- Thinking Sociology
- Social Identities
- Culture, Knowledge and Belief
- Social Organization and Control
- Production, Inequalities and Social Division
Welcome to Sociology
The Study of Society.
Sociology focuses on identifying, explaining, and interpreting patterns and processes of human social relations. This introductory course is designed not just to teach you some of the major findings of sociology, but to help you master fundamental sociological skills, including the ability to think with a "sociological imagination" as well as integrate "technological fluency" with "informational literacy" utilizing basic computer-based data analysis—skils which have broad applicability in a range of educational and work settings.
Our goal in this class is for you to gain a different perspective of a diverse world often taken for granted and to gain new insight into the ways that society shapes people and the way people shape their society. Our objectives are directed at building competence as a critical thinker and change agent so that you will better able to raise relevant questions about the direction in which society is moving, interpret social trends, and examine significant social problems.
It is my hope that this hands-on experience of "doing" sociology will both enliven your interest in sociological analysis and help you develop practical skills that you can use in other contexts as well. We can best understand the process of social interaction when we understand the person in place and in time. Our syllabus sets the place, time and process of this course for you the person.
Welcome to my world, your world, our world.
Dr. Michael Thompson
Identity is "the internal, subjective concept of oneself as an individual". In other words your own ideas about who you are as a person. Henri Taijfel's social identity theory proposed that instead of seeing identity as individualistic it should be looked at in terms of social processes. He and other social identity theorists suggest that identity can be divided into two broad categories. The first is our personal identity, with regard to who we are in terms of our personal relationships and our individual personal behavior. The second being our social identity, which is who we are in terms of the groups to which we belong. In order to experience psychological well being, our core identity, needs a combination of the two. Taijfel claimed that society is composed of various groups that differ from one another in terms of power, influence and status. By the process of social mobility you can move up or sometimes even down the social scale. We self categorize ourselves causing us to identify with some groups and distinguish ourselves from others. It is our affiliations with certain groups that define our identity, and that these groups are seen as part of our self concept. Taijfel was interested in investigating whether that basic principle of just belonging to a group was enough to make people favor one group and act less favorably to another. This was evident in Taijfel 1971 Minimal group experiments. Participants were allocated randomly on the basis of a favorite choice of two paintings, and this became their reason to favor their own group and discriminate against the other. This was also evident in Jane Elliot's 1968 blue/brown eye experiment. In both cases the feeling of belonging to a group to which you share characteristics is what was seen as important.
Examples of In-groups – Out-groups
o Northern Ireland: Catholics – Protestants
o Rwanda: Hutus and Tutsis
o Yugoslavia: the Bosnians and Serbs
o Germany: Jews and the Nazis
o Politics: Labor and the Conservatives
o Football: Liverpool and Man Utd
o Gender: Males and Females
o Social Class: Middle and Working Classes
The first is categorization. We categorize objects in order to understand them and identify them. In a very similar way we categorize people in order to understand the social environment. We use social categories like black, white, Australian, Christian, Muslim, student, and bus driver because they are useful.
In the second stage, social identification, we adopt the identity of the group we have categorized ourselves as belonging to. If for example you have categorized yourself as a student, the chances are you will adopt the identity of a student and begin to act in the ways you believe students act (and conform to the norms of the group). There will be an emotional significance to your identification with a group, and your self-esteem will become bound up with group membership.
The final stage is social comparison. Once we have categorized ourselves as part of a group and have identified with that group we then tend to compare that group with other groups. If our self-esteem is to be maintained our group needs to compare favorably with other groups. This is critical to understanding prejudice, because once two groups identify themselves as rivals they are forced to compete in order for the members to maintain their self-esteem. Competition and hostility between groups is thus not only a matter of competing for resources like jobs but also the result of competing identities.
What we do together as a group depends on the second factor: security. If we believe that the present situation is right for us, we will adapt to it. But if there is something wrong with the society we linger around, we will try and change the group, or society we are in. Social identities revolve around the social identities theory. The everyday role we play in life is described as our social identity. The people we hang out with most likely or should have a lot in common with us because when you’re around them for so long we end up picking up one another’s behaviors. During the years we go through, we might spend our whole lives finding our true social identities or may change our identities throughout life. As a teen, I see and undergo different changes to myself and other teens often. Teens may go through experimenting with body piercings, new hairstyles, music preferences, tattoos, and many different styles of dressing just to decide which group they think is right for them.
As people get older and start to settle down, I believe by then most people find what group defines them. Social identities have and will always be a big part of everyone’s life, and people will do anything to maintain self-esteem for themselves. Society is getting bigger and bigger every day, and we will always be a part of society, but only in our own ways.
by Kate Scott
In sociology, the term “social identity” is used as a way of labeling or linking us to a certain sect of society. Our text defines it as a particular label that has been applied in order to indicate the type of person that they are. And with most of the population, a social identity is often discovered and taken on within the teenage years or in one’s twenties as a person transitions into a career or life path of their choice. However, these identities are generally not derived from individual personality characteristics but rather groups that link them to social roles or categories.
Many of these social identities can be derived from gender, ethnicity, or careers. These can be as broad as women/men, Caucasian/Asian, or a teacher/doctor. I define myself as a middle-class, Caucasian student. In some cases however, such identities may be linked to stereotypes of such roles rather than general social positions or careers. A person’s social identity may also be, and is commonly a mix of general roles to create a diverse set of identities specified to create more select groups.
That’s not to be said however, that such roles are unchanging and permanent. Such identities can be fluid and varied to accept a career shift or new role taken on by a person. Even more so, the identity may even shift throughout the day, depending on the role played out by an individual, such as identifying as a doctor or nurse at work and a parent while home.
The text claims “a social identity is regarded as somehow fundamental to a person’s whole way of being: it is what the person is, above all else.” Such roles seem to offer a positive sense of self-esteem and confidence in their personhood and being part of a group. However, when that role is unchallenged or not fully accepted, a sense of inadequacy may arise and challenge the individual with a negative social identity. In younger years, often as early as the teenage years, this may result in dangerous behaviors: ranging from drug abuse, eating disorders, or self-harm.
In fact, 79% of all reported self-injurers are under the age of 18. While that is a very large majority, it’s even more staggering when you find that 9% of self-injurers are between the ages of 19-23. Even more so, approximately 85% of all self-injurers are female.
