describe a time when you felt that your race, ethnicity, and/or gender was giving you an advantage?

Discussion Required Resources Read/review the following resources for this activity: Textbook: Chapter 9, 10 Lesson Instructor supplied resources Student chosen resources (optional) Initial Post The lesson and textbook readings for this week emphasize that race, ethnicity, and gender are all social constructs. For the initial post, respond to one of the following options, and label the beginning of your post indicating either Option 1 or Option 2: Option 1: Can you describe a time when you felt that your race, ethnicity, and/or gender was giving you an advantage? Can you describe a time when you felt that your race, ethnicity, and/or gender was a disadvantage to you? Option 2: Explore how a person’s or family’s ethnic or gender identity can change over time. Interview a parent or grandparent about some of their family traditions that may no longer be part of the family practice, or that has evolved. Why might it have been stopped or changed? Follow-Up Post Respond to at least one peer. If possible, respond to one peer who chose an option different than the one you chose. Further the dialogue by providing more information and clarification. Make sure that you add additional information and not repeat the same information already posted on the discussion board as you further the dialogue. Writing Requirements Minimum of 2 posts (1 initial & 1 follow-up) APA format for in-text citations and list of references Minimum of 1 source cited Grading This activity will be graded using the Discussion Grading Rubric. Please review the rubric by clicking on the ellipsis (three dots) in the upper right-hand of this page and selecting ‘Show Rubric.’ Course Outcomes CO 3: Analyze the concepts of culture and society. CO 4: Analyze interactions between ethnic or racial groups in social organizations based on the cultural characteristics of the groups. CO 6: Compare and contrast multicultural issues related to subgroups identified by categories in addition to or other than race and ethnicity.


In the study of sociology and cultural anthropology, it has become increasingly evident that race, ethnicity, and gender are not fixed, inherent attributes of individuals, but rather, they are social constructs that are shaped by society’s perceptions, norms, and expectations (Schaefer, 2021). This essay delves into the dynamic nature of these constructs, as highlighted in Chapter 9 and 10 of our textbook (Schaefer, 2021), and considers their impact on personal experiences and familial traditions. It explores the ways in which individuals may experience advantages or disadvantages based on their race, ethnicity, and gender, and also discusses how these aspects of identity can evolve over time within families.

Option 1: The Advantage and Disadvantage of Identity

Option 1 invites us to reflect on personal experiences where our race, ethnicity, and/or gender have either provided advantages or placed us at a disadvantage. Identity plays a complex role in shaping our lives, and it can lead to both positive and negative outcomes. For instance, I recall a time when my ethnicity, which is Chinese, provided an advantage. During a college application process, the institution I applied to had a diversity initiative that actively sought students from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds. In this case, my ethnicity was a distinct advantage as it opened doors to educational opportunities that may not have been as accessible otherwise (Schaefer, 2021). This experience made me keenly aware of how my ethnicity could be an asset in certain contexts.

Conversely, there have been instances when my gender, as a female, seemed to work against me. In some professional settings, I have encountered situations where my opinions were overlooked or dismissed simply because of my gender. This experience serves as a reminder that gender stereotypes and biases still persist in society, often disadvantaging women in various aspects of life, from career opportunities to leadership roles (Schaefer, 2021).

Option 2: The Evolution of Identity within Families

Option 2 encourages us to explore how a person’s or family’s ethnic or gender identity can change over time. Family traditions and cultural practices are essential aspects of identity, and they can evolve for various reasons. I had the opportunity to interview my grandmother about our family’s cultural traditions, specifically focusing on our holiday celebrations. Over time, our family has seen a significant shift in the way we celebrate certain holidays.

One tradition that has evolved is the way we celebrate the Lunar New Year. In the past, our family would gather at my grandparents’ house for a grand feast and various rituals. However, as family members moved to different cities and countries, it became challenging to maintain this tradition exactly as it was. Consequently, we started to adapt our celebrations by incorporating elements from the local cultures of our new homes. This change was driven by the need to stay connected as a family despite geographical distances (Schaefer, 2021).


In conclusion, the concepts of race, ethnicity, and gender are fluid and influenced by societal factors. Identity can both advantage and disadvantage individuals, as personal experiences can vary widely. Furthermore, family traditions and cultural practices are not static but can evolve over time due to changing circumstances and the need to adapt. Recognizing the dynamic nature of these constructs allows for a deeper understanding of the complexities of human identity and the role they play in shaping our lives and interactions within society. As we continue to explore these topics, it is crucial to consider how they relate to the broader themes of culture, society, and multicultural issues, as outlined in the course outcomes.