"Sociology / Society" Essays

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Can an Individual Be Stronger Than the Society in Which He or She Lives Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (743 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell, and the essay "Doublespeak" by William Lutz. Specifically it will discuss the question: "Can an individual be stronger than the society in which he or she lives?" Both of these works look at aspects of society that are sometimes difficult to comprehend. "Shooting the Elephant" illustrates a character who hates the society that condemns another, but he must conform to it to ensure his own survival. "Doublespeak" discusses our society's need to create "gobbledygook" for communication to cover up and confuse a myriad of societal issues. What do these works say about choice in our society? They say choice is difficult, and sometimes impossible, and that a society that ultimately provides few choices is a society that will not survive.

In the end, it is true that most individuals can indeed be stronger than the society where they live. If society is oppressive, there are always those who will hope to change it. Martin Luther King, Jr. And Gandhi are two relatively modern day examples of individuals who have been stronger than the society that oppressed and condemned them. Are Luther and Gandhi so different from the rest of society? Perhaps. It is not hard to see that in these two works; society seems stronger than the participants in the drama. In Orwell's short story, the narrator despises the British imperialistic government, but when surrounded by an angry mob of natives (society), he realizes that he must do something he does not want to do, (shoot the elephant), or the mob will probably murder him. However, it is clear this man is weak because his biggest worry is that the mob will "laugh" at him. Thus, this narrator is not as strong as the society that surrounds him. Some people might be able to persuade the mob to come around to their way of thinking, but it seems the narrator is not that strong, and so, in this case anyway, the society is stronger than he is, and he must submit to society's wishes, rather than his own.

In "Doublespeak," the author feels that society is weakening itself by using incomprehensible language that covers up clear communication and the real meaning of words,…… [read more]

Sociology of Waste Putting Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (605 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


As paper became more abundant, wastage further increased as a result of increased production of paper. However, high paper production does not mean that there is an abundance of trees, which are the primary sources of paper. Despite the fact that trees have depleted, paper consumption and wastage has increased. The continued wasting of paper despite the rapid environmental degradation illustrates how most people considered biodegradable and useful paper waste as "worthless or obsolete."

Another insight I had from this sheaf of papers as trash is how easily people can use paper for a specific purpose, then not using the paper for that purpose after all. Evidently, these papers were photocopied readings, with the owner intending to read these readings for a subject or course. The action of throwing away readings and notes does not only mean paper wastage, but the 'trashing' of knowledge and vital information embedded within the texts contained in these papers. Thus, not only do material objects such as papers become trivial and superficial in the process of throwing this sheaf of papers, but information and knowledge as well. By considering these papers as "worthless and obsolete" the student who just finished his/her course and threw these papers (readings and notes) away also considered the information and knowledge contained within these papers as "worthless and obsolete."

The thinking that people "must buy (consume) as they use" is indeed the mantra of today's consumer society. As with the example of the sheaf papers that was considered trash by a student, s/he felt that his/her use of the papers (readings and notes) was only a matter of necessity for the semester, and not intended for long-term use (i.e., notes and readings for succeeding courses over the year or the following semester).… [read more]

Sociology Erving Goffman and Stigma Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,331 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Another way that people can respond to stigma relates to discriminating against the person on the basis of assumed factors that go beyond their perceived stigma. This refers especially to social stigmas. For example, an individual's drug addiction may be a stigma. A person noting this stigma might dehumanize this person by separating themselves from the person. They might assume that the person is of a low social class and so not related to them. This becomes a factor that allows a person to account for the behavior of the stigmatized individual and to justify the rejection of that person. The individual with a drug addiction may also be assumed to be a weak person, a criminal, or to be mentally ill. These beliefs can be attached to the person based on the observed stigma. This is used by the observer to explain the behavior of the stigmatized person, to separate themselves from the stigmatized individual, and to justify judging and rejecting the stigmatized individual. This can even be extended to a point where an individual can justify the rejection of the person on the basis that they are protecting their own safety. For example, a person judging a drug addict might convince themselves that the drug addict must also be a criminal, must not have any ethics, and must be a risk to their safety. This effectively dehumanizes the person because they become defined only by their stigma, while also allowing people to justify their rejection of the individual.

Goffman's views on stigma draw on the work of George Herbert Mead and Georg Simmel, but also add more contemporary ideas. Mead's views are based on the idea of human interaction as basically social. According to Mead, social life requires a shared understanding of what is expected of others. The culture of a society then produces accepted roles for people, with individuals in society judging others based on whether or not they meet the roles and expectations that society has accepted as normal. Goffman's view describes this same process, where people are judged based on perceptions of individuals, with perceptions compared to a social norm. Goffman's ideas offer a more contemporary perspective because he also recognizes the psychological aspects of how people respond to those that don't meet the accepted norm and why people respond in the way that they do. Mead suggested that human interaction is a combination of people reacting to social norms, while also reacting as individuals. However, Mead did not go into detail about the individual's thinking in the process, only noting that it plays a role. Goffman makes the link and extends Mead's ideas to include more detail on how and why people respond as they do to people who break social norms via any kind of stigma. Simmel's ideas are also similar to Goffman's. This relates especially to Simmel's ideas on the stranger, which he describes as someone considered to be outside of society's norms. This is similar to the way that Goffman considers… [read more]

Role of Deviance Term Paper

Term Paper  |  9 pages (2,460 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


This list provide practitioners a basis with which to create prevention and counseling programs for individuals who are at risk for dropping out of school (Campbell pp). To participate in a prevention program, one has to meet at least two of the markers, "i.e., a black male receiving free and reduced lunch and has a history of school detentions, just… [read more]

Hans Lenk Technological Responsibility and the Humanities Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (730 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Technology & Society

Keeping the humane side of technology: the state and future of technology in today's techno-centric society

In the article entitled, "Technological Responsibility and the Humanities," author Hans Lenk discussed the state of technology in today's society, a period where techno-capitalism prevails as the dominant political, cultural, and economic order. As the most dominant and prevalent state of today's society, techno-centrism -- more specifically, techno-capitalism -- has penetrated people's cultures, influencing the way they conduct their lives and develop their beliefs and attitudes about their realities. These observations became Lenk's foundation in developing an argument that proposes the state of technology in the future. Moreover, he applied his discussion of technology and its future on the role that humanities play in these socio-cultural changes in human society.

In discussing and analyzing these issues, Lenk presented two objectives from his discourse. The first objective established the characteristics that technologies will have in years to come. Technology in the future will, generally, have increased interaction among people, be technically synthesized, and improve human society's acknowledgment and practice of their privacy, security, and identity. The second objective consequently illustrates the future of human society in the midst of an ever-changing technology. The future of technology will depict human society as becoming more complex yet human-centric as technologies will be used for the improvement of one's quality of life and practice of freedom.

These objectives, when synthesized, result to the article's general argument, which showed how the development of technology actually leads to the establishment of a more humane yet rationalized society. In the texts that follow, these objectives are presented with support from information discussed in Lenk's article.

Lenk's idea of the future of technology was best summed up in his thirty (30) "structural characteristics." Among these characteristics, those that pertain to technologies' interactivity, ability to synthesize, and capability to improve human conditions emerged as the most important traits that technology can potentially have. In terms of its interactivity, Lenk discussed the development of new inventions that would help shape the social order of the future. The future of technology would involve the creation of an "information-technological historicity" and "systems technocratic tendencies." These concepts referred to…… [read more]

Sociological Paradigms: Structural Functionalism, Conflict Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (506 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Social conflict theory was especially applicable during the modern period, where capitalism is the dominant ideology and socio-economic order in most societies/nations. It proposes that in a capitalist society, inequality among people is inherent and inevitable; thus, in a capitalist socio-economic order, poverty thrives in the same way as wealth increases for the elite class or bourgeoisie. Unless a new social order emerges (such as Socialism), this inequality would continue, with the elite class dominating and controlling the working class.

Symbolic interactionism is a paradigm that was the result of social scientists' pursuit of a more people-centered theory-building in explaining a social phenomenon. Under this paradigm, social phenomena is understood by studying, analyzing and interpreting the social actions, interactions and symbols that people engage with everyday. Symbolic interactionism paved the way for understanding human individual and group behavior, taking into account that there are ideas that cannot be generated through the structural functionalist or social conflict paradigms alone.

Among these paradigms, I consider symbolic interactionism as a more efficient paradigm to use in order to understand social actions and behavior. Its flexibility and consideration of the 'human element,' putting into context the role and influence the individual has over society, and vice versa. Understanding both individual and societal behavior is essential in creating a holistic picture of how a social phenomenon occurs and prevails in human societies.


McClelland, K. (2000). "Theoretical perspectives in Sociology." Available at http://web.grinnell.edu/courses/soc/s00/soc111-01/IntroTheories/IntroTheoriesIndex.html.… [read more]

Japanese Culture Past and Present Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,595 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … post-modern Japanese cultural society and its effects. It looks at the similarities of the culture that existed in the past and present. The paper also takes a look at cultural deviations that did not exist in the past.

Japanese culture is known to be quite unique as it is a mixture of old cultural values and new beliefs.… [read more]

Theorist: Emile Durkheim Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (671 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


14). Where there is a weak social structure, individual behavior is more likely to be abberrant than when there is a strong social structure binding individuals to a community (Durkheim, 1897, p. 14). He reasoned that Catholics, as a group, more fully integrate individuals into the group and have exacting rules of behavior (what is and is not acceptable) than do Protestants (Durkheim, 1897, p. 14). To Durkheim, this explained why Catholics in his study exhibited a lower rate of suicide than Protestants (Turner, 2002, p. 457).

Durkheim was a firm believer in control theory. He believed that behavior is determined by outside forces which comprise a social structure, namely, family, school, morals, values, beliefs, religion, etc.(Turner, 2002, p. 457). When an individual is strongly influenced by his social network and value belief system, that individual is more likely to conform to that set of norms (Turner, 2002, p. 457). For example, an Eagle Scout who has been fully indoctrinated into the tenets, norms, values, and total support system of the Boy Scouts of America is more likely to "Be Prepared" than individuals who have not committed to a social group such as the scouts who hold preparedness as almost sacred.

Taken together, positivism, control, and functionalism form three of Emile Durkheim's basic tenets. He strongly believed that society controls individual behavior through a definitive social structure and that when the structure is weak it is more likely to lead to deviant behavior. It is when society fails to control the individual through norms beliefs, religion, etc., that sociological problems occur. Durkheim firmly believed that these phenomena are susceptible to the scientific method of study and submitted many studies to substantiate his belief. I too believe that overall behavior is controlled by society as a whole via a complex social system and that it is empirically measureable.


