Sociology is the systematic study of social behavior and human group (Scheuble, 2013). The book Just Like Us by Helen Thorpe studies the social behavior of illegal immigrants between their own group and those towards the out group. In the book the author observed that most illegal immigrants get fake Mexican identity card because their current circumstance would not meet the eligibility to get a real Mexican identity card. This is what happened to Yadira, she did not meet the requirements to get an ID card, so she had no other choice than to get a fake one (Thorpe,106). The author realized that sometimes circumstance had to be taken into consideration when trying to figure why a person committed a deviant act. The author also noticed that the girls became friends due to the fact that they were in similar situation in regards to their legal status. All four of girls bonded over the fact that they all shared a similar background (Thorpe, 23-24)
Sociologist C. Wright Mills came up the theory of Social imagination. Social imagination is the view that social forces can affect a person’s private life (Scheuble, 2013). In the book Just Like Us the character Marisela faces problem in her personal life due to social forces. Marisela cannot apply for FAFSA since it requires providing a Social Security number (Thorpe, 25). The social force of requirement of proof of legalization to gain any access to rewards of society such as going to college with an aide caused problems in Marisela’s personal life because now she cannot afford to go to college because it is going to cost more since she will not receive any in-state discount or aide from the government. Another example of social imagination in the book is how the law ‘Colorado secure and verifiable identity document Act’ made it harder for Marisela to obtain a Colorado driver’s licenses. For most kids at Marisela’s age getting driver’s license is right of passage, but she has been deprived of it due to the fact that she has no legal verification documents (Thorpe, 25).
Three sociological concepts that can apply to the book Just Like Us are culture, social structure and Deviance. Culture is the language, beliefs, values, norms, behaviors, and even material objects that are passed from one generation to the next (Henslin, 40). One of the cultural objects that have been passed down from one generation to the next in Marisela’s life is the peñata (Thorpe, 99). Piñata is a candy stuffed clay pot that this hanged from a tree or a beam. It has been a tradition of Mexico to break the Piñata during celebration (History of the0 Piñata in Mexico, 1). This culture is now passed on to Marisela to sustain her Mexican heritage.
Social structure refers to the typical pattern of a group (Henslin, 94). One pattern between the illegal immigrants the author have noticed that many illegal immigrants such as Alma use false social security to work (Thorpe, 137). While others have decent job because they were granted legal...