These statistics hit home for me, because my little sister Molly is a “cutter”, aka self-injurer. She is almost a walking statistic, being both female and under the age of 18. And if you look into the stereotypes of self-injury, she’s almost a textbook case – loner, quiet, depressed, and somewhat isolated. Her story of self-injury began only a few short months ago, but seemed escalated and triggered by blogs and Internet sites of kids who shared her feelings and thoughts. After a few weeks of talking to a counselor and researching on our own, we found that self-injury – such in the case of my sister, can be results of a negative social identity.
After talking to my sister, I found that she feels separated and isolated from her peers and found a sense of community with online friends who shared her depressed thoughts and inner struggles. So, although negative, she had found a social identity. I struggled with this, because I had previously generally considered social identities to be positive things – at least the ones surrounding me.
HowStuffWorks.com Contributors. "What is social identity?" 08 April 2011. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://people.howstuffworks.com/what-is-social-identity.htm> 28 October 2013.
Sociology 4th edition, James Fulcher, Oxford press 2011
"Cutting and Self-Injury: We Can Help." Parenting.org. Boys Town, 2013. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.
28 October 2013
Social identity is a person’s sense of who they are based on their group membership(s). The groups (e.g. social class, family, sports team etc.) can be looked at as a vital source of pride and self-esteem. We acquire our sense of social identity from the groups of which we belong. We are all people that lives eat and breathe the same air, a classic description of all human beings. In order to increase our self –image we enhance the status of the group to which we belong. By engaging in this process we divide the world into “them” and “us” based through a process of social categorization.
The “us” group would then be labeled as the in group and the “them” group would be labeled as the out group. Social identity theory states that the in-group will discriminate against the out-group to enhance their self-image. It is of the norm that group members of an in-group will seek to find negatives aspects of an out-group, thus enhancing their self-esteem and the superiority to the group that they belong. For example, An American will view U.S.A as the best continent in the world. To increase their self-image they will then discriminate and hold prejudiced views against the out group. (The other remaining continents).
To identify us as an individual we have to look at our personal identity. Personal identity is what makes every person unique, defining them through their specific biographies (e.g., name, birthplace), unique characteristics (e.g., intelligent, athletic), role identities (e.g., daughter, employee), and particular combination of private and public experiences. Three main types of social identity are gender identity, sexual orientated identity and ethnic identity. We might not be aware of this subconsciously but the first thing that we recognize when looking at an individual is their gender. If these violates the norms of which we use to identify what their gender is we then move towards identifying them by their sexual orientation. In which we might assume that the individual is gay. For example, a guy wearing shorts above knee level and a pink top with long hair and tall nails who over uses hand gestures when talking we immediately assumes that this person is gay because his action is out of the norm of what we use to identify a male.
After analyzing an individual gender and sexual orientation we then seek to identify them by their ethnicity. For example when meeting a person for the first time we tend to always try to find out where he or she is from. This helps you to figure out the culture, language, and country of decent of the individual.
In conclusion, social identity does not really show the true identity of an individual but it uses but it shows the label that are stamped on them by society. A persons group, gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity tells us what that person may be and not what they are.
Social Identities-Stereotyping Catholics
Everyone has heard of a stereotype of some sort. Everyone has their own opinion on things. The definition of stereotype is a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing. I bring this up because I am going to talk about some of the different stereotypes about being catholic. There are many different things that have been said about the catholic religion. Some examples include priests, families, the pope, and mass.
The priests are all perverts. (There are as many perverts in other large churches, a lot of the stories are all coming out because people are hearing about them and asking their kids about it. If the same stories came out about Jewish leaders, the same thing would happen, the more that come forward, the more will not be scared to tell their stories.) I can argue this case because I have been raised in a catholic home and around the catholic religion. The father of our church (priest) is supposed to be celibate. This state of life of not being married is called celibate and not single-life because a celibacy life is dedicated and chosen for the Kingdom of God, to serve God and God's people. When a Catholic priest is ordained, he makes a commitment to God and to God's people to live a celibate life which includes also a commitment to chastity (not to be sexually involved with another person). This commitment to celibacy gives the priest the freedom of service to the people of God seven days a week and 24 hours each day.
All Catholics have lots of kids (it is true that do to the churches view on birth control, some couples do have a lot of kids, it is not nearly as well followed in the US. So although there is some truth to this, the average Catholic couple has 2.6 kids VS. 2.3 Nationwide. Not as big of a leap as you might think). This statement is true to some extent due to the fact that it varies. For example, my grandpa is the oldest of 13 but only had four of his own and my mom only had three.
They believe the Pope to be God on earth (they do honor him as the head of the church as handed down from Jesus to Peter. However, if he was "god on earth" then he could do no wrong, and Popes CAN go to hell. In fact if there is a hell, I can think of three popes who I know are in it.) This statement is very hard for me to agree with. Known worldwide and to Catholics as the pope, the bishop of Rome is the supreme and visible head of the Catholic Church. The pope has a slew of other titles, but the most common and best-known ones are pope, Holy Father, and Roman Pontiff. The pope is no “god on earth” he is our leader.
They prey to Mary and the Saints. (they really ask them to pray for them, as in a Hail Mary. "pray for me, a sinner, now and at the hour of my death"). If you have never been to a catholic mass then it is hard for me to explain why this statement is false. For as long as I can remember our church has done the same thing over and over. We do pray to Mary and the Saints only because that is our religion. That isn’t our main focus though. Our main focus is on God, just like any other church.
The Identity of The American Rancher
October 28, 2013
When most people think of ranchers or cowboys as a tobacco spitting, cuss all the time or drink all the time. Course there are some that do that but, then there are guys that are just all around men. There are some ranchers that would give you the shirt off their back to help you out. Ranchers are one of the most respected people in the world. Most people that haven’t ever been around a cowboy or rancher think that it’s just a walk in the park of piece of cake. They should probably think again because that is defiantly wrong. Ranchers don’t have weekends or vacations off. Their hours are 24/7, seven days a week. Especially, since they only get paid once a year. Since they only receive an income payment one a year you know that their main priority is there the cattle that they raise for a pay check.
A ranch hand needs to know how to fix things, how to take care of animals, how to handle cattle, how to build a fence, how to care for crops — the list is varied and nearly endless. It's not a surprise that many employment ads for ranch hands use the phrase "jack of all trades."
