Social Identity and Intergroup Relations

Social Variety and Cultural Identification

Social variety is the collection of norms that distinguishes individuals from the same culture from those from other cultures. An individual can often be distinguished from others by different traits. Among the traits are diverse methods of living, languages, religions, ethnicities, races, and interests and preferences (Tajfel 87). People's differences have a crucial role in human relations. Social diversity can be used to exchange ideas and special qualities that people with diverse origins have.

Values and Interests as a Chinese National

This essay explores the groups from which I draw my values, interests, preferences, prejudices, and commitments as a Chinese national. I draw my value system based on the Chinese culture. The Chinese culture is mainly communist, and the natives of China tend to be more open in their personal discussion with other people. When living in the same household with other people, one tends to ask other people of their income, relationships, and age.

In the Chinese culture, one has the responsibility of sharing secrets and opening up on the personal information that he or she may be privy to in their lives. My living in the United States has exposed me to a system where one needs to keep secrets with some issues that he or she may be facing, including personal details, as they are considered intrusive when asked.

I tend to have an interest in martial arts as it is a basic course taught to young children in China. I also prefer to be close to my parents and my extended family. In the Chinese culture, the family is the fundamental social institution that is highly regarded in society, and children have a responsibility to take care of the senior citizens and the older people to attract blessing from their seniors.

Additionally, I tend to have a bias on being in solitude, as I prefer to be close to other people. Being in solitude is a sign of excluding other people from your life and is a trait that is abhorred in the Chinese culture. My commitment as a Chinese citizen and national is to ensure that I establish strong bonds with my friends and family members. According to the Chinese culture, I was taught the principle of guanxi. The teaching on guanxi emphasizes on the need to forge strong interpersonal bonds with other people and to be obedient to the elders who are given the mandate to offer direction to the generation that is upcoming. The needs to establish strong friendship bonds are more crucial compared to the choice of concentrating in building one's career life. For example, I may forgo going to school for some time to take care of a sick friend or ill relative who is in critical need.

Social and Cultural Identification

My social and cultural identification as a Chinese enables me to achieve much today. Having strong friendships and holding my friends dear has allowed me to get help in many ways. For example, I often consult my friends to help me understand course materials that I do not understand. Being friendly to people also gives me the courage to ask for direction when I am lost. Strong friendships have been fundamental in my survival within the current environment where I live and my adapting in the school environment. The cultural identification as a Chinese person enables one to have the empathy of helping the friends who are often in great need. Consequently, the friends also give me a hand with when I am in need and aid, thereby, enabling me to forge lasting friendship bonds.

According to Hannum, social identity can have various influences on the opportunities that may be available shortly including presentation of challenges that may stifle growth opportunities (33). First, social identity as a Chinese may serve as a bottleneck for interpersonal relations within the current environment in which I love. Within the United States of America, people often tend to identify themselves with the American culture, that is, both the Americans and the foreigners living in the United States. Additionally, fewer Chinese people live close to my neighborhood. Therefore, forging an identity as Chinese national lead to the acquisition of few friends. Therefore, adapting in the current environment is difficult when there are no other people to whom I can identify with in life.

The opportunity that is presented with my social identity as a Chinese is posed by the increased economic dominance of Chinese products within the international. Many people prefer to learn the Chinese language as a means of fronting effective communication standards with the residents in the United States and those living in other parts of the world. Additionally, the Americans are people who prefer to learn new languages and cultures. Therefore, with the core understanding of the English language, I can volunteer to teach the Chinese language and culture and have some basic income that I can use to sustain myself as I undertake my university education. Therefore, the social identity as a Chinese is both beneficial and non-beneficial based on the prevailing circumstances that present themselves.

Impacts of Social Status on the Future

There are a set of examples on how my social status may have a direct impact on my future. First, I will have to set higher goals for myself in education to live up to the social belief that the Chinese people are intelligent. There is a global understanding that may include Chinese tend to exude brilliance in what they do and are, thus, regarded to be intelligent.

The second positive example that my social identity may have in my future is the ability to earn job opportunities compared to my peers. Many people have often affirmed that the Chinese people are diligent in their work and have the tendency to have sharp and critical focus in what they do. As a result, I may have an advantage in the job market owing to the social belief that is existent in many people's minds.

The other example is there being low self-esteem when I am unable to earn new friends owing to my stance in the personal belief and the nature of identity that I project. When one has a social identity that is a conflict with the social identity of the dominant society, he or she tends to be sidelined for the majority. Therefore, one may tend to be demoralized and live a life that is in solitude.

The other barrier that is created by fronting a social identity as a Chinese is the likelihood of facing an uphill task of learning the American language and way of life. I remember struggling to learn English since the American and Chinese dialect and pronunciation are different. I faced an honest struggle within myself as I could not effectively learn the English phonetics and still maintain my knowledge of the English culture. However, I still love listening to Chinese music and having Chinese dances during my personal time when I am locked in my room. Though my English pronunciation may not be the same as the pronunciation of the Native Americans, I take pride in the Chinese language despite having the desire to be fluent in English and have the American accent.

Contributing to a Diverse Workplace

The creation of a social identity is also a means of contributing to a diverse workplace. Many workplaces tend to have preferences for employing people from different backgrounds and ethnicities to have an international face. Using people from diverse cultures and diverse cultural identities enable an organization to have a means of fronting the ease of communication within the organization and sharing the personal ideals and beliefs that are presented by individuals from the varying backgrounds (Jokiranta 124). As a result, having a social identity that is identified with a minority of the population tends to offer an advantage as one may be a beneficiary of affirmative action in the selection of the employees who are set to be employed by a given organization. Therefore, there is a surety of a brighter future when the social identity of a given person is in line with the social identity that is held dear by the recruiting organization.

The other way that the social status may have an impact on the future of a given person is enabling one to be content with the cultural background to which he or she identifies with or emanates. When one has a cultural identity, he or she may offer to teach people from other cultures his or her cultural practice, therefore promoting diversity within the social environment in which he or she lives.

In conclusion, social identity is a sociological term that enables one to define his or her identity based on his or her group membership. Often, the social status builds on the sexuality, cultural background, race or ideology that one may be having. The social identity can also lead to the creation of a given stereotype against a person based on the race, culture, ethnicity, or nationality. The stereotype can have positive or adverse effects on an individual based on how he or she deals with the given social identity issue that he or she may be facing. Social identity can be used by a person in the process of self-discovery and promote the values that he or she holds with other people with different social identities. Additionally, the social identity of a given person needs to be used to promote positive ideas and facilitate sharing of knowledge and information amongst people of varying cultures. I am a Chinese culture, which identifies me as a friendly person who loves to forge long-term friendships with my peers in our course of interaction. I also value family.

Work Cited

Hannum, Kelly. Social Identity: Knowing Yourself, Leading Others. Greensboro, N.C: Center for Creative Leadership, 2007. Internet resource.

Jokiranta, Jutta. Social Identity and Sectarianism in the Qumran Movement. , 2013. Print.

Tajfel, Henri. Social Identity and Intergroup Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Print.

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