Cultural Identity Essay

Submitted By Jay-Quitter
Words: 1418
Pages: 6

Jay Quitter

COMS 1100

Sidi Becar Meyara

9 December 2014

My Cultural Identity: The Decline of the Coal Industry There have been many influences throughout my life that have helped situate not only who I am as a person, but also what my cultural identity is. One thing that has been a huge influence is the decline of the coal industry throughout the last ten years in history. The coal industry in itself has helped shape my cultural identity, specifically my social class and my locality throughout my life. Because of the coal industry, I am considered to be in the upper class of life socially and I live in a nicer home with very intelligent people. However, because of the recent decline, I have also seen people lose everything they have and have their structure of life completely be erased. Through power and privilege, class, knowledge and power, and age, all four of these concepts have not only greatly impacted me as a person and what my cultural identity is, but it has also affected many people I know and love and how their structure of life has completely changed in result. Ever since I was born, my dad has been working in the coal industry. Starting off as a coal salesman, he started from the bottom and eventually worked his way up to be president of the company and part own of the company. Because of this, I have been fortunate enough to live a life in the upper class. My family has always had money. I have never had to work a day in my life, have had almost everything paid for by my dad, and have been able to live in a nice home. All of these things have taught me to appreciate everything I have. However, I have become accustomed to the upper class lifestyle, which therefore, is all I know. I realize now, especially since coming to college, I expect nothing but what I have always had when it comes to my lifestyle, which can be a good thing but a lot of times, can be a negative thing. Some of the positive things I am exposed to is that a since I can afford many things through my dad, I am able to use many resources that can help me in college that many people cannot afford. Some negatives are that many people call me “spoiled” and “unappreciative” towards things I am given when clearly they have no idea of things my dad has had to sacrifice in order to achieve what has and therefore can financially support his family. After learning about the concept of having certain privileges, I believe because my dad is president of his company is one of the best sales people in the coal industry on the East Coast, I believe having power creates many privileges in one’s life. Mine is a prime example because of my dad and what he has done. For many years of my life, people who were just like my family have surrounded me. They had wealth, worked in the coal industry, and were given many opportunities a lot of people would kill for. However, through recent years, because of the restrictions put on the coal industry, I have seen many families I know and love get destroyed. Since 2008, President Obama has tried to limit the coal industry in a feat to try to bring more environmental friendly resources into play:
Coal’s precipitous fall from providing almost half of our electricity is not a result of free-market forces but from government regulation driven by President Obama with aggressive support from crony capitalists and environmental activists. (Borelli)
Because of this, many people have lost their jobs. I have watched people who were living in the upper class go to having no money. This has had a significant impact on me because I have begun to realize that anything can change in the blink of an eye. For a lot of my life, I always thought my dad would never have a problem losing his job. Luckily in 2013, a very successful company in Italy bought his company and therefore, they have had much success in recent years. However, those companies who haven not been so fortunate are seeing the biggest decline in history when it comes to