Essay Sample on Disadvantages of Being a Member of a Group

Published: 2021-07-26
757 words
3 pages
7 min to read
Boston College
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Groups can be exciting when the individual efforts towards the purpose of formation are balanced. A group is some people with similar interests who have come together to achieve a common goal. Groups can be small or big size. It can be a religious, cultural, sports, political among other affiliations. People join groups voluntarily or because they are supposed to accomplish something. They obtain some advantages from being members of a particular group, for instance, they feel a sense of belonging and identity, security and other benefits. However, groups can be disadvantageous, and an individuals efforts are derailed by the panel activities because of various reasons. It then makes the individual benefit less compared to when they would be alone. The paper, therefore, will critique the negative aspects that people experiencewhen they belong to a group.

Cultural Baggage by Barbara Ehrenreigh nuances a clear picture of the challenges people goes through while looking for their ethnical identity. In an attempt to find her cultural heritage Ehrenreigh gets frustrated because she cannot identify herself with any. She thought her marriage to a Europe-Jewish man would help her track her roots, but this did not work (Ehrenreigh 9). The author eventually reminisces her childhood where ethnic or cultural identity was not practiced by her parents. Her mother only emphasized on trying new things. The cultural practices time make people weak and remain backward as suggested by Ehrenreigh as a piece of advice given by her mother (Ehrenreigh 12). Firstly, when a person belongs to a group, they have to change who they are by making sacrifices to suit the groups demands. For instance, they need to do certain things to be identified with the panel. If it is a cultural group, people need to eat particular types of food practice certain rituals among others. It is depicted by Ehrenreigh when she says that she started introducing her children to the Jewish practices to identify herself with their ethnicity. She introduces her children to the practice of the Jewish traditions where the results were not pleasant as Ehrenreih states that her elder child in a demeaning way cautions her to stop it because she did not even believe in God (15).

Secondly, belonging to a particular group makes one a slave to the past and retards development. The reason is that one cannot do anything independently without consulting the members in this case their efforts are derailed because some will accept and others oppose(Ehrenreigh 24). It can be seen in Moes case where he works hard performs well, but the does group does not hence pull his efforts down. Ehrenreigh states that her father said that rituals had been carried out in the past and needed to be abandoned because it has nothing except poverty, misery, and misconceptions (27).

On the other Lemongrass by Franc Browning explains the traditional practices of the Asian society using a family of Mrs. Loan and her husband Thuong together with their four children who left a refugee camp in Thailand for Oklahoma City. The couple is rooted in the old traditions of dictating everything that happens in their childrens lives they want their children to doctors as Thuong. They regulate the hours to watch TV to only 1hour in the evening (Browning 8). However, their children dispute the culture and insist on living the American dream so that they are free from poverty life. It is evident that belonging to a group, for instance, cultural heritage limits ones freedom of choice where people cannot choose whom they want to be on life issues such careers. They are forced to go by what the cultural practices dictate them to do. Browning illustrates this through Thuong,s children who are all doctors because their father is a physician and Thuy one of the children says that in their family one grows to be a doctor .(11)


It is worth noting that belonging to a group is disadvantageous because it derails ones efforts and limits their progress. It is because they have to follow certain set rules of the groups and cannot make decisions on their own. From the two articles, it is evident that belonging to a group suffocates freedom and make people slaves to the cultural traditions of the past. Groups there possess more negative impacts that would benefit an individual.

Works cited

Barbara, Ehrenreigh. Cultural Baggage Retrieved on 28th September 2017 from

Franc, Browning. Lemongrass on the Prairie Retrieved on 28th September 2017 from

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