Animal husbandry is the care of animals, particularly livestock animals like cows, sheep, chicken, goats, pigs or horses. A ranch hand is responsible for preparing them for sale or slaughter. Caring for these animals includes keeping them healthy, overseeing breeding and birthing, feeding and prepping for market. Following are a few examples of a ranch hand's responsibilities in the area of livestock:
• Feeding — Especially during the calving season, the cows and calves must be fed and watered each day.
• Medicating — Calves require certain vaccinations, and sick cattle may require medication.
• Calving — Ranch hands should know how to assist a cow in birthing a calf, as well as performing aftercare.
• Weaning — Another skill is knowing when and how to wean a calf successfully from its mother.
• Monitoring — Ranch hands also need to monitor the general health and wellbeing of livestock on a regular basis.
• Herding — Herding is a big part of ranch life. Ranch hands can herd cattle on horseback, or on an ATV and many other ways
• Branding — Ranchers use ear tags or electric brands with the ranch's insignia to mark their cattle.
So, the life of ranchers isn't as easy as most people think.
Egyptian Culture & Traditions
Egypt is a country with mixed cultures and in every city you will find different types of Egyptian traditions that was celebrated in the time of the Pharos, and on the other half of Egypt you find a lot of Tribal customs that were brought by plenty of invaders in the centuries. The population in Egypt is 71 million and 62 million of the are Sunni Muslims & 8-9 million are Coptic Christians, which are “Egyptian Christians”. In Egypt they form a society of Middle Eastern families, all have different religious views creating a background that can color their decision making.
In Egypt, They’re favorite sport is football. Even creating football clubs such as: El Ahly and El Zamalek are also known in the Middle East and Africa because they both are the two champions of the sport regionally. The Egyptians won the championship 7 times setting a record in Africa but they have not made to the FIFA yet. Other popular sports are basketball, handball, squash, and tennis, Egyptians are known for its fierce competition all over the world and have been champions since the 1930s till today.
Egypt also has a very rich mixed culture of indigenous Egyptian, African influence. As early as 4000BC, the Egyptians has been playing instruments such ass harps, flutes as well-known as an indigenous musical instrument. In the 1970s and on, Egyptian pop music has become important in the Egypt culture among millions of young population of Egypt. There’s also different genres in Egypt such as Folk Music, another genre that is popular in Egypt that’s always played at weddings and big festivals in Egypt. Egyptian music was a great way to solve issues socially and in class.
Egyptian art is always a sculpture, painting, architecture and other arts made by the civilization in Ancient Egypt. Symbolism is also a very important role in establishing since of order from the Pharoh’s symbolizing power and to maintain order.
Egyptian art forms are characterized by regularity and detailed depiction gods, humans, heroic battles, and nature. The art was created by media from papyrus drawings to pictographs.
October 24 2013
Cultures of India
I have recently learned a lot about Indian Culture from my new neighbors moved next to me about 4 months ago and they are from India though it is hard to understand them with their thick India accent I have picked up most of what they are saying. For them it’s a tradition for the extended family to live all together. The young married couple lives with the wife’s parents and they always have other relatives over cooking meals and visiting. I have tried their food even their soda or as they call it thumbs up its similar to our coca cola.
They don’t have regular cable they have what is called Hindi TV and every time I visit them they have it on the music channel and my daughter absolutely loves dancing to the sound of their music we have heard different varieties from classical to pop music my daughter favors pop music. In their home they have a replica of a beautiful building called Taj Mahal. Looking at it it seemed so different than anything we have here in America. They explained to me that it was constructed in the 17thby Shah Jahan in honor of his third wife who died during child birth. Just by meeting my neighbors of four months I have become fascinated by their culture and how it is so different then Americas.In Indian culture it’s still a common practice to for families to arrange marriages and for the parents to pick the child’s spouse.
Though it is becoming more common as the years pass for the people to pick their own spouse. To do this traditionally the bride’s century family will provide some sort of dowry to the groom and or his family. While this is baffling to me the thought of not being able to choose my spouse; in India the divorce rate is only about 1% compared to ours in America being around 40%. So clearly this system is doing something right compared to our views. While choosing your spouse is commonly different so is the wedding ceremony and everything else before the wedding. While we plan bachelorette parties and a rehearsal dinner they perform ceremonies that are vital to the success of the marriage and the wedding day.
The first ceremony to take place is called the Misri. During this the families gather together and perform various exchanges and prayers for one another. Rock sugar is provided to the families to consume as a symbol of a promising sweet life and future. The next ceremony to occur is the Mehendi on the day before the wedding. This is a female only event. Here the women will have some sort of gathering like a tea time and then the bride will be applied with Henna tattoos to her hands and feet to symbolize and show the deepening bonds to come. Also during the day before the wedding the bride and groom will meet with the priest at both the bride and grooms house and they will exchange prayers and receive blessings. Lastly, the final ceremony is called Sangeet. This ceremony seems like what we would consider the wedding reception except for the fact it occurs the night before the actual wedding. At this you just invite family and friends and enjoy music, food, and dance.I feel lucky to have met my neighbors from India and have learned so much about their culture and how different it is from ours. It’s amazing to think that there are places so different than what the majority of individuals have grown up around. Just the act of marriage is so different then here. Performing so many rituals and plans just before the wedding. I’m fascinated by this culture and can’t wait to keep learning more from my neighbors.
Kansas is known as the "Wheat State" and "Breadbasket of the World." Kansas is a rural state. A vital part of that rural image and self-image is the role of farming and farming culture. Farming in Kansas has long been a cultural system as well as an economic one. For many rural Kansans, farming is a cherished way of life as well as a livelihood. At the turn of the twentieth century, in fact, many more live to farm than farm to live. Some of the earliest people to live in this area were gardeners. In addition to hunting for game, early people gathered and ate wild plants.
The best seeds were saved and planted in soil near their homes, beginning the tradition of farming. Usually the role of women, these people used buffalo bones as tools to plant and harvest crops. Settlers from the eastern United States and from European countries brought farming traditions when Kansas was opened to settlement in 1854. These people often brought seeds of the crops they had planted in their homelands. Farmers planted corn for eating and for forage and also experimented with oats, cotton, tobacco, and even grapes in vineyards. These crops did not fare as well in the Kansas climate.
