When it comes to social classification, race, class, and gender don’t operate alone. The institutional systems that have been created throughout the past years have come to include many facets of identity to accurately put you in the correct “checkbox.”
Social and historical processes have led to the inclusion of ethnicity, sexuality, age, and nationality to be a part of the systems of power that govern social roles.
When you don’t follow certain expectations, society can turn against you. Here we explore some reasons why this may be.
You probably don’t identify as a “straight” male or female.
Those who don’t identify as a heterosexual male or female are often biased against and looked at like they don’t fit into certain categories because of their sexual orientation.
Your religious beliefs are scrutinized or looked down upon by the “dominant group.”
When you have religious beliefs that don’t comply with the dominant group you now represent a threat or an outcast that has to be monitored because of its ideologies and practices.
Your ethnicity or background makes you stand out in a group. Like a lot.
Whether it’s where your work, live or attend school, people around you may behave indifferently towards because you don’t quite fit in. You’re not like everyone else and some people may find this intimidating or uncomfortable and prefer to not associate with you.
You don’t follow the social norms associated with your “gender.”
Even though there has been a change in the roles a man or woman should occupy, institutional systems still greatly influence who does what. Males may be expected to leave the child caregiving to women and instead provide for a family or leave certain jobs to men and not women. Social norms associated to gender range from occupation, hobbies, and many other activities that just seem too much to restrict.
Your educational aspirations or job occupation aren’t the same as most people your age.
This can be a good thing or a bad thing. You might be like your fellow colleges or classmates who work at a fast food restaurant or coffee shop while in school. Then again, you could be like the shiny golden apple who has the most unbelievable job for a person your age. Society might consider you to be too young for a certain job or too old to have a certain job. Sometimes you just can’t win.
However, if you identified with one of the above statements all hope is not lost! Authors Andersen and Collins, reveal that the facets society uses to categorize you are not fixed, social change is possible. Only if we allow it.