Identify your in-groups and your out-groups. how have your in-groups influenced the way you see the world? and what influence have your out-group had on you?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

An in-group is a group with which a person has connections and with which a person shares some qualities. An out-group is a group with which a person has no connections.

My in-groups influence what I do and how I think. I identify with a particular religion and there are...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

An in-group is a group with which a person has connections and with which a person shares some qualities. An out-group is a group with which a person has no connections.

My in-groups influence what I do and how I think. I identify with a particular religion and there are expectations of how I should behave, what I am allowed and not allowed to do, and when and where I pray. As an educator, I share common values in which many educators believe. I believe that all students can learn and that all children are entitled to a good, high-quality education. I believe that students should work hard and try their best. As a sports official, I believe in fairness in sporting competition. I believe the rules should be followed and enforced, just like other sports officials believe. My family influences my values and how I live my life. My family has had the most influence on me.

Out-groups influence me even though I am not a part of any of these groups. If I enter a house of worship that is different from my house of worship, I still must respect their values and traditions. If I am with people who do things differently than I do things, I must respect how they live. While I don’t have to incorporate their ways of doing things or their beliefs into my life, I need to be respectful of the differences that exist.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

As you try to compose your answer to this for an assignment, you will need to think of your own in- and out-groups, which will obviously be quite different from those of the eNotes editors answering this question. 

There are many factors which go into creating our identities and we are normally members of multiple overlapping groups.

If you are religious, for example, you would regard co-religionists as members of your in-group and people of different religions or atheists as members of an out-group. This type of affiliation affects many elements of your life. For example, you might seeing fasting and donating to charity during Ramadan as normal if your in-group is Islamic, but associate the ostentation of Christmas with the materialism of a religious out-group of Christians. 

Another type of identity we have is racial. Even for people who are not consciously racist, often part of building our own identity involves affiliating with people of our own backgrounds, preferring to live in neighborhoods filled with people of certain racial backgrounds. If we see our out-groups as more prestigious and powerful than our in-groups, we might attempt to "pass" for members of the out-group or otherwise assimilate, whereas if the opposite is true we might emphasize our own in-group heritage in our personal lifestyles. 

Our gender identities form another set of in- or out-groups. For example, men might feel uncomfortable wearing skirts or makeup as that is associated with the female out-group, but women attempting to succeed in business may want to wear suits, speak with a deliberately lower pitched voice, and otherwise emulate the manners and style of the more powerful out-group of men within patriarchal societies.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

This is a sophisticated question, because it realizes that all people are shaped by others or we can say society. The in-group will, of course, have the greater influence, but the out-group may have a role as well. The person who has done some great work on this topic is the sociologist Peter Berger. His basic thoughts are outlined in the link below. The basic point is that a person's in-group will shape a person's plausibility structure. To put it in other words, what a person deems plausible is large a matter of society.

Since this question is directed to an editor, I would say that my in-group is my family. My family has influenced me in my opinions and how I view the world. As for out-group (probably pop-culture), I would say that it has influenced me in subtle ways through media.

 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team