Most farmers wanted to grow crops that they could sell. The standard farm size was 160 acres too large for farms that provided all their needs, but not quite large enough for commercial ventures. With technological advancements from 1850 to 1930, farming began to be big business in Kansas. Horse-drawn plows appeared and horses and mules powered the threshers that harvested the crops. Kansas farmers were able to work the large, open prairie with these cultivators, binders, and reapers that replaced manual operations. A single farmer could do the work of several men. With three workhorses pulling a one-bottom walking plow, he could break only about two acres in one day. With a two-bottom plow and a four or five horse-drawn sulky, he could plow five to seven acres. Steam traction engines powered threshing machines in the 1870s and 1880s that enabled farmers to work and harvest larger areas of land.
The internal combustion engines that replaced steam engines in implements during the early 20th century increased efficiency and the number of acres that could be farmed. Over the lifetime of this country the percentage of the workforce who listed their primary occupation as ‘farmer, has gone from 90% of a total population of 3,929,214 in 1790 to less than 0.6% of the workforce of a population of 308,745,438 in 2010. This actually means that there were more farmers in the US in 1790 than there are today! Even in 1950, farmers represented 12.2% of the labor force. Farms and farm families remain powerful symbols in American culture, despite the long-term decline in their numbers. The number of farms fell dramatically after its peak of nearly 7 million in 1935, with most of the decline occurring during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. The decline in farm numbers continues, but at a slower pace. By 1997, about 1.9 million farms remained. Because the amount of farmland did not decrease as much as the number of farms, the remaining farms have a larger average acreage. in conclusion faming is a dying breed of man and women who can and will do this job but the ones that are born in to it still to this day is like a culture to them and it will always be that way.
Suicide in Religion
by Sidney Dirks
The sixth commandment reads “Thou shalt not kill”.
The Bible tells of six self-killings. The best known is that of the betrayer Judas as recorded in Matthew. A thousand years earlier, King Saul fell on his sword rather than become a captive of the Philistines who had defeated his army. Another notable suicide is recorded in the Book of Judges. Samson desired to take revenge on the Philistines who had tortured him, and so he prayed: "Please God, give me back my strength just this one time more, so that I can get even with the Philistines for making me blind." He then pushed against the pillars supporting the temple of the god Dagon and shouted. "Let me die with the Philistines!" When the building fell, Samson perished, along with many of his enemies. The biblical writers neither condemn nor commend those whom they record as having taken their own lives. Perhaps the narrators thought it was fitting for Samson, Saul and Judas to respond to their varied situations by committing suicide. It is believed among various religions that committing suicide is a sinful act; however, each religion has individual reasons for this belief.
Christianity traditionally is opposed to suicide and assisted suicide. In Catholicism specifically, they believe that ending one’s own life is a grave and mortal sin. It is believed that one’s life is the property of God, and to destroy one’s own life is to wrongly assert dominion on what belongs to The Lord. They believe that the human life is sacred; a miraculous creation of the Heavenly Father which should be preserved whenever possible. With this being said, even with believing that committing suicide is morally incorrect, liberal Christians will accept that God can forgive such an act.
Judaism views suicide as one of the most serious sins. Jewish law has always forbidden suicide; however, there are three exceptions where suicide would be permissible. These three exceptions are: if one is being forced by someone to commit murder, forced to commit an act of idolatry, or forced to commit adultery or incest.
In Hinduism, murdering one's own body is considered equally sinful as murdering another. However, under various circumstances it is considered acceptable to end one's life by fasting. This practice, known as prayopavesha, requires so much time and willpower that there is no danger of acting on an impulse. It also allows time for the individual to settle all worldly affairs, to ponder life and to draw close to God.
Buddhism believes that our past heavily influences our present. What an individual does in present day influences their future, in this life or the next. This is otherwise known as karma, an action made intentionally by mind, body or speech that will have a repercussion that is the reason behind life experiences that we may come across in the world. One's suffering primarily originates from past negative deeds; another reason for the prevalent suffering we experience is due to impermanence. Since everything is in a constant state of flux, we might experience an unsatisfactory state of existence with the fleeting events of life due to our choices.
Among studies that have compared different denominations and the risk for suicide, prior to the year 1990, more studies find that Catholics are at a lower risk for suicide than studies done that show Protestants at a lower risk for suicide. Jews have a suicide risk is neither greater nor less than Christians or other denominations. It has been found that Muslims have a lower risk than the other denominations. However, I found that a specific denomination tells very little about a person’s risk of suicide.
What's the Magic Word?
By Dana Wilson
Differentiating between an individual who was raised with an awareness of “proper behavior” and an individual who was not doesn’t require the mind of a genius. From the age we are able to comprehend what we’re told, most parents are teaching us to “say ‘thank you,’” and “chew with your mouth closed,” and “play nice.” Societal norms when it comes to good manners have been taught like the alphabet. Although times are constantly changing, the majority of parents are keeping up and teaching their children what’s respectful, what’s politically correct and what’s not. We all love a child that says “please” and “thank you,” but while appreciating their etiquette we don’t typically consider that by having good manners that child may live a more successful life.
When contemplating what makes someone successful, it only makes sense that manners would be at the top of the list. Whether you want it to or not, an individual’s behavior defines how others see them as a person. One who is familiar with the customs of our society as well as those of other societies is more likely to be accepted from a business standpoint. People skills are crucial in almost every occupation. A brilliant person’s talent can be wasted if they are unable to communicate in a positive way. "In a culture, manners are the lubrication that ease the frictions of social contacts." — L. Ron Hubbard. Occupations, no matter the job, all deal with other people at some point. If a person cannot properly voice their opinion or accept the opinions that others voice, they are at a huge disadvantage.
Education can make a world of difference in the level of success a person reaches. More than ever before, students are inclined to be in constant connection to the world through their laptop, cell phone, Ipad, etc. These tools can be a tremendous source for education. In spite of this, classroom manners have changed drastically since the popularity of these devices. Things that were once considered rude such as texting, online shopping, social networking, etc. during class are now becoming societal norms. This new standard of acceptable conduct has the potential to hinder the learning of many students, which might not be the case had the original sense of manners remained intact.
