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The Formation of Religious IdentitiesThe United States is filled with a plethora of different social identities. These identities are how others view people in the society. In this paper, I will be comparing my Catholic identitywith my interviewee Chris’s conversion to his atheist identity. Through the use of my interview evidence, I will show how an individual’s identity can be influenced by social factors such as their community, symbolic interactions, and significant others such as family, friends, and intimates. With the scholarly works presented in the course, I will explain how these identities were learned, managed, adapted to, and assimilated to the self. The goal of the paper is to identify the effect of external social factors have on the socialization of these two identities. I was raised in a strict Catholic home where both of my parents worked long hours at work usually lasting from 8:30am to as late as 6:30pm. My parents commuted to another city to their get to their jobs, so my grandparents took a large role in raising me during the weekdays. They would pick me up from school and I would do my homework at their house, eat dinner with them, and help them with their daily tasks. My grandparents were born in the Philippines, which holds the third largest Catholic population in the world. They both attended Catholic education from grade school all the way to medical school; similarly, I also attended Catholic education from pre-school through high school. I participated in religious activities within my church and outside of my church. I was part of the church choir, served in mass as an altar server,lector, and Eucharistic minister. I was also a peer leader on the ministry team as well as helped teaching catechism to the younger children. All of the women in my family were members of the Catholic Daughters of America, so I was drafted into that group. In that group, we organized canned food drives, soup kitchens, clothing donations, and helped to spread the word of God to all individuals who needed it. I believe my initial choice to join the Catholic faith was a direct
result of my religious upbringing. When I was younger, I thought my family’s devout involvement in the church was the reason why I was religious. I felt like it was my duty to be Catholic and to conform to the lifestyle I was born into. After finishing my two-year confirmation class administered by the church, I realized that wanted to be Catholic for myself and no longer felt like it was a forced personality attribute. My interviewee, Chris, did not have the same strict religious based background growing up. His parents were Christian, but they did not press faith unto him. Chris had a choice whether he wanted to pursue the faith or not. He watched his parents hold bible lessons at his home and attend various charitable events and he saw how these less fortunate individuals treated his parents. These poorer individuals were usually rude and seemed to take advantage of the