What social forces affect your life the most?

Expert Answers
jerseygyrl1983 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For every individual, the response to this question will be different. As the previous educator mentioned, you will have to think about who you are and how you think society responds to you, as well as how you respond to society.

What we all have in common is a desire for love and respect. However, our pursuits of those desires are different. Some people, for example, want to be regarded as successful. In most societies, success is defined according to how much money one makes and the prestige of one's professional position. However, there are people who make a lot of money in leadership positions but still do not feel very successful. This is because our idea of success is more often defined by society and its valorization of money than by our own personal needs and standards.

Presently, social media is a major social force that affects our lives. All of us use social media to present people with an image of ourselves that we want them to see. If we are very interested in politics and world affairs, we will post a lot of articles and comments that illustrate our ideas on those issues. If we have happy family lives (or want others to think we do), we will post a lot of pictures of our families.

To understand how a social force like social media affects your life, think about the things you post. Why do you choose to post those things? Who are your friends on social media? Whom do you communicate with the most on social media and why? The friends we select on social media also reflect who we think we are.

If you are not on social media, think about how social forces affect you by reflecting on certain aspects of your identity. Start very simply. For example, how old are you? Our age greatly affects how people respond to us. Then, consider other questions. With what gender do you identify? Are you able-bodied or disabled in some way? From here, you can consider other aspects of who you are and how society may respond to you, including, but not limited to, race, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, and any political views you may have. Social forces affect every aspect of who we are, even in ways we may forget or not think about.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In this answer, I will say a little about myself, but I will also try to give you the ability to answer this question on your own.  It is important that you answer it on your own because the social forces that affect you are surely going to be different than those that affect me since you and I are presumably at very different points in our lives.

We human beings live with lots of other people in our society.  We have relationships with those people.  Those relationships put certain types of pressures and expectations on us.  We (at least sometimes) feel the need to act in the ways that people want us to act.

For me, the only real social forces that impact me are the expectations of my employers and of my family.  Because I need to make money, I need to care about what my employers want me to do and how they want me to behave.  I want my wife and my kids to continue to love and respect me.  This makes a big difference in how I conduct myself every day.

But this question is about you.  What pressures affect the way you behave?  Do you belong to a church that matters to you?  If so, that might be a social force.  Do you watch a lot of TV or movies that may affect your views as to what is cool and appropriate?  Do you care a lot about what your friends think of you?  All of these things are social forces that may be important to you.  Try to think about these questions and about anything else that might affect you in your life and write an answer that will reflect your reality.