What Is Social Location in Sociology?

Students 99506 960 720 Credit: [cherylt23/Pixabay]

Social location determines where an individual stands in their community. Social location helps establish a person’s identity. It also helps us reveal our identity to others. We can discuss how our identities differ when we understand social location. We can also use this understanding to make better decisions on a social level.

Identity is about more than the decisions a person makes. Identity is more complex. Identity takes into account ideas that are mental, physical, political, historical, and cultural. This is social location.


What Is Sociology?

Sociology is the study of people in societies. The social norms shape societies within it. The norms one experiences in their social location make understanding the norms of other locations harder. We best understand our own locations.

When we study sociology, we need to understand social location. We need to know how it impacts the way we live.

Sociology includes the study of different groups, including subcultures. Sociologists study people of all age groups, genders, and education levels. They also study people from different economic groups.

What Are Theories Surrounding Social Location?

Social location is important in several theories. Standpoint theory suggests that social and historical events impact group experiences. It looks at physical setting, interests, social organizations, and other factors.

Feminist theory also looks at social location. Feminism believes that social location impacts power and privilege. Feminists use gender as one of the most important factors of social location.

What Factors Influence Social Location?

Many factors affect social location. They include race, gender, education, and economic status. Social location includes age, ability, location, and education. These are the things that make up where and how you live.

Social location has several levels. Social location includes the person’s specific experiences, home, and family. This is the lowest level. The next level includes the local community. Government, religion, and public policy play an important role on a larger level.

Each level interacts with the others. Somebody cannot live in a home without living with the effects of government and community.

How Does Social Location Impact a Person?

Social location has a major impact on the people within a group. Social location shapes a person’s view of the world. It can impact the reality in which a person lives. Social location affects social roles, social rules, privilege, and power.

Can You Change Your Social Location?

Some parts of social location do not change. A person can’t change their race or ethnicity. They cannot impact the economic status they lived in as a child.

People can change some elements of social location. For instance, a person can change their current economic status. They can change their physical location and education. When people change elements of their social location, it impacts their view of the world.

Why Is Social Location Important?

People who understand social location learn about people. They learn how people live and interact. They learn about different ideas. They also learn that people have different realities. Social location also tells us about discrimination and other problems some people face.

When we understand social location, we understand there is no objective experience. People in positions of power and privilege are not the norm. Many people have lives that do not come with large amounts of power.