Bryant, L. (2012). Functionalism. Retrieved November 27, 2012 from History Learning


Website: www.historylearningsite.co.uk/functionalism.htm

Durkheim, E. (1951). Suicide. (John A. Spaulding and George Simpson, Trans.). Illinois:…… [read more]

Difficult to Formulate Precise Laws Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,577 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


¶ … Difficult to Formulate Precise Laws in the Field of Social Science? Explain with Examples.

The difficulty in formulating precise laws arises from the variance of the different social science knowledge. It is difficult to reach a consensus between the different social sciences identified in the broad categories of sociology, history, anthropology, geography, political science, economics, and psychology. This… [read more]

Importance of Being Earnest Book Report

Book Report  |  3 pages (923 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … Being Earnest

The most pivotal aspect to correctly understanding the characterization of Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde's comedy, "The Importance of Being Earnest," is the realization that this play functions as a satire. Specifically, the author was attempting to make light of the austerity that typified the tradition of Victorian society. In that sense, it is crucial to denote the role that Bracknell fills within this work. Whereas there are other characters that represent the virtues of Victorian society (most notably Jack Worthing), virtually all of them display faults that are at variance with the conventional customs of such a society. Lady Bracknell, however, does not. She eschews any alter-ego / dual personalities in order to get away with vices that such a society disproves of. Instead, she is able to engage in her vices and display negative characteristics that are all fundamentally a part of Victorian society. In this respect, her characterization functions as the quintessential Victorian society member, who adheres to its values and displays its negative attributes in much the same way.

In many ways, Victorian society is preoccupied with appearances and embraces a superficiality that lies just beneath its staid, austere surface of upstanding mores and traditional morality. Lady Bracknell's character demonstrates these qualities more than the others in the play because she willingly displays such superficiality in a way that is congruent with conventional Victorian behavior. An excellent example of this fact is her initial regard for Worthing as a suitable husband for her daughter, Gwendolyn. Bracknell wastes no time getting to the heart of the matter. She realizes that Worthing has a substantial fortune and a fair degree of power and reputation around town; this knowledge, however, is not good enough. She presses him to know the reputation of his familial lineage and, because he does not know it, she does not consider him worthy enough to have her daughter's hand in marriage, which she tells him in the following quotation. "You can hardly imagine that I and Lord Bracknell would dream of allowing our only daughter - a girl brought up with the utmost care - to marry into a cloak-room, and form an alliance with a parcel? Good morning, Mr. Worthing!" (Act I). The reference to the "parcel " and "cloak-room" is a reference to the fact that Jack was found in a handbag. This information concludes his interview with Bracknell, whose preoccupation with lineage and a reputable name is indicative of this tradition in Victorian society -- despite the overt shallowness it displays.

However, the truly transitory nature of Victorian society and its situation ethics is evinced most convincingly when Lady Bracknell considers the marriage of her nephew to Cecily, who is Jack's ward. Because Cecil is in the guardianship…… [read more]

Road Accidents Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,346 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Arranging this community activity gave me a sense of satisfaction of becoming an effective member of the society. Several efforts have been made by governments and other agencies to increase awareness about the need for the active participation of community members in creating and executing of public health interventions. This experience supported the claims that community involvement can bring an encouraging impact to the improvement of health related issues such as traffic safety.

3. What are the needs of the population that you interacted with for this assignment?

The need for increased community contribution in social awareness programs like road safety has been widely acknowledged both internationally and nationally. It was observed that, the population of the given community needs a constant support from eligible and resourceful members of the community in order to combat with various social issues that arise time to time within the community. For instance, I tried to encourage Community schools to coordinate and share the resources they possess in order to increase awareness related to various social issues like road safety within the community. Moreover, a Road Safety in Schools Project may involve introducing publications on road safety measures in syllabus for students in primary and secondary classes. In addition, I offered my services in arranging free of cost seminars on Road safety awareness in local community hall will help in community empowerment process.

After taking an initiative in community development programs, I realized the need for liaison between the government departments and community members that can help making the program more efficient and successful. The community members necessitate a variety of ideas in arranging, planning and evaluating road safety programs. Not to forget, initiatives that necessitate community involvement are just one way of increasing social awareness within the community, otherwise a balance between initiatives taken by the government or State and community is highly desirable.

4. How can you help make a difference with this group?

It was observed that a difference in the road safety awareness can be brought effectively by encouraging community participation in social awareness programs like road safety. Hence, my priority was to select and design suitable programs for the community that will impact every member of the society and help them becoming more aware of road safety measures. I requested community members to take part in such programs in future too for welfare of this particular region. Due to my efforts, local committee started to receive financial and professional resources from the government that will help increase community development. Such facilities will support the community committee members in implementing effective strategies to arrange social awareness programs in future. The committee will serve as a medium for the community members to share their concerns regarding social issues in the community like road safety that will be conveyed to the concerned government authorities if needed.

I will achieve success in encouraging community member's contribution in the social awareness programs by communicating with the active members of community, low cost media promotion… [read more]

Society as We Know Exerts Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,735 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6


Conformity is a powerful force that can manifest in form of a strong social pressure or subtle unconscious influence. The pressure to fit into a group norm or flow with the guidelines followed may rob one the ability to express his or her self-identity.

In conclusion, conformity and obedience have been discussed in light of their influence on individuals. These two forms of social influence have been seen to alter people's attitudes, behaviors and values. Individuals in a group are forced to conform to the group norms, and by so doing are forced to abandon their individuality. Similarly, subordinates are forced to obey the directives issued by their superiors and cannot express their individuality. Deviance occurs when individuals desire to express their unique individuality. Positive deviance is healthy while negative deviance leads to the cropping up of social ills.


Bleske-rechek, A.L. (1999). Obedience, Conformity, and Social Roles: Active Learning in a Large Introductory Psychology Class. Teaching of Psychology, 28(4), 260-262.

Burger, J.M., Neil J. Smelser & Paul B. Baltes. (2001). The psychology of social influence. In N.J. Smelser & P.B. Baltes (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Social Behavioral Sciences (pp. 14320-14325). Cambridge University Press.

Collins, S.D. (2009). Persuasion. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Fiske, S.T. (2010). Social beings: Core Motives in Social Psychology (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ:

Breckler, S.J., Olsen, J.M., & Wiggins, E.C. (2006). Social psychology alive. Belmont, CA [u.a.: Thomson/Wadsworth.

Myers,…… [read more]

American Dream Alive and Well? Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (1,887 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Some people view success differently from how it is conventionally seen and this means that the American Dream needs to be regarded from a series of perspectives.

Social status is a very controversial concept today, as while it is regarded as being less important in larger communities, it can play an essential role in small groups. "The prestige hierarchy of a local community is based on detailed information about individuals and families, all seen through the lens of residents' general understanding of the class system" (Gilbert 22). It is thus safe to say that the American Dream, in its traditional appearance, is more likely to be present in environments where people tend to express less judgmental attitudes.

Even if people in particular environments go through great efforts in order to achieve their dreams, they are unlikely to ever feel that they achieved the American Dream. This is because the respective environments are unsupportive with regard to underprivileged individuals and tend to provide these people with a limited amount of resources they can use with the purpose to achieve their goals.


The American Dream is alive in the contemporary U.S., but it would be exaggerated to say that it is 'well'. The American community is dysfunctional and this makes it difficult for its members to be able to have a complex understanding concerning the attitudes they need to employ toward others when considering social status. While some believe that social status is unimportant and that it would be more important for them to judge individuals on account of their thinking, others consider that social status is particularly significant and that it would only be natural for them to put across privileged attitudes toward people belonging to the upper class.

Works cited:

Fussel, Paul, "Class: a guide through the American status system," (Simon & Schuster, 1992)

Gilbert, Dennis, "The American Class Structure in an Age of Growing Inequality," (Pine Forge Press, 13.05.2010)

"Overview of BLS Wage Data by Area and Occupation," Retrieved April 12, 2013, from the Bureau of Labor…… [read more]

Working and Leisure Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,573 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Sociology: Work and Leisure

Working and Leisure

Purpose of Writing Book

The book "The Dignity of Working Men: Morality and the Boundaries of Race, Class and Immigratio" is written to study how working-class men are defined by themselves and the society. This serves as the main purpose for the author Michele Lamont to have written this book. The book investigates… [read more]

Conflict Paradigm That Is Demonstrated Film Review

Film Review  |  5 pages (1,602 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


¶ … conflict paradigm that is demonstrated in the New Heroes video regarding Kailash Satyarthi's work to end childhood slavery, not just in India but throughout the entire world. This sort of ruthless exploitation of child labor is merely a means to fuel the huge capitalist machine -- one of the principle proponents of which are consumers in the United… [read more]

Max Weber's Sociological Theory Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (573 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


Weber devised the expression 'iron cage' in an attempt to have people understand the dangers associated with McDonaldization. While people benefit as a result of this enterprise, the reality is that they are becoming the slaves of technology and that they lose their power as they become less and less concerned about individualism. George Ritzer goes further to denounce McDonaldization and to emphasize this process as the materialization of society losing most of its intelligence. He claimed that the process was illogical and that it was eventually going to have devastating consequences on society.

Ritzer did not attempt to say that McDonaldization is not effective or that it does not have a beneficial effect when considering the profits it generates. However, his main intention was to promote the idea that feeling more comfortable is not necessarily equivalent to feeling better. He was right in thinking this way and the reality is that McDonaldization is dehumanizing as it makes it more and more difficult for people to express their feelings freely and to discover their personal identities. Individuals are practically bombarded with information that takes their attention away from their personal interests and goals and influences them to want to work as little as possible while earning large profits. As beautiful as such as life might seem, living in a world that is solely based on mathematical functions and that is 100% efficient means that people are no longer going to have access to factors like wonder and magic.

