My Playing Field
The sociological concept of playing field is defined as a situation into which we are born. This situation strongly affects us, and has specific consequences on our personality. At the same time, it gives us all the necessary tools to work with in our life. Depending on whether our playing field is advantaged or disadvantaged, we can build what is termed as an “opportunity structure” (Mysociologist.com) to ourselves. This, usually, helps to properly set goals and make achievements in life. Specific characteristics of our playing field influence, first of all, our self-concept, which has the largest effect on us in a long-term perspective.
In this paper, I will focus on the three most important characteristics of my playing field, namely family, gender, and education.Nowadays people tend to have different views on what constitutes a family. In 2010 research, conducted by professors from the University of Indiana, 99.8% of all the participants agreed that a husband, a wife, and children constitute a family, 99.2% agreed that a husband and a wife who have no children still constitute a family. The percentage drops when it comes to less traditional families. Only 83% of the respondents stated that unmarried couple with children constitutes a family, 39.6% agreed that unmarried couples without children still constitute a family. As for the gay couples with children (64%) and gay couples without children (33%) these numbers are much lower (Marriage and Family, 2015). The family is one of the most important characteristics of our personal playing field. Such family key features as its structure, type, marriage patterns, stages of family life, and challenges it faces, have a large impact on our personality. From the conflict theoretical perspective, the family is, in most cases, not a heaven, but rather an arena for power struggles. As for me, I was born into a traditional nuclear family with a father, a mother and a brother.
This was the first and only marriage for both of my parents. Although there were some interpersonal conflicts in our family, I was raised in such a way that I learned to appreciate the long-term family relationship. I was unplanned but wanted child. So, I cannot say that I ever felt unnecessary. I am, definitely, loved by my parents, and this makes me feel secure in different respects. But I have to say, that I never feel myself special, as my elder brother does, who was the first-born child after a series of miscarriages, and who was really wanted and planned. However, I would say that my brother had some difficulties in childhood after I was born, because he was sort of parental child (Mysociologist.com) and, in most cases, felt responsible for me. We were raised equal and our parents never pitted us against each other making comparisons.
There were no cases of domestic violence or any sort of abuse in our family. Another important thing that strongly influences our internal perception is the factor of sex and gender. …