First Week of Class – Reaction to Class Activity

One activity that I appreciated the first week of class was when we each wrote down our different social identities on note cards, mixed up the cards and redistributed them, and then had to say why or why not we thought the card we each received would be in our in-group or out-group. I found this interesting because it made me think about how arbitrary these social identities such as religion, sexual orientation, and disability status in showing how compatible people could be and what values they have in common.

The card I received in front of me had all of the same social identities as my own (age, disability status, religion, ethnicity and race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, indigenous status, and national identity) except that this person was one year older than me. However, there is no one in this class who I am already close friends with. I realized that despite all these similarities, I would not necessarily consider this person part of my in-group based on this information. Despite all the social identities that I had in common with this anonymous near-stranger I had no reason to think that we would have similar values, morals, lifestyles, or even senses of humor. My best friend at school has almost all different social identities than mine. That is because it is not these things that make us part of the same in-group. Although we have extremely different backgrounds, we actually probably have more to talk about and more values in common, than whosever card this way.

1 thought on “First Week of Class – Reaction to Class Activity”

  1. Jordan,
    I also experienced the same confusion as you did when looking at my card and then my close friends and their social identities. In reality my friends do not have the same social identity as me and the card I got had a lot more in common with me. I found this frustrating because when I think of in-group and out-group I think of people I like and don’t like. But this brings me to my question: what really defines in/out-groups? Are our close friends part of our in-group, or are in-groups defined as people who have similar social identities as us and not wether we like them or not? If that is true then i guess we can be friends with out-groups. Maybe this is because we get to know our friends past their social identity and actually see them as people with personalities and individual identities. Where as social identities do not allow us to see that and only make assumptions.

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