Works cited:

Collins, Randall. (1986). Weberian Sociological Theory. Cambridge University Press

Ritzer, George, (2000). The McDonaldization of Society:…… [read more]

Social Problems Accuracy of the Uniform Crime Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,968 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Social Problems

Accuracy of the Uniform Crime Reports

The accuracy of the data of the Uniform Crime Reports is criticized on a number of grounds. Firstly, the mentioned reports only report about the crimes that are in the knowledge of the police. This is for the reason that a majority of victims are hesitant in reporting any bad incident to… [read more]

Historical Development of Cultures Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (898 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


¶ … Cultures


The historical development of cultures is an expression of many factors, both naturally occurring and those that are manmade. In the earliest stages of human development, the historical development of culture was heavily contingent upon natural resources such as access to water and land that was fertile for agriculture. As humanity grew, diversified, and developed more intricate civilizations, the historical development of cultures was contingent upon more factors than in the past. In some ways, life was simpler in the past, while it was primitive. As human civilization advances, we sacrifice advancement for simplicity, as the development of cultures depends on more important, yet unstable factors such as politics, military strength, trade regulations, and forms of resources & labor. As we understand the historical development of cultures from a 21st century perspective, it is clear that cultures of the modern times are possible because of strong and tenuous relationships among institutions, values, ideas, and ethnicities, especially in countries such as the United States of America, where there is a high concentration of ethnic diversity/plurality. The paper concisely considers the historical development of cultures and examines some of the more influential factors that guide, direct, and orient the development of a culture.

The historical development of cultures is related to the social context of a particular culture or society. The social context of a culture is heavily determined by the specific sort of social stratification that is at work in that culture. Cultures can be divided or stratified by a number of traits including skin tone, economic status, religious beliefs, cultural practices, language, type of labor, and much more.

Social stratification is the hierarchical classification of the members of society based on the unequal distribution of resources, power, and prestige. The word resources refers to such factors as income, property, and borrowing capacity. Power is the ability to influence or control others. Prestige relates to status, either ascribed (based on age, sex, race, or family background) or achieved (based on individual accomplishments). Stratification may reduce or worsen any strains on conflicts between groups depending on how rigid and explicit or flexible and subtle are the class distinctions and discrimination based on race or ethnic group. (Chapter 3, 56)

Social stratification is key to sustaining unequal distributions of wealth and resources in a society, such as in a capitalist society as there is in the United States. Social class is a part of social stratification. One a culture is stratified, then there becomes distinctive visible and invisible divisions, which include social classes. There are cultural fixtures or structures within a society, including institutions that often support stratification and class division. Social stratification in a number ways contributes…… [read more]

Race and Social Class in the United States Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,108 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4



Race as it Relates to Class in the United States

Since the country's beginning, race, gender, and class have been very important factors in a person's experience in the United States of America. The meaning of race, gender differences, and the separation of class have changed over United States history. For many Americans, their perceptions of class and race and the degree to which gender affect people's lives, often depends on what their race, gender, and class are, too. There are differences between the reality of America, what is represented as American reality in media, and the perceived reality of America. Americans as well as those looking at America from an outside perspective may have questions and confusions regarding what the real connections are to race, class, and gender are in America. The paper tries to clarify and explore how these issues connect and play out in real life.

One of the greatest exports of American culture is American media. American media is one of the most widely distributed and consumed cultural forms from the United States. This means that not only do Americans consume large quantities of their own media, but many other countries in the world consume American media, too. People in other countries will not interpret or understand the media in precisely the same ways that Americans will and do, nonetheless, many aspects of American culture and American reality are communicated to numerous viewers as part of the content in the media. The media is an important tool in the discussion of race, class, and gender in America. It takes a savvy viewer to discriminate between and understand what media accurately represents reality, what media does not, or which aspects of experience are fictionalized, and which elements are based in actual experience. There are a lot of mixed messages and confounding experiences in American life as it exists in reality and as it is represented in the media.

Americans are constantly bombarded by depictions of race relations in the media which suggest that discriminatory racial barriers have been dismantled. Social and cultural indicators suggest that America is on the verge, or has already become, a truly color-blind nation. National polling data indicate that a majority of whites now believe discrimination against racial minorities no longer exists…Not surprisingly, the view of society blind to color is not equally shared. Whites and blacks differ significantly, however, on their support for affirmative action, the perceived fairness of the criminal justice system, the ability to acquire the "American Dream," and the extent to which whites have benefitted from past discrimination. (Gallagher, 2003, 2 -- 3)

Certainly, this quotation was made before the election of President Barack Obama, the first non-white President of the United States in the history of the country. His election, in some ways, contributed to the distorted perceptions that at least the racial barriers within American society have been wholly and permanently removed. Whites, who have had the greatest privilege in America, have very different perceptions of… [read more]

Alexander Set Radical Multiculturalism Holds Book Report

Book Report  |  4 pages (1,485 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


This bourgeois public sphere formed a new trend called "public opinion" and flourished within early free market economies. At the head of this change was the rise of a literary sphere that allowed the bourgeois public sphere to critically look at politics, art, itself and its position/function in society and the interaction between intellectuals, aristocrats, and citizens in public places.… [read more]

Interdisciplinary Social Science Sociology Discussion and Results Chapter

Discussion and Results Chapter  |  2 pages (575 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


The weakness of some theories could be strengthened when used in combination with complementary or even obscure approaches. Use of this approach would at least rejuvenate the persistence to overcome and resolve social problems.

2. What can the results for this survey be used for? Who is likely to use this data? What are some of the limitations of this questionnaire and the data collected from it?

The results of the survey could be used for collecting data about residents. It may prove useful if trying to understand demographics of regions. There are a number of federal and state agencies that would find this data useful. Ethnographers and even real estate professionals may be interested in this information. Even lawyers who deal with property laws and/or taxes may be interested in this data.

There are a great deal of limitations to this data. The survey is very rigid. There is not much room for detail or nuance. The data and possibly the data analysis does not account for people who do not fill out the surveys, yet are still citizens and residents. Some of the language is antiquated and not politically correct, or respectful. The questionnaire does not care or value much information outside of class and race. It is as if the Census Bureau is telling users that those are the only facts that matter, or at least matter to the government to constitute a person being "counted."


Hunt, Elgin F., and Colander, D.C. Social Science An Introduction to the Study of Society, 14th Edition. Allyn and Bacon Publishers.

Sage Publications. (2008). Chapter 1 -- Defining Interdisciplinary Studies. Web, Available from: www.sagepub.com/upm-data/23223_Chapter_1.pdf. 2012 November 08.… [read more]

Politics Predominate in Advanced Industrial Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,539 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Likewise, to expect the individual who owns property to give political support to an initiative that would assist the homeless in their state but that would increase their property taxes by 20% to do so would also be far-fetched. Therefore, it is this, the possession of or the lack of possession of property that can be seen to stand firmly blocking the path by of class politics being predominant in advanced industrial societies because of the inherent

IV. Internal Validity

Bourdieu's theory of practice is internally valid in that his focus was on empirical analyses of the theory and his reach demonstrated the validity of this theory in terms of its adherence to the research findings on the class and cultural hierarchies in France and the schools' role in perpetuating the inequalities between classes based on socio-economic factors.

V. External Validity

Bourdieu's theory is externally valid and this is held to be true when considering the real-life inequities that are evidence between classes who have and those who have not in terms of property and the accompanying benefits or lack of benefits of that standing in the social context.


While individuals of differential socio-economic standing may belong to the same social class it is at times impossible for these individuals to agree in the area of politics and extremely impossible for their interests to align so as to gain political cohesion and ensue on…… [read more]

Sociology Determination of the Normative Term Paper

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That is, how can a culture assess what is good without having assessed what is bad? Even in the definitions, the opposite behaviors are implied. As stated in Chapter 14:

"In sum, the normative definition of deviance focuses on the abnormal behavior that violates social norms and is subject to negative sanctions. What is normal or abnormal is culturally relative but every society has its norms to define and control those who go beyond the community's tolerance limits. Hence deviance is unthinkable without norms, and norms without deviance are meaningless -- one cannot exist without the other." (Chapter 14,-Page 418)

Further still, there is room for wider conceptions of normalcy and therefore abnormality as there are several kinds of normalcy in societies by which citizens' behaviors are gauged. Some of the kinds of normalcy include biological normalcy, psychological normalcy, and sociocultural normalcy. (Chapter 14,-Page 419) The normative definitions of normalcy and abnormality are based upon several sets of averages. What is normal is gauged by what the behaviors that most people within a culture engage in on average. There are many levels upon which normalcy is assessed and by which abnormality is diagnosed. Normative definitions of deviance and abnormality consist of those behaviors and character traits that fall outside the average, with their own…… [read more]

Violence Legitimate Force and Illegitimate Essay

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Bibliography Sources: 5


Even then they feel proud to be a part of an armed community willing to fight against the State. They believe that it is the right thing to sacrifice their life for. They do so because they want to build a more just and equal society for all the citizens (Vardalos, Haig, Karzai, Letts & Teixeira 2011).

Violence has been… [read more]

Functionalist Theory: Critical Analysis Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (939 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


Particularly through his work, The Social System, published in 1951, Parsons advanced the idea that education maintains a society's equilibrium and order. His ideas about education significantly impacted review and refinement of educational policies, practices and institutions (Schugurensky, 2006).

Robert K. Merton (1910 -- 2003) was one of Talcott Parson's students and eventually became a professor at Columbia University. Merton built on Parson's theory and expanded it in some respects into his own "Middle Range Theory" which did not try to study society as a whole; rather he studied various social levels like groups and organizations so there could be more rigorous practical testing of social theories on those more manageable levels. In his study, Merton went beyond the functions of social structures to also analyze the "dysfunctions, nonfunctions and net balances" of social structures. Merton emphasized the importance of social roles within social groups, and maintained that members do not each have a single role and a single status; rather each member has a "whole role-set of expected behavior" with inherent ambiguities, conflicts and incompatibilities (Holton, 2004, p. 514). Merton also coined the terms "role model" and "self-fulfilling prophecy" (Holton, 2004, p. 515), and stressed the need for empirical testing of sociological theories (Holton, 2004, p. 516). Merton's theory and methodology greatly enhanced education by: abandoning more grandiose and sometimes untestable theories about entire societies and reducing society to more manageable, testable aspects; accumulating and examining empirical data about those levels of society; accounting for exceptions, anomalies and dysfunctions due to the practical and measurable data he accumulated; giving educators more concrete data to examine education and increase its effectiveness as a vital social aspect.


Functionalist Theory in its earliest form is largely attributed to Dewey, who noted four developmental stages coordinated with four levels of education. Building on Dewey's theories, Parsons developed the idea that education maintains a society's equilibrium and order, strongly influencing educational policies, practices and institutions. Merton, then approached the Functional Theory on more manageable and testable levels. The establishment and refinement of Functionalist Theory through the contributions of Dewey, Parsons, Merton and others, has greatly enhanced the understanding and effectiveness of Education in society.

