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I am a curious person, and it has led to my research on the group, to which my identity belongs based on sociological theories. As an international student, I have had various choices of the right group, with which to spend time. Social theories argue that people are likely to form relationships with others based on what is termed by sociologist Franklin Giddings as the “adhesive” capability of humans to stick to persons with similar goals, objectives, and lifestyle (Babad, Birnbaum, & Benne, 1983). I had similar experience, when I sought for groups that would offer fun and security to my nature of a rich foreign student. When it comes to making choices, I am very honest, since I particularly know what is right for me and do not move an inch from the truth. My identity has enabled me to make friends with the college in-group of international students, who are fun-loving and liberal. It is because they are associated with several groups, such as rich spoilt students with no manners, poor-sponsored students with no manners, poor-sponsored students with the best behaviors, and rich and conservative students. Being a rich international student with such features as being liberal, sensitive, mannered, passionate, and nature-lover, helps me smoothly associate with elite international recurrent-informal-primary-in-group students.
The given group is based on people, who meet regularly. As it is an informal one, there exist no written rules. In my case, we meet regularly with group members, although not concerning a specific agenda or under any regulations. It primary means that we have strong emotional attachment to the group, while an in-group means that people are brought together by similar values. I feel that I have a strong emotional relation with fellow group members, whom I regard as equal. I respect all their ideas and appreciate their contribution to my fun and security even in the smallest amounts. On the same note, I am a very sensitive and passionate about anything that I do, especially associating myself with this particular group. The sensitivity and passionate elements of my character helps me welcome new ideas, trends and culture, as I am liberal and encourage other people to speak out their mind, especially a group member that I regard as senior.
Sociologist Charles Horton Cooley (1864–1929) argues that groups are the mirror of what and how people think of themselves. I am open-minded and feel uncomfortable when there are any restrictions, and therefore, while in the group, I focus on characters that are also open-mined. It is achieved through interaction, when we play basketball or do some Chinese cooking. I tend to be close to activities that bring about inspiration and fun in the circle of fellow members, who share the same interests or ideas. I value my contribution to the group as a liberal person, who loves traveling and hiking. These are activities that bring about informal relationships with fellow members. In-groups are subcategories of primary and secondary groups. Belonging to the in-group of a primary group means that I feel that I am a member of a certain circle. It does not translate to the idea formed or discussed above concerning being a member. The behavior of the latter determines how the group exists. Being in it creates the feeling that I belong to a certain class of people, who illustrate behavior that I like or engage in.
The group that I belong to has shaped my identity and obligates my activities to remain focused on the ones of all members. The reason for this is that it sometimes motivates me to better my qualities. It is natural for a person to compete and improve to be better than all people in the said group. For example, at times, when playing basketball, I look at the qualities of fellow members to measure my capabilities. If another group member has better skills, I often engage in activities that can better my game. It is in regard to what is termed by Giddings as the existence of the ability of social groups to have a measurement platform to enhance the description of someone (Sill, 1968). Through the illustration of the capabilities of similar members, I can measure my own ones and test whether I really fit the group. If not, the desire to remain or identify with it will force me to work hard to achieve the same status, or will drive to search for a new group.
Giddings describes that at each level of a social unit or institution, there exist some social forces that pull people with certain similar identities together (Sills, 1968). The need to realize personal identity to attach oneself to a particular group is also responsible for excelling higher in it. For example, from the time of recognizing that I belong to the elite group of international students, I have worked hard to outdo similar group member’s capabilities to remain conservative and appreciative of a social background despite the ability to “borrow” foreign culture. There are several characteristics used to define this group, but the most outstanding one is being mannered, passionate about education and an outgoing person, who is liberal. All these are social qualities of group members that shape my identity.