"Sociology / Society" Essays

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Juvenile Deviance on the Streets and in Schools Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (896 words)
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Sociology of Deviant Behavior

Violence, Deviant Behavior, Labeling and Conflict Theories in "Code of the Street" by Elijah Anderson

In the study of human society, people as social actors are analyzed based on their interactions with each other. Furthermore, it is through an analysis of people's interactions that social norms and rules are formulated -- that is, beliefs, behavior, and actions that are further reinforced and collectively followed by the members of the society.

Despite the establishment of these social norms and rules, there are still individuals who do not conform, or "deviate," from the established norms and rules in the society. Schaefer (1998) identifies deviance as a "behavior that violates the standards of conduct and/or expectations of a group or society" (160). Directly linked with the study of deviant behavior is the concept of social control, which regulates human behavior within society. Thus, deviance may include some form of social control in order to inculcate in society that deviant behavior are undesirable for the society. Social control may be formal or informal, wherein the former imposes a legal procedure, such as imprisonment, or simply, by making the individual an "outsider," isolated from his/her society and not welcomed to interact with other people.

In this paper, the researcher discusses and analyzes the occurrence of deviant behavior in the context of 'life on the street' or street life. Street life are predominated by people who live in "poor inner-city neighborhoods," which Elijah Anderson (1999) studies in his book, "Code of the Street." Applying the basic concepts associated in the study of the sociology of deviant behavior, this paper argues that Andersons' analysis of street life in "Code of the Street" puts into context the labeling theory of deviant behavior, wherein people's attitudes and behavior are associated with the "labels" that other people associate or give them as deviants in the society. In the texts that follow, this issue is discussed extensively, with references to both Schaefer and Anderson's discussions on deviant behavior.

In his book, Anderson identifies "code of the street" as the establishment of 'norms' among deviants -- that is, the cultivation of "indecent ways" that are actually a set of informal rules followed by street families and people, especially among the youth. Early on in the book, the author makes it clear that people adopt various "degrees of alienation," where people can identify them as such. Thus, street life may include the extreme form of alienation through the "criminal element(s)," people who are isolated and socially controlled by society through imprisonment (35). However, there are those street people who maintain two identities: the first identity is able to adapt to the normative view of the society, while…… [read more]

Sociology With the Emergence of Karl Marx Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,721 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+



With the emergence of Karl Marx's conflict theory, which posits that oppression against the working class by the elite class is inherent in a capitalist society, feminist ideology had developed. Feminism looks critically at the gender inequality that has been prevalent in capitalist societies since the dawn of the Industrial revolution. Under this ideology, its proponents argue that men… [read more]

Sociology in Studying the Individual Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (318 words)
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Thus, as Charles Cooley posits in his theory of the 'looking glass self,' what we become is a product of the social interactions with other people in the society.

Thus, social isolation, which involves no interaction with the society at all, creates a detriment to the development of the individual. Social science research have always cited classic cases of individuals who were isolated in a small room for many years, and were found to display lack of knowledge of human communication and interaction. It is through social interaction that we learn and become able to accomplish things and activities everyday. Without socialization, an individual fails to recognize his/her fullest potential as a human being; it is only by interacting that we learn about our capabilities and limitations and ultimately, what we are and are not.


Santrock, J. (2001). Psychology. NY: McGraw-Hill Book Co.

Schaeffer, R. (1998). Sociology: a brief introduction. NY: McGraw-Hill Book Co.… [read more]

Mcdonaldization of Society Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (552 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


¶ … McDonaldization of Society by George Ritzer

The book "The McDonaldization of Society" by George Ritzer provides a detailed discussion of the influence and effect of the fast food company McDonald's to the development of human society as it achieves, to the fullest, the triumph of rationalization of the capitalist system on the dawn of the 21st century. Through the model of McDonald's, Ritzer allows his readers to reflect on the culture that the fast food company had created for contemporary society, particularly in the context of American society. With the development of McDonald's as an institution in the American business sector and culture, it inevitably shaped the "fast food" society -- that is, products, services, as well as the lifestyle of people, reflects instantaneous production and accomplishment, respectively.

The author discusses the positive and negative effects of the McDonaldization of society. On one hand, the McDonaldization of American society is a manifestation of Max Weber's claim that society achieves rationalization -- that is, a society "...dominated by efficiency, predictability, calculability, and nonhuman technologies." Looking into this concept, McDonald's has indeed embodied Weber's theory of rationalization: in the McDonald's culture, every product is calculated and precisely measured, every service is standardized. In fact, the standardization of everything that the fast food company offers -- food, service, and even the ambience and 'look' of a McDonald's restaurant -- reflects an attempt to establish a culture wherein there is consistency and predictability in people's actions. That is, people line up to order their food on a standardized menu, the crew greets a standard greeting to all their customers, and when order is served, people seat in chairs…… [read more]

Sociology Nazi Germany Term Paper

Term Paper  |  8 pages (3,241 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


(Sociology 250: Max Weber)

Karl Marx, born in the year 1818, has been stated as being one of the most important and influential socialist thinkers of the time in which he was living, and even today. His political and social and economic ideas all gained importance during the socialist movement that occurred, unfortunately, after his death in the year 1883.… [read more]

Poverty and Welfare Term Paper

Term Paper  |  8 pages (3,817 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Sociology of Poverty and Welfare

Defining elements in culture are those of language, beliefs, values, norms, behaviors, and material objects which are passed through generation to generation. Further culture can be separated into subgroups of material culture and nonmaterial culture. Components within a culture are inclusive of symbols, gestures, language, values, norms and sanctions, folkways and mores." Those who participate… [read more]

Gemeinschaft and Gessellschaft. Second Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (974 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


This study includes which social rules and processes knit these people closer together, and which rules and processes separate people from society. This not only includes the study of individuals, but also individuals as members of specific groups, association and institutions. In the end, sociology is about the study of what drives humans to form communities, how these communities function and the complex sets of relationships and associations that form.

As mentioned, sociology does study how communities are formed and what binds these individuals together; however, more telling is sometimes the loss of community. Sociologists often concern themselves with aspects of social lives, such as Anomie, that separate individuals and groups from the societal group they were once a part of. Science, in any format, is not only concerned with how and why things work, but also how to fix things when they are broken.

Therefore it's not surprising that sociology can be seen as developing from a concern about loss of community. It was Auguste Comte, who first coined the term sociology. From the beginning he believed sociology could combine the study of history, psychology and economics and use this information to remedy societal ills, such as a loss of community. Those who followed after Comte, Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Tonnies, and others, often focused their studies on alienation, disenfranchisement, and other seperations from society.


Social relationship in modern society differ greatly from those of feudal society. First, feudal society was "characterized by the legal subjection of a large part of the peasantry to a hereditary landholding elite exercising administrative and judicial power on the basis of reciprocal private undertakings" ("Feudal," 2005). These societal bonds were formed in an effort to achieve mutual benefits to both parties, protection and loyalty to the societal elite landholders and land earnings for the vassals.

There was not a strong central authority, in feudal society, as there is in modern society. Political power was dispersed across the numerous lords of the land. In addition, vassals' oaths to protect and serve these lords were voluntary. These social relationships were more in line with the business arrangements and partnerships of modern society. As such, feudal society member often developed relationships with more than one lord.

Feudal society was not a simple pyramid, with the King at the top, lords in the middle and vassals or peasants at the bottom. It was a complex network of relationships, due to the dispersed political power. As mentioned, it was not uncommon for a vassal to pledge his allegiance to more than one lord. This is in stark contrast to modern society where most citizens are aligned with one allegiance to their country of choice.


Anomie. (2 Dec. 2004). Retrieved January 25, 2005, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anomie.

Feudal society. (9 Jan. 2005). Retrieved January 25, 2005, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feudal_society.

Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. (18 Dec. 2004). Retrieved January 25, 2005, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemeinschaft.…… [read more]

Welfare and Poverty Term Paper

Term Paper  |  8 pages (2,176 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Poverty, Welfare and Sociology

Poverty: n. (1) being poor, need. (2) scarcity or lack. (Oxford Desk Dictionary and Thesaurus, American Edition, 1997)

Poverty is a term that promotes many different visions: children with hunger-bloated bellies in third-world countries; housing built of packing crates, sheets of scrap metal or plastic, also in third-world countries; slums, usually occupied by recent immigrants to… [read more]

Emile Durkheim Views Society as Having Two Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (539 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Emile Durkheim

Durkheim views society as having two types of solidarity. One type of which is called the mechanical solidarity and the other is called as organic Solidarity. Mechanical solidarity, according to Durkheim, is the basic form of solidarity that makes society an "organism" as intact rather than just an ensemble of the parts. On the other hand, organic solidarity refers to the social glue that is the outcome of the division of labor in the modern society. Below we define the differences between these kinds of the solidarities.

Mechanical Solidarity - Durkheim argues that mechanical solidarity is the social cohesion based upon the likeness and similarities among individuals in a society, and it is largely dependent on common rituals and routines. This kind of solidarity is common among prehistoric and pre-agricultural societies and lessens in as modernity increases.

Organic Solidarity - Durkheim argues in the advanced societies social cohesion is based upon the dependence of individuals on each other. As the societies progress, the mechanical solidarity begins to change into organic solidarity. If one person were to die, the society would not change, because all other members did exactly the same thing as the member that died. The collective conscience of a mechanical society is identical among all members, and the bond derives not from dependence on other individuals, but from the dependence on the total social system.

Therefore, in the industrial society, the division of labor increases.

Although in an advanced society individuals perform different tasks and often have different values and interests, the order and very survival of society depends on their reliance and dependence on…… [read more]

Sociological Theory the Sociology Term Paper

Term Paper  |  8 pages (2,183 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


What Marx's historical materialist analysis bore for 20th century society was skepticism about the promises of capitalism for humanity. He provided contrast to the popular belief that capitalism would bring benefit to society, particularly the proletariat class. Exposing the detriments of capitalism through the social conflict between the working and elite classes, Marx proved that "the single biggest obstacle placed in the way of progressive social change was the ability of the dominant classes to prevent the proletariat from attaining true 'class consciousness'" (199). Thus, by studying the important social components in a capitalist society, i.e., its technology and social relations of different classes of people, Marx had been able to recommend that a radical change in the social order through socialism would help alleviate, even eradicate, the existence of social conflict and oppression that were the characteristics of a capitalist society.

Randall Collin's "Sociological Insight" (Question No. 4)

a. Randall Collins introduced the concept of "non-obvious sociology" by giving focus on the role that social interactions among people in a society as the basis for identifying and analyzing the sociological meanings embedded in these interactions. Commonly identified as interactionism, non-obvious sociology gives importance to people as social actors and their daily actions as keys towards further understanding the nature and dynamics of humanity and its social environment. Basing his argument and position primarily on Durkheim's theory of rituals, Collins was able to explore and discover the 'hidden meanings' behind human nature and its dynamics, putting particular emphasis on interactions among people. Thus, as presented in the later chapters of the book, Collins was able to delve deeper into the various social phenomena that occur in human societies through the analysis of the people's daily interactions with each other -- that is, by applying interactionism in his analysis of these social phenomena.

b. In "Sociological Insight," Randall Collins expressed his argument that with the prevalence of rationalization in the new social order that was capitalism, there also existed a shift towards non-rationality or irrationality. Collins traced the progress towards this shift, asserting that with the dominance of rationality, human society had reacted towards its inefficiency by resorting to irrationality. Through the study of non-obvious or interactionist sociology, Collins identified the nature of modern society by providing examples of how rationalization's inefficiency led to the society's subsistence to irrational means of expression, belief, and traditions. The first example he presented was bureaucracy: it was created through the principle of rationalization, though it plummeted towards irrationality due to its inefficiency, which involved 'tedious delays made by paperwork and rules and regulations inappropriate at specific times.' Another example cited was the preponderance of war during the 20th century despite society's achievement of both social and intellectual development. Clearly, rationalization had been more detrimental than beneficial to the progress of society towards development.

c. Using interactionism in his sociological analysis of religion, Collins was able to explain how a seemingly irrational concept such as religion continued to prevail in a rational, capitalist society. In… [read more]

Sociology and Psychology Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,944 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Sociology and Psychology

Social and Psychological concept of Identity:

Sociology refers to the scientific study of society while psychology refers to the study of individuals. However, psychology can be aptly described as the study of the mind. Conventionally, "Identity" was a personal quality. Erik Erikson, personality psychologist, discovered the term 'identity crisis' in the framework of personal human development when… [read more]

Earth Abides Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,970 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Earth Abides

The title of the novel is very descriptive of the central theme of the work as a whole. "Earth abides" comes from Ecclesiastes 1:4 --"one generation goeth, and another cometh, but the earth abideth forever." The book deals with a viral plaque that wipes out most of humanity, leaving only a few scattered survivors who have the responsibility… [read more]

Durkheim Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,767 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Critics found Durkheim's method to be very empirical and that he sought through all kinds of data to find evidence of the relationship and conditions expressed through these figures or statistics. In the process, he discovered patterns, which were not themselves the cause of the phenomenon of suicide, that the cause was social and that those observed patterns were merely suggestive of the underlying causes.