Works Cited

Fallace, T.D. (2010). The mind at every stage has its own logic: Thomas Dewey as Genetic Psychologist. Educational Theory, 60(2), 129-146. Retrieved on February 11, 2012 from Shailendrag.wikispaces.com Web site.

Holton, G. (2004). Robert K. Merton. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, December 2004 (pp. 506-517). American Philosophical Society.

Keel, R.O. (2011, February 23). Structural functionalism. Retrieved on February 11, 2012 from UMSL.edu Web site: http://www.umsl.edu/~keelr/3210/3210_lectures/structural_functionalism.html

Schugurensky, D. (2006). History of education: Selected moments of the 20th century. Retrieved on February 11, 2012 from University of Toronto Web site: http://legacy.oise.utoronto.ca/research/edu20/moments/1951parsons.html

Sociology Guide.com. (2011). Functionalist theory. Retrieved on February 11,…… [read more]

Determinism and Sociology Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (538 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


The basic proposition put forth by Reckless is that a series of "pushes" and "pulls" are responsible for determining whether or not a person will commit delinquent acts. According to Reckless, environmental factors such as family conflicts, living conditions at home, or frustrations stemming from minority status can all act as "pushes" that motivate deviations from societal norms if not effectively counteracted by containment. Temptation to succumb to peer pressure is among most alluring "pulls" within the context of containment theory because of the overwhelming human desire to acclimate and gain social acceptance.

The philosophy underpinning containment theory is known as sociological determinism and is based on the concept that human behavior is a direct product of environmental influence. Advocates of sociological determinism believe that a person's experiences during their formative years irrevocably shape their adult selves. Issues like child abuse, neglected education and exposure to television at a young age have all been linked by sociological determinists to behavioral deviations later in life. In order to effectively address the ramifications of this argument, modern society has placed a high level of attention on providing its youth with nurturing attention during their adolescence. It is hoped that behavioral problems like an increased tendency to commit criminal acts can be prevented or even eliminated altogether by improving parenting, education and guidance during a child's developmental stages.


Giddens, A. (1987). Social theory and modern sociology . (pp. 215-263). Palo Alto, CA: Stanford Universoty Press.

Ritzer, G. (1996). Sociological theory. (4th ed.). New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.Retrieved from http://www.gbv.de/dms/ilmenau/toc/189193476.PDF… [read more]

Marxist or Neo-Marxist Research Theorist Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (580 words)
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Marx asserted that modern Industrial society (1848) is only different from past societies in that now the social order has been reduced down to two classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Marx believed that the state was in place only to protect the welfare of the bourgeoisie. Marx describes the antagonism between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat as ongoing and uninterrupted, sometimes overt, sometimes covert.

Max Weber was one of the critics of Karl Marx theory and he tried to completely refute his interpretation and notion of class and class conflict and power. Marx's Communist Manifesto is grounded in the idea of equality and social justice. These are noble ideas. Practically these ideas have not prospered because, I believe, the nature of man and government is to protect their own self-interest regardless of the consequences to others.

Mao Zedong

Marxism identifies only 2 types of production, Two types of production can be used, human and material. These two aspects have interrelation and they depend on each other. However, Mao tried to prove that such an interrelation is not essential. In his opinion both types of production should be included in the economic plan. He also took care and observed the process of population growth. Initially, China's post-1949 leaders were ideologically disposed to view a large population as an asset. Mao said an army of people is invincible. During Mao's rule, from 1949 to 1976, China's population increased from around 550 to over 900 million people. Mao believed that family planning should be integrated as a part of the overall plan for the development of the national economy, and that people should learn how to manage material production and how to manage themselves.

Although… [read more]

American Dream According to Jack Research Paper

Research Paper  |  4 pages (1,265 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


American Dream

According to Jack Solomon, the American dream "has two faces: the one communally egalitarian and the other competitively elitist." Egalitarianism is a myth that Americans aspire to, but a goal that is impossible to fulfill due to structural inequities and institutionalized racism and sexism. Elitism is, however, tragically real. Patriarchy and white power are inherently elitist social structures and patterns that reinforce themselves by keeping the underclass continually striving for satisfaction via consumerism. Built into the system of relentless pursuit of material belongings is a sense of competition and one-upmanship. Solomon also mentions that the symbol of the American Dream is presented as a desire for popularity and belonging to the magical nation of the United States. Actually, the American Dream only serves to isolate people from their peers because it is a self-serving endeavor. Competitiveness and elitism are cornerstones of the American Dream.

Competiveness is a cornerstone of the American Dream, because the Dream is built on the assumption that everyone should pursue material wealth in a world with finite resources. With finite resources, competition is inevitable. Competition is heralded as the most important factor in ensuring a free market, and the love of competition is paralleled in the way people live their daily lives. Perhaps more importantly, the nature of competitiveness in the United States is fueled by cultural messages in the media. The car industry is one example of how competition shapes consumer behavior. Brockmann and Yan found that cars are one of the primary status symbols in America and that status competition is especially high during times of affluence. Reality television shows are also developed with competitiveness in mind. The contestants on reality television shows are competing for something, and the end result is social status that comes from winning. Some shows offer insipid insights into how people are willing to sacrifice normative social behaviors in the interests of self-promotion. The goal is to fulfill the American Dream via fifteen minutes of fame. Ironically, the fifteen minutes of fame and money won in prizes does not lead to a more fulfilling life.

There are many other ironic manifestations of the American Dream, such as the contradictory nature of altruism in America. Altruism has sadly become a status symbol, evidence in the way people promote their favorite charities or claim to support the environment. As Griskevicius, Tybur and van den Bergh point out, status motives are used in the marketing of "green" products, which cost more than their polluting counterparts. Thus, a person who does not genuinely care about the environment might purchase "green" products as a means of showing off social status. The green products are "one-upping" neighbors. Some Americans might care about the environment, but many believe mistakenly that buying "green" is all they need to do. Buying "green" is merely a social status marker to show that the person is not a redneck but associates with more enlightened people from places like California.

Status symbols serve as means to differentiate one individual… [read more]

Karl Marx, the Founder Term Paper

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In addition to his studies Marx is busy with the workers' movement as well as one of the founders of the International Working Men's Association, which has been the center of attention recently and has already shown in more than one place in Europe that it is a force to be considered with. Thus, to believe that as far as the workers' movement is concerned, epoch-making organization the German element goes specifically and just to Marx that still holds the influential position which is its due (Karl Marx, German social Philosopher and Revolutionary).

Marx Theories Contribution in Sociology

The term communism came into use in the 1840s to indicate loosely militant leftist form of sociology that was linked with the writings of etienne Cabet and his theories of common ownership. However, later, Karl Marx used it to describe the movement that supported class struggle and revolution to establish a society of cooperation (Engels, 1868).

Moreover, in 1848, Marx and Engels wrote the famous Communist Manifesto, in which they set forth the principles of sociology and also argued the historical certainty of revolutionary conflict between capital and labor. Marx in all of his works attacked the socialists as theoretical utopian dreamers who ignored the need of revolutionary struggle to apply their doctrines (Socialism: Marxists and Gradualists).

Thus, in the environment of disappointment and bitterness that more and more passed through European socialism, Marxism became the theoretical basis for most socialist thought. However, the breakdown of the revolutions of 1848 caused a decline in socialist action in the following two decades (Engels, 1868).

Works Cited

The Life and Work of Karl Marx. Outstanding Dates. www.marxists.org

Karl Marx, 1818-1883. History Guide. www.historyguide.org

Karl Marx, German social Philosopher and Revolutionary. The Windows Philosophers. www.trincoll.edu

Engels…… [read more]

Death: Suicide, Euthanasia Term Paper

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The is also the consideration of impact this practice will have on society and the way society may devalue life when it becomes a commodity that can be taken rather than cherished at all costs. The appearance of control and dignity may also be misleading, as the pain caused to those left behind may be immense, especially if they have… [read more]

Self-Image and Significant Others Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (878 words)
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This separates the significant other from a role model. This theory comes into play when I examine the role of my parents as significant others.

My mother is a huge part of who I am. She is both a significant other and a role model to me. I see myself as an extension of her, and since I admire her, my self-image is positive. I mimic her ways, including gestures, eating habits and moral views. If she approves of me and shows confidence in me, I feel good about myself. If she admonishes me or disapproves of my behavior, I see myself as unsuccessful or unworthy. In my opinion, my confidence, honesty and kindness come from her influence on me.

A love my father, although I do not aspire to be like him. He is far less of a role model than my mother. However, he is a significant other in my life, so he has an effect on my self-image. Since he frequently judges my behavior, he is an important source of feedback on who I am and what I am doing. His views of me affect my own views of myself. Often I feel insecure because of his judgment.

According to Mead, "by taking the role of another, we become self-aware." The self, then, has two parts. As subject, the self is active and spontaneous. Mead called the subjective side of the self "the I." However, this self is also an object, as we imagine ourselves as others see us.

Mead called the objective side of the self "the me." All social experience has both components: Most people initiate action (the I-phase), and then continue the action based on how others respond to us (the me-phase). (Aboulafia, 1986) I believe this theory to be true. If I buy a new dress than I think look amazing in the store and then wear it to school and everybody laughs at me, my self-image will change. I will feel less attractive and believe that I have bad taste.

The effects of significant others on my self-image are extraordinary, and I believe that this is true for everybody. It is easier for me to change my self-image based on what other people think than it is to change my self-image based on what I think.


Aboulafia, Mitchell. The Mediating Self: Mead, Sartre, and Self-Determination. Yale University Press, 1986.

Adorno, Theodore. Introduction to Sociology. Stanford University Press, 2000.

Situating the Self: Gender, Community and Postmodernism in Contemporary Ethics. Routledge, 1992.

Barrat, D. & T. Cole)…… [read more]

Rules America?' by G. William Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (745 words)
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Who Rules America also contains some elements of structural functionalism. He sees American society as relatively stable and patterned - a key component of structural functionalism. Further, Domhoff's America is made up of a number of independent but interrelated segments, each governed by specific mores and beliefs. Like a true structural functionalist, Dumhoff sees society in terms of statuses that are interconnected to form institutions that are in turn dependent on larger society. In this book, the author sees individual actions as clearly determined by the larger society.

Certainly, Domhoff's assertion that America is largely controlled by the upper class goes strongly against the democratic nature of our society. The existence of a power elite is truly against the founding principles of this country, and yet Dumhoff makes a clear case for the existence of this sort of power structure.

