Out of Class Activity #1
My social class story begins with explaining the ideas about structure and agency. Structure is based on the limits that are placed on an individual and agency is based on the choices you make because of those limits (Notes August 28). You see the social class that you belong to has a lot of impact in how you live and survive your life. I was born into a family of the working-class. My father worked in a factory and my mother stayed at home with my sisters and I. My father wanted it that way. I went to a very good school in a very rich community, so I would say that as a child growing up to high school, I had an excellent education. When it came time to graduate from high school, I wanted to go to college. Because my family was considered a working-class family, we made too much to qualify for any assistance (XXXXXXX). Therefore, if I wanted to go to college it would be up to me to pay for it. My father co-signed a personal loan for me to go the first year of college. I got a job and went to college. I didnt make but minimum wage so there was not much chance of me paying for it and as long as I lived in my parents house I would not qualify as an independent student. My dream of going to college quickly came to a halt. This was the first way that social class impacted my life. The structure of my financial status was the reason for this. It basically came down to money. I was fearful that my social class or rather my fathers social class would ruin any opportunities I had for my future. So, I kept on working and trying to save up money.
I soon found myself moving to another state halfway across the country to be with my sister. I continued to work and soon met my husband to be and got married at the young age of 21. Not too long after that I had children. I worked my way up the ladder at AT&T to become a manager in their training department. I finally began to have some hope that things would get better. I dreamed of going far in my job hoping one day I could be a part of the middle-class (Notes August 28). Then one day I got called into my managers office and was told the company was restructuring and my job was going away. I was absolutely crushed. My dreams and aspirations were once again halted (Notes August 28). I continued to work mediocre jobs for the next 15 years. Once again, I hit a curveball in life, I got divorced. I moved back to my home state with my children and with an ambition to get my college education.
Another way that social class impacted my life was the fact that I was now a single mom. I fortunately was able to get a job, but it wasnt the greatest job and I was now part of the lower class. Because of my income however, I was able to obtain some financial aid. My dream was slowly becoming a reality. I started back to school and continued to go for the next several years. Because I could only go part-time it took me longer, but it was great that I was moving forward with my education. Education is what can define you and allow you to obtain a better job. I was very much looking forward to that.
The last way that social class has impacted my life is through life chances. I am speaking specifically about health outcomes. I feel that because of being in the lower social class I did not have the best opportunities for health care. Even though it wasnt my fault I developed Chronic Kidney Disease. My health began to get worse and eventually I became too sick to go to school, I was devastated. I continued to get worse over the next couple of years and I could no longer work. I lost my private health care insurance and was forced to take state funded Medicaid. I was months without any income, and it was a struggle. I was able to get government assistance for a few months but that was it. I was finally able to get disability. At that point I was in renal failure. The only treatment for that was dialysis or a kidney transplant. I began dialysis and was on it for a month and a half. I got the call that they had a kidney for me! The surgery was successful, and I am getting my health back again. But something else that was good happened to me. I am now back in school and I am now a senior in college. My perseverance paid off and I will soon be graduating.
I go back to beginning of this story where I stated that your social class truly impacts how you live and survive. Once I get my bachelors degree in psychology, I will have a much better chance at a really good job. Then I will work towards obtaining the American Dream.