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Miholany Ochoa
English 114B
Professor Garcia
Social Constructivism: The Autoethnography
People often come across situations where they are judged negatively or are treated in a
specific manner not because of their actions, but because of the stereotypical image others form
about them. We cannot cut off from the society and live in isolation, so we tend to face situations
that are unwelcoming yet unavoidable. I faced discrimination and bullying behaviors since I was
younger due to my ethnicity, social class and gender. In this paper, I would like to discuss how
those social categories affected my image and personality throughout the academic settings I
have ever associated with. I would further reflect on the situations that resulted in changing my
personality traits, behaviors and attitudes toward people and the society I live in. In addition, I
would share my experiences as I grew up and transformed into a person I am today, after being
exposed to a number of incidents that made me stronger but bitter towards the discriminatory
practices that prevail in our society.
Being a Guatemalan growing up with White and Korean people was extremely difficult
for me. I was raised in the city of Korea town, I encountered many situations someone my age
didnt deserve. My mother was a housekeeper whom worked for a white family and I always
went with here to work almost everyday. The adults of the family respected me because I was

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their housekeepers daughter of course. On the other hand, the kids would bully me but I didnt
know that being a Latina was such a disgrace; well at least thats how they made it seem like. In
Racial Formations, the author said I told myself if someone has evolved, they shouldnt see race
and how wonderful it will be when we dont see race as a factor in our relationships with others.
(98) That quote may be interpreted differently depending on the person that reads it. I completely
understand where the author is coming from because I believe that race shouldnt matter.
Everyone is human and everyone should get along with one another regardless of skin color,
ethnicity and culture. At such a young age, I was being discriminated because I didnt speak
English the best due to the fact that I left to Guatemala for a very long time. My accent was a
joke to everyone and I never understood why. I was also discriminated for being Latina. All the
discrimination that was created because of my ethnicity has allowed me to realize that one
should get to know a person before even believing the stereotypes society creates about them.
Upper class societies always seem to oppress the lower class. Upper class societies are
always wealthier and are seen as being educated and filled with morals and are also respected so
much more. On the other hand, lower class people are always seen as uneducated, dishonest,
criminals. Both of my parents are from Guatemala and they came to the United States for a better
life, they came here to give their children everything they never had. My family would be
considered lower class and I had to deal with discrimination because of my elementary and
middle school friends. I was always the one who never had the best or trendiest items. Most of
my classmates were Korean and I remember they had the most expensive backpacks and

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amazing art supplies. My family couldnt afford that and I always felt bad and I always felt like I
wasnt good enough. Dealing with peoples jokes at such a young age truly helped me become a
wiser young lady. I have learned that everyone lives a different life and we shouldnt compare
our lives to others. There were so many different racial micro aggressions in my every day life.
In the article Micro aggressions in my every day life they said They are unworthy to be served
and/or that they are not the right kind of people (29) Its sad how people are seen as being
unworthy due to their social class or skin color. My skin is very light and when I was younger I
was extremely pale and had freckles, I was always mistaken as being white. When people found
out that I didnt live in the best neighborhood, they always seemed to see me as a different
person. I struggled so much to be where Im at now and I am thankful for those early experiences
and all that fear I once had about not being good enough.
Being a female is quite difficult, of course we have more rights now than we did before
but it is evident that we still dont have the rights we deserve. For example, in todays society
women are not allowed to dress how they would like. If a woman is wearing a small dress or
shorts or a revealing top people assume that they are looking for someone to rape them. I believe
that males are completely oblivious to the extent that women have to face sexual assault. Due to
my gender, I have faced a lot of discrimination that no one deserves. In Gender Advertisements:
Replication of a Classic Work Examining Women, Magazines, and Facebook Photographs the
Senior Capstone Project for Erica Lawton demonstrates how women are treated differently. For
example, Finally, in this advertisement from Michael Kors, the man is physically guiding the
woman off of an airplane and toward a waiting car, demonstrating body-addressed service. (23)
This shows that women

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are seen as weak and they are also shown as needing a man for guidance. In commercials,
women are shown with men and the men usually look independent unlike women. The firm grip
of his hand on her arm simply shows that the media wants everyone to know that men obviously
have control over women and they are just supposed to allow it. Till this day, women are taught
from such a small age that theyre supposed to let themselves be controlled by the opposite
gender because they are superior. In movies or television shows men are seen as being the one
in charge of the house or a job. When I was younger, I was taught that men are stronger. As I
grew older, I realized that women could also do anything a man can. I consider myself a really
petite female. I am four eleven, which means that I am not tall. I get told, youre such a girl or
youre too girly all the time. Why is it that the media and our society makes us believes that
being a girl is bad? A long time ago, during my first season of soccer in high school I was told,
you hit that ball like a girl! thats extremely disrespectful. It can be harmful to someone
because they obviously meant it in a rude way, girls arent weak. A lot of girls that I know dress
in male clothing because they feel like if they are dressed in skirts or dresses they are way too
girly. I am girly as well. I will never forget the time I got made fun of for playing football, they
made jokes like dont play, youre going to break a nail. It may seem as a joke but all of these
horrible comments are hurtful but everything that I was told made me a stronger person, Clare
Boothe Luce once said, Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts so succeed, If I fail
no one will say she doesnt have what it takes. they will say Women dont have what it
takes. Women are seen as failures while men are known for being successful. I am a female that
no longer cares about what anyone

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has to say. I am a strong believer that females are not weak, our gender is very important and no
gender should be seen as being the weaker sex.
During my childhood, I learned so much about myself due to all the obstacles that were
thrown my way. Society creates certain categories we should fit into, when in reality it shouldnt
matter. Race, social class and gender are just different categories, overall we are human and we
all should create our destiny. My experiences shaped me into becoming a better person. I have
grown so much over the past years. Never let discrimination bring you down, overall take it as
motivation. Discrimination should motivate you into helping you grow into a better person, a
person that shapes his or her own life for the best.

Work Cited:

1. Jone Johnson Lewis. "About Elizabeth Cady Stanton." About Women's

History. http://womenshistory.about.com/od/stantonelizabeth/a/stanton.htm
2. Derald Wing Sue, Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life 05 Oct. 2010