Paper #4 - John Abrusci SORF 1100-001 Introduction to...

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John Abrusci SORF 1100-001 Introduction to Sociology Paper #4 Is There Anyone In There? “Life’s greatest questions have always been: Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? You are about to see, and hear, one of the most significant messages given to us from God.” And with those inquisitive words, the Used, one of today’s more popular alternative rock bands, begins its second major album, In Love and Death . The album, both lyrically and musically, deals with questions of love, death and personal identity, as the title and opening lyrics suggest. In a similar fashion, I would like to open this paper with the same questions, and hopefully, by the end, discover more about the person that is myself, John Abrusci. So, with that being said… Who am I? Many people spend a lifetime trying to answer this question, in hopes that they will find a definitive answer, something that will satisfy their insatiable appetite for truth and meaning. Some people are lucky enough to realize their life’s meaning and leave this world with a smile on their face, while others search to no avail and spend their time after death turning over in their graves. But when it boils down to the deepest layer of truth, more often than not, it seems that we are nothing more than an eighty-dollar pair of jeans, some cheap perfume or cologne and a vocabulary that only a select few could possibly understand. Personally, no matter how much I search, I find constantly that there is some sort of influence, whether it is a friend, a movie, a book or a simple billboard advertisement, that commands the way I act and lead my life. Even at birth, we are connected to and dependent on our mothers, void of any completely independent personal identity, or better yet, any kind of authentic self. This idea of an authentic self
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was formulated by Erving Goffman, one of the most influential sociologists of the twentieth century. Goffman believes that people are nothing more than the experiences, roles and labels that comprise their lives, that there is no actual self outside of these entities. And as much as I hate to admit it, I often find myself asking the same question---am I just what people say I am? On September 25 th of the year 1988, I was born into this world John Joseph Abrusci. So, from the very beginning, a major part of my identity---my name---was determined by what another thought would be fitting (in this case, that someone was my mother). From that point forward, almost every aspect of my life seems to have been determined by what would make my parents proud, what my best friends were doing and what the billboard said was cool. For example, as soon as I was old enough to throw a baseball, my dad signed me up for my first little league baseball team. Baseball was sweeter than air to my dad, and in his eyes, success was measured strictly by the amount of home runs you hit, and the amount of sweat it took to knock those balls out of the park. So you could just imagine the excitement in my dad’s rugged voice and the joy in
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Paper #4 - John Abrusci SORF 1100-001 Introduction to...

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