does nothing but study for hours on end.” She also said people think she’s Chinese. Through Steph’s social identity, she has had multiple benefits. Steph does take her work seriously and people see that, but as they get to know her better, they realize that’s not all she does. They learn that she’s not as different as people think and she has more in common than expected. Steph feels this brings her much opportunity. On the other hand, she has had some difficulties with her social identity. I asked her how she suffered, and her first reply was that people sometimes think she’s weird. They look at her and notice she’s different and sometimes do not appreciate that. She also suffers from high expectations. For example, when people see that she’s Asian, they automatically think she’s great at math. She is very intelligent and has done well in math, but is no mathematician like people assume she is.

    Growing up in America, she has always known her identity, but it has changed over the years. I asked her how it changed, and she replied “I am more influenced by my friends in the American culture.” As she grew up and more people got to know her, she has also gotten to be more accepted. I then asked her, “what are people who don’t know you surprised to learn about you?” Similar to what was previously stated in reply to one of the questions, people are surprised to learn that she’s more relatable to the American culture than people think. They’re also surprised when they realize she doesn’t have an accent.

    I ended my interview with Steph with the question of “if i walked a mile in your shoes what do you think I would learn?” She stated, “after growing up with people of a different culture, they realize her differences more than they do each other and look more into it.” However, I would also learn how great it is to have friends who like me for who I am. She ended the interview by stating, “even though people see that I look different, I can still connect with them,” which is great thing in society today. It shows how much we have grown in America. Years ago, different races wouldn’t usually be seen together. There was so much segregation and not enough chances given to people who were different. Now we have whites connecting with blacks, Latinos connecting with Asians, and it just goes on and on. Stereotypes are still an issue in America, but we as a nation have undoubtedly made much progress with the situation. It was great being able to sit down with a good friend of mine and talk about a serious subject like this, and hear her answers and point of view to these questions.

  35. Stereotypes are something that every race and culture have, whether it’s being Asian and smart, African American and in a gang. Stereotypes and social identity is something that every person goes through and have whether it’s good or bad. I took a look into a black, college student to see what he went through and goes through as a black educated male in today’s society. When interviewing Ahmad I was given the chance to view the world as he sees it and also how others see and portray him. Ahmad is 6’1, black, built well and has a full beard, as he defined his social identity. Now when I asked him the question what do you think people see when the see you he replied, “When other black men and women see me they see themselves or their son, brother, father; but I feel as though when a white man, woman or any other race sees me they see a thug, a nuisance or a menace to society.” It’s truly sad how he can be judged and his presence can be considered a problem waiting to happen, by just walking in the mall or in the grocery store, doing what everyone else is doing.
    I asked him how he has suffered in big and small ways from his social identity and he replied, “It’s really the small things that people do when I walk by such as locking their doors, clutching their purses really tight and being followed around stores when trying to shop with my family that gets to me the most.” He continued to say “But in big ways some people judge me before they get to really know me and honestly it’s their lost because I’m really genuinely a great guy.” As we continued I asked him how his social identity has changed over the years and I was surprised from his answer because I never saw it his way. His answer was, “Growing up as young black kid in Atlantic City was hard, but at the same time simple and care free because there is a lot of black kids around so we are all one in the same (just kids). Now as a young adult, being black and tall with a beard I have to walk around looking over my shoulder because of the fear that I might be mistaken for someone else and get arrested or shot.” As Ahmad explain his answer to me, it really opened my eyes to how he lives his life and the trial and tribulations he goes through daily because of his social identity.
    The last question I asked him was in my opinion the most important one and that was, what are people who don’t know you surprised to learn about you? Ahmad replied, “When people get to know me they would be surprised to know that I’m not a thug or a menace to society and that I’m in college and paying for it with more than two scholarships. I’m a student who works two jobs and manages to balance school, friends and work as best as any young adult could do. I even volunteer at the shelter and community food bank whenever I can. I’m actually a good guy.”
    As the interview came to an end I came to the conclusion that although you may have similar social identities with another person, neither one of you can truly relate to the other until you have looked through their eyes and begin to see things how they see them. Going into this interview I thought I knew all his answers before he gave them just because we are both black, but I was wrong and happy I was. Ahmad has showed me a part of his life that I never get to see and the best lesson I took from this interview is to never judge a book by its cover.

  36. I chose to interview my friend Soha to get a better understanding of her different experience touching the topic of stereotypes and social contingencies. Having a different cultural background such as being Indian and Pakistani, I interviewed her about her experiences with stereotyping and bias. I asked Soha what she thought other people saw when they looked at her and her initial response was, “I think that people think ‘terrorist’ when they see me.” This statement has been created from her encounters, emphasizing the idea of experiences shaping an individual. Soha told me her story about how she was at the airport with her family and her father was pulled aside for questioning because he had a suspicious Pakistani last name. In addition to her family members experiencing racial stereotyping, during her primary education, Soha went through her own version of stereotyping. During middle school, she thought people looked at her and thought, “smart Indian.” She extended this by telling me that her classmates would copy off of her work all the time because they thought since she was Indian, that meant she was smart.
    At one point, the comments made towards her had a negative affect with her school work as well as friendships because she thought people were intimidated by her. Fortunately, Soha claimed to have benefitted from her social identity because she tends to live above the stereotype. After noticing her grades dropping and the loss of friendships, she no longer let it affect her performance in school or within her community. She says, “I have learned not to care anymore about what others think of me, I have more important things to worry about.” This shows that she grew to understand that it was all just stereotyping and it isn’t who she really is. Soha talked about how people are surprised to know that not all Indians or Pakistanis are terrorists. Stereotyping altered her perspective on what others thought of her causing negativity in her life.
    After hearing about what Soha had to go through at such a young age, I’ve come to realize that stereotyping and identity contingencies start when you’re young. This doesn’t just occur when you’re an older adult living on your own. Realizing stereotyping can benefit the community because people can work towards eliminating it. Everyone in some way judges another and because of that, stereotyping is very common within society. Otherwise, children wouldn’t be judging one another in middle school or even elementary, creating a root to bullying. Stereotyping is something that you learn to do from others such as surroundings or family at home. Without realization, there’s a cycle of assumptions and ignorance among communities.
    We are all under a cloud living in society. Everyone has different experiences, backgrounds, and lifestyles creating a diversity within social contingencies, as well as stereotypes. Experiences play a big role on someone’s perspective on an individual or group. If someone is taught to hate something, they end up hating it because the idea is constantly engaged in their life. I don’t think anyone should be judged or put down because of who they are or what they look like. The things that can’t be altered are the things people are judged for such as gender, skin color, or race. Anything different about someone in a community are usually targeted for stereotyping and prejudice. Many people to this day believe that grouping an individual based on their ethnicity is accurately placing someone in society. Stereotyping isn’t based on validity or truth. Instead it is centered on assumptions and inaccuracy.

  37. Salam super, She ended the interview by stating, “even though people see that I look different, I can still connect with them,” which is great thing in society today. It shows how much we have grown in America. Years ago, different races wouldn’t usually be seen together. There was so much segregation and not enough chances given to people who were different. Now we have whites connecting with blacks, Latinos connecting with Asians, and it just goes on and on. Stereotypes are still an issue in America, but we as a nation have undoubtedly made much progress with the situation. It was great being able to sit down with a good friend of mine and talk about a serious subject like this, and hear her answers and point of view to these questions. Thanks you..

  38. She ended the interview by stating, “even though people see that I look different, I can still connect with them,” which is great thing in society today. It shows how much we have grown in America. Years ago, different races wouldn’t usually be seen together. There was so much segregation and not enough chances given to people who were different. Now we have whites connecting with blacks, Latinos connecting with Asians, and it just goes on and on. Stereotypes are still an issue in America, but we as a nation have undoubtedly made much progress with the situation. It was great being able to sit down with a good friend of mine and talk about a serious subject like this, and hear her answers and point of view to these questions. Thanks you..

  39. Is verry good, The man probably assumed she was a terrorist and felt uncomfortable having a woman with a hijab on sitting right next to him. Like I had said earlier, Nagla is good friends with my older cousin Nikki. They are both teachers and love to travel around the world. Whenever they look into a new location for adventures, Nagla has to be careful for where they’re going because certain countries could be extremely dangerous for her to enter due to her relgion. She said to me, “everyday is a new potential struggle”.

  40. I have heard of blogs and kind of know what they are. My question is what do you write on a blog, like stuff thats on your mind or just whatever? And what websites can i logon to to start blogs?.

  41. Label Baju Bandung – Why do individuals generalization? What is the point? How might it make you feel on the off chance that somebody was singling you out in view of the shade of your skin, your religion, or your race? It’s nothing that you can help, so why generalization and be supremacist? The individual that I have met for my undertaking is my companion Justice. He is an African American, and you will be shocked with a portion of the stuff that he has been through. All through secondary school, Justice felt that he was constantly forgotten on the grounds that he was dark. When he let me know that, I got some information about his social character, and he said that he was much the same as everybody else(because he is). He had an inclination that he was forgotten on the grounds that he was in an overwhelmingly white school, and he was one of the main African Americans in the school. Amid the meeting he depicts his life as an unpleasant one. I asked him for what good reason, and he said “individuals constantly treated me diversely when I attempted to fit in, and I never annoyed anybody I was simply attempting to traverse school.” At the point when Justice moves on from Stockton, he needs to be in the criminal equity field. In the public arena today, there are dependably individuals that are attempting to make cops look awful, regardless of the fact that they are simply doing their employment. In the event that he commits one error in the field he feels he may cause harm, yet the thing is nobody ought to feel like that. Climate you’re white or you’re dark, you shouldn’t feel like everybody is watching you in the event that you are simply doing your employment. Doing this meeting with him truly made me understand what segregation, and prejudice is similar to. It just goes down what Steele is discussing in his book “Shrieking Vivaldi.” I have come to wind up incredible companions with Justice. On the off chance that individuals became acquainted with each other before stereotyping them in light of the fact that there dark, white, Asian, tall, or and so on this world would be such better place to live in, and it would make everybody feel needed

  42. 脇の除毛はピンセットでやるよりもサロンでスペシャリストに依頼したほうがトラブルなく出来ます。

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