Ironically, Dumhoff notes that the large number of Americans believe that the general public exerts control of American politics and finance. In blatant disregard of this assertion, almost 25% of private wealth and close to 50% of corporate stock are held by the upper class. Dumhoff notes that power in America ultimately comes from works of these few people.

Dumhoff does not find his work demoralizing or depressing. In fact, he argues that a through understanding of the social and economic realities of the United States is absolutely necessary to achieving some sort of power for average Americans. He notes that the elites are in power because of better organization, and that Americans may be able to change the balance of power using America's democratic process.

In conclusion, Who Rules America is an insightful book that reveals a great deal about social, economic, and political inequality in the United States. Dumhoff argues that America is ruled by a power elite whose influence suggests that all forms of social inequality ultimately stem from their power. The presence of this elite contradicts America's strong belief in democracy and individual choice, but Dumhoff argues that Americans still may have some say in the balance of power in America by using their democratic freedoms to affect change.

Works Cited

Domhoff, G. William. Who Rules America?…… [read more]

Living in the Industrial ST Term Paper

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Because people are able to earn on their own means, the become empowered to pursue other achievements, such as the attainment of education, which in turn results to a better position in the society, wherein power and prestige becomes available, thereby guaranteeing an individual to move upward in the social mobility scale. Because of new opportunities presented by the Industrialist type of society in the 21st century, people are able to break out of the lower class levels in the social, political, and economic areas of society. Another benefit is the betterment of human living conditions as a result of the Industrial Revolution and development. Because of new technological innovations spurred by inventions and scientific research and development, the 21st century society has access to better medical treatment and knowledge about important information about human beings and other organisms in this world, better transportation and communications due to technological developments, and special studies that focus on the improvement of the environmental conditions of the planet Earth. Thus, because of these developments in the 21st century society, people are now able to live in both leisure and hard work, and they have the ability to answer sufficiently to their own wants and needs in life. It goes without saying that because of better living conditions, humankind in the Industrial society has achieved a prolonged life expectancy, and birth rates have so far exceeded the death rates in societies. And because of this, the essential function of humans, which is to perpetuate the human species on this planet, is achieved as a result of the benefits and vital functions that the 21st century society has brought to human civilization.… [read more]

Lewis Sinclair's Babbitt- American Society Term Paper

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Even the language that he uses to converse with others businessmen is typical of our suburban class. When he greets his friends at the Zenith Athletic Club, we can't ignore the style of interaction, which is so very typical of this class. 'How's the old Botsheviki? How do you feel, the morning after the night before?' 'Oh, boy! Some head! That was a regular party you threw, Verg! Hope you haven't forgotten I took that last cute little jack-pot!' Babbitt bellowed...'That's all right now! What I'll hand you next time, Georgie! Say, juh notice in the paper the way the New York Assembly stood up to the reds?' 'You bet I did. That was fine, the? Nice day today.' (49)

Babbitt is a shallow figure for most part of the novel. While he is not entirely incapable of real friendship (Monarch Notes, 1963), still he is also guilty of the same shady ethical standards practiced by the other businessmen for selfish financial gains. His ability to remain friends with a complete opposite Paul, and his acceptance of dubious ethics highlight the conflict that marks this important character of Sinclair's novel. Babbitt is a classic representative of American business class society and helps in bringing their problems, confusions, ethical standards, moral sense and desires to the fore. American business class is always looking for a way to rise to the next rung in the social ladder. It is never completely satisfied with what it has and this is the major source of discontentment in this class, which is adequately captured by Lewis through Babbitt. Sinclair appears to believe that somewhere in the beginning very businessman in the United States must have been motivated by power of his own idealism than materialism. But along the road, he lost all sense of purpose and began gathering all kinds of high social status symbols including expensive watches, luxury cars, exquisite decoration items etc. In his pursuit to be counted as an important member of the society, he lost all sense of direction and this resulted in deep resentment and discontentment, which Babbitt's character signifies perfectly.


James M. Hutchisson, Sinclair Lewis: New Essays in Criticism. Whitston Publishing. Troy, NY. 1997.

Works of Sinclair Lewis: General Commentary., Monarch Notes, 01-01-1963.… [read more]

George Herbert Mead Term Paper

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Bibliography Sources: 1+


Mead's formulations on the controlling effects of society do not sufficiently account for these differences.

These limitations, however, does diminish the importance of Mead's writings regarding the social nature of a person's individual "self." By explicating the social forces that determine a person's roles, behavior and values, Mead was able to show how individuals are constantly shaped and affected by their greater social surroundings. In doing so, Mead laid important foundations for much of sociology as the discipline is practiced today.


The continuing influence of Mead's ideas can be seen in a wide variety of fields. In sociology, his work on the effects of social forces on individual psyche can be seen in the Philip Zimbardo's "prison" experiments in Stanford University 1972 and in Stanley Milgram's electrocution experiments in Yale University during the 1960s.

In this vein, Mead's writings can help to illuminate the nuances of peer pressure and social control that underlie the various instances of "hazing" that have occurred among college and even high school campuses across the country.

Other related fields have benefited from Mead's writings as well. His writings on socialization and the importance of symbols could have much to offer feminist theory. Feminist theorists have studied how children are "socialized" into prevailing social ideas regarding masculine and feminine roles.

Building on Mead's ideas of symbol-laden gestures, anthropologists like Edward Hall later explored how body language and other forms of non-verbal behavior regulate much of interpersonal communication. As the interconnected global economy gives rise to greater cultural interaction, Mead's writings on symbolic interaction have much to contribute to understanding the collisions and potential commonalities between diverse beliefs and values.

Works Cited

Coser, Lewis. Masters of Sociological Thought: Ideas in Historical and Social Context. New York: International Thomson Publishing, 1977.

Mead, George Herbert. Mind, Self and Society from the Standpoint of a Social Behaviorist. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967.

Mills, Charles Wright. The Sociological Imagination. New York: Grove Press, 1961.

Rosenthal, Sandra. Mead…… [read more]

Separation of the Society Term Paper

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Bibliography Sources: 1+


(Bougle, 1992) Similarly some became landlords or businessmen, again a Vaisya occupation. The Brahmins also accepted lower castes that became rich as marriage partners. An example is the Nair women of Kerala who were rich and owners of property due to the matrilineal system they followed. Thus it is clear that the original Varna system was only a system to keep order in the system by assigning certain occupations to certain varnas have failed in the purpose, but that does not alter the objective of the system.

Now let us look at the present day United States that has a 3-class system. The first of these classes is the dependent class with a few sub-classes within it. These people are dependent on the Government help and support. They are manipulative and demanding and do not think about the future. They do not bother about the consequences of the action they take. They are "arrogantly and militantly irresponsible with little social or personal conscience or degree of introspection." (Kocher, 1999) Their philosophy is being street smart and saying that they are psychologically pre-destined to do whatever they are doing anyway.

The second class in America are the producer class, who work seriously from day-to-day and build the small and medium businesses that provide the jobs to the millions of Americans. The last group of people is the conflict managing class. They pit the producing class against the dependent class and use the fight to survive. They provide the rational for the dependent class to keep on being dependent. Since they have a large number of people in their hold, the producers also must keep them happy and depend on their senses so that the conflict does not destroy the entire society. Some say this class has neither conscience nor sense. Well I do not really know whether this analysis of the American class system is right or wrong, but it can be easily seen that this is based on assigning certain jobs to certain groups of people. In that sense it is another sort of a caste system based on separating the society into different groups based on occupation. Today, the occupations are not so clear and that is why the pre-occupations have been taken up instead of occupations.


Social stratification is in itself useless. Men cannot be divided and each man will live up to his own personal potential, irrespective of what caste or class one tries to put him in.


Srinivas, M.N. "Social change in modern India" California: University of California Press (1966)

Bougle, C., "The essence and Reality of the Caste System." In D. Gupta, ed., Social Stratification. Delhi: Oxford University Press (1992).

Kocher, Robert L

Political Economy 301: The American Class System; Prerequisite: Healthy Realistic Iconoclasm 300 Fundamental Issues, Part…… [read more]

Spencer How Would Herbert Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (409 words)
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Post-modern thought does not search for such a progression and denies such a linear purposefulness to history.

However, post-modernism also has a deterministic tendency that is reinforced by some of Spencer's concepts. Ideas have a sense of inevitability of cultural production in post-modern thought, because they are viewed as the products and combinations of other ideas. Spencer, of course, because of his biological emphasis, might see post-modernism as a progression from the modernist emphasis upon the alienated self. While modernism viewed the sense of disconnection with despair, post-modernism formed as a reaction to view this despair with humor, and to view fragmentation as a positive rather than a negative development. Although Spencer would not have seen fragmentation as a positive himself, he would still see post-modernism's stress upon non-linearity of cultural production, its stress upon societal fragmentation, and its stress upon discursive thought as an evolution from an earlier era and a psychological, biological defensive technique of the human mind. Out of the need to view the alienation of human life with humor, post-modernism was generated by the animal mind as a defense mechanism, and spawned a functional culture that made dysfunction 'normal.'… [read more]

Comte and Tonnies Compare Term Paper

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It is interesting to contrast these two philosophers, because Comte views society as moving forward in terms of a quest for understanding. Although materialistic in its emphasis upon phenomenon that has an objective existence, as noted by both Ritzer in his comparative work on sociological theories, Comte's stress is upon the mind's ability to focus and comprehend, and the limits and reasons for human mental structures to have evolved as they have. Comte's stress upon human understanding in the individual is quite different from Tonnies' focus on human existence as the exercising of a variety of drives in the context of groups, rather than individual minds. Tonnies stresses the impact the human drives and human goals have upon the world. He does not see the quest for understanding as the basic human framework through which societal relationships are created. Given the broader view of society taken in recent years that tends to de-emphasize theology and the intellect as a cultural product of philosophy's location in the academy, the German philosopher's explanation ultimately emerges as more persuasive.… [read more]

Durkheim Were Alive Today Term Paper

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Even the seasons with a particular area force one to adopt commonly shared rituals that differ from Southern California to Minnesota.

Human biology may explain mechanical solidarity, as well as a human drive to conform and to seek to be 'normal.' However, the fragmentation of the post-industrial world, and the increased ability to travel from one's family and home, despite the mechanization of life, leads to a different form of solidarity, an organic solidarity based on an interrelationship of shared but varied tasks -- as someone who is served by a waitress every night at a diner feels a solidarity with her, or even two individuals from different backgrounds share the same sense of music and the same television program.

