The Role of Social Structure after Growing Up in a Small Town

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In our daily social life, when meeting another person for the first time, the thought of “is this person better than me?” is continually running in our mind whether we are aware of them or not. The beginning of this year my family and I went on a cruise for the very first time. The process of getting everything booked and payed for was a little stressful. During the process of booking our cruise, we realized that certain levels on the ship were either cheap or very expensive. As a family of five we were able to get a level that we could afford. Once we were on the ship and got to looking for our cabin we came across the levels of were the nicer cabins were which were well accommodated.

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Growing up in a small town, life chances play a huge role. I have been raised in this community all my life. Living in a small town everyone knows everybody and almost everyone is related to each other by marriage or by blood. Many have stayed in the community due to the land and cattle that has been passed onto them by relatives. Many job opportunities are given to those who come from a well-known family, and makes it hard for those in our community who are needing a job and don’t quite fall in their criteria. I personally had to get very involved in school activities because I noticed several students whose parents were either teachers/coaches or involved in our community had more opportunities than those whose parents are not involved as much in the community…

Clothing and shoes is something I enjoy shopping for, which is an example of stratification. When shopping for clothing I like to compare brands that I know are very expensive to a brand that is half the price. For example, I like “The North Face” brand but I know their jackets are high priced, although “Academy” has similar jackets that are fifty percent less than “The North Face” jacket and are as comfortable. If the jacket fits right and is comfortable and has a reasonable price I don’t see why the brand would matter. Society is constructed in a way that some people assume they are superior to other people because of the brand of their clothing they wear.

Electronics is another way stratification can be presented. When I was in high school all I would see in the hallways were students with apple product phones. If you were seen with a different type of phone by a student who had an apple product, there was either a rude remark made or you were seen at lower level of stratification. Once Apple started coming out with newer models my classmates would bring up the subject about upgrading to the newest iPhone. There were those who couldn’t afford apple product phones and felt uncomfortable taking out their phones in front of them because of the students who felt like there iPhone had better quality than those with a Samsung. 

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