Parenthood as a Cause of Social Status Change


The development of a personality is greatly influenced by different events. The most significant experiences have the most impact on socialization because they cause the change in social statuses and roles. These experiences include education, employment, parenthood, etc. A person can experience role conflicts that finally shape his or her identity. One of the most significant events in the life of a person that condition changes in social statuses and roles are becoming a parent. Although men and women accept this change differently, there are some factors, such as culture or agents of socialization, that shape this process.

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Cultural Dimensions and Expectations Influencing the Change of Status and Social Role

Culture is obviously one of the major factors that influence society. Newman (2016) states that it consists of “the shared, taken-for-granted values, beliefs, objects, and rules that guide people’s lives” (p. 85). As a Caucasian man, I believe that norms of behavior, beliefs, and values had the most influence on me. First of all, I should mention that family relations are of vital importance for Caucasians. Family values are accepted in culture in general, and every family, in particular, shapes the traditions and values of future generations.

The impact of culture is frequently realized through diverse social institutions. The notion of the institutional norm is often applied to refer to some “pattern of behavior” that becomes broadly accepted (Newman, 2016, p. 86). I consider my family to be the most influential social institution that provides a basis for my behavior. Family on the whole and parents, in particular, were the source of values that I absorbed and transferred to my family.

I was taught that the husband is the head of the family and takes responsibility for his wife and children. What I value most in my culture is that people follow the traditions of parents not because of the fear of sanctions such as social blame, but accept them as granted, as a part of the nonmaterial culture, and make them a part of their daily life. Becoming a parent myself made me realize the essence of family values and responsibilities.

As a single man and immediately after the marriage, I was aware of my role as a provider of the family. However, my first child added more sense to my work. My wife became responsible for the family care, and I had to provide their living. Nevertheless, after I became a father of three, I gave up my business to spend more time with my family. I did not violate any norms, and I still provide my family, but my current occupation leaves more spare time.

Speaking of cultural impact, I should mention ethnocentrism as a factor that molded my attitudes to social status and roles. Ethnocentrism is very strong among Caucasians. We believe that our ethnic group is the best, and it also has an impact on the social roles we take. Thus, as a young father, I believed I had to be the most caring and needed to provide my child with the best possible things. It influenced my social role as a father and a worker because I worked extra hours to achieve my goals.

Building Identity and Socialization

The building of identity and socialization are life-long processes. People adapt to the demands of society and learn to behave appropriately. The agents of socialization guide this process. For me, my neighbors became one of such agents. I also consider them to be a source of values and social norms. They are a traditional Christian family, and we often spend holidays together. Their family was a source of anticipatory socialization for me because I could see their relations with children and their reactions to different situations. Another agent of socialization was the church. It is among the strongest social institutions in our culture because religion determines lifestyles and influences behaviors.

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Before becoming a parent, I was a husband, a son, and a brother. Another role I played successfully was that of a family provider. However, our first child made me adjust to the social role of a father. I was lucky to have good examples of my parents’ family and other families in our community that brought up children in the best cultural traditions. After my third child was born, the roles of a provider and a parent came into conflict.

I knew I had to earn money and wanted to be with children at the same time. Thus, I found a solution in leaving my business and finding a job that gave me both money and some spare time to spent with my family. I did not have any problems with my identity and self-perception, probably due to the feelings of exceptionalism and responsibility cultivated by my parents.

The Presentation of Self

I believe that every person behaves similarly to an actor while presenting himself or herself. After my first baby was born, there was a discrepancy between the front stage and the backstage in my life. At the front stage, I was a successful businessman with a happy family. I needed this presentation for my work. However, backstage, I was a stressed man who did not know how to share time between work and family. I solved the problem by taking my family to the front stage and making them a priority in life.


Every person undergoes the influences of society. Cultural norms, traditions, and values together with social institutions and socialization agents shape a personality. However, I believe that despite many influences, every person is responsible for the choices in life and decides on his or her social statuses and roles.


Newman, D. (2017). Sociology: Exploring the architecture of everyday life (10th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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StudyCorgi. "Parenthood as a Cause of Social Status Change." May 19, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Parenthood as a Cause of Social Status Change." May 19, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Parenthood as a Cause of Social Status Change'. 19 May.

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