The ritualized nature of the 9-5 workday and the standardization of post-industrial life may keep the rituals of mechanical solidarity alive, even in an ethnically and vocationally diverse society. But it is more and more incumbent upon the individual to seek organic solidarity as these trends render such mechanical solidarity less meaningful, and more commercially rendered, rather than produced by a common ethnicity, an old culture, and an equally shared sense of communal space.… [read more]

Karl Marx and Wrote Term Paper

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As the capitalist mode of production grows, small business owners face many challenges, as they can no longer compete with the modern bourgeoisie. According to Marx, "the lower strata of the middle class - the small tradespeople, shopkeepers... all these sink gradually into the proletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on... partly because their specialized skill is rendered worthless by methods of production (p. 479)."

Marx and Engels viewed class conflict as inherent in capitalist societies. Thus, they believed that the social, legal and political aspects of the workplace needed to change over time. To promote these changes, the working class would form trade unions. According to Marx, "thereupon the workers begin to form combinations against the bourgeoisie; they club together in order to keep up the rate of wages (p. 480)"

The final stage of the class conflict is the working class' formation of a political voice, as

Marx describes as "the organization of the proletariat into a class, and consequently into a political party... It compels legislative recognition of particular interests of the workers, by taking advantage of the divisions among the bourgeoisie itself (p.481)."

Basically, in a capitalist society, as Marx and Engels describe in the Manifesto of the Communist Party, the rich will exploit the working class to benefit themselves. By forcing the working class to work for little money, the rich make even more money because their costs are minimized. The gap between the rich and poor increases, as it has in the United States. As a result, we have class conflict.

Marx and Engels envisioned a society in which individuals work for the well being of society rather than for personal gain. Society is improved because of a group effort for a higher quality of living. In effect, they believed that communism would eliminate class conflict. Basically, even in a capitalist society, Marx and Engels felt that the working class would eventually overthrow the bourgeoisie and achieve a classless society where the group works for society.

Many of Marx's ideas can be seen in the U.S. today. A key concept in Marx's critique of capitalism is that labor has been reduced to the status of a commodity, meaning that its value is equivalent to its cost of reproduction. Marx's ideas on labor value are very much alive for many organizations working for social change. In addition, it is apparent that the gap between the rich and poor is widening on a consistent basis. In the United States today, according to a Federal Reserve Board report, one percent of the population has more wealth than the bottom 90%, and it is far, far more unequal than it was in Marx's day. In this light, many of the theory's predictions ring true.


Marx, Karl. Manifesto of the…… [read more]

Traditional and Modern Societies Term Paper

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e., specialization of work/functions is prevalent. The shift from a traditional to a modern society requires a change in the structure of the society; thus, a change from the self-sufficiency to specialization of work happens, which is the nature of capitalist or modern societies.

This change has successfully occurred in the Western societies, who are the pioneers of capitalism at the turn of the 19th century. Non-Western societies, on the other hand, have remained traditional, and still subsisted to the self-sufficient and collectivist orientation of their societies. The failure of non-Western societies to adapt to changes in modernization is, in fact, not a manifestation of the non-responsive nature of societies in the region. What occurred is a different reaction from that of the Western societies, since non-Western societies have a radically different culture from that of the Western societies. Because of these cultural differences, "...the types of international systems that developed here were rather new and unique..." changing the nature of modernization in non-Western societies (193).

Thus, the rise of socialism, according to the author, is "a reaction to the tension between the ideals of the French Revolution and the outcome of the Industrial or capitalist revolution... It is wholly based in European tradition and experience" (195). In this statement, the author seeks to reconcile the seemingly contradicting patterns of change between Western and non-Western societies with the onset of modernization. In effect, Elsenstadt argues that despite its contradictions to the principles of capitalism, socialism is nevertheless a product of modernization, wherein the fusion of traditional society and non-Western societies' adherence to collectivism and rituals led to the creation of a new kind of society. Since non-Western societies have an altogether different economic, political, and social organization from the Western societies, the effect of modernization ("European expansion") is also different in the non-Western experience. Instead of capitalism, socialism became the most popular and preferred system of society.

In sum, the rise of socialism in non-Western and spread of capitalism in Western societies are both fruits of modernization, and differed only because of the contradicting nature of both societies, resulting to varied outcomes, with Western nations adopting the capitalist system, while the non-Western nations subsisting to socialism.


Elsenstadt, S.N. "European expansion and the civilization of modernity"… [read more]

Perrucci and Wysong's Work Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,550 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


¶ … Perrucci and Wysong's work of literature, The New Class Society: Goodbye American Dream, is that a number of factors have taken place since the end of the 1960's to result in a two-tiered society in which there are a finite number of highly wealthy people whom the masses are exploited by and work to support. The authors utilize… [read more]

Deviance Among Canadian Youths Deviation Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (957 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+


Why are youth strongly associated with crime in Canadian society?

Canada has experienced an increased in the number of deviant behaviors being associated with the youths. Although that the government has put controls on deviant behaviors, there has been a high number of youths found guilty of deviant behavior. A number of reasons have been found to contribute to the high numbers of youths engaged in criminal behaviors. The following three reasons explain why the youth in Canada is strongly associated with crime and deviance in the Canadian society (Platt, 1999).

The first reason is 'attachments'. In this regard, attachments refer to the mutual bonds that bind together societal members. In many societies, people are attached to one another due to a number of factors that attach them; these may include race, religion, and ethnic groups. Canada has experienced a growth in the cosmopolitan cities leading many people to come from different backgrounds. The absence of strong attachment among the youth has led to increased conflicts and deviant behaviors (Flowers, 2003).

The second reason that has led many of the youths in Canada to be associated with crimes and deviant behaviors is 'commitment'. In this context, commitment refers to loyalty that is directed towards legitimate opportunity. In many cases, the youths have engaged in deviance and crimes, for they have felt they are disadvantaged by conforming. For instance, many of the youths in low socioeconomic class have engaged in crimes, for they feel disadvantaged to conform to the structures of the wider society (Thomas, 2002).

In addition, an increased number of youths have been strongly associated with crime in Canadian society is the issue of 'involvement'. It has been found that there has been an increase in the number of reported crimes from the youth. The high involvement of the youth in criminal activities has been found to reduce the inhibition towards the same deviance. Canada has seen an increase in the number of youths engaging in criminal and deviant behavior, making inhibition a difficult task in the society.


It is evident that Canadian youths have had many challenges with regard to deviant and criminal behavior. Besides, various factors, including the involvement and attachment among the youth have contributed to the high numbers of youth being involved in criminal and deviant behavior. The youths have engaged in a number of deviant behaviors, such as robbery, drug abuse, street crimes, cybercrimes, and assault. It would be important for the law enforcement agencies to employ these factors in developing remedies to the deviance problem in the U.S.


Flowers, R. (2003). Crime and deviance: exploring its causes, dynamics, and nature. New York: Charles C. Thomas Publisher

Platt, A. (1999). Thinking and Unthinking 'Social Control. Inequality, Crime, and Social Control. Vol. 3, No. 1, p. 72 -- 79.

Thomas, P.…… [read more]

Emergency Response Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,647 words)
Style: Harvard  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+


Hurricane Katrina

Natural disasters often occur unexpectedly and without warning. These disasters, as a result, create massive amounts of casualties and financial hardships on the communities affected. Disasters such the tsunami impacting Japan in 2012, or the 2013 earthquake in Chile, are a testament of the devastating power natural forces have on daily human activities. Hurricane Katrina is no different… [read more]

Applied Social Theory Research Paper

Research Paper  |  2 pages (526 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


Symbolic Interactionism Provides the Best Explanation for Social Problems

No social theory can be applied with complete accuracy to any situation, because every situation varies, just as every person is unique. However, I find that there are numerous factors of symbolic interactionism theory that best explain social problems because the theory has value in both psychology and sociology, and has been applied significantly in these and related fields of study (the Society for More Creative Speech, 1996).

Symbolic interactionism is a psychological/sociological term coined by American Sociologist Herbert Blumer (1969). Rooted in pragmatism, the chief premise of symbolic interactionism is that human beings attach symbolic meaning to objects through their social interactions, and these associations directly shape their construction of self and reality. The derivation from pragmatism is based on the practicality of human interaction with the environment.

The principles upon which symbolic interaction is based are 1) meaning 2) language and 3) thought. Each of these principles works separately and collectively to guide human beings in drawing conclusions about their self-image and how they fit into society. These conclusions, however, are not always precise, because meaning, language and thoughts are frequently interpreted differently.

Principle 1: Meaning

For the symbolic interactionist, meaning is the primary principle of human behavior. The meanings that individuals assign to perceptions of themselves and the world around them have a significant impact on how they behave. Therefore, for example, if an individual attaches the meaning of wealth to stealing, he is more likely to become a thief than someone who equates stealing with wrongness.

Meanings have to be…… [read more]

Theoretical Contributions of Durkheim and Allport Research Paper

Research Paper  |  5 pages (1,931 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


¶ … theoretical contributions of Durkheim and Allport, paying specific attention to structure/function, social facts/dynamic structures, anomie/taboo, and collective representations/social aggregates. It shows them to be similar and different in significant ways.

Comparison of the Theories of Durkheim and Allport

An instructive comparison can be made of the theories of Emile Durkheim and Floyd Allport. Both men formulated important concepts… [read more]

MLK's Letter From Birmingham Jail Thesis

Thesis  |  4 pages (1,704 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


MLK'S Letter from Birmingham Jail

In Letter from Birmingham Jail, Dr. King displays his argumentative acumen and presents himself not only as an erudite person but also a credible one through the proper word choice, didactic examples and reference to history which he puts across in elegance and flair of a prolific writer. His spiritual leader ethos and not just… [read more]

Marxist Criticism of the Great Gatsby Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,740 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Marxist Reading of the Great Gatsby

Works of literature can be read through a Marxist lens because the work says something about the real conditions and prevailing attitudes of the time. These are the real conditions that were determinative for social interactions which Marx referred to in his key statement: "The sum total of these relations of production constitutes the… [read more]

Views About Sociological Theory in the 21st Century Term Paper

Term Paper  |  8 pages (2,675 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Sociological theory in the 21st century orients theorists just like architects to have theories existing in minds, with symbolic correspondence and explanations of social truths based on principals of directing thinking in an organized way of the social environment.

Sociological theory in current observation by scholars fails to connect with the reality of current social interactions.

