The sociology project was one of the most moving projects I have ever done. We went over topics such as social class, invisible knapsack, target/agent groups, the difference in teenage boys and girls,and many more interesting topics. We made masks molded to our faces and put symbols and other things on them to symbolize how we have been socialized through society. After the masks were all done we had an exhibition at the Straiter Hotel. Many kids did not like having to show all our masks to the public but I enjoyed it immensely.
In Mr. Fisher’s 9th Grade Humanities class, we studied the subject of Sociology. Sociology is the study of how social forces create and shape individuals. Studying the topic of sociology was an excellent learning experience for me. For our mask project, we had to choose an identity category that represents how we view ourselves in society. An identity category can be race, gender, social class, age, ability and religion. I chose the topic of being a teenage boy in today’s society. Discussing this topic gave me a deeper understanding of the decisions I make every day: the clothes I wear, kids I hang out with and the music I listen to. One time at lunch, I was eating with some of my old soccer buddies and they noticed a kid who was a little different from the “regular” social norms. He was wearing plain jeans and an Underarmor shirt, most kids wear Underarmor for sports not school. They viciously pointed out that fact. According to their standards, he was not cool. I wasn’t really aware of what we were doing until later that day in Humanities. In class, we talked about social norms and Agent Groups and Target Groups. An Agent is someone how has privileges and Targets often do not. Sometimes Agents discriminate against Targets. A question was raised, “What can we do to stop negative socialization?” I felt bad. From then on, I decided I would make a choice to become more sensitive to classmates who didn’t fit the “mold.” How do we do this? We model tolerance and build an awareness of negative socialization, just as Mr. Fisher educated me in Humanities that day. This awareness leads me to my class project. I chose to make an identity mask. My essay will explain symbols I chose on my mask and what they represent.
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