Personal Ethnography Analysis

Words: 1794
Pages: 8

In a political climate today that is defined by rampant partisanship, a confluence of factors have led my political leanings to lean left of center but identify as a moderate. As I grew up in a family with a Democratic mother and a Republican father, I often understand the logic of both sides. While many times political parties attempt to claim a moral ideological superiority, I believe that all people have their own experiences and opinions that justify their leanings. For me, a person’s political ideology is not a factor that defines one’s personality or character. Among my friends, I am often hesitant to initiate political discussion unless I have known the person for a long period of time. While politics are important in my life, and I …show more content…
Sartell is over 90% Caucasian, and the average family is of the upper to middle class. In Sartell, racist jokes about Mexicans, African-Americans, and Middle-Easterners are casually tossed around due to these groups’ lack of presence. The majority of my friends’ parents work in Health Care or Business. While I was not exposed to many of the issues happening outside of my insulated community, I became deeply interested in race relations during High School when we studied the Jim Crow era my freshman year. My Senior year, I watched 13, a documentary about the history of African Americans and prison in the United States. I was struck how inequity had deeply afflicted the United States as blacks were under-educated by society and overly penalized for their criminal offenses. Two High School classes I took that have been formative in my political life are Sociology and A.P. United States Government. In Sociology, we studied institutional inequities and false misperceptions that we hold, such as the idea that immigrants are violent and all people of a particular racial group look the same. The class helped me to be more critical of my own beliefs and more deeply aware of how society affects the individual. For example, women are affected by a “glass ceiling” that largely halts career advancement. My United States Government class was also very impactful. Prior to the class, I had never considered studying Political Science in college. However, my teacher had his master’s degree in Political Science, and his expertise inspired me to learn about politics. I became fascinated with elections, campaign processes, and constitutional law. We also did a legislative simulation for about a month where I served as the speaker of the house and my classmates served on various other committees. I controlled debate, learned how an idea becomes legislation, and even authored my own legislation. I