As with all points of view, there is an opposing point of view. Many people suggest that manners limit our creativity, assertiveness or individualism. It is implied that manners are put in place to make life mundane by not allowing people to express their true way of thinking. However, while it is important for one to express their thoughts, they won’t do much good if they are unable to maintain the respect of others. Manners allow us to respect others’ opinions without having to agree with them. This sense of reverence can wage the gap between people of different social back grounds, classes, religions, and ethnicities, making it a very useful social instrument.
In conclusion, when children are conditioned with manners and an understanding of what is and is not appropriate in society it is an important stage in them having success throughout life. Whether in business, education, or simple, everyday life manners are essential for suitable communication. A pleasant smile and a firm handshake can go a long way in Western cultures. So, as my mother would say, “Sit up straight, young lady,” and “always say ‘thank you.’”
++by Kate Scott
Sweet tea, Baptists, and football. Often, these things are related to the Southern part of the United States. Often referred affectionately as “the South” by its people, the Southern part of the United States has a very distinct culture specific to its region. Known for their charming accent, strong emphasis on tradition and manners, and strong love of football, the South refers to the Southeastern and South-Central regions of the United States.
Usually distinguished by the Mason-Dixon line, the South has a very strong culture based on old roots and a strongly shaped by the Civil War and the battles over slavery. The South or the idea of being “southern” is almost a social identity in and of itself. It’s a way of being, a way of orientating oneself, and a culture all of its own.
In recent times, southern culture has risen in popularity through the likes of movies The Help and The Blind Side, and television series: Duck Dynasty. The South is generally a conservative and highly religious culture, with strong influences from historical events. In fact, many Southern extremists or “Rebels” still hold a grudge over the loss of the Confederacy in the Civil War and the abolishment of slavery. However, the majority of the Southern population doesn’t hold such extreme beliefs.
One strong characteristic of the Southern culture is that of “Southern hospitality”. And if you’ve ever gotten the opportunity to stay with or visit relatives in the South, I’m sure you noticed it. Luckily, I’ve gotten to witness this firsthand through my grandma. My grandmother is an old Southern Belle and is one of the sweetest women you’ll ever meet. Like the traditional stereotype, she never swears, always goes to church, and makes the best sweet tea you’ll ever taste in your life.
Food in the South is also different than the rest of the United States. My grandma likes to say, “If it ain’t fried, it ain’t food.” Some of the most popular dishes are fried chicken, mustard greens, casseroles, and of course – sweet tea. Sweet tea is perhaps one of the most popular drinks of the South, often being called “the nectar of the Gods.”
Another notable aspect of Southern culture is the love of football. Although football fans can be found everywhere, fans of the SEC have garnered a reputation for being fiercely loyal. Whether you’re rooting for the University of Alabama, Ole Miss, or LSU, you’ll find football fans tailgating every game day all over the South.
Perhaps one of the most commonly known traits of Southerners is the language and accent. In most households, “yes ma’am” and “yes sir” and other polite mannerisms are taught. Anyone older is referred to with respect, “please and thank you” is the standard, and no one talks bad about your mother and gets away with it. Out of all the different cultures seen in regions all over the United States, I'd say that the South has one of the most distinctive.
The Mayan culture
The Ancient Mayans are renowned among historians and archaeologists as being an incredibly advanced culture that excelled at mathematics, astronomy and arts. With their star-based calendar predicting the end of the world in 2012.The Mayan civilization was among the original cultures of the New World and spanned more than 3,000 years. The Mayans lived mainly on the Yucatan Peninsula in the eastern one third of Mesoamerica and at its peak had one of the most densely populated and culturally dynamic societies in the world.
The Maya came up with an advanced calendric system. First, they came up with a calendar that consisted of 260 days each with a specific name and symbol. The days were numbered 1 to 13 and since there are 20 day names, after the 13 day count the next day is numbered 1 again. Secondly, the Maya also had a calendar that tracked a solar year of 365 days. This calendar contained months that are given names, and these names also had symbols. There were 18 months that were given names, and these months were composed of 20 days as their previous calendar. In each year was a special five day month called Wayet.
The Mayans are one of the oldest societies documented, and come from Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in Central America and Mexico. You can still visit the ruins of the ancient people in these places today, like the Chichen Itza temple in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Although the Mayan civilization eventually blended into other surrounding people, there are still many descendants of the ancient Mayans who speak Mayan languages and preserve their own traditions and arts, such as creating beautiful textiles
The Ancient Maya believed in cycles and nature, and many of their rites and religious events were held at specific times of the year. They believed in three planes of existence: The Earth, The Heavens and the Underworld. These planes all had their own gods, not all of whom were good, especially those dealing with death. Some art suggests that they believed in human sacrifice, and it was performed by priests for the good of the whole community.
Contrary to popular belief, the Mayan civilization was not one unified empire, but rather a multitude of separate entities with a common cultural background. Similar to the Greeks, they were religiously and artistically a nation, but politically sovereign states. As many as twenty such states existed on the Yucatan Peninsula, but although a woman has, on rare occasions, ascended to the ruling position, she has never acquired the title of 'mah kina'
From the late eighth through the end of the ninth century, something unknown happened to shake the Maya civilization to its foundations. One by one, the Classic cities in the southern lowlands were abandoned, and by A.D. 900, Maya civilization in that region had collapsed. The reason for this mysterious decline is unknown, though scholars have developed several competing theories. Some believe that by the ninth century the Maya had exhausted the environment around them to the point that it could no longer sustain a very large population. Other Maya scholars argue that constant warfare among competing city-states led the complicated military, family and trade alliances between them to break down, along with the traditional system of dynastic power. As the stature of the holy lords diminished, their complex traditions of rituals and ceremonies dissolved into chaos. Finally, some catastrophic environmental change like an extremely long, intense period of drought may have wiped out the Classic Maya civilization. Drought would have hit cities like Tikal where rainwater was necessary for drinking as well as for crop irrigation especially hard.
There is so much I can go on saying about the Mayans that it’s not even funny they were one of the greatest cultures of that time and still to this day some of the things they did baffle use and that is what I love about them.
