Concepts About Sociology Term Paper

Pages: 2 (745 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sociology

¶ … Sociology

McMinden: A fictional town and an overview of real sociological concepts

According to Sociology Guide (2010), "Ethnocentrism is the practice of comparing other cultural practices with those of one's own and automatically finding those other cultural practices to be inferior" (Ethnocentrism, 2010, Sociology Guide). This can be seen in the experiences of Jenny Rodriguez. Despite or because of the fact that the town of McMinden has a growing Hispanic population, there is a great deal of resentment of Hispanics. Jenny Rodriguez's mother experienced open discrimination when she first moved there and Jenny says that things have not improved very much. Ethnocentrism, or the idea that people tend to 'stick together' based upon real or perceived racial, class, and geographically-based similarities is not a term associated with a particular theoretical school of thought in sociology but its concepts are integrated into many theories within the discipline, such as Howard Becker's labeling theory, which examines how prejudicial and irrational assumptions shape the way that people are viewed in society, and how historically discriminated-against groups see themselves.

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Labeling theory suggests that prejudice can be a self-fulfilling prophesy. When a group is ostracized, its lack of an investment in social institutions can give rise to a criminal class, actually creating many of the traits within the group that were used as justification for the original prejudice. I have seen this in my own life when teens are treated like criminals by employers, and they are refused jobs because they are deemed unreliable. Teens often resort to petty vagrancy out boredom and frustration.

Term Paper on Concepts About Sociology Assignment

Sam Votapka's remarks highlight another common sociological concept, that of urbanization, or the movement of the most talented young people from primarily agricultural areas to city locations that offer more economic opportunities and excitement. Ferdinand Tonnies' theory of urban socialization suggested that in older communities, such as McMinden, associations were grounded in what he called gemeniscaft vs. gesellschaft, respectively, associations based upon family and community, versus the impersonal relationships that are characteristic of anonymous, modern cities (Urban sociological theory, 2010, Sociology Guide). Cities like McMinden are rapidly disappearing, and instead people are abandoning old community ties in favor of gesellschaft's emphasis on self-interest, as manifest in Votapka's daughter abandoning tradition to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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