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By definition, identity can be said to refer to an individual’s perception of who they are, the perception of which is a constituent of their thoughts and beliefs about themselves. Identity is very vital in our lives as it influences our behavior and the way interact with other people. Identity can as well be said to be the way we define ourselves. Tailoring this knowledge to define my own identity, I can say that I am a Chinese middle-class gentleman. Taking my academic education in the United States of America, this social identity of mine continues to influence my view of the world around me. My social identity continues to influence the way I interact with other people and has created both potential opportunities and barriers for me, especially for my future career.
To begin with, my gender as a man is one of the characteristics of my social identity that I had, and continues to have, the most influence on my life. Being a Chinese gentleman, I have to grow up as a responsible person to effectively take charge of my future life. Like many other Chinese men of my age, I am expected to get a job or start my own business after college for me to cultivate a solid financial security not only for myself, but also for my future family. The fact that I will have to marry soon after college and raise a family of my own is something that has given me the most motivation to work hard at school and get graduate with the highest possible academic credentials that will enhance my chances of getting a job of my choice in the near future. Belonging to the male gender has generally influenced the choices of friends I interact with. Generally, I have become a bit biased in the selection of my friends since I tend to feel more comfortable being in the company of other men than women. For this reason, majority of my friends in my social circle are men. Of the few women in my social circle, most of them are my relatives from my extended family. Though this composition of my social circle may appear to be biased, I feel very much comfortable with it since I have a personal conviction that as a man, I am much better of developing close friendships with other men with whom I can freely share my concerns as a man and get natured towards the attainment of the right manhood for the benefit of my future life.
The other part of my life where my social identity as a man has had a great influence is the shaping of my perception about my future prospects of getting a job. In this respect, I have a strong conviction that I possess a greater advantage than my women counterparts of landing a job shortly after my graduation. This is because of the gender stereotypes in the work place which perceive men as better performers in most jobs than women. In addition, the current job market has many jobs which are specifically advertised for men. This is one potential opportunity that my social identity as a man has created for me especially in the pursuit of my future career. For this reason, my interest in finding a job immediately after graduation has tremendously grown. Another element of my social identity which has worked to create a great potential for me to get a job easily in future is my association with my family that belongs to a higher middle class. Other than providing me a much easier avenue to getting a job immediately after graduation, my association with my family will make it easier for me to get a startup capital in case I change my mind about my career and decide to delve into starting and running my own business. My association with a higher middle-class family will also make my life after school much easier since I will not have to hustle too much in order to get a place to live as my family has a lot of accommodation room for me start from after graduating from school.
However, one of the greatest challenges that my social identity creates for both my present and future life is the language barrier. My first language is Chinese yet I am taking my studies in the United States of America where the first language of the natives is English. Being a Chinese, I have a challenge of expressing myself eloquently in English, something that has made me to develop great fear of talking before people because I may embarrass myself and tarnish my public image. This has limited my interactions with many people at college and has made me more introspective as I now tend to keep much of my thoughts to myself and only share a little with my fellow and few Chinese students at college. The impact of this social identity of mine has contributed immensely to the narrowing of my social circle even more. However, the fact that English is an international language has given me the motivation to learn English and perfect my communication skills in this foreign language. With this increased interest, studying in the United States has created a viable opportunity for me to learn the English language since many people I meet and study with are eloquent English speakers. I can sharpen my skills in the language by listening to their public conversations and by befriending them for them to teach me the language and hence help me to perfect my communication skills over time. I intend to exploit this opportunity so that by the time I finish college and go back to my home country, I will be a perfect and eloquent speaker of English.
Another potential barrier that my social identity as a Chinese first language speaker is that this language barrier may continue to limit my chances of prospering in my career once I get a job in future. this is because I may get a job in a United State company where most people do not speak Chinese as their first language. Getting along with such people especially in team projects may be a hurdle on my side in future. This is because my team members may fail to understand my identity and I may also get it difficult to understand theirs, something that is most likely to result into indemnity crisis at my future work place and limit my chances of developing my career. To help myself overcome this potential barrier and make a great contribution to a diverse workplace, I have developed an even more interest in learning English because it is an international language which is spoken by the majority of people in most companies. The fact that I am studying from the United States provides a viable platform for me to achieve this objective of mine.
In conclusion, and as it can be seen from the preceding discussion, my social identity plays a very huge role in my present and future life. This is because my social identity continues to influence the way I interact with other people and has created both potential opportunities and barriers for me, especially for my future career. Belonging to the male gender has given me the advantage of getting a job more easily than my female counterparts due to the existing stereotype in the workplace granting men superior job performance than women. My association with a higher middle-class adds to this advantage by creating a readily available source of accommodation and startup capital that I may need to start and run my own business. However, my social identity as a Chinese first language speaker has created the language barrier that has limited my interaction with many other people who are not Chinese speakers. This barrier is most likely to negatively affect the progression of my future career, something that has increased my interest in learning and perfecting my communication skills in English language. English is an international language and I strongly believe becoming an effective speaker in it will help me overcome my potential language barrier and contribute to a diverse workplace.
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