How divorced parents affect children socially
Have you ever been affected by divorced parents or known someone that has? The affects that divorce has on a child can be crucial to their social upbringing. Denise Mann, a health writer, stated that “about 3,500 elementary school kids who were followed from kindergarten through fifth grade, children of divorce experienced setbacks in math and social skills and were more prone to feeling anxious, lonely, sad, or tended to have low-self-esteem, compared with their peers whose parents remained married.” Knowing children first hand and myself who have experienced this I have to agree with that statement. In elementary school there is always those children that don’t come from a broken home that will sit there and ask those children who are why their moms and dads don’t live together. This question is often hard for kids to explain to their peers simply because the child doesn’t know any different. Some children might look at this as a defect in those who are affected by divorce and tend to push them away in certain activities because they aren’t the same as them. Most children from broken homes tend to have more trouble making and building friendships because they are afraid of denial from other children.
Robert E. Emery states in his article that the effects on children whose parents are divorced can lead to children losing contact and their natural bond with one parent or sometimes both parents. This can cause a lot of miscommunication with children and often cause them to rebel and get into more trouble in school while also creating a behavior problem socially and in the long run of life. I have seen children who are from broken homes go into out bursts in class. This may be from something else also but in my opinion I feel that the divorce plays a huge role in the child’s behavior. This creates a long lasting issue for some children who can never really break out of their shell after going through something like divorce. It can affect how well they do in school to what kind of career they get to also how it affects their future relationships.
Robert E. Emery also states that children who come from a broken home will develop anxiety and worry for their future relationships with potential match makers. Statistics show that children feel more neglected long term than those who don’t have divorced parents. Kids often worry that maybe marriage isn’t real and maybe they should never get married. Some children even become socially awkward and never make that effort to create a good relationship with someone else because they are scared that it will never work out. Most think that by trying to create a relationship that they are just setting themselves up for failure and they do not want to be disappointed.
In conclusion, the majority of children that come from a broken home have several setbacks in their everyday lives. Ranging from social issues to long term behavior and relationship problems, children from broken homes experience a variety of all these issues.
What is social control?
October 28th, 2013
In almost every society around the world there are ways in which people’s thoughts, feelings, appearances, and behaviors are regulated to prevent chaos or anomie within the society. These ways lead to the compliance and agreement of the rules to which that society follows. This is called social control. In today’s world there are two basic forms of social control; formal and informal.
Formal social control refers to the laws of which a government or organization produces. These laws are often way more important than the basic rules or customs of informal social control. Formal social control has the main goal of aiding in the safety of its people and regulations of what people can do. Formal social control is practiced through law as statutes, rules, and regulations against deviant social behavior. These laws can range from what animals a person can hunt, to the punishment a person receives for the killing of another person. In formal social control every law, regulation, and rule is written and formalized. Formal social control is a true, authorized control by the government which is more effective in general over informal social control. A larger group of the population is controlled more by formal social control. Every day people are controlled by these laws from the way they drive to what their legal fate is if they get caught stealing a car.
Then we have informal social control. Informal social control in a society is based on the norms and customs of the people. Most of the control is carried out by an unofficial and informal group on their own. Informal social control has a bigger effect on smaller groups such as a group of friends, family, work group, or ethnic group. These ‘rules’ produced by a group are unique to the customs of the people and are expected to be followed. One may be looked down, criticized, shamed and/or excluded if they do not obey. Informal control contains no written rules and is more effective on a smaller group of people. Many people do not realize how much informal control occurs within their lives each day. A child being punished for not doing their homework because they were lazy to a woman flirting with her minister are both examples of this.
Both these types of social control, formal and informal, control the behaviors of individuals. These forms of control are what keep societies from falling through due to chaos. These rules vary through the different societies of the world, but the people could not do without them. Some people within the societies will agree to them, while others will fight out against them. No matter the cause, social control is a major component in almost every society throughout the world.
11 November 2013
Religion in society
Religion defined by the Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia as an organized collection of beliefs, culturally systems, and worldwide views that relate humanity to order and existence. To some this topic can be very fragile and may cause to what some contrivance if not studied the right way. The place of religion in society has become increasingly contentious in recent years. In the past few centuries most stable societies have been underpinned by a single religion. Naturally there have been competing factions within the religion contained in a single society. Often, as in the case of different sects, there has been a division within society on religious grounds. However, the differences have been of what Christians often refer to as inter-denominational rather than a conflict of religion. Nevertheless, there have been indisputable conflicts, often politically based. These have been present in all the major religions of the world for several centuries. In addition, there has been a tradition of religious proselytizing between the religions over the centuries, although this usually manifested itself as the result of a clash of cultures and traditions. It also resulted from the expansion of populations or political spheres of influence.
It is of clear fact that religion has played a valid part in our lives and can be traced back to as far as the early existence of mankind. Religion is said to help to satisfy the human need for spiritual fulfilment. This at once raises the question of what spiritual fulfilment is. One description of spiritual fulfilment is the need to feel comfortable with things that are beyond human understanding. Thus the need to believe in a god or gods arises from the inability to understand the origin and purpose of life. Note that the need relates to things beyond human understanding, rather than personal understanding. Thus, in a technological society, the fact that a person does not understand the principles of television or inertial guidance systems does not give rise to a religious explanation. It is widely recognized that there are, within that society, those who understand the principles of these systems. This is aided by a class of individuals who specialize in either explaining them in simplified terms or popularizing them to ordinary people. However, to someone in a society that has no previous contact with these concepts, they may engender mystical or religious belief.
It is common within human beings to search for a rational explanation towards the understanding of things that are not understandable within society. It becomes clear that the birth of religion was of a result of the gradual realization by the human race of its awareness of cause and effects. This can be seen from the perspective of early mankind. How do natural phenomena occur, what causes them, where did we come from, who made us, why are there good times and bad times? These must be just some of the many questions asked by the emerging human race. It was easy to see cause and effect where there was human activity. And so they invented gods. In the Middle East, there were monotheistic religions. In Europe there were polytheistic religions. In Asia there were mystical religions. It has been asserted that God made man in his own image. It is probably more correct to say that manmade God in his own image. In general, religions set out to be idealistic, to achieve common good and encourage their members to be better people. On the surface, they provide a vehicle for individuals to account for things which otherwise would be unexplainable and offer a safety valve for the relief of guilt. They also provide a framework that serves as a code of behavior.
In conclusion there is no right or wrong religion since it was created to answer questions that were unable to answer scientifically or by society on a hold it helps to create a sense of order and stability in our society along with creating a sense of belonging.