Sociological theory is a… [read more]

Americans With Disabilities Act Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,103 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


American With Disability Act

American with disability

A legislation to protect the rights of the disabled members of the community in America was signed to law in July 1990. This legislation is an extension to other anti-discrimination legislations that have been signed to law. These legislations are aimed at prohibiting discrimination based on race, religion and sex. They ensure that all Americans get equal employment, promotion, dismissal and trainings in places of work without referring to their nature of creation or operation of their limbs. Americans with Disabilities Act has covered government institutions, employment bureau, telecommunication, private institutions and transport sectors (Shaw, 2008, p.20). Since the legislation was signed to law, companies other relevant institutions are required to train their employees on the contents of the act and what the legislation demands from the employees.

ADA has five categories; the first states that all businesses should provide facilities that can accommodate the disabled individuals whether they are employees or just regular customers, business plans are required to have special facilities for transporting and accommodating the disabled people while the already set up businesses are required to adjust accordingly and have special provisions for the disabled. As a part of the act, the employers are required to offer special treatments to the disabled; first, it requires the disabled to receive superior medical services, considerate salaries and wages and also give them special treatment during the recruitment processes (Meneghello, 2008, p.22). The second aspect in the act addresses the public services; this provision require the governmental and private institutions to allow disabled people the privileges that are enjoyed by other people, also other service sectors such as transport systems are required to adjust so that they can accommodate the disabled.

Third aspect in the act is concerned about the public accommodations; all new constructions that are targeted to serve the public are supposed to comply with this regulation and make the appropriate adjustments to enable they can accommodate all members of the society including the disabled. These service industries include; retail shops, restaurants, hotels, guest houses, hostels, hotels, etc. The fourth aspect is telecommunication; all telecommunication companies in the country are required to have telephone relay services to be used by the deaf people. Miscellaneous is the fifth concept, it is aimed at protecting the disabled against threats and coercion; it will also protect those that aid the disable against assertions from the society and employers.

Failure of the Legislation

Fairness in implementing law is one of the essential elements in a country's prosperity. When the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) was enacted to law many people thought that would be the end of discrimination against the disable members of the society. But, the dream of the disabled for receiving fair treatment has never been.

The government is ensuring that every new construction comply with the Act, but the public perception on the issue has not changed, consequently the lives of the disabled members of the society have not been any better.… [read more]

Veblen's Argument Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (558 words)
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Veblen's Argument

Veblen believed that "economic outcomes are shaped in large part by social institutions, which introduce other motivations into human activity" (JRank, no date). This contradicts the view that markets direct self-interest towards societal norms. Veblen viewed the relationship between the markets and human motivations as the reverse. His views derived from the convergence of economics with sociology, wherein he viewed the latter as being a key driver of the former, not vice versa.

For Veblen, behavior is individually and socially determined. The factors that influence this behavior change over time through the evolution of social institutions. These institutions are the primary driver of consumer behavior. They set the market by driving demand. Veblen proposed that conspicuous consumption was driven by social settings and the desire of consumers to impress each other and gain social status. This behavior, he noted, was irrational. There was no causal linkage between the market and conspicuous consumption. The market, therefore, is at best a partial determinant of consumer behavior.

For consumers, the market lacked relevance. More important were the social institutions and constructs that guided their lives. It was social institutions that defined one's standing in society, and that consumers typically behaved in a manner that would improve their standing in society. The markets -- outcomes -- are the result of his activity. The causal relationship to Veblen worked the other way from consumers to the market, not the other way around as the argument that the market directs self-interest towards societal interest holds. For that argument to hold true, the market would have to dictate the terms of social mobility and create the social institutions. Veblen did not see this as…… [read more]

Classroom Behavior Management Policies Research Paper

Research Paper  |  80 pages (23,815 words)
Bibliography Sources: 31


Classroom Behavior Management Policies

Title suggestions:

Bridging the Gap Between Systems Theory and Elementary Classroom Management

An Evolution: Systems Theory and Classroom Management


Systems Theory by the Three B's

Robert Freed Bales


Living systems theory

Social entropy theory

Entropy management in organizations


Ludwig von Bertalanffy

The concept of the whole

GST and integrative studies

Science and society… [read more]

Pasteurization of France by Bruno Latour Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (973 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Pasteurization of France by Bruno Latour

Since its inception, science as a field of systems, methods and knowledge has dominated and led intellectual development of societies. As early as the 16th century and until today, science is considered a driving force that is both exclusive and encompassing. It is exclusive because as a specialist field, science is understood and developed by scientists and experts in its disciplines. While it is exclusive as a discipline or field of knowledge, science is also encompassing, affecting the lives of people and both the social and physical environments they live in. Indeed, in all aspects of our lives, science is present, not only in the body of knowledge being studied, but also in the systems and methods that societies use to rationally think, act and behave.

Because science is a highly-specialized field of knowledge and systems, its creation and development is shrouded in mystery. Only those who pursue and succeed in becoming a specialist of expert in science (i.e., a scientist) are able to demystify it. Further reinforcing this mystery is the fact that people need science to explain phenomena, or more relevantly, they need it to resolve a problem or difficulty. Medical doctors, for example, help sick people become healthy again through medicines, procedures and tools. Through thorough research and exploration, science has improved the quality of life of societies in the world, and as a result, both society and science have been influential in determining the progress and development of science from hereon to the future. (Such as, researching for a cure for cancer, a disease that continues to afflict many people, yet no cure has been developed yet for it).

It goes without saying, then, that society and science are interdependent with each other. In fact, the cancer example demonstrates the observation that science or trends in science reflects the concerns and needs of the society at the time. Indeed, this has been the case for most of the scientific developments that occurred in the past centuries, such as the discovery of vaccine to prevent people from being afflicted with a host of diseases and illnesses. This scientific breakthrough, originated by Edward Jenner and later generalized and became regulatory during Louis Pasteur's time, is one of the best examples of society's influence to science and scientific development.

This observation, however, was challenged by Bruno Latour, author of the book, the Pasteurization of France. In his book, he refuted the notion that 'science can be explained completely by looking at society.' He argued instead that the course of scientific development was determined primarily by the 'political forces or groups' whose greater agenda involved utilizing science as their tool so that society will perceive them as believable and objective. To support his argument, Latour used Pasteur's success as an example of a scientific development that was 'politically-motivated' more than socially-determined. In the Pasteur example, the author posited that there…… [read more]

Race Class Gender Journal

Journal  |  5 pages (1,805 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Race, Class & Gender

Color-Blind Racism and Gender-Blind Sexism

Reviewed in this journal:

"Racism in Toyland" by Christine L. Williams

"The Indignities of Unemployment" by Kenneth W. Brown

"Soft' Skills and Race" by Philip Moss and Chris Tilly

"The Invisible Poor" by Katherine W. Newman

"Our Mother's Grief: Racial-Ethnic Women and the Maintenance of Families" by Bonnie Thorton Dill

I… [read more]

Right of Death and Power Over Life Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (886 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


Right of Death and Power Over Life

Michel Foucault's "Right of Death and Power Over Life" seems to be a historical analysis of life and death in Western civilization. He comments on how in older societies life was only part of the sovereign, but in modern times the importance of life is more widespread. Foucault says this is from modern biopolitics which normalize life. He says, "the judicial institution is increasingly incorporated into a continuum of apparatuses (medical, administrative, and so on) whose functions are for the most part regulatory" (Foucault 266). Foucault claims that society changed from older times by making the sovereign more widespread than it was before because politicians, demographers, economists, and social scientists started to see life as valuable to society. Therefore the sovereign was not just the prince but the whole society.

This was important for capitalism because Foucault says capitalism needs the "controlled insertion of bodies into the machinery of production and the adjustment of the phenomena of population to economic processes" (Foucault 263). He says "the deployment of sexuality" is "one of the most important" examples of biopower (Foucault 263). Historically speaking, Foucault says these interventions were all important because of changing perspectives on life and death. This is why the deployment of sex is the most important biopolitics because sex is how a society controls the population by "determining good marriages," "inducing desired fertilities," and "ensuring the health and longevity of children" (Foucault 270). Ultimately Foucault seems unsure about this power, because he says it substituted racism for aristocracy and has led to bloodier wars than were seen before the 19th century. Foucault's thesis is sometimes hard to understand because his topic keeps changing, but it seems to be that modern society is different from ancient society because of biopower and widespread sovereignty.

Foucault's methods are different from most modern sociologists' because he does not use many statistical studies or data. Instead, he talks in a general way about sociological changes by looking at history and trying to understand it by looking at what people were doing at the time. He says that the 18th century led to biopolitics because biopower was "embodied in institutions such as the army and school" and with "the emergence of demography" (Foucault 262). He mentions some of the demographers from the time as evidence of the field's emergence around then. This research method makes it difficult to know what Foucault is sometimes trying to argue, because it is not always clear where he is coming from. However, he usually explains this fairly well, and he may have more evidence in the earlier parts of the book for his claims…… [read more]

Social Changes in the 21st Century Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (687 words)
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Social Changes in the 21st Century

What factor(s) do you think will shape and/or determine the major social changes that will occur during the twenty-first century?

In the twentieth century we have perhaps witnessed more social changes than our ancestors had had in the preceding several centuries. Technological developments of the last century have affected our social lives in different ways. Since the pace of technological development is also increasing, it is likely that the changes in the twenty first century will be even more significant. Macionis (2008) defines social change as "the transformation of culture and social institutions over time" (p. 485). He identifies four major characteristics of social changes: they happen all the time, social change may be unplanned but may also be intentional, social change is sometimes controversial, and some social changes are more significant than others. In today's globalized world of mass communications, social changes in one place are likely to take a chain effect of setting up changes in other places as well. Therefore, changes in the twenty-first century will be more sweeping around the world, making the changes too radical for some parts of the world, and will profoundly impact our view of the world.

Most of the changes of the twentieth century were brought about by modernization: industrialization, rise of scientific and empirical inquiry, adoption of the principles of the nation-state by all governing polities in the world, and the development of technology which is leading us to a new era -- postindustrial, postmodern, information-based era. Changes in the twenty-first century are going to take place within the framework of postmodernist thinking. Postmodernity challenges modernist thinking on several grounds. The idea of progress through modernity did not eliminate the most pressing problems of humanity -- problems such as poverty, corruption, wars, slavery, and global inequality. On the contrary, the global inequality has increased in the last several decades and modern means of communication and technology are being utilized for facilitating wars, corruption, and slavery. Therefore, many activists in the twenty first century are going to be…… [read more]

America by John Debrizzi Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,805 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … America by John Debrizzi. What makes this a bit more difficult is that Debrizzi is a sociologist. To properly understand the novel, one must understand the social theory behind it. Therefore, we will first consider the theoretical implications, specifically Debrizzi's working out of Mills dichotomy between individual and society. In this, we will consider how the Marxist dialectic… [read more]

Sociological Imagination Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (630 words)
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Sociological imagination is the capability to see beyond one's own daily life the reason for everyday successes and failures. While a person's sees beyond his everyday life as the cause of success and failure, he/she views the whole society that he/she lives in as the probable cause for his/her daily successes and failures. It is also known as the ability to acknowledge the relationship between people's actions and the social forces of the society within which they live. C. Wright Mills invented the term sociological imagination in 1959 with the purpose of describing the nature of sociology and its significance in everyday life. Sociological imagination is very significant for both individuals and societies to understand because of the connection between the two. Sociological imagination is critical for people because of the significance of relating situations to the local, national and international societal issues.

Failure to understand the relations between personal situations and the society makes it impossible for people to know the societal issues that influence them. Additionally, these people are unable to determine whether the societal issues that affect them need to be changed in order to improve their daily lives. Sociological imagination enables a person to understand the bigger historical scene and its relevance to inner life as well as the outer career of different individuals (Mills par, 8). A person with sociological imagination is able consider how other people usually become wrongly aware of their social positions through the confusion of their everyday experiences. Because of the confusion, the psychologies of different people are formed as they seek the support of modern society.

Various societies have acquired diverse levels of social imagination throughout history with some societies thriving on the acquisition. On the contrary, other societies have not acquired sociological imagination while others have lost is after obtaining it. These kinds of societies are always within countries that continue to suffer from…… [read more]

Celebrities as Symbolic Commodities in the Film Industry Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,416 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Celebrities as Symbolic Commodities in the Film Industry

In 2010 the biggest advertisements and movies have a celebrity face. If a celebrity endorses it, then consumers will buy it. Has society lost the scope of what the product does, what it stands for? On the other hand when it comes to film and its success, there are certain expectations when… [read more]

Professor Philip Slater Want Creation Fuels Americans Addictiveness Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (667 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


¶ … Creation Fuels Americans' Addictiveness that the dependency many Americans have on drugs is the result of the premium that American society puts on success. This success comes with costs attached, but those costs are brushed aside, often with the help of medicating drugs. The addictive personality of Americans extends beyond drugs, too, to addictions of all types. Slater argues that because we "are told every day that we're ignorant, misguided, inadequate, incompetent and undesirable" we can only escape this condition if he indulge, an act that will make us feel better. Slater's point is not that we are inadequate or any of those other negative attributes, but that we are meant to feel that way if we do not achieve to a certain level. Yet, the level to which Americans achieve is actually very high.

The quick fix mentality is ascribed by Slater to be one of the most important causes of drug abuse. Our society is harsh, he describes, but we prefer quicker action rather than solutions that evolve over the long-term. As a result, drugs become an attractive means of medicating ourselves in response to the harshness of our society. Slater makes a good point about those at the low end of the socioeconomic scale that seems to tie his argument together. At the higher socioeconomic levels, the quick fix mentality is tied to our determination to achieve -- problems must be addressed quickly so that we can move forward. At the lower end of the socioeconomic scale, however, Slater notes that drug use is often "a peaceful escape from a hopeless and depressing existence." This is not an American phenomenon specifically. It can be witnessed in a Southeast Asian opium den, among laborers in Afghanistan, and in bars all through the developed world where men drink themselves into oblivion as their only means of escaping their harsh travails. The inverse of this is also true -- the Japanese may not hoover drugs the way we do, but they…… [read more]

Social Anthropology Course A-Level Coursework

A-Level Coursework  |  2 pages (635 words)
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Social Anthropology

Economic Systems:

Generally, there are three major types of economic systems in human communities: capitalism, socialism, and communism. Capitalism emphasizes private ownership, private accumulation of wealth through personal initiative, the relative freedom from government in business, and the natural dynamic of supply and demand. Socialism emphasizes governmental involvement, ownership, and responsibility for major aspects of society and in the maintenance of the general welfare in many respects that are left to private initiative and responsibility in capitalist societies. Communism emphasizes government control of production, the elimination of social classes, and the uniformity of wealth and reciprocal benefits of the individual as a part of society. Traditionally, the three types of societies are highly critical of one another with the greatest tension and mistrust existing between the two polar opposite capitalists and communists.

Political Relations:

Order and power are the defining elements of human societies in relation to the individual. Social order is maintained by the accepted social authorities within a culture through the power of position. Generally, elder members of kinship groups occupy those positions within tribal societies, and tribunals comprising clan leaders from multiple tribes fulfill that role with tribal confederations. Inherited nobility is the traditional basis of authority and power in kingdoms, and within states, publicly elected heads of state establish and maintain authority in democracies and republics, while dictators establish and maintain power through force or the implied threat of force. Generally, the four fundamental functions of society are large populations, some degree of centralized government, socio-economic classes, and some form of market economy.

3. Religion:

In objective principle, there is little conceptual distinction between religion and magic, as both are maintained by doctrinal beliefs passed down from generation to generation and accepted a-priori without critical analysis. Principals of social evolution shape the specific cultural practices and beliefs of magical societies in a manner that allows those concepts to provide some of…… [read more]

Freedom Justice and Racism Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,396 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Freedom, Justice, And Racism

Courts have often supported laws and policies that prohibit the public expression of certain obscene words, but do you think that it would ever be justified to prohibit the expression of certain ideas or beliefs? (I have heard that in Germany, Hitler's Mein Kampf cannot be published or sold. Do you approve of that policy?)

In the United States, which is built upon the cornerstone of free speech, it would never be appropriate to prohibit the expression of certain ideas and beliefs. In fact, that type of speech would usually fall under the rubrics of either political speech or religious speech, which get the most protection under the Supreme Court's interpretations of the First Amendment. The freedom of speech is so closely associated with the American identity, that challenging that notion would literally challenge the bedrock of the nation. However, the United States has a different history than Germany. In Germany, hate speech led to the Holocaust, an event that continues to define Germany for much of the world, and for many Germans. Moreover, it is important to realize that the Holocaust was only the last in a series of anti-Semitic legal and social actions that had occurred in Germany. Germany has to consider that history when looking at what legislation is appropriate for their country and for their countrymen. When one considers that unique past, it is very difficult to argue that Germans should allow the publishing or sale of Mein Kampf.

2. Mill believes that even if we know a doctrine is wrong, it would not be beneficial for society to suppress that doctrine. What argument does he give to justify this point?

It is important to understand that Mill's argument that society should not suppress doctrines that are commonly believed to be wrong is not based on tolerance. Instead of tolerance, Mill wants debate. He thinks that the introduction of conflict into discourse is the means of creating faster progress in all sectors of society. Mill wants to avoid social stagnation, and believes that the competition that results naturally from the unfettered spread of ideas is the best way to avoid such stagnation.

3. In most accredited universities in the United States, the Darwinian explanation of how species originated is accepted and the explanation given in the Book of Genesis is not accepted. Do you think this policy is right? Would Mill?

I actually disagree with the premise as you have stated it in your question. In most accredited universities, the Darwinian explanation of the species is accepted in science classes. However, the explanation in the Book of Genesis, or other religious texts, might be perfectly acceptable in religious studies or mythology classes. What explanation is accepted greatly depends upon the context. I think it is appropriate for a university to be able to say that they want its science graduates to leave with certain baseline knowledge about scientific facts as they are currently understood by the scientific community. I do not know… [read more]

Welding Confined Spaces. Question: Compare and Contrast Essay

Essay  |  7 pages (1,911 words)
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Confined Spaces. Question: Compare and contrast the confined space recommendations made by the American Welding Society with those of PDF Chapter 13.

Fact Sheet 11 of the American Welding Society and Chapter 13 "Confined Space Entry" both address the potential hazards of working in confined spaces. The American Welding Society specifically focuses on hot work in confined spaces, whereas… [read more]

Human Rights Donnelly, J. ). The Relative Book Report

Book Report  |  3 pages (916 words)
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Human Rights

Donnelly, J. (2007). The Relative Universality of Human Rights. Human Rights Quarterly, Volume 29, Number 2, May 2007, pp. 281-306.

Human rights are only relatively universal, claims Donnelly (2007). The author distinguishes between substantive and conceptual universality. Substantively universal human rights can be defined as specific rights such as those recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Human Rights Covenants. Conceptually universal human rights are more abstract. If human rights are necessarily "equal" and also "inalienable," then human rights are universal. However, universal human rights are not specific or practical in application.

The author raises important issues about the normalization of human rights and the increasing and perpetual pressure upon all cultures, nations, and individuals to support their implementation. Ethical conundrums are raised when one culture attempts to impose its set of norms upon another, as is the case with Europe or the United States pressuring African nations or China. Donnelly (2007) concludes that rights are relative because residents of nations with a poor track record of human rights do not enjoy automatic access to or recognition of those rights.

The Donnelly (2007) article addresses cultural relativism and ethical relativism, which are important topics for debate in the study of human rights. Where do we draw the line between cultural sensitivity and human rights: at female genital mutilation? What about the burka? The conflict between relativism and universality underlies legal, political, and policy problems. At what point does it become an infringement on human rights to impose one set of cultural values on another society?

Klug, H. (2005). Transnational human rights: exploring the persistence and globalization of human rights. Annu. Rev. Law Soc. Sci. 2005. 1:85 -- 103.

Beginning with the example of human rights violations perpetrated by the United States during the War in Iraq, Klug (2005) calls for a transnational vision of human rights. In particular, the author is concerned with the intersection of law and society in the field of human rights. The formation of transnational human rights doctrines at first depended on Western hegemony and the imposition of Western-led legal coalitions on the non-Western world. In a post-colonial world, it is important to fuse national sovereignty with individual human liberties. Human rights are, as Klug (2005) points out, often expressed via a struggle against colonial or other forms of social oppression.

Klug (2005) uses gap studies as one approach to the human rights argument. Gap studies refer to the proven rift between human rights in theory and human rights in practice, especially with regards to nations like the United States. On the one hand, a set of legal vehicles is in place to police the world. On the other hand, the police often violate the very rights they…… [read more]

Freedom Riders Honored Katie Feldhaus ) