A Day in the Life Essay
Each day brings new interactions with the surrounding world. Being a part of the society, people contribute to each other by communicating, acting or sharing. In the journal of one day in my life, I disclose my personal behavior and follow up with the analysis of it from the sociological perspective.
Throughout the day, I change my roles and statuses. All of them are achieved because they reflect my current position in society, and it modifies over time. I am a spouse, a parent, a friend, a daughter for my parents, and a consumer. This is my social set because these are the position I simultaneously occupy in the society right now (Heslin, 2008, p. 101).
Different social institutions indicate my activity during the day. The key institution is certainly the family: I am a married young woman with a small child. I am responsible for taking care of my daughter and my husband on a regular basis. Even though I am a stay-at-home mom, I am busy providing good living conditions and cozy atmosphere for my family. As I mentioned in the journal, I also respect my parents and often communicate with them. As for now, the institution of education is also a part of my life style – my daughter is growing and I need to be sure that I bring her up properly. The health institution describes our intention to eat healthy food at home.
Under impression management, I understand the credibility I establish before the surrounding people (Thornton et al., 2009). A demonstrable example is the communication with my friends. One of them would like to become a mother in the nearest future so she expresses her interest in what I experience right now. I share my feelings and knowledge by presenting my expertise and being an authority in the given discussion. I might also resort to impression management in conversation with other moms at the playground.
Currently being unemployed, I cannot refer the term ‘emotional labor’ to myself; however, emotion work characterizes me well. I am responsible for running the household, maintaining positive environment at home, and treating my husband in a supportive and understanding way. As the record in the journal shows, I am the one to discuss his problems and complaints with, which allows for assigning the ability to work emotionally to me. According to Hochschild (1979), these are the most demonstrative examples of the emotion work concept.
I consider myself a person with a high level of socialization: I am a good company and a skillful participant in many events and conversations. I share most of the values and norms with my friends and occasional people I meet – either at the playground, in the shop or in any other public place. It proves that I can “make fit for living in society” (Clausen, 1968, p.20). Besides, I do not experience any strict social distance between myself and other people, no matter which parameter we take into consideration. On the one hand, I am open to new acquaintances with people of other age, race, religion or status in the society (Sociology Guide, 2010), like those moms at the playground, for example, who are a nice representative sample for studying diversity and social interactions. On the other hand, and it seems interesting to discover, but if to turn to my feelings and instincts, I would say that I can’t imagine myself communicating with these women outside the playground. The structural constraint here extends to the unwillingness of maintaining any relationships with them except those in the environment, within which we stay from time to time. Some time before, I would not probably think like this but, according to what the stage theory points out, I now switched to a different level of perception and keep a distance between me and occasional people. I explain this by identifying my status of a spouse and a parent, and viewing family, especially the nuclear one, as the main social group I belong to. At this stage, I consciously gained more responsibility and duties compared to what I have even had in my previous life, and this changed not only who I am but also where I have to go and how I should achieve this.
In conclusion, I would like to mention that an ordinary day of my life defined by diverse sociological principles helped to better reveal the nature of human relationships and interactions as well as the actions and intentions of the surrounding people, and this allowed for making more considerate decisions about my personal life and ambitions and, by the way, grasping the human nature deeper.
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