Durkheim'e method began with statistics on hand in the conduct of its work and in combination with observations. He was in search of social facts and social explanations and tried to establish these with data on suicides. Although his observations were almost entirely empirical and his discoveries failed to connect the occurrences of suicide to what his statistics suggested, Durkheim followed his own rules and in the most scientific and honest way possible with resources on hand.#


1. Elwell F.W. (2003). Emile durkheim's sociology. Rogers State University. http://www.faculty.rsu.edu/~felwell/Theorists/Durkheim

2. Gingrich, P. (1999). Social factors and suicide. University of Regina. http://uregina.ca/~gingrich/626199.htm

3. Hewlett School (2005). Durkheim's anomie. Crime and Deviance. http://www.hewett.norfolk.sch.uk/curric/soc/crime/anomie.htm

4. -- . Emile durkheim: the person. http://www.hewlett.norfolk.sch.uk/curric/soc/dukheim/drukper.htm

5. -- . Durkheim and suicide. http://www.hewett.norfolk.sch.uk/curric/soc/durkheim/durkw2.htm

6. Jones, RA (1986). Emile durkheim: an introduction to four major works. California: Sage Publications, Inc.

7. Wikipedia. (2005). Emile Durkheim. Media Wiki. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_Durkheim… [read more]

Current Events Explained, Analyzed, and Perceived Social Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,465 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Current Events Explained, Analyzed, And Perceived

Social Science Disciplines - Analysis

Current events may be explained through the disciplines of social science. Social scientists analyze events and issues based on scientific observations and the perceptives that are assigned to these issues and events in the world around us. These perspectives inform about the world that surrounds and fill the present… [read more]

Technology, Society &amp Politics Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,164 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Through Sziland's character, Rhodes was also able to point out how proponents of science and technology can make a conscious choice to use technology to improve human life, and not to destroy it. Evidently, Rhodes made a stand against self-interest use of technology, as opposed to Khun, who had generally categorized scientific revolution as an event beneficial to humankind, because it brings us closer to the "truth" about human life, existence, and even purpose on earth.

Christensen's "The Innovator's Dilemma" centered on discussing the effect that technology has over a society's economy. Focusing on the economic performance and movement in the computer business industry -- a sector dominated by established and entrant computer firms -- Christensen found out that technological innovation depended on existing applications and technology. Thus, technological development is sustained in order to further the economic efficiency of old and new technologies. The technologies' sustainability differs from the political perspective expressed by Kuhn: for Christensen, technology is continuous because it needs to sustain itself in order to thrive economically, as compared to Kuhn's assertion that technological development is deterministic, thus an isolated event in history.

Among the most important insights concerning technology is imparted through Levy's study on (computer) hackers and Toulmin's comparison of the modern society against societies that existed prior to 20th century. Both authors discussed the change in culture that occurred in modern society as technology gradually dominated the lifestyles and attitudes of people in it.

Levy argued that the emergence of techno-centric society led to a shift in the social order of the modern society. Those who were once considered as deviant individuals, because they possess extremely high intelligence yet introvert or anti-social behavior, are now considered "heroes" of modern society -- hackers. This change in the norm of the society, the conversion of deviant hackers to modern heroes in the computer-dominated society, was described as follows: " ... MIT ... The repository of the very brightest of those weird high school kids with owl-like glasses and underdeveloped pectorals who dazzled math teachers and flunked PE, who dreamed not of scoring on prom night, but of getting to the finals of the General Electric Science Fair competition."

Toulmin, meanwhile, discussed the characteristics of modernism caused by technological advancement and social progress as against the state of pre-20th century societies. For the author of "Cosmopolis," modernism paved the way for humanity to 'separate' "rationality and logic from rhetoric and emotions," and this was based on the fact that humanity would want to "think correctly," which was Toulmin's interpretation of truth-seeking (similar to Khun's achievement of truth through scientific revolution). Like Levy, Toulmin illustrated a social change in modern society: where once the norm used to be the expression of feelings and introspection of emotions, in the modern society, rationalism and objectivism prevailed human thinking. Thus, these changes in social norms led to the popularity and dominance of scientists and logicians, and proponents of natural and social sciences.


Christensen, C. (1997). The Innovator's Dilemma: When… [read more]

Watergate Views of Authors Such as Emile Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (2,339 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Watergate; views of authors such as Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, J. Alexander, Dinesh D'Souza and C. Wright Mills

Society is an organism that functions according to its own rules and has the interconnected mechanisms that allow it to regenerate just like a human body. The collective consciousness enables it to function properly. In case of a crisis situation, the mechanisms… [read more]

Social Stratification Systems Caste vs. Class Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (666 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


Social Stratification

Transcending Class in the United States

The parallels between the caste system in East India and the class system in the United States shed light on the vast economic inequality that subsumes America. It is undeniable that there are stark differences between the inequality in the two countries; as Berremen (1960) explains, the East Indian caste system is based out of sociological (religious, residential, occupational) factors, while class difference in the United States is borne out of biological factors -- namely, one's skin color. Despite these differences, however, there also exist similarities; both class and caste are biologically determined, and self-perpetuating. Those in "lower" classes typically feed the interests of the dominant class, and as a result, those with power have little motivation for overhauling the existing dynamic. Moreover, the class dynamics have existed since the country's inception, further compounding the possibility for class transcendence. Nevertheless, it is a truism (and the very embodiment of the American Dream) that any individual can improve their fortune with requisite focus and determination. This paper examines whether an individual can transcend their class in the United States, and whether the class system in the United States is any more progressive than the Indian caste system.

The question of whether an individual can transcend class in American society must invariably take into consideration a number of factors, including race, ethnicity and the geographical region in which one resides. To this end, the task of transcending one's class typically involves "passing" from one's subordinated cultural attribute to another. However, this is no simple task; indeed, as Kroeger (2003) delineates, the class systems in the United States are rigidly enforced. In the introduction to his book, Kroeger (via a reading of Imitation of Life) states that society has created a dynamic in which "Passing, if not altogether bad, is at least a really bad idea" (p. 2). Accordingly, people are forever chastised for belonging to a subordinate class, regardless of whether they "improve" their status. While class…… [read more]

Social Class and Inequality Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (3,400 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6


Social Class And Inequality

Social class is one of the more interesting concepts in sociology, in part because it is dependent upon circumstances. Social class has to do with standard of living, income, educational access, health care, and a number of other measurable factors, but, since these factors vary from country to country, and even from region to region within… [read more]

President Lyndon B. Johnson Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,021 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


In that respect, Roosevelt's reforms, although similar in nature to those of Johnson, were more pragmatic and simplified. The New Deal largely lacked the lofty ideals of the Great Society regarding spiritual and the achievement of man's full potential, and merely focused on decreasing the level of destitution in the country. Yet virtually all of Johnson's reforms aimed at correcting needs of a financial nature -- his desire to create affordable housing, his need to eliminate poverty, the ability to remove penury as an obstacle to the learning experience -- descended directly from the New Deal. More significant than individual measures proposed by each president is the overall ideology that they shared which mandated it would require a new mentality and a cooperative effort between the American people and their government to overcome the respective obstacles they faced.

For all of the lofty idealism that Johnson imparted upon his audience in Michigan on the occasion of his address, his Great Society largely failed in most of its measures. In fact, Johnson created a political climate that was notoriously hostile (as much as Kennedy's was revered) due to some of measures. His war on poverty, despite exacting a highly arduous toll on American taxpayers, yielded precious few tangible results. Even worse was his foreign policy, which intensified efforts in Vietnam and helped to prolong another costly war which yielded America little of value. His ideals for eliminating racism widely failed as well. There were a number of race riots that typified the rest of the 1960's following his presidency. The racial climate was more hostile than ever, a fact that is underscored by the assignations of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and, to a lesser extent, Robert Kennedy.

In hindsight, Johnson should be revered for the ideology he erected during the forming of what he would have a Great Society be. Unfortunately, many of the measures he actuated were contrary to his goal of producing an ideal society in which Americans and the country as a collective fulfills its full potential for good. Johnson developed a number of interventionist methods (much like Roosevelt did during the New Deal) that utilized copious quantities of government spending which produced no truly tangible results -- save for a federal deficit. Although he was never able to actuate the Great Society in the terms he propagated in front of his audience at Michigan, many of those ideals he discussed may have produced some positive change in the students he spoke to. In hindsight, one of the reasons he filled this particular address with so much idealism may be attributed to the fact that he was trying to captivate a young and idealist audience -- prior to sending them off to a failing war.

Works Cited

Ember, Steve. "American History: Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam War." Voice of America. 2011. Web. http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/american-history-lyndon-b-johnson-and-the-vietnam-war-133122408/116230.html

Johnson, Lyndon. "Address at the University of Michigan." 1964. Print.

Siegel, Robert. "Lyndon Johnson's War of Poverty." NPR. 2004. Web. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1589660… [read more]

Society as Insulation Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (702 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


Society as Insulation Chapter Review/Reaction

Society as insulation relative to control theory is the subject of the sixth chapter of the Lilly text that is the current focus of the class underway for this student. The chapter runs the gamut between five major topic dimensions, including the precursors to control theory, early control theories, Reckless's containment theories (including talk of social psychology of the self, pushes and pulls, and inner/outer containment) and then there is talk of neutralization and drift theory and the social contexts of some of the decades in the mid-1900's.

Society as Insulation

As noted in the abstract, there are five major sections to the chapter being reviewed in this document. The first section pertains to the forerunners of control theory, which include Durkheim's Anomie Theory and the influence of the Chicago School. Early control theories are covered, which for this book include Reiss' theory of personal and social controls as well as Nye's family-focused theory of social controls. A significant section on Reckless's containment theory is next with a review of the social psychology of the self, pushes and pulls, factors of outer containment, factors of inner containment, and a closing summary. Stykes and Matza's neutralization and drift theory is covered and then the chapter closes out with the control theory context of the 1950's and 1960's (Lilly, Cullen & Ball, 2011).

Analysis & Reflection

The subject of anomie, as introduced and explained by the esteemed Emile Durkheim, is something that surely many people bring up today, as it refers to breakdowns of social order and norms. Many view the progression of ideology relative to morality and other social evolutions since the 1950's to be a natural order of progress while others point to it as a degradation of social morality. How two different groups can view this societal change through two entirely different prisms is fascinating (Lilly, Cullen & Ball, 2011).

The talk of the social contexts of the 1950's and 1960's certainly drives that point home, whether or not that was the intent of the Lilly text. The whole idea of social order and norms…… [read more]

Classical Theorists Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,215 words)
Style: Harvard  |  Bibliography Sources: 6


Classical Theorists

Over the decades, a number of different theories have been presented which are designed to highlight the way everyone in society is interacting with each other. This is having a profound impact upon how people think and view the world around them. Two of the most important philosophers from these areas are Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim. To fully understand the main ideas of each one requires: providing an overview of these ideas and comparing / evaluating the different theories. Together, these elements will highlight the strengths and weaknesses of them.

Karl Marx's Theories from Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844

Karl Marx (2012) believed that the landowners continually exploited everyone for their own benefit. This gave them an unfair advantage, which helped to ensure that they were able to maintain their power and social status above everyone else. Evidence of this can be seen with Marx saying, "The landlords' right has its origin in robbery. Like all other men, they love to reap where they never sowed and demand a rent even for the natural produce of the earth." (Marx 2012, pg. 52) (Eldes 2009) (Wood 1987)

This comment is showing how Marx believes that capitalism is the root of all social injustices that are occurring. This is because he thinks that the wealthy will use their power and influence to continually exploit everybody beneath them in society. At the heart of their authority, is the ability to maintain control of the land and various natural resources on it. When this happens, they can use these assets as a way to force others to do something that is in their own best interests. While not producing and creating anything themselves. Instead, they will take from the rest of society in order to ensure that they can build up their influence in the process. (Eldes 2009) (Wood 1987)

Moreover, Marx believes that everyone is exploited by the wealthy because of their labor. This is when they are using a certain amount of manpower to produce particular products or services (which are in demand). A good example of this can be seen with him saying, "These consequences are contained in the definition that the worker is related to the product of his labor as to an alien object. For on this premise it is clear that the more the worker spends himself, the more powerful the alien." (Marx 2012, pg. 70) (Eldes 2009) (Wood 1987)

In this aspect, Marx is showing how these ideas are related to his theoretical views that the wealthy will exploit all other segments of society. This is occurring by forcing them to use their labor to produce something of value. Then, the final product is utilized to benefit the elite who will reap the largest rewards. For the workers, the more they support this system. The larger the disconnect that exists from the fruits of their labor and the rest of society. They are unable to gain any kind of economic or social advantages… [read more]

Social Interaction? Questionnaire

Questionnaire  |  4 pages (1,352 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


¶ … social interaction? Social interaction is the particular conventions and norms associated with people when they interact with one another. Social interaction oftentimes involves routine and repeated patterns of behavior, such as waking up at a certain time of the day or travelling to and from a destination at the same time -- in the same way -- as part of one's daily routine. Social interaction takes place both in the physical and the virtual (online) world. In the physical world, social interaction may involve non-verbal communication such as gestures and different types of facial expressions. Quite often, the height of social interaction is expressed via verbal communication in the physical world -- in which people readily exchange emotions, sentiments, and ideas with one another which are both determined by and influence the particular location of and form of social interaction involved. It is critical to note that non-verbal communication is used even in forms of virtual social interactions such as text messages on phones and email or chat room "conversations," in which people use characters that mimic various symbols of the face. Social interaction is also based on social roles and an individual status, terms which relate to social expectations and a person's standing within society, respectively (Giddens, 2011, p. 100). Status is also closely related to one's social position; one of the interesting things about social interaction is that it allows for one's social position and status to change.

