Social Identity And Positionality

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Positionality Paper
Throughout the semester, we have had the opportunity to study many different social identities and their impacts on my life. For the purpose of this paper, the three social identities I have decided to focus on are: gender, nation of origin and race.
Key Influences/Specific Events
My gender was my first known identity, even before my name was given or before I had taken my first breath. After my gender reveal, my mother started getting the baby room ready, decorating the walls pink with a lacy border. My clothes were dresses with little bows. As I grew, my gender became one of my core identities. I have memories of being told by my father that it was okay I struggled in mathematics, because “most girls aren’t good at math.”
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When I would ask why, I was told I needed to do something “girly,” like ballet lessons. So, I signed up for ballet lessons which continued until I graduated from high school. I look back at my childhood interests and activities and am amazed at the gender socialization that happened. I clearly believed my mental and physical limitations were a result of my gender. As Langer (2011) so clearly expresses: “it is an undeniable truth that one’s sex at birth – biology – begins a process of socialization resulting in one’s gender – the social role…. I did what I thought I was “supposed to do” – I followed role-appropriate behaviors” (Langer, 2011). I followed these role-appropriate feminine behaviors because I perceived myself as “weak.” This has carried on with me as I have gotten older. I have never felt particularly intelligent in math or science nor have I felt athletic (even though I’m a trained…show more content…
I do not live in fear of people assuming negative things about me when I walk into a room. I have a presumed higher social status, I have the freedom to move, to work and speak freely without my race coming into play. I am able to help define the societal norm. I am presumed to be intelligent and making a positive impact on society. My whiteness does not work against me in my job performance. Security or law enforcement officers do not harass me or pull me over because of my race. My race privilege was not something I had thought about before starting this program. I experienced white fragility, where I lived “in a social environment that protects and insulates [me] from race-based stress. Whiteness accrues privilege and status; gets itself surrounded by protective pillows of resources and/or benefits of the doubt” (DiAngelo,
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