“Keepin’ It Groovy”
by Dana Wilson
Communes, the alternative lifestyle that bloomed in the late sixties and early seventies, are continuing to be a big part of today’s culture. Movies such as “Wanderlust” show an example of what we typically think of when we consider our definition of “communes.” But many communes lean less towards free love and hallucinogens and more towards an economically friendly life and companionship with those who share their ideas about the world.
A great example of this kind of commune would be “The Farm.” The Farm is the oldest hippie style commune in the U.S. They began in San Francisco led by ex. U.S. Marine Stephen Gaskin, and finally settled in Tennessee in 1971. At the beginning of the commune there were about 320 members, however, during their peak in the early 80s the commune reached 1500 members. Now, in 2013, the communal members add up to 160.
The commune is very family friendly. Procreation has always been encouraged, while birth control is deterred and abortion is prohibited. The Farm is known for using their commune funds to run ads offering to take in unwanted children as an alternative to abortion in surrounding communities. The commune also beholds a midwifery center for their expectant mothers.
As a twist on what seems to be the belief in many communes, founder and leader Stephen Gaskin has been known to be pro-marriage. Believing that the union is indeed sacred, he also believed that two people were able to generate a “cosmic energy” which he named ‘the juice.’ Surprisingly, most members of The Farm were, in fact, married. The marriages were also viewed as highly committal.
Another attraction to The Farm is its’ environmental-friendly lifestyle. Along with the vast majority of members being vegetarian, in the 90s the group became very focused on promoting positive environmental changes in society by leading by example. The Farm’s “Ecovilliage Training Center” was founded and became a great source of education on many things concerning the environment such as: solar energy, bio fuels, and construction with eco-friendly materials.
How could you turn down living for about $100 per month? There are about 80 households in The Farm and the costs of living add up to being just under $100 per month. When The Farm was established, each individual was required to vow to a life of poverty and go without any personal belongings. Today, the commune has modernized and there is more of a sense of individualism. Households are now in charge of their own support, however, they still share many things with the rest of the members.
Communes have several intriguing assets. The Farm is just one example of what a typical commune consists of. So why are most commonly looked down upon in today’s society? Well, there are pros and cons of every lifestyle, but the cons of this particular lifestyle seem to discourage acceptance in society more than other lifestyle choices. There are a few main reasons for the unfavorable attitudes towards communes:
While communes such as The Farm believe in the sacredness of marriage, a large amount are set on the idea of “free love.” This gives great risk for the spread of STDs among the members. Depending on the severity of the STD, it can put the members health in danger. As well as sharing each other, shared drugs occur also. It is believed by many communes that drugs further your mind into a powerful state. This may very well be true, however, it is not exactly a beneficial state. While the commune promotes sharing between “the family,” it tends to discourage a sense of individualism in its’ members. When members have lost their individual ideas, it may begin to seem more like a cult than a commune.
With both sides represented, it’s possible to make an mildly educated decision about the lifestyle that seems to be making a comeback. Is “keepin’ it groovy” a fad or a fashion? In answer to this question, only time will tell.
by Sidney Dirks
“Feminism is both a concept and the name of a movement associated with that concept. In brief terms, feminism is the belief in the need to secure, or in the commitment to secure, rights and opportunities for women equal to those of men”
Nowadays, feminism is very common among women of the United States, and feministic ambitions have been quite triumphant. Women are being treated with more equality than ever before. Some would even say that both sexes are being seen as one and the same. But is males and females being viewed as identical a positive change in our society?
A compelling argument could be made in stating that feminism, something that began with the mindset of women being treated with respect and the responsibility of making decisions for themselves, has turned into a battle of the sexes for power and domination. “Modern feminists want to become men rather than celebrate their femininity,” Emily Drost, an advertising account executive, stated when interviewed for a CNN article, “We can do just about anything, and not only that – we can do it with a smile on our face and a graceful wave”. Emily has a great point in her view, and shares that view with many others. Writer Amy C. Goldman says, “a better form of feminism would be not to rebel against ‘gender roles,’ but instead to assert the value of these roles and to ensure their continuing existence…It is where distinctions between the sexes are properly maintained that men and women complement each other and promote each other’s happiness”
The ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, giving women the right to vote, is considered to be the “first wave” of American feminism. While the 19th Amendment was considered to be a major milestone in women’s equality, feminist views had already been around for quite some time. However in the earlier times, while women were concerned about having equal rights in the electoral process, they were more focused on other issues of their time. In many speeches and publications things like unequal status in education, law, politics, and the home were addressed by feminist speakers. In the mid 1800’s Women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton took a strong stance arguing that women were entitled to have the same rights as men. Elizabeth stated, “the natural rights of the civilized man and woman are government, property, the harmonious development of all their powers, and the gratification of their desires”
Feminists are in general very solid in their pro-choice position. The pro-choice argument has fluctuated over the years but for the most part tends to retract to its’ original rationalization of every individual’s right to own their own body.
Knowing that the feministic movement supports abortion, it does not come as a shocker that many choose to be non-feminist due to their belief that it is against supporting the family. In contradiction, some feminists have spoken out expressing that feminism does support families, just in a different way. “Widespread charges that feminists are ‘anti-family’ are simply false,” Phyllis Chesler says, “Feminists clearly support families, but have a nontraditional vision of what an ideal family entails”. However, later, Chesler makes a statement saying, “the institution of marriage can actually hinder people from finding love, respect, and security, and is often dangerous for women and their children”. Chesler is not among few that express this opinion of marriage. Another feminist expresses a deep regret of marriage and says, “No one tells you that marriage as we know it may actually stand in the way of what we most want from it: love, passion, respect, security, stability, continuity, growth…Sometimes, a private home is the most dangerous place for a woman to be”. So, is it hard to believe that well-known feminist women avowing their “anti-marriage” beliefs would be convincing more traditional individuals to be against feminism?
Children who go through a divorce.
When parents think about getting a divorce with children being involved parents need to think about what will be best for the children. I am a person that has gone through a divorce and my parents told us to choose where we wanted to live ether with mom or with dad. Well I choose my mom due to I was not letting my little brother be the only child with my mom because at the time of the divorce she did not have a job. Still to this day I do not know why they got divorced and I am afraid to ask. Two months after my parents got divorced my dad moved to Indiana to be closer to his mom then four months after that my mom moved to Colorado to live with her boyfriend that she had met online. I stayed in Kansas and lived by myself at sixteen, because I personally do not like the guy and still to this day do not like him. My parents use my as their means of communication to each other because they do not like talking to each other. It has been this way for eight years now because even when they were married they could not stand talking to each other because one of them would start a fight.
Please if you ever think about getting a divorce make sure you tell the kids why and also don’t make them be the middle man. Here are some reasons why: Children who have gone through a divorce seem to fall behind in their math and social skills and they don’t seem to catch back up. Researchers say that along with these difficulties they also have problems with anxiety, sadness, and low-self-esteem. Most parents do not see how much they have hurt their children with a divorce until a couple years down the road.
The best place to raise children is in a stable home with two happy parents. Even if a marriage is unhappy can you repair it over time just for the kid’s sake? I know of parents that wait till all of their kids are 18-20 to get a divorce and just stick it out and be happy so they know that the kids will have the life they deserve.
Some Children are affected more by divorce then others. This is because some children know that it is coming because of the fights, the yelling, or even sometimes the violence and abuse. If the parents just nicely agree on who will have what kid when and how long they will have them then it is much easier on the kid then a custody battle and the kids having to go through that or making the kids choose which parent they would rather live with and making the other parent feel bad because they didn’t choose them.
How the parents behave after the divorce is a big thing too. If the parents just let their kids run free after the divorce and don’t discipline their child anymore then they are going to get into trouble at school and may even get involved with drugs and alcohol. Depending on how the child takes the divorce and handles everything will depend on how much the parents have to pay attention to their kids.
Even though the children grow up leading healthy and productive lives after the divorce they are at a greater risk for emotional and physical problems. Some children are affected more emotionally then other children. Especially with the loss of one parent the children seem to be a lone more often and have less supervision so they are able to get into more trouble.
By Ashley Stinemetz
Society is seen by scientist as a stratification system that is based on a hierarchy of
power, privilege and prestige. These are believed to lead to patterns of social inequality.
Social equality is generally tied to race, but gender and class also have varying effect on
social inequalities. Social inequality has been characterized by unequal opportunities
and for different people. Simply being put males are treated different than women,
Caucasians differ from Africans Americans, and all races, rich from the poor. Females
sometimes are not believed to be able to do a mans job on the other hand men are
supposed to be emotionless and the leader of the household. People with money, female,
African American, or any combination of a person are able to acquire more than
those without. People do judge the difference between two people when one drives up in
a Ferrari in comparison to a person driving up in a Ford Pinto. It gets more in depth than
that as those are just small examples of how we have separated ourselves from each other.
Simply put society doesn’t quite believe all people are equal. I am a female, that is not
rich, but racism has made the most impact on my life therefore the easiest to write about.
According to Google’s definition of racism it is defined: the belief that all members
of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to
distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. A lot of people say my generation race is not a problem that “only” the elderly people keep the racial comments and traditions going. Racial problems are not just between African Americans and Caucasians; it’s between people of all colors, all races, and all origins. Racism never sleeps, and its everywhere you go.
But being a single mother of a half African American half white baby, I know that even in my generation most people are still very racist. Every time I got to out in public even though my baby is white as white can be people still give me the bad looks because this is a very small town and everyone knows who I am. Some of the looks I have gotten are terrible; people have called me things such as stupid and no wonder she’s single the father of her baby is African American but what they don’t understand is the father of my baby is an amazing dad. He always makes sure our daughter has everything she needs and he takes her whenever he can so then I can have a break to do school or go to work without having to pay for daycare. But people still have said some rather nasty things. Although it hurts my feelings sometimes I know that my story still isn’t compared to the trials and tribulations others have faced.
Racism, economic status, gender, these are just the iceberg and the generalize most social inequalities. It would be nice to see these things disappear, but its not going to happen, people will always develop their opinions, people will always be racist, the gender war will still pass on from generation to generation. It’s going to happen the economic status will still separate people from each other. I guess that leaves the question of what we can do. We just need to persevere, we need to do what’s right by us, basically The Golden Rule should fix this but people are still lost in their own worlds. Maybe one day it will all go away until then keep smiling and pushing forward, forge your own path and stand for what you believe in.
What is social inequality and division?
November 25, 2013
Sociology is defined as the study of human behavior and the social lives of people, groups, and societies. Within each society there are different origins, organizations, and development thoughts of each. Each society, even more within these few qualities also possess patterns of social inequality and division. Inequality is defined as who gets what, how they get it, and why they get it, even if these three are unfair. Social inequality is then tied into this with regards to race, gender, class, education level, income level, and many more.
When it comes to social inequality there are two ways to measure it. These two ways are the inequality of opportunities and the inequality of conditions. Each one complex in their own ways, but can be defined easily. The inequality of opportunities is defined as the unequal distribution of life chances. This refers to how one is treated due to their education level or where they attended school, their health status, and their treatment by the criminal justice system. An example of this doing is the treatment of a black man compared to a white man. Blacks have been looked down on throughout history and this has stuck, even to today’s times. A black man typically has less opportunities when scoring a higher paying job or position in society compared to the white man. When we switch over to the inequality of conditions this is defined as the unequal distribution of wealth, income, and material goods. One who lives in a fixed income apartment, is on the bottom of the social scale compared to one who lives in a million dollar mansion.
Along with the two ways to measure social inequality there are also two main theories of social inequality. These two theories are known as the functionalist and conflict theories. The functionalist theory states that inequality is inevitable and needed based on one who is skilled on ability and training. Then however on the other hand, the conflict theory states that the higher ranked, more powerful groups hinders the lower social groups and control their ways of doing things to maintain their high status.
When studying social inequality, many sociologists view the conditions and measures to the regards of the previously stated; race, gender, class, education level, income level, and etc. When viewing these many are used on the social division scale. Social division is a group of people with similar social, economic status, and education level. Social division is most popularly known as the three classes of social ranking. The lower, middle, and upper class. Each class is know for their ranking and people within each class are either looked down on or up to. The lower the social status the more likely they are to encounter unfair and worse treatment compared to one who is high on the top of the social ladder.
Keenan Williams and Anthony Stephens
Taylor Lambert and Caleb Foos