What are social groups? The best definition of a social group is "a collection of people who share a common identity and regularly interact with one another on the basis of shared expectations concerning behavior (Giddens, 2011, p. 117). Social groups can take on many different forms, however. Social aggregates are people who are linked together for a common cause, such as people waiting on the same train. There are also social categories, in which people are in the same sort of social group in different places and times. One of the most important things to remember about social groups is that people belong to multiple groups, simultaneously, in fact. Certain group affiliations pertain to physics in terms of time and space, others, such as familial ties or nationalities, genders, and religions are more enduring. Examples of primary groups include romantic relationships and families, whereas examples of secondary groups include jobs and other sorts of memberships that are temporally finite. Generally, however, primary groups last indefinite, whereas secondary groups are subject to change (Giddens, 2011, p. 121).

On a rudimentary level, groups are formed as dyads (two-people groups) and triads (three-people groups) (Ritzer, 2007). The thing about such groups is that although there is a high degree of interaction between the members, such groups are relatively unstable, particularly when compared to larger groups, which have more members and therefore tend to last longer.

How do we benefit from social networks? Social networks are connections between a person and individuals or groups. Frequently, social networks can help to advance… [read more]

Charles Horton Cooley Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,360 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


The first was the need to craft an understanding of societal facts that were the highlight of individual mental process. He found that the subjective processes were either caused or the effects of society processes. There was also the need to examine evolution of social dynamic conception which evaluates states of chaos as natural incident which created an opportunity for adaptive innovation. The last need is ensure that the people were capable of making informed moral decisions for current and future problems affecting the people. Cooley solution to the dilemma was creation of a mental social complex which he named the looking glass self. The mental social complex is formulated by understanding how ones self can be understood by another person. This theory was called the emphatic introspection theory. This theory applied to the person and the economic issues affecting the society with regards to the macro social problems that evolve with time. Cooley evaluated the economic institution as impossible to understand by evaluation of impersonal market forces. Sociological perspectives were logical towards the traditions of the society. The considered dissolution of tradition as a positive move that would result in to social growth and an intellectual process that would improve the public will (Ju 2010).

His concept of looking glass self is arguably his best work as it is accepted by psychologists' and sociologists in the modern world. The concept was build from William James's self idea where capacity reflection on own behaviour was included. According to Cooley, the views from other people greatly influence personal image. There is a relationship of how we view ourselves and how the society views us. According to his previous work, human nature and social order, self idea has three elements. Imagination of personal appearance to society is the first major element. The second element is imagination of appearance and the third element is self feeling which can be pride or any form of modification.

Contribution to the Conflict Theory and Functionalism Theory

According to the conflict theory, the laws are made by the minority of people in the society and are aimed at ensuring that their interests are protected. The laws are meant to controls the behaviour of the people in the society. In this theory, the poor are powerless and are likely to be convicted of crimes compared to the rich in the society. The crime rate among the poor is also significantly higher compared to the crime rate among the rich. This is due to the lack of opportunities among the poor to improve self. The poor do not have the skills needed to become productive thus a poor society.

Cooley's contribution to the field is that he supported that the society will always change in response to the social conflict. The way people behave will be determined by the meaning that people have on their behaviour. People who believe that hard work will improve the quality of life in the society are likely to an improved life; on the… [read more]

Social and Cultural Theory Study Essay

Essay  |  10 pages (3,203 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


The phrase 'looking-glass self' was used by Cooley to present the idea that "what we think of ourselves depends on what we think others think of us" ("Charles Horton Cooley,").

The human beings are living in groups, both large and small. The concern shown by the members of the groups towards each other differentiates the primary and secondary groups. Thus,… [read more]

Cross Cultural Social Stratification Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,876 words)
Style: Harvard  |  Bibliography Sources: 8


They consider a person's family background, his work, education and other such facets of life to be the key determinants of their social class. In this way, they believe that poverty is not a natural law but it eventually flourishes because people do not put in an effort. In this way, the class stratification provides a platform for individuals to work hard and get the best.

This difference in the outlook of the social class is merely because of the philosophy held by the functionalists. Since they place great importance in the fact that society runs because of its interdependent sectors, the social stratification system is seen to lie on the positive spectrum. The functionalist view of social stratification is put forward by people like Emile Durkheim, Kingsley Davis and several more. Functionalists understand the concept of social stratification on the basis of human needs and desires which make them different. For this purpose, society plays an essential role in providing and also limiting goals and opportunities to the individuals. In a similar manner, the society also encourages these individuals to exercise efforts, learn and develop skills to climb the ladder. Hence, the functionalists consider the social stratification as an essential framework to develop the best individuals and motivate the most capable ones to take the best positions in order to help the society operate successfully (Saha D, 2006).

Thus, no matter how the different sociologists perceive the idea, social stratification coexists with the creation of every society. It divides the whole society into different classes and groups which can clearly be distinguished on the economic, social and political basis. For this reason, all the sociological perspectives discussed above hold a view that reflects the true nature of the society.


Brown K, 2006, Introduction to Sociology AS Level, Polity Press.

Giddens A, 2001, Sociology, 4th Edition, Polity Press: Gill and MacMillan: Dublin

Goldthorpe, John H. 2000, On Sociology: Numbers, Narratives and the Integration of Research and Theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Saha D, 2006, Sociology of Social Stratification, Global Vision Publishing Ho

Solon, G. 2002, Cross-country differences in intergenerational earnings mobility,

Journal of Economic Perspective, Vol. 16, No. 3

Taylor F, 2007, Sociology: understanding a diverse society, Cengage Learning.

Weininger, Elliot…… [read more]

Social Welfare and Society Thesis

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In short, the Gilded Age era reflected out own in that there were "no strong counterveiling forces to balance the influence of corporations" (Jansson, p. 155).

Chapter 6: The Limited Welfare-Regulatory State of the Progressive Era

Progressivism was an urban, middle class reform movement of the late-19tha and early-20th Centuries that did attempt to deal with the social and economic problems of the United States in a limited way, almost always through regulations on the state and local levels. In many ways, the origins of social work as a modern profession and the welfare state can be traced back to this era, particularly to the work of Jane Addams at Hull house in Chicago and other urban reformers. Addams also supported national health insurance, public housing, old-age pensions and social security at the federal level, although these did not come about until the New Deal of the 1930s and Great Society of the 1960s (Jansson, p. 201). Early social workers like Addams soon came to understand that there was an "ethic of mutual assistance" in immigrant and ethnic communities that still exists today, and this was often the only form of welfare and social security that they had (Jansson, p. 169). This has changed little today with Latino and Asian communities in contemporary urban centers. In the post-1965 period, the U.S. again became the favorite destination for millions of refugees and economic migrants from poor countries, as it had been in the years 1880-1920. They again faced the same low wages and miserable housing and health care conditions that the earlier immigrants had, and also had no "right to safety net programs and protections that other working Americans receive" (Jansson, p. 200). Since the Progressive Era welfare state was more concerned with regulation of capitalism than social welfare and entitlement programs, present-day social workers "need to be familiar with the regulatory side of the American welfare state," especially regulations of wages, hours, workers' compensation, public health, food and drug safety and housing conditions, all of which had their origin in the Progressive Era (Jansson, p. 207).


Jansson, B.S. (2009). The Reluctant Welfare State: Engaging History to Advance Social Work…… [read more]

Industrial and Information Societies Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (590 words)
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Neoclassical and Substantivist Economic Theories

Neoclassical theory is the theory that modern economists use to define current society. This theory is based on the concepts of needs and wants, scarcity and rational choices. It looks at how individuals have both needs and wants and how they select from these needs and wants what they will actually buy.

The concept of scarcity means that there are always greater wants than there is the resources to provide for those wants. For this reason, individuals must choose what to purchase with their available resources.

Neoclassical theory also asserts that these decisions will be made rationally. This means that in deciding what to purchase, it is assumed that all options are known and that the decision is made based on what is of greatest benefit to the individual.

Substantivism is a very different theory and is based on the idea that economic systems are socially and culturally determined. Substantivism would argue that the economic system present is defined by the social environment.

The neoclassical approach that bases economic systems on individual choices is therefore replaced by a theory that bases the economic system on how that society functions. This results in a system based on a collective societal approach rather than an individual approach.

These two theories are very different and yet are also in agreement. The substantivism theory says society will adopt an economic system based on their social system. Neoclassical theory is the economic system current society adopts. At the same time, current society is based on individual pursuits and so substantivism effectively explains the current adoption of the…… [read more]

Eaglin Society That Is Free Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (542 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


With bath houses everywhere and the legalization of prostitution our society has moved into an arena in which sexual needs are considered no different than the need to eat, breath or have water. Because the old world oppressed so many people sexually there was a lot of tension that we do not experience today. That sexual oppression lent itself to the judgment of same sex unions as well. Hard as it is to believe we lived in a world where men and to love only women and women had to love only men, otherwise they were harshly judged for their choices. Today, we know that being attracted to people like us or different from us has to do with the genetic and DNA makeup of our beings. It is not a choice as was apparently believed back then. Today we love who we love and we give freely of ourselves regardless of the gender of our partner. Had our society not evolved to this point we would have missed out on so many things including the writings of Ted and Roger the famous self-help couple for the art of making love. The study delved into why the old world placed such restrictions on the norms that we now take for granted and came up with one answer. Insecurity. Because mankind delved into the psyche and worked for many generations so make people healthy emotionally we now enjoy a society in which we are free to love, and we are free to give our love to whom we want…… [read more]

Suicide and Society Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,242 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Anomie is defined as the state of individual alienation from society, which tends to result in unsocial behaviors. This social isolation can originate from either an excess or a lack of social integration, occurring more in urban societies where displays of increased social and professional specialization are seen, allowing for more heterogeneity and thus a loss of common culture. It is a paradoxical situation where the rate of suicides tends to increase when choices and freedoms increase, allowing individuals more control over their own lives. The resulting anomic condition is more likely seen during periods of prosperity and poverty, primarily affecting the mobile, professional, educated, and divorced people in the social group. This trend demonstrates that people need limits, and limits are set by a normative system where the norms inhibit chaos. When the norms are valued more successfully, suicide rates drop. Thus, prosperity, urbanism, education, and other highly promoted social factors may actually erode traditional limits and impact the occurrence of suicides.

Durkheim was highly interested in this category, and elaborated on its definition by sub-classifying anomie according to economics and domestic situations, to include acute and chronic economic anomie, and acute and chronic domestic anomie. With acute economic anomie, the group fails to meet the immediate traditional needs of the individual (i.e. religion), while chronic economic anomie factors in a long-term lack of social and moral guidelines. Durkheim noted the existence of this form of anomie during the period of the Industrial Revolution where the increased achievement of financial wealth failed to provide stable happiness, resulting in an increase in suicides among the wealthy class. The two forms of domestic anomie involve microsocial factors, such as family influences. For instance, in acute domestic anomie, widowhood is cited as an example as sudden changes in social life, and the inability to effectively and quickly adapt, influence the suicide rates. Chronic domestic anomie pertains to groups like married women where the institution of marriage has the tendency to overregulate their lives and restrict their opportunities for social and emotional growth. These associated forms of anomie present more evidence that social stimuli can impact the predisposition to suicidal tendencies.

Fatalism is the converse of anomie where the condition is that there is too much normative integration. It is more relevant to groups with high levels of commitments where the individuals have overregulated, unrewarding lives, but is rarely seen in modern society, which has a greater tendency to be anomic, suffering from too little normative integration. Examples of fatalistic groups where suicide rates apply include slaves, Waco, Jonestown, and the Islamic Jihad group. Childless, married women fall into this group as a result of the combination of marriage and lack of reward (children) influencing their social suffering.


One of the more interesting theories in Durkheim's functional approach to evaluating societal impact on suicide rates is that he demonstrated the social aspects pertaining to all individuals, where every social class was accounted for and categorized according to social influences. The sociological analysis… [read more]

Emile Durkheim Sociology Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,607 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


This is especially true if the society is heterogeneous. In a heterogeneous society people come from different cultures and religions and thus have different morals. There is always the likelihood that one set of individuals will be opposed to moral teaching that may be a contradiction to their culture or religion. Also, if the people making the decisions about moral standards are not representative of the entire society the "morality" being taught will always represent the In addition, one could also argue that public educational facilities are not designed to teach morality and should only concentrate on academic achievement.


The purpose of this discussion was to provide an overview of the theorist and his work. We found that Durkheim was born in a town and France and received his post secondary education in Paris at the Ecole Normale Superieure. He was also rejected because of his philosophies and original thoughts.

The discussion also focused on the work and evaluation of the validity of his theory of morality. We concluded that his theories were valid but were also complicated by the fact that many societies are heterogeneous and differing morals abound



Blend, C., Coser, L.A., Duncan, H.D., Folkman, J.D., Hinkle, R.C., Honigsheim, P., Kurauchi, K., Neyer, J., Parsons, T., Peyre, H., Richter, M., Salomon, A., & Wolff, K.H. (1960). Emile Durkheim, 1858-1917: A Collection of Essays, with Translations and a Bibliography (K W.H., Ed.). Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=22831185

Durkheim, E. (1953). Sociology and Philosophy (Pocock, D.F., Trans.). New York: Free Press. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5634202

Durkheim, E., & Fauconnet, P. (1961). Moral Education: A Study in the Theory and Application of the Sociology of Education (E. K. Wilson, Ed.) (Schnurer, H., & K., E.W., Trans.). New York: Free Press.… [read more]

Wayward Puritans: A Study Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (930 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


The author states, "The Bible told him [the Puritan] the difference between right and wrong, and in his efforts to shape the world to those clear moralities he could be positively ferocious."

In early Puritan society, the ministers acted as the lawmakers, and so, societal control was based on the Bible's rules, and the minister's interpretations of those rules. To begin with, to be admitted as a member of Puritan society, one had to be a member of the church. Here is an example of societal control before the member could even join the society. Indeed, as the society thrived and new laws were enacted, they persecuted Quakers in much the same way they had been persecuted in England, and they suffered several "crime waves" of witchcraft and possession. The trial and banishment of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson, and the persecution of the Quakers indicated society in New England was becoming even more conservative, and certainly more controlling of "deviant" members. Fearful of witches and the black arts, the society encouraged members to turn on each other in the name of "confession." Erickson writes, "As they [the possessed girls] became caught up in the enthusiasm of their new work, then, the girls began to reach into every corner of the community in a search for likely suspects."

The community encouraged this behavior in their maniacal search for deviants in league with the Devil, and this shows how the community's beliefs and fears controlled the deviant behavior. Anyone could be accused, and so, the rest of the community had to strictly adhere to every Puritan policy, or become suspect themselves. The mores were so strict that the slightest infraction could place a person in jeopardy, and this indicates just how controlling the society was, and how fearful it was of any deviant behavior, which is why they created so many controls.

The Puritans felt they were alone in the world, and so they had to enact harsh and strict societal controls over their lives. This societal control is evident in the way their lived their lives, and the way they used the Bible to define their activities. Deviant behavior was to be avoided at all costs, and to fit into this society, members had to believe, behave, and never question authority. Those who did were banished from the community, or even worse, put to death. This was strong societal control, and it is easy to see why the rest of the community tried to conform. Societal control that includes the threat of death is quite powerful, indeed.


Erikson, Kai. (1966). Wayward Puritans: A Study in the Sociology of Deviance. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.

Erikson, Kai. (1966). Wayward Puritans: A Study in the Sociology of Deviance. New…… [read more]

Parson's Concept of Cultural Strain Research Paper

Research Paper  |  2 pages (791 words)
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Parsons' Concept of Cultural Strain

As a person credited for his critical perspective in sociology, Parsons' concept of cultural strain helps human beings to understand the society well from its demands. In this case, there exist two most significant aspects. First, the limits of the system and its surrounding and the included procedures integrated in the system. Either of the two applies in terms of their functions. In this perspective, with adaptation and aim achievement maintains the outside / external limits while the internal processes remain by combination and logical order concealment (Hartnell, n.d.). Parsons' concept of cultural strain urges humans to understand the society through the system pressures and demands.

Considering that above settings, human beings will start with a willing action where they practice and interest more in their decisions that are subject to prevailing situations and obvious anticipations. Because the system functions incline towards equilibrium, it can on the other hand be out of order/disorganized if subsystems fail to integrate well and this results from a cultural strain (Allan, 2005). Whenever societies continue to distinguish themselves, correspondence with the subsystems should become prevalent. During the process, some societies will utilize abnormal cultures, which eventually set a strain in the system because some of the subsystems defy modification as others proceed with changes. These conditions thus encourages motivation from which if the people/group members understand this, revolutions is possible as members are obliged to establish a subculture with the aim of bringing together the group in search for better values and practices. The culture then should be broad enough to succeed and be logically acceptable. During the revolution, it is an either win situation to those in need of a change and those denying it. However, in whatever outcome, there are set procedures to follow in integrating the subsystems. Following a successful revolution, the subsystems should create cultures/practices that bring the system together. In the entire process, institutionalization takes place in patterning characters for ranking, roles, and practices (Allan, 2005, p. 367). Remember, that all these efforts are attempting to eliminate cultural strains, if they exist, and through innovation, they adapt other viable practices.

For a successful revolution, potential for change should be there, enhanced through motivation, dissatisfaction where the smaller groups should organize themselves should also exist, after which there should be ideologies to legitimize success and finally, conditions for revolutionizing groups…… [read more]

Deviance in Society Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (2,129 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Deviance as a Sociological Term

The term 'deviance' is a difficult one to assess objectively. Its implications are of an act, pattern of behavior or psychology which reflects a clear and significant divergence from sociological norms. However, this is a definition that is inherently riddled with philosophical problems. Particularly, it is unclear exactly how these divergences are defined and who… [read more]

Theorizing Society Essay

Essay  |  8 pages (2,268 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Durkheim and the Division of Labor

This author has found the Durkheim text on the Division of Labor to be most interesting. Durkheim has introduced a Hegelian dichotomy that is contradictory, yet binary at the same time. The question is very much one of what is now the synthesis. The division of labor (hypothesis) brings about individualization (antithesis) (Raapana, N.… [read more]

Keys Drivers of Social Change in Modern Societies Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (663 words)
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¶ … classical sociological canon includes a look at the theories of Marx, Durkheim and Weber and what they felt were the key social drivers in society as a whole. The economy is a fundamental part of any society. The dynamic of this relationship and its determination for all three is in dispute. Marx, Durkheim and Weber were the first investigators to explore the relationship between the economy and society. Each of them developed their different viewpoints based on their social theories. Marx viewed the economy as the very base of the social structure. Durkheim saw the economy as one of a number of social institutions making up the society. In part, Weber viewed the economy at least in part as an extension of societal religious beliefs.

For Marx, the economy is the foundation of all of the subsequent social phenomena. For him, it is the ruling bourgeois class that owns the means of production and exploits the proletariat working class via the division of labor and via wage-slavery. The result is class warfare whose historical culmination is capitalism. Capitalism is a necessary stage that in turn prepares the way for communist revolution where the means of production are no longer privatized and the division of labor is abolished. Based upon this, Marx predicts the liberation of the proletariat and the abolition of private property (Morrison, pp. 4-8).

Durkheim views the relationship between the economy and society as more positive. The economy and labors social division of both have a beneficial effect on society enabling social solidarity. He measures societies not in terms of economy like Marx. Rather, he deals in terms of health and illness. Social phenomena such as suicide and insanity are more of a concern for him than the modes of production and worker alienation. At best, he suggests the reformation of society to reduce the negative effects of suicide and other illness in society. However, he does not agree that such illnesses are economically determined or that…… [read more]

Structural Factors Affecting the Level of Violence Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (996 words)
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¶ … structural factors affecting the level of violence in America. Violent crime is viewed to be one of America's most significant social problems, so it is important to study the different factors that contribute to rates of violence in our society. This type of work on the part of sociologists is important in the face of apathy among members of the general public towards the issue of violence in society.

Violence is typically understood as violent crime, so that the definition is often tied to charges or convictions relating to violent criminal acts. Acts that go undetected by law, or that go uncharged -- as is the case with many instances of bullying and domestic violence -- are considered in the study of violence but are not always included in the traditional definition. Some studies break down violence by type, for example Ander et al.'s (2009) work on gun violence in Chicago. At times, violence is blended with aggression, in order to address acts of violence or the threat of violence that exists outside of the criminal justice system.

There are a number of causal factors associated with violence in society. Prothrow-Smith (1995) identified a number of factors generally considered to contribute to the level of violence in society -- family stability, education, and other social conditions such as poverty all have a high correlation with rates of violence. Other contributing factors include peer influences, antisocial personality traits, depression, abuse history (Ferguson, San Miguel and Hartley, 2009). One of the more contentious potential influences is that of violent images in media. Television, movies and video games in particular have come under fire for their depictions of violence, although other media forms have also occasionally come under fire -- music and books in particular. While Ferguson et al. found no link between violence in media and violent behavior, a German study by Krahe and Moller (2010) did find a link in both boys and girls.

The German study also examined the links between media violence and empathy. It is often viewed that a relative lack of empathy is a condition associated with violence in society. American society has a higher rate of violence, therefore, in part due to its highly individualistic nature.

There are a number of consequences of violence in society. A higher rate of fear is one of those consequences, and this fear drives a number of other outcomes, including "white flight" and social attitudes that stigmatize members of groups that are believed to have higher rates of violence. Violence also directly costs thousands of American lives each year, and steeper rates still of injury. This has a direct economic impact in terms of missed work; employees lost either due to violence or to prison; certain violence-prone regions suffer economically; and many members of society become less productive than they otherwise would be.

The structural functionalism perspective is particularly useful in understanding violence in America. The approach is focused on integrating norms, institutions and customs into…… [read more]

Is America a Society? Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (605 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … america a society of There is presently much controversy regarding the U.S. And the potential it has to be exploited as an "open road" that people can use with the purpose of gaining a series of advantages. While most people cannot agree with the fact that America is a country where people can move freely anytime they want to and for every purpose they have, I personally believe that it is actually assisting even encouraging people to seize the best opportunities they come across.

Residing in America means that you are more likely to encounter social and economic success, given that unlike other environments (that are hostile toward moving freely), it presents individuals with the chance to move from place to place whenever they want to and whenever they feel that they are going to benefit out of this enterprise. It is actually a common thing for people in America to move when the opportunity emerges, as in most cases they do so because of the advantages they believe they will get out of the act.

Even though most can agree that "the open road" is present in any society around the world and that the enabling of this concept depends merely on the individual, matters are actually very different. In some countries for example people form very strong bonds with the communities they reside in and they feel physically connected to their city. Also, the economic costs that arise along with a general move can be too much for people in some countries, thus making them less able to move whenever they want to. While such cases are also present in the U.S., they are more isolate because people here have more opportunities and one can achieve progress through hard work and can eventually move without being restrained by…… [read more]

Culture in Organizations Case Study

Case Study  |  2 pages (660 words)
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Organizational Culture

Culture in Organizations

Do organizations have cultures?

Do organizations have cultures?

Structural-functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism

In the field of sociology, several distinct concepts of how societies function have been generated: that of the structural functionalist school, the conflict theory school, and the symbolic interactionist school. Structural-functionalism stresses that social institutions generate positive forces that create order and meaning for individuals in society. Institutions, customs, and written and unwritten social rules are the 'glue' that hold a society together. It implies that by studying such institutions one can understand and hopefully improve 'society.'

In contrast to the harmonious emphasis of structural-functionalism, conflict theory perceives social institutions not as 'natural' but as imposed structures that bolster the wealth and positions of people currently in power. Conflict theory has strong ties to Marxist theory and views society in a continual conflict between the 'haves' (the bourgeois and previously, the aristocracy) and the 'have-nots' (proletariat). Conflict theory "refutes functionalism, which considers that societies and organization function so that each individual and group plays a specific role, like organs in the body" while conflict theory sees groups as constantly at war (Conflict theory, 2011, About sociology). Competition for scarce resources is an inherent part of modern life according to conflict theorists and only revolutions can upset the current balance of power. Even new, post-revolutionary regimes are inherently unequal in the manner in which they redistribute resources.

Symbolic interactionism, in contrast to previous sociological schools of thought, does not see power as a fixed and entrenched concept. Even individuals who do not possess formal positions of authority can exercise power in a cultural fashion, as outsiders. In this theory, the emphasis "on symbols, negotiated reality, and the social construction of society lead to an interest in the roles people play," consciously and unconsciously, formally and informally (Symbolic interactionism, 2011, Grinnell College). Symbolic interactionism puts a strong emphasis on the 'script' that people follow, however unintentionally, in social interactions.

Are organizations cultures?

Even…… [read more]

Gender Inequality Is Socially Constructed Essay

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Classless society gender inequality is SOCIALLY constructed

The myth of the classless society: Donna Langston's "Tired of playing monopoly"

The myth of the classless society: Donna Langston's "Tired of playing monopoly"

"In the myth of the classless society, ambition and intelligence alone are responsible for success," writes Donna Langston in her essay "Tired of playing monopoly." Yet American society is highly stratified by class markers and class assumptions, often in invisible ways that can advance or prove to be a barrier to success. People of color, single women, and other individuals who face obstacles to social mobility are characterized as being insufficiently industrious if they do not pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. To do so, says Langston, is a physical impossibility.

Class markers divide and define American society; all the while America proclaims itself a meritocracy. "As a result of the class you are born into and raised in, class is your understanding of the world and where you fit in; it's composed of ideas, behavior, attitudes, values, and language; class is how you think, feel, act, look, dress, talk, move, walk; class is what stores you shop at, restaurants you eat in; class is the schools you attend, the education you attain; class is the very jobs you will work at throughout your adult life. Class even determines when we marry and become mothers; Working class women become mothers long before middle class women receive their bachelor's degrees." If there was no class, then the clear distinction between 'shopping at Nordstrom' versus 'shopping at K-Mart' would not be obvious. These choices are seen as inherently different activities, done by different kinds of people -- the upper class have 'taste' and 'style' says Langston, while working class people merely eat and make their purchases to survive. This is mocked, even if shopping at K-Mart is an economic necessity.

Langston characterizes her own inability to transcend class barriers not simply as economic but also a failure of vision -- class can be such a narrowing influence that the idea one could move away from home to go to college, or visit Europe, seems like impossibility. The difficulties of the poor and the reason why lower-income students flounder in college are partially due to the challenges of working full-time and attending school, yet Langston also suggests that students have a kind of fear or incomprehension of what their lives as college graduates might resemble, because such a future is so different than the lives of the students' parents. Also, the refusal of society to ignore the economic and psychological problems faced by…… [read more]

Diner, Gjerde and Takaki Term Paper

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¶ … Diner, Gjerde and Takaki

Looking at the documents in Gjerde, Chapter 10, and the article by Stephen Meyer on the "Americanization Program" at the Ford Company, compare and contrast how Progressive Era Americans from different backgrounds defined what being an American actually should entail. Which definition seems to be the most beneficial to the country, and for what… [read more]

Global Civil Society Thesis

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Global Civil Society

Since the forces of globalization remain a relatively new concept to the modern day individual, it is only natural for the legislation of globalization to be found in an ongoing process of development and adaptation to the current features of the modern day society. The legislative approach to trade masters, human rights and the environment has suffered numerous modifications throughout the past years, but the general trend has been that of ensuring that the multinational corporations comply with the regulations of each country where they conduct business. In terms of human rights and the environment, the trend has been that of ensuring their protection. The best evidence in this sense is given by the raising living standards across the globe due to the creation of more jobs or by the better protection of the environment through the free circulation of green technologies.

Relative to the effects that international law's approach…… [read more]

Conflict Theory Thesis

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Conflict Theory

In the study of sociology, conflict theory states that the society or organization functions so that each individual participant and its groups struggle to maximize their benefits, which inevitably contributes to social change such as changes in politics and revolutions. The theory is generally applied to explain conflict between social classes in ideologies such as socialism and… [read more]

Wealth in American Society Term Paper

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¶ … Wealth in American Society

Wealth is a concept that is subject to different definitions largely base on cultural values and societal beliefs. In certain human societies, wealth is hardly even considered simply because the everyday reality of existence is so difficult that all of the efforts and concerns of individuals are dedicated, of necessity, to acquiring the most basic needs in the realm of personal safety and minimal nutritional and other health issues. In other human societies, particularly since the Industrial Revolution, the acquisition of basic necessities is no longer an issue, leaving the individual to focus on other things, including concepts of personal wealth and success.

The Psychological Basis of Motivation for Wealth:

To a large extent, perceptions of wealth are strictly relational, having value only in the relative availability or exclusivity of various lifestyles or acquisitions. In that regard, they are substantially illusory, having the greatest value only while they are elusive; the moment measures of wealth or success become available to the masses, they are no longer regarded as signifying wealth or social privilege by the wealthiest segments of society who enjoyed them initially.

In fact, much of the social preoccupation with wealth is a measure of personal insecurity and the need for attention and admiration of others, even strangers. In many respects, that preoccupation was responsible for the societal themes and values that eventually manifested themselves in the collapse of the American economic system in 2008.

The Illusory Nature of Comparative Wealth in the United States:

In principle, almost all middle class and even lower middle class Americans are exceptionally wealthy by any objective…… [read more]

U.S. History 1865 to 1945 Essay

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U.S. History from 1865-1945

Mark Twain coined the term "Gilded Age" in 1873 to refer to not only the name of his novel, but to the excessive greed and corruption he witnessed during that time. "Gilding" referred to adorning something further that is beautiful to begin with -- in other words, in Twain's mind -- excessive and wasteful, which characterized the era in the U.S.

The greater part of the nineteenth century saw significant change in the United States, perhaps the last third of that one hundred year period most of all. The country began that time period as an agrarian, unpopulated, spread-out, local-oriented, isolated group of individual states.

By 1900, the U.S. grew to be one of the great powers of the world -- industrial, urban, modern, and national-oriented country of states spread from sea to shining sea. (Calhoun, 2006, p.1)

The growth of big business represented the dominant economic fact of the era. An expanding railroad network brought the nation together and created a national market. In the process, the railroads emerged as the nation's first big business. They employed thousands of people, created bureaucratic structures to carry on their operations, and posed large policy issues for the political system. The iron and steel, petroleum, and electrical industries all loomed large in the economy. Consumers used processed foods in tin cans, ready-made clothing, and telephones. http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O119-FarmMachinery.html" Farm machinery spurred productivity in the agrarian sector. (Boyer 2, 2001)

Mass Society

The definition of mass society from The Encarta dictionary is: A society in which the national or global nature of the influences on life, e.g. mass production and the mass media, has stripped the population of its diversity.

Alexis deTocqueville toured the U.S. during the gilded age of the 1800's. His classic description of what he found he described as: "mass society has echoed through the whole subsequent history of social theory: '...an innumerable multitude of men, all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives.

Nineteenth-century sociologists shared many of de Tocqueville's concerns about the emerging culture of industrial societies. (Marshall, 1998)

On the farms of the South and Midwest, populist protest erupted over the power of the railroads, the financiers, and the middlemen who in the eyes of angry farmers were nothing but parasites who fed off their harvests. (enotes.com, n.d.)

In 1890, twelve per cent of the population controlled eighty-six per cent of the growth, while the top two per cent earned fifty per cent of all income in the U.S. In this climate of growing social disparity, "reformers" did the work of the wealthy who wished to keep the wages of the workers low and their own profits high. Misery and impoverishment became evident at levels never seen before in this country. (Friedman, 2007, p.252)

The last quarter century was an era of big business domination, expanding railroads, huge steel factories, and rampant oil production. Mass production and mass distribution lowered price levels. Deflation and… [read more]

Christmas Carol and Karl Marx Essay

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Dickens and Marx

The England depicted by Charles Dickens in his a Christmas Carol was also the world that influenced Karl Marx, for he was living in England when he wrote the Communist Manifesto and certain other works along with Friedrich Engels. What Marx had to say about the nature of capitalist society and about the struggle between classes can… [read more]

Book Analysis of Honky by Dalton Conley Research Paper

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¶ … Honky" by Dalton Conley

Race and Downward Mobility in Honky by Dalton Conley

Sociological history stems from two realities that inevitably influence the individual: his personal history and his social environment. Indeed, the past and the present combine to create the unique individual -- one part created by personal history, and another part developed by the social environment (primarily, the individuals and groups comprising the society the individual lives with). History and sociology combine to help a person make sense of his self, of what he was and has become through the years.

This is the reality that author and sociologist Dalton Conley discussed in his book, Honky. His book documents not only his personal history, but he also puts this personal history in the context of sociology. In Honky, he talks about his gradual 'awakening' to the realities that marginalized groups in the society, like the African-Americans, experienced before the rise of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. As a white American who grew up in a dominantly African-American community, Conley experienced what it was like to live as the 'minority' of his community, a reversal of role where the white American becomes marginalized, and African-Americans the dominant group in the society.

This reversal of roles between white and black Americans in Conley's community and personal history illustrates the sociological phenomenon called downward mobility. Downward mobility occurs when there is "a movement to a lower position in the stratification hierarchy" (Renzetti & Curran, 2000:209). The author's history manifests this phenomenon, as his family appeared as 'deviants' who chose to live 'below' the hierarchy than what was expected of them as a white American family. The discussion that follows delves into the phenomenon of downward mobility as it relates to Conley and his family's experiences in the Projects at New York. This paper posits that Conley, in his discussion of downward mobility, implied that this phenomenon is but a description of the social inequality and prejudice held against the marginalized African-Americans, as American society moved towards the period of eventual rise of the civil rights movement.

This thesis stems from a general observation of American social dynamics during the 1960s, wherein

Racial and ethnic minorities...have historically experienced obstacles to upward vertical mobility. Although civil rights legislation dating from the 1960s resulted in some improvement, the threat of downward mobility is still much greater for racial and ethnic minorities than for White Americans (ibid, 210).

From this passage, it becomes apparent that a dominant theme and issue in Honky, particularly its third chapter, aptly entitled, "Downward mobility," was the racial inequality between white and black Americans. In Conley's history, the status quo was that African-Americans were the minority and belonged to the lower class of the American class hierarchy. White Americans, meanwhile, were the majority group, and dominated the middle to upper classes in the society. This was, at least, the status quo in the society that existed outside of the Projects, where the author lived and spent… [read more]

Sociological Imagination the Importance and Utility Essay

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Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … Sociological Imagination

The importance and utility of Mills' theorizing on the sociological imagination is undeniable. Budding sociologists and those interested in the field of social sciences understand the fundamentality of this work. But indeed, what is sociological imagination all about?

For Mills, sociological imagination is one's capacity to "understand the larger historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and the external career of a variety of individuals" (Chapter 1, par. 8). To imagine is to see beyond the confines of the mundanity of life; to transgress the very limited spheres that we live in and the limited options that we have - this is the gist of sociological imagination. Further extending, it can be said that in order to apply sociological imagination, we have to understand the interrelatedness of history and biography (par. 10) - of our personal situations and constructions in the light of the larger and more dynamic scheme of things. It is to understand that our present-lived realities are influenced by the underlying dynamics and principles of the society that we live in.

Mills breaks down sociological imagination into several components: the structuralist / social order standpoint, or the understanding of the way the society is structured; social change, or the mechanism by which a particular society is undergoing change; human nature, or the understanding of the kind of varieties of men and women living in the particular society (par. 11). More importantly, one must be able to shift from one particular perspective to another (par.12) - this entails one's understanding and acceptance of the multiplicity of perspectives.

The dichotomy between issue and trouble also occupied a fruitful and significant discussion in Mills' work. A trouble is something that occurs within the immediate, inner environment of the individual while an issue occurs beyond that. Either way, both issue and trouble occurs because cherished values are being threatened (par. 15-16).

Having said that, this discussion now turns to the introduction of three concepts / theories on sex / gender and later on the application of sociological imagination in this domain will be demonstrated.

According to Gilligan (in Clifton et al., 2008, p. 686), females "are more likely to define themselves in terms of interpersonal relationships with others and to be concerned in with social discourse, intimacy, and care-giving, while males are more likely to define as autonomous from others and to be concerned with individual attainment and status." Still in line with gender differential, Durkheim's sexual division of labor maintains that the reproductive role of women confines them to the home, or the private sphere. Hence, they are perceived to be nurturing, obedient, and submissive because of the socialization process that they go through. (Entwistle, 156-158).

On the other hand, current empirical studies have shown that there has been a significant departure from traditional gender roles, particularly in the American society (Miller & Stark, p.1408).

Miller and Stark's theory was a result of a cross-cultural empirical study which showed that "gender socialization… [read more]

Deviance and Social Control Term Paper

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Deviance and Social Control

Deviance is any act or thought (especially when expressed) that goes against the idea of the culture's social order. Deviance can develop into crime, though this is not necessarily the case. Deviance can be described as anything that verges on deviant, or divergent from the standards and traditions of a culture and can be different among cultures, though there are several issues of deviance (almost always defined as crime) that are universal to most cultures, such as the crime of unmitigated murder of another human being or incest as both of these issues are considered harmful to the individual and culture involved. (Bridges & Myers, 1994, p. 27)

Deviance can serve the function of defining the norm, as deviant behavior even in the most banal form can be used as an example for others of what not to do or how not to act. One example of deviance that is culturally specific is such things as facial tattoos. In most cultures (though there are exceptions) facial tattoos are considered a form of self imposed deformity and people will likely develop preconceived notions regarding an individual who has such. To expand this example one might consider how an individual parent might warn their children never to tattoo their own face, or might visibly pull their children away from such "deviants" in public. Individuals who are more "mainstream" i.e. normal can also perpetuate the idea that tattoos are a symptom or a social mark of other deviant behaviors (such as having been in prison) and thus teach their children these lessons as forms of social control of the next generation. (Hewitt, 1997, p. 69)

Another example is open display of homosexual affection. In most cultures (though again there are exceptions) it is still relatively unacceptable i.e. deviant to be homosexual and openly displaying affection to someone of the same gender is considered especially deviant. Individuals in public might do something as simple as avoid eye contact with individuals engaged in open homosexual affection or be more obtrusive and shout at or throw something at the couple. Either way their example is set for anyone watching that this behavior is not acceptable to them. Neither of these forms of deviance are crimes (or enforced crimes) but there is still a certain stigma associated with both that holds allowable social control functions up to the public if they choose to make such a decision. (Bridges & Myers, 1994, p. 27)

Another equally important function of deviance is to challenge the "norm" of a culture so it might expand its conception of "normal." Political deviance and social deviance that challenges traditional accepted forms of acting and being have served as the force for social change for as long as man has lived in community. Deviance such as social protest, say of war or representation has served as an agent for change that has expanded human rights. It therefore becomes up tot the members of the culture to gain greater tolerance for… [read more]

Are There Any Obligations Science Has Towards Society? Term Paper

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¶ … obligations science has towards society?

All human knowledge in the past and present were painstakingly acquired for the benefit of mankind. Though the ancient philosophers sought knowledge for its own sake, they also took care to see that what they gained was disseminated among the masses. Ancient inventions and discoveries, from fire, wheel and those simple things we… [read more]

Social Theory the Wide Diversity of Human Term Paper

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Social Theory

The wide diversity of human behavior in a social setting for thousands of years makes it imperative to study these societies to better understand their properties. What are the similarities and differences of this behavior? What are the causes? How do humans differ than other animals in their social development? These questions have been asked by theorists for… [read more]

Emotionally Charged Concepts Reaction Paper

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"We are an eclectic bunch spanning every imaginable cross-section of society, and we battle an equally eclectic mix of obsessions and compulsions. Some of us obsess about contamination, others about hurting people, and still others about symmetry" (Bell 2008:1).

This deviance is not chosen, like a physical disease, but it can affect the individual's entire character from an early age, unlike being diagnosed with cancer or AIDS. Individuals with this psychological disorder (that may have its roots in a chemical imbalance or genetic tendency or a combination of both) are not necessarily 'unified' like members of other socially deviant categories who lobby to have their deviancy accepted. Instead, therapists try to treat OCD in a way that they hope changes the biological 'wiring' of the brain that contributes to OCD by slowly exposing suffers to different anxiety-fraught situations.

Regardless, OCD manifests itself in a way that will be read as socially deviant by observers. Some people with OCD in a restaurant will demand to examine the waiter's hands for scratches, in case the server's blood might contaminate their food, or have to rotate through several tables to find one that does not wobble (Bell 2008:1-2). These rituals, as they become increasingly difficult to replicate, can make living in 'normal' society increasingly difficult.

Thus some forms of deviance can be beneficial to the individual, like musical talent, or inconsequential, like sexual orientation, and are only a liability if society penalizes such traits. Even normalized traits, like drug use in some communities, can be a liability if the 'normal' person damages his or her body through such abuse. But for other deviant traits, like OCD, treatment rather than tolerance might be better for the sufferer and can enable people like Bell, in his words, to "take back his life" from the deviant disorder. With medication and therapy Bell can lead a more fulfilling existence that is not hemmed in by compulsions and rituals. In fact, one could argue that at its extreme the deviant behavior of OCD is itself intolerance of any deviance from a particular routine, and is an example of how tolerance and leaving one's personal and cultural comfort zone can be a positive experience.

Works Cited

Bell, Jeff. (6 Feb 2008). "When Anxiety is at the Table." The New York Times. Retrieved 6 Feb 2008 at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/06/dining/06obsess.html?ref=health

Henslin, James. (2005). Sociology: A…… [read more]

Sociological Perspective Term Paper

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Sociology - Sociological Perspective


Structural Formalism in Seinfeld: Structural formalism or "consensus structuralism" is the sociological theory according to which common social understandings and basic moral agreements play important roles in society, keeping it in a social equilibrium, the most natural state of society (Henslin 2002). It is a concept repeatedly represented in the Seinfeld television series, most often by George Costanza. In several different episodes, George becomes angry with strangers for violating what he perceives to be a common moral rule of societal expectation and decency. Those scenes always end with his angry exclamation

You know, we're living in a society." The first time this happens is in the episode titled "Chinese Restaurant" when George loses the race to use a public telephone. He had been waiting for it already, but a woman in the restaurant picked up first because she was closer to it when it became available. George tries to explain to her that he was waiting for it, to which she responds,

Well if you were here first, you'd be holding the phone" George says very angrily shouts, "You know, we're living in a society! We're supposed to act in a civilized way," purposely directing his voice for everyone to hear. The issue comes up again in the episode "The Limo" when George asks a stranger for the time in the airport. The man refuses to tell George the correct time despite the fact that he is wearing a wrist watch. Eventually, George tries to grab the man's wrist and the man pulls away, calling George "some kind of nut." George responds, "You know we're living in a society!" The implication, in both cases, is that a common social understanding exists in society about common courtesies in matters like waiting for one's turn for telephones and in accommodating ordinary polite requests for information like the time of day, even when the request comes from a complete stranger.

Symbolic Interactionism in Seinfeld: Symbolic Interactionism is a sociological theory according to which people tend to ascribe specific meaning to arbitrary things, to interpret those meanings through their social interaction with others, and to modify those meanings in relation to their perception by others (Gerrig & Zimbardo 2005). In the series episode "The Shoes,"

Elaine's Boticelli shoes become the focus of another character's envy. Elaine finds out through…… [read more]

Beliefs and Deviance Term Paper

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From the beginning of the study of society or sociology, sociologists have been interested in the definition of society and other similar question. For example, Talcott Parsons in Harvard's Department of Sociology, dealt with major concerns that of interest from sociology's beginnings: What keeps a society together? What is the relationship between beliefs and institutions? How do these beliefs change? Other sociologists, such as Robert Merton, who looked at the structure of society, and Paul Lazarsfeld, who helped developed quantitative methods, asked similar questions. George Herbert Mead integrated sociology and psychology and looked more closely at American urban life (Straus, 1994).

Emile Durkheim, often known as the "Father of Sociology," Durkheim saw society in two different ways. First, he defined society as an interdependent set of beliefs and ideas, linguistic symbols, religious beliefs, moral norms and legal formulas. Second, he also viewed society as a structural system composed of individuals or subgroups. In each case, the individuals in the social group or subgroup share similar interests. Culture is the systems of knowledge and communication shared by a relatively large group of people. Some of its shared areas include skills, knowledge, attitudes, values, and motives. The meanings of the symbols are learned and purposely continued from one generation to the next through the institutions and education. In every society there are those individuals who do not fit in, for one or more of myriad reasons. These people are considered deviant or nonconforming to the ideas that are accepted by most of society (Pickering, 1991)

Society also differentiates between deviant beliefs/thoughts/ideas and deviant behavior. Although some people have beliefs that are considered unusual or strange, they may be ignored, stigmatized or laughed at without any further action being taken. At this point they are not considered a major threat. However, when the threat becomes more imminent and the society's way of belief is threatened, action is most often taken. The person can be banned, punished or even killed. Throughout history, for example, individuals with different religious beliefs have been victimized by a range of persecution from name calling to mass destruction. Deviant behavior, or when ideas become acted upon, can be seen as very threatening and give society more cause for retaliation. A person who defiles a church will surely be punished for his or her actions.

Prejudice evolves from judging those individuals or a group of individuals, because they share different thoughts or behavior. Racism or religious prejudice, for example, includes fearing or hating members of other groups and assuming the worst about them because of stereotypes. It also consists of refusing to change one's negative and irroneous judgment regarding an individual or group based on firsthand experience to the contrary. Discrimination goes another step beyond prejudice, because people act out on their beliefs and values…… [read more]

Compare and Contrast Theories Term Paper

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Compare and contrast Theories

This paper discusses the social learning theory at the outset, and analyze the statement of whether social learning does have an impact on criminal activities and on deviant behaviors. Next, the paper will analyze the culture conflict theory, with suitable example, to find the inter-relationship that may exist between culture conflicts and criminal behaviors. The… [read more]

Robert Bork Anthony Giddens and Lenin Term Paper

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Communitarianism liberal society seeks not to impose a single way of life, but to leave its citizens as free as possible to choose their own values and ends, and it therefore must govern by principles of justice that do not presuppose any particular vision of the good life. The communitarian vision, on the other hand, is based on the philosophy… [read more]

Georg Simmel Term Paper

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Georg Simmel, one of the first professional sociologists, was born in Berlin in 1858. By the time he became a teenager, his home city had burst into the manufacturing and production arena, and the city was coming alive with the Industrial Revolution. Hundreds of thousand of people were already living in this German metropolis, and the population still continued to grow.

In his essay, "The Metropolis and Mental Life," Simmel wrote that some of the worst problems of present-day modern life came from individuals who were struggling to maintain their individuality against overwhelming social odds, historical heritage and external culture. "The psychological basis of the metropolitan type of individuality consists in the intensification of nervous stimulation which results from the swift and uninterrupted change of outer and inner stimuli," noted Simmel. "Man is a differentiating creature. His mind is stimulated by the difference between a momentary impression and the one which preceded it." Although increased technology promised greater freedom, the nineteenth century rise in industrialism also demanded greater specialization of work; this specialization decreased differentiation and made one person similar to another. It also made each individual all the more directly dependent on the supplementary activities of others.

Although Berlin was nothing compared to what it is today. Simmel had already seen some of the trends that were coming with the changing society. His essays, "Fashion," the Stranger," and even "The problem with sociology," reflected the changing times. In "Fashion," Simmel wrote how the clothing worn derives from a basic tension specific to the person's social condition. On one hand, everyone has a tendency to copy or imitate others. On the other, all people also have the tendency to distinguish themselves from others. Naturally, this is a continuum, with some people doing everything possible to imitate and emulate their favorite role models and thus to conform to what they feel is most accepted by their society. While others go to the opposite extreme and do everything they can to be different -- yet not so different that they are considered "overly strange" or get into trouble for not confirming to laws (such as nudity, etc.) Simmel argued that humans are driven by the two instincts of one side pushing them to imitate their neighbors and the other pushing them to distinguish themselves. From one side, individuals will try to copy others they admire, and from the other, attempt to distinguish themselves from people who they do not like or respect.

Fashion has always been a way for people to differentiate themselves from others, as well as indicate their status in a class society. In the early 1900s, for instance, women outwardly delineated their role in life by what they wore. Working women, who were proud of their autonomy although disliked by many people of both genders, enjoyed…… [read more]

Sigmund Freud With George Herbert Mead Compare Term Paper

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¶ … Sigmund Freud with George Herbert Mead

Compare and Contrast Max Weber and Karl Marx

Nature of an individual is a concept we are all at least familiar with regardless of the fact whether how much we actually understand it. Though different branches of knowledge have attempted to explain this concept in the light of their respective fields, the Psychology has earned a reputation for extensive work in this arena. Today we shall briefly discuss the nature of an individual from the perspective of two eminent names in psychology; they are Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and George Herbert Mead (1863-1931).

Freud saw the nature of individual through the spectacles of unconscious domain; that is he considered unconscious state of person as instrumental in forming nature of individual (Freud, 1963). Thus he advocated that unconscious dynamics are the real cause of human nature and these unseen forces are predominantly restructured and shaped by factors such as society and culture or general environment. Further elaborating his view point he suggested that nature of the individual is classically molded by initial upbringing, hence strong and healthy atmosphere in the early part of individual's life when maximum is absorbed to reflect back takes place is highly important in formation of desired nature.

Mead another well-respected figure in social psychology essentially endorsed the same premise free of Freud's influence in slightly different manner. He presented human nature as being developed from the realms of social interactions. It means that nature of the individual is significantly influenced by the social set up, language medium, experience and surrounding conditions. According to him the features of human nature emerge as the person undergoing such frame gains from these factors and consequently come in terms with them. His theory propagates that behavior of individual is largely drawn from the experiential bouts undertaken by the person and language helps in great deal to relate everything around and communication is imperative for social interactions.

Freud being the founder of psychoanalysis (Kriegman and Knight, 1988) was very prolific in explaining the abstract world of unconscious mind. He was able to derive loads of information by deciphering the seemingly meaningless words often downplayed by regarding them as slip of tongue but Freud argued such unintentional utterances tell a great deal about the actual state of person's inner self. He concluded that most of the time these inner feelings are intimate in nature (Freud, 1963) and hence cannot be shared or accorded overt acceptance and therefore suppressed and form subject of self denial such feelings are often forced into the world of oblivion whereas its never obliterated and is added to unconscious state where it remains till its brought out without the consent of conscious mind and the very fact these are uncontrolled, unprepared give a good indicator of person's nature.

George Herbert Mead is regarded among the founding members of pragmatism in psychology, according to him the behavior of an individual can be understood only in terms of the behavior of the whole… [read more]

Moral Panic Over Asylum Seekers Term Paper

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Moral Panic Over Asylum Seekers

In every country around the world, there always come a time when asylum seekers and refugees flock inside the country. This so happens because of various reasons such as:

there are numerous and uncontrollable problems from the origin country and people would want to free themselves from these problems people found out that the country… [read more]

Breakfast Club Constructs of Sociology Book Review

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1-3). Social groups can be large or small and share some type of common interest. The group can have shared values, representations, or social background (Sheehy, 2006). Social groups are mainly a product of social interaction, and at the high school level social interaction is a priority for most. Although groups are comprised of a collection of individuals, shared values and representations by the group often label the individual. This can result in stereotyping and an oversimplified view is fixed on the group. For example, someone proclaiming "all jocks are stupid" places a highly oversimplified stereotype on the social group.

The course of the film is plotted with the removal of stereotypes from social groups that are relevant to high school. At the beginning of the film, each student has their own opinion about each other based on stereotypes and their perceptions of one another. Throughout the course of the film, and their day in detention, the confrontations between the students reveal their true selves in the absence of stigmas of their social groups. The beginning and end of the film include the reading of an essay signed by the five students as members of "The Breakfast Club." This essay was the "Who do you think you are?" assignment given by Principal Vernon at the start of detention. The essay is actually a letter to Vernon which admits to the existence of social groups and their resulting labels. There is a slight variation in the letter between the beginning and end of the film. In the beginning the letter states, "You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal." These two lines acknowledge how individuals are defined by stereotypes and in this case each student has been labeled in the context of their perceived high school social group. The variation with the letter at the end of the film states, "But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal." By the end of the film the students admitted that not everyone can be simply defined as a product of their social group.

Sociological constructs and perspectives define the varying characteristics of human social interaction. These characteristics are often mimicked in film and entertainment as filmmakers attempt to capture social human nature. The 1985 film, The Breakfast Club, is such a film that accurately portrays social constructs between the interaction of five high school students and their principal during one day in Saturday detention. Selected scenes from this film exemplify concepts of social class, social control theory, conflict theory, deviance, and social groups. The visual clues given as the students first arrive at the high school signify differences in social class. Principal Vernon demonstrates social control theory by punishing the students to detention to try to elicit appropriate behavior from the… [read more]

Sociology -- Social Work External Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (627 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+


Or, they might propose that one did their study in a strange time (Neuman, 2006).

In order for a researcher to have a successful experimental study they need to design the study to control for as many of the threats to external validity as possible. There are certain ways in which one can do to improve the occurrence of external validity:

If the sample model is followed up for making the universal selection that is random selection dropping the chances of biased or no-random sampling in a positive population.

If the participation of respondents is upheld with the smallest amount of dropout rate.

By making the application of closeness theory to the maximum level for accounting the comparisons in groups of people, their place, time and even methodologies being followed up.

By duplication of study with several locations, different groups of people that are randomly selected and in the dissimilar time periods; this would decrease the chances of critics to establish the study wrong as it would be gone through a self check (Neuman, 2006).

Controlling for all or the entire majority of these things allows the researcher to have the best possible study that they can. All of these threats are things that can ruin ones study if they are not controlled for. The cause effect relationship is understood to be externally valid. The external validity is uppermost in the case of casual inferences as they can be applied in diverse situations across space and time. The major loss associated with the external validity is that the qualitative relationship between cause and the effect is made from the small sample of limited geography, which may not be applied as it to other demographic positions (Neuman, 2006).


Neuman, W.L. (2006). Chapter 9 Experimental Research. Social work research methods:

Qualitative and…… [read more]

African Nations: Social &amp Political Inequality Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,140 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Response to Post #4

As you point out, domestic violence is a serious social problem. Just as in the case of homelessness, domestic violence typically results from other unresolved social and personal problems and is also an independent cause of social and personal problems in individuals exposed to it. Moreover, domestic violence is also multigenerational and cyclical, occurring repeatedly in successive relationships and also in generation after generation. It contributes to an insidious process in which exposure to domestic violence increases the likelihood that children will become either offenders in their adult relationships or that they will become prone to being victimized by domestic violence based on learned expectations and patterning of behaviors in their families of origin.

As you suggest, one of the most complex aspects of this problem is the extent to which it is subject to stigmatization and shame among victims. That plays a significant role in their perpetually subjecting themselves to abusive situations and environments. Unfortunately, the problem is cyclical in that exposure to and victimization by domestic violence undermines self-esteem and low self-esteem is a precipitating factor in further victimization as well being a barrier to seeking the benefit of social resources that may be available.

Response to Post #5

Your post seems to suggest that the disabled are still subject to widespread discrimination in contemporary American society. I would be curious to know whether you believe the various aspects of equal opportunity legislation enacted in the U.S. since the 1960s (and particularly in 1990) have made a substantial difference in that problem. I was under the impression that employment discrimination (especially) against the disabled has been sharply reduced since the Americans with Disability (ADA) Act of 1990. I would also be curious to know whether you believe that individuals suffering from certain types of disabilities are better protected against discrimination that individuals suffering from other types of disabilities and what factors you believe may be responsible for that difference. For example, I would imagine that mental disabilities might be much more subject to discrimination by virtue of stigmatization as well as because individuals suffering from mental disabilities might be more reluctant to assert their status to benefit from protections available under appropriate legislation.

Response to Post #6

I would disagree with one point in your post: namely, that women do not represent a large population. I believe that women represent more than half of the population which would actually make them the largest identifiable group potentially subject to discrimination and prejudice to the extent that it exists. While I completely agree that women should have the same employment rights and opportunities as men, I would be curious to know whether you think that there are any aspects of gender that might make certain occupations more challenging for women based strictly on undeniable anatomical differences, for example. Specifically, I would ask whether you believe that hiring standards and qualification tests (such as for firefighting and law enforcement positions, since you mentioned them) should use the… [read more]

Homelessness an Issue Essay

Essay  |  1 pages (341 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


3). Many people become poor because there are not enough jobs to go around. As a result, another important structural issue that affects the homeless population is the fact that there are fewer jobs than people who are able and who want to work. This issue is made even worse by the fact that there are also a number of cases in which there are people who are able to find low income jobs, but who still cannot afford the expenses to live by themselves in affordable housing and take care of the basic necessities that is a part of independent living. Even though these people may work, they have to face the facts that they w ill not make enough money to support themselves (Carl, p.3). These issues relate to the United States society as a whole, and are systematic reasons that explain why homelessness is society's problem, and not just the problem of those who are homeless.

Works Cited

Carl, John. Think Sociology 2011.…… [read more]

Homelessness in Contemporary American Society Essay

Essay  |  6 pages (2,002 words)
Bibliography Sources: 10


Homelessness in Contemporary American Society


is defined as the lack of permanent night-time shelter and it is a problem that affects between 3 and 4 million Americans of whom almost half are children. Those numbers probably underestimate the true extent of the problem because it does not include people who are dependent on the generosity of friends and family… [read more]

Resolution in Divided Societies Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (831 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Resolution in Divided Societies

There are numerous grand theories for the resolving of deeply embedded and divisive conflicts in specific nations and/or societies, and various structures of government related to certain of these large-scale theories as well. When the conflicting elements in a society cannot be successfully integrated or assimilated and when partitioning or separating these elements is deemed impractical or inappropriate for a variety of reasons, conciliatory or shared-influence governmental systems have proven effective in many nations, but can also be problematic and complex in their implementation. In his discussion of the situation in Northern Ireland, Sean Byrne identifies the importance yet the failure of both consociational and civil society approaches to conflict resolution in the highly divided society that exist in this nation (such as it is). An exploration of these concepts and of this particular case yields insight into the functioning of intranational conflict resolution attempts and the complexities and barriers to their successful implementation.

The basic element of a consociational government or perspective is that the elites of each element in a divided society are able to make compromises and mutual decisions in a manner that stabilizes the society without necessarily resolving the deeper divides that exist -- due to real injury or simply due to perception -- between these elements. Byrne refers to "consensus by accommodation" and points out that consociational governments are at once decentralized and yet have rigid constitutions, in this manner carefully and concretely defining the relationship between the various factions in the society while at the same time allowing for the necessary/desired diversity in culture, values, and even certain aspects of government in some cases. In Northern Ireland's case, early attempts at installing a consociational government were ineffective because they were forced by the British in an authoritarian manner that is not at all supportive of the consociational perspective or process, and at a time when tensions between the elite in the two primary factions in the society were especially high. In order for this consociational structure to work, Byrne argues, there needed to be both a greater mutual willingness to engage in conciliatory and accommodating arrangements and a greater degree of shared purpose on a more direct level.

The civil society approach to peacebuilding and conflict resolution is not at all exclusive of the perspective and efforts of the consociational approach. As Byrne defines it, the civil society conflict resolution approach, "involves the development of an interactive interdependent web of activities and relationships among elites…… [read more]

Sociology Culture of Poverty Theory Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (862 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


The systemic changes that have purportedly transpired have not been as a result of recognition or true genuine acknowledgement of how it has impacted the individuals who have been most affected by it. If that were truly the case, remediation would include reparations or some way to instate or reinstate what has been lost to the individuals' because of the structural and historic disparities that have been in place. In order for real structural change to have transpired or to take place, there would have to be a significant shift in mindset to first acknowledge, not just on an individual level, but on a national level that trickles down, that there was something inherently wrong with the way Blacks were treated in America and there has been something really wrong with the way other groups of voluntary immigrants have been treated. Because that real, genuine acknowledgement fails to exist the structural changes that have transpired or have suggestedly taken place fail to reach that level and thereby are seen as band aid remedies to deep wounds.


The culture of poverty theory and the traditional assimilation theory have been historically looked to as a means of explaining ethnic relations between immigrants and the host society. The traditional assimilation theory fails to address the needs of modern day immigrants that are voluntary and those who are involuntary because the model is based on European immigrants into a predominantly White society. The culture of poverty theory, although some valid points are presented, fails to bespeak some of the real and genuine issues that voluntary and involuntary ethnic groups face within the host society. Part of this may be attributed to the theories being developed by individuals who are members of the host society vs. A theory posited by individuals who are immigrants, voluntary or involuntary.


Chen et al. (1999). Smoking patterns of Asian-American youth in California and their relationship with acculturation. Journal of Adolescent Health, 24, 321-328.

Greenman, E., & Xie, Y. (2006). Is assimilation theory dead? The effect of assimilation on adolescent well being. Population Studies Center Research Report 06-605. Available At http://www.psc.isr.umich.edu/pubs/pdf/rr06-605.pdf

Lewis, O. (1969). A death in the Sanchez family. New York, NY: Random House.

Warner, W., & Srole, L. (1945). The social systems of American ethnic groups. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.… [read more]

Mark Twain Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Term Paper

Term Paper  |  8 pages (2,285 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Mark Twain Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Twain's use of Huck as a tool to denounce society's false values

Mark Twain's novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" puts across a series of concepts that relate to human nature and the contrast between a natural life and a civilized one. In spite of the fact that society has experienced much progress, people… [read more]

Poverty Are the Various Approaches Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,561 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … poverty are the various approaches towards the explanation of the reason as to why poverty exists. These approaches towards the explanation of the existence of poverty may vary as much as there are disciplines that try to explain it. The explanation that will be given by an economist, will be different from that of a social science student,… [read more]

Deviance Historical Records Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,411 words)
Bibliography Sources: 8


Survey research is accurate and consistent (Alder & Alder, 2012). It is, however, expensive, time consuming, unreliable as it has some validity inconsistencies. Field research is accurate and subjective as researchers make observations support the information they gather from the research. It takes a lot of time and is not easily affordable. It is also quite difficult to reach many… [read more]

Qualitative Frame Analysis Versus Quantitative Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,315 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … Frame Analysis vs. Quantitative Frame Analysis

How does qualitative frame analysis differ from quantitative frame analysis?

Frame analysis attempts to clarify social phenomena in terms of the everyday use of schemes or frames. These are symbolic-interpretive constructs which people use to make their social actuality meaningful. Such frames or constructs comprise beliefs, images or symbols shared by people in their society. The amount of such frames accessible to people to make sense of their surroundings is limited by the particular society in which they live. According to framing theory, people are inclined to order their experiences by connecting them to previously known patterns. What they see and identify are recognised by orientation to a pre-existing cognitive structure. The inclination to refer to steady and recurring patterns in order to distinguish new stimuli has been confirmed by psychological studies. It is thought that people recognize reality and shape expectations with respect to it by connecting temporary positions with pre-existing stable patterns of behavior. Therefore, varied elements are connected to an already known and persistent background which becomes a point of orientation for the person (Methodologies, 2011).

Discourse analysis, used in qualitative research, is an approach which surpasses the dichotomy between subjective meanings and objective reality, as well as the dichotomy between user-centered and system-centered research. It concentrates on the analysis of knowledge formations, which organize institutional practices and societal reality on a large scale. Discourse analysis is a part of the linguistic turn in the social sciences and the humanities which emphasizes the role of language in the construction of social reality. It is one of the dominant or mainstream research approaches in communication, sociology, social psychology, and psychology (Talja, n.d.).

Discourse analysis studies practices of producing knowledge and meanings in concrete contexts and institutions. Discourse analysis systematizes different ways of talking in order to make visible the perspectives and starting points on the basis of which knowledge and meanings are produced in a particular historical moment. It pays attention to the way in which discourses produce and transform social reality, and makes it possible to evaluate the practical consequences of different ways of approaching a particular phenomenon (Talja, n.d.).

Characteristically qualitative data involves words and quantitative data involves numbers, which makes some researchers feel that one is better or more scientific than the other. "Another major difference between the two is that qualitative research is inductive and quantitative research is deductive. In qualitative research, a hypothesis is not needed to begin research. However, all quantitative research requires a hypothesis before research can begin" (Barnes et al., 2005).

Another difference between qualitative and quantitative research is the fundamental suppositions about the function of the researcher. In quantitative research, the researcher is in an ideal world an objective spectator that neither takes part in nor sways what is being studied. In qualitative research, though, it is thought that the researcher can discover the most about a position by participating or being immersed in it. These basic fundamental assumptions of both… [read more]

United States Is a Large Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,824 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6


9. The theories surrounding the tragic deaths of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert F. Kennedy continue to proliferate years after their occurrence. It remains popular to argue that each of these deaths was the result of some form of conspiracy and those that present these arguments insist that this is the case despite evidence that seems to prove otherwise. One of the reasons for such theories is the fact that each of the assassinations in question was seemingly so random in nature and, as such, there does not seem to exist any rational basis for the act (Ayton, 2007). The acts of each of the assassins appear to a great many people to be too simple to be explained as mere random acts and this gives rise to the idea that there had to be a conspiracy to explain what happened. For many deaths as significant as those of the two Kennedys and Martin Luther King must be the result of a complicated scheme and not just the work of an isolated individual. Such acts must be far more complex and, thus, it is easy to believe that such deaths were the result of a conspiracy.


Autor, D. (2006). The Growth in the Social Security Disability Rolls: A Fiscal Crisis Unfolding. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Ayton, M. (2007). Conspiracy Thinking and the John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Assassinations. Retrieved from http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ayton2.htm

Meyer, D.S. (1994). Social Movement Spillover. Social Problems, 277-298.

Perraton, H. (2000). Open and Distance Learning in the Developing World. New York: Routledge.

Rector, R. (2007, August 27). How Poor are America's Poor? Examining the "Plague" of Poverty in America. Retrieved from The Heritage Foundation: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2007/08/how-poor-are-americas-poor-examining-the-plague-of-poverty-in-america

Schot, J. (2003). The Contested Rise of a Modernist Technology Politics. In T.J. Misa, Modernity and Technology (pp. 257-277). Boston: MIT Press.

Smith, T.W. (2001). America Rebounds: A National Study of Public Response to the September…… [read more]

Shannon, Jr. Outsiders Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,074 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 2


In spite of the fact that the protagonist in the story lived in England and in the United States for most of his life, his parents want him to acknowledge his Indian background. However, he feels that it would be essential for him to do so, he discovers that he does not identify with India as being his home and that it would be impossible for him to associate his character with a single culture. "Her stories play back and forth between India and the United States, affirming both the connection and the estrangement felt by many Indians, the "sense of emotional exile" she has found "in my parents and in their friends that I feel can never go away" (416).

Lahiri herself can be considered an "outsider," a person who does not feel that she belongs in a particular culture precisely because society wants her to do so. Through emphasizing that the protagonist cannot identify with a single cultural background she wants readers to understand that the multicultural world in the present is no longer a place where people relate to a single culture, especially if they borrow elements from a multitude of cultures throughout their lives. In spite of the fact that the protagonist in her story was accustomed to change, there were times when he was "bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept" (430).

All that an individual can do in such circumstances is to try and devise a strategy assisting him or her in coping with the pressures of a multicultural society and to adopt a positive attitudes regarding the concept of cultural diversity as a whole.

Instead of being influenced in accepting that she is an Indian as a consequence of visiting her homeland and observing Indian values, the central character develops a feeling of alienation as he realizes that there are little elements in the Indian culture that he can identify with. Through presenting readers with this story, Lahiri wants them to comprehend that the world is a multicultural location where individuals need to acknowledge their complex background and accept that they do not actually need to identify with a single culture in order to experience self-gratification.

In conclusion, in spite of the fact that Hughes and Lahiri are considered "outsiders," they did not hesitate to go through great efforts in order to have the world understand their thinking and their position. We all are given great opportunity to learn from writers that are considered "outsiders." They illustrate that we all have a little "outsider" in all of us. This country is the land of "opportunity" so we must understand where we all come from to know where we need to go. The United States was a country that was divide but as the name states we are "united."

Works Cited

Hughes, Langston. "Song for a Dark Girl." Create ed. McGraw-Hill, 2011. 223. Print.

Lahiri, Jhumpa. "The… [read more]

Symbolic Interactionist Perspective of the Sidewalk Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (679 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … symbolic interactionist perspective of the Sidewalk of New York's Greenwich Village booksellers

See the men on the sidewalks, selling books. Most passers by simply regard this as an unsavory aspect of local culture, a way that homeless people make a living. But to the sociologist Michael Duneier, this is a vibrant and vital aspect of local culture. The individuals, most of whom formerly drug dealers, make use of the first amendment's allowance to freely purvey printed material. But they also function as counselors and mentors for many of the dissolute and desperate young men of the neighborhood, particularly one man named Hasan, who can cross reference different texts, chapter and verse, that the young sociologist is studying. Throughout his text, Michael Duneier reaffirms the value of symbolic interactionism, showing a sensitive portrayal of these usually black men who live on the margins of society, yet communicate and construct a subculture on the streets through the sidewalk life of selling books.

The sociologist Duneier must be commended as not existing as a mere observer to this sidewalk culture -- he became a functional part of it and achieved a level of acceptance, though his participation. He was not initially fluent in the symbolic language of these reformed drug dealers in his "religion (I am Jewish and most of them are Muslim or Christian), level of education (I hold a Ph.D. In sociology and attended two years of law school, whereas some of them did not graduate from high school), and occupation (Duneier, 1999, p. 6). Yet after becoming friendly with Hasan, albeit one of the few street book sellers who was neither homeless nor an addict Duneier gradually gained a point of entry into this life and began to get know most of the street's other vendors.

Duneier, over the course of his experiences, becomes aware of a society of many symbolic layers of interaction and hierarchies. For instance, in addition to the most respected booksellers like Hasan, there are also scavengers, illegally dumpster diving through recycling bins…… [read more]

Shakespeare in Today's Society Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (751 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Shakespeare in Today's Society

The tragedies of Shakespeare are the encyclopedia of humanity's life. Through the traits of his characters the famous author shows the virtues and evils of common men depicting the feelings of love, hatred, envy, jealousness, kindness, devotedness and friendship. His dramatic works will be actual and immortal, even though that the humanity changes dynamically but the nature of the man had not changed at all through it's long history. In most of ways we still remain the same as we did four hundred years ago or as we were in Bible times.

The movie by Michael Almereyda describes the events not of mediaeval Danish kingdom, but events of modern day realities. The events that take place in Manhattan help us to better understand the core of human relations, human nature and the world we live in. Almereyda had changed the place of action, by taking main heroes of Shakespearean tragedy to modern New York. Still there had been changed not that much since the times of the Globe. Mercantile interests of human dominate over his virtue nature, betrayal and vice are common characters of modern realities and what is more important that money had created human alienation, as everyone tries to hide real nature in order to achieve his very purposes and ambitions. These relations full of bigotry, stereotypes and human vice form the atmosphere not just of human alienation and existence of people being "on different planets' but they also show moral crisis of modern society. And the message of Michael Almereyda is quite powerful and urgent: modern life, led by interests and ambitions of certain groups leaves nothing humanistic and ethical for the development of a descent man, who lives under the natural laws and moral principles. Modern world's war is not the war of ideas or principles; it's a more pragmatic and cynic war of financial corporations, war of big business and war of money, war that makes people to betray their moral principles destroying the most human trait of personality, his conscience. Almereyda states that society has to change its attitude towards reality otherwise the crisis is unavoidable.

In the situation of this kind when everything seems to be cynic, mean and full of hypocrisy, there appears…… [read more]

Dimensional Man Term Paper

Term Paper  |  14 pages (5,336 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


The Critical Theory of Herbert Marcuse seems not have avoided the essence of topicality with the resulting crisis of the society that is also a crisis of the left and of Marxism. Conversely the degeneration of Soviet-system has revealed that the capitalism is not the better substitute that indicates the 'socialism' and also the western forms of capitalism are not… [read more]

Darwinian Ideas Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,000 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Darwinian Ideas

How much influence did the work of Charles Darwin have on Herbert Spencer, William Graham Sumner, and Lester Frank Ward? And who has made the better case in terms of plugging Darwin's evolutionary concepts and theories into late 19th Century American Society? This paper examines the ideas presented by Spencer, Sumner, and Ward, and offers the opinion that Spencer had the greater influence on the future of American thought and social values. There are many so-called "experts" on cultures and religion that invoke the word "evolution" (in putting down evolution as a scientific theory in order to promote a "creationist" agenda), it is worthwhile to look to the past for thinkers' views on Darwin and evolution.

Meanwhile, the same year that Herbert Spencer - a nineteenth century social scientist - published his much-heralded essay on school curriculum ("What Knowledge is of Most Worth"), Charles Darwin published his earth-shaking, scientifically revolutionary title, Origins of the Species. And it is clear that "evolutionary thinking was entering into scientific discourse" (Silberman, 2003), and as a result, the concept of evolution (on many levels) was "transforming our understanding of man's place in the natural order..." Silberman writes in the Journal of Education.

As for Spencer's use of Darwinian thought, the social scientist's work reflected a "relentless effort to formulate an overarching theory of evolution and to bring it to bear on all matters human."

Evolution (social and biological evolution), in the view of Spencer, "is fundamentally a process of integration and differentiation..." Even the gestation of a living creature, Spencer believed, "is an evolutionary process whereby an initial undifferentiated mass is transformed into a complex organism, each part distinct from, but related to, the other parts," Silverman wrote. Spencer was apparently seen as a genius in terms of understanding - and putting into words and concepts - that just as "human history provides evidence for the specific laws of social evolution and must, in turn, be understood in light of such laws.

William Graham Sumner - who was, according to the Journal of Libertarian Studies, a "pioneering sociologist" and "astute historian of the early American republic" - critiqued democracy in 20th Century as "plutocratic, paternalistic, and imperialist" (Trask, 2004). He saw the western nation-states as "too geographically extensive, populous, and diverse" to ever achieve democracy; he saw the "great mass" of Europeans and Americans as "incapable of self-government"; and further, he believed the "plutocrats in America" would become imperialistic and "warlike, and would gradually extend paternal protections to the masses.

Around the year 1876, Sumner began reading Charles Darwin, Thomas Huxley, and Herbert Spencer, and Trask asserts that in particular, Spencer's books, Social Statics, First Principles, and Study of Sociology "exerted enormous influence on his thought." It was from this point on that Sumner became more and more interested in social theory, and in the mid-1890s, began devoting "his full attention to sociology."

How influenced was he by Darwin's work? Scholars and critics have "mistakenly cited Sumner as the leading Social Darwinist…… [read more]

Mediterranean Hospitality the Purpose Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (624 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


¶ … Mediterranean Hospitality

The purpose of "hospitality" in Mediterranean households, according to the author of "In the Rustic Kitchen: Real Talk and Reciprocity?" is to affirm group associations of commonly shared ethnic identities. Unfortunately, according to the author, the groups discussed in the article receive a barrage of negative visual and representation of local identities, which are often presented in T.V., newscasts, and newspaper stories to the larger world in a seemingly never-ending drumbeat of doom and gloom.

This saturation of negative representations creates a dynamic of 'us against them,' within the community. In this community, there is little sense of a striving for true sense of integration in a larger so-called 'common American' community culture that extends beyond the kitchen and the Mediterranean community. However, Tracey Heatherington states that the discourse of the larger media of television and newspapers is subverted through the maintenance of a community subculture of shared language, heritage, and yes, of course, of food and hospitality.

For the community chronicled by Heatherington, hospitality means that wherever one goes in the community, one is at home in the house of a member of one's community. Within these communities, there are far fewer social barrier of privacy, and the family is an extended rather than a nuclear family. The closeness of neighborhoods and living spaces can create a sense of social strain; of course, when money is tight, and when younger members of the community gain different senses of personal space and boundaries in schools and other common sites of cultural sharing. But because of the negativity of neighborhoods and cultural associations, there is less of a sense of integration than might occur with other ethnic groups.

Work Cited

Heatherington. Tracey "In the rustic kitchen: real talk and reciprocity." Ethnology, Fall 2001. V. 40 (4), p329 (17). Retrieved 25 Feb 2005 at http://infotrac.galegroup.com/itw/infomark/126/528/35630064w4/purl=rc1_EAIM_0_A85107870&dyn=7!xrn_26_0_A85107870?sw_


Pan-ethnic identities

Some of…… [read more]

Sociological Perspective on the Reality TV Show Survivor Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (797 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Sociological analysis of the reality TV program, "Survivor"

Television as part of the mass media institution had been instrumental in providing information and entertainment for the audiences or the public. Through TV and its programs, people were exposed to various forms of entertainment; a particular development in TV programming is the creation of reality TV, wherein programs feature individuals depicted in real-life situations and challenges. "Survivor," a reality TV program by CBS, is one such example of ordinary or non-Hollywood personalities competing and undergoing a series of real-life challenges in a remote area or island in order to win $1 million.

As a reality TV show, "Survivor" is filled with tension and pressure, a feeling that is understandable, with each contestant knowing fully that each vies for $1 million. Thus, in order to ensure that the contestants will get the prize money, different strategies were created and developed, which include deceptions, formation of allegiances, and inevitably, conflicts between the two tribes and eventually, among the final group of Survivors.

This nature of the program "Survivor" reflects the interplay of two important paradigms in sociological analysis: the conflict and symbolic interactionism paradigms. These paradigms help explain the dynamics that happen in the show, from the special challenges to the daily interactions of the contestants with each other. In line with this argument, this paper posits that "Survivor" reflects conflict theory through the contest between the two Survivor tribes and among the Survivors themselves, while symbolic interactionism is evident in the daily conduct of activities among the contestants as they thrive to "survive" in the remote area or island where the challenge is being held.

Conflict theory, a paradigm that developed with the introduction of Karl Marx's analysis of capitalism and social class conflict, posits that human society in the modern or capitalist period is inherently unequal. That is, this paradigm argues that because of inequality among people, particularly between the elite and working classes, there emerges a conflict between the privileged and marginalized classes. This results from a power struggle, wherein the privileged class will continue to exert its control by oppressing the marginalized class. The marginalized class, in turn, will struggle against this oppression and seek to emancipate their plight from the power and control of the privileged class.

A similar scenario is seen in the rules of the reality series "Survivor." Two kinds of power struggle occur…… [read more]

Martin Luther King &amp George Term Paper

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Rather, what constituted an ethical society was found in the principles Gandhi, which he described, " ... The superman philosophy of Nietzsche, I found in the nonviolent resistance philosophy of Gandhi." It is therefore King's stance that an ethical society is an egalitarian society that is able to transcend the limits of a value-laden culture of humanity, provided, of course, that this ethical society already knows the clear distinction between right and wrong actions and behavior. Orwell, meanwhile, represented his notion of what society should not be like through the evidently unethical nature of the British-controlled Burmese society. An unethical society for him was one where there are no clear distinctions between right and wrong; wherein decisions made by the individual were based not on ethics but on the constant pressure of a society that is stricken with injustice, discrimination, and poverty, such as the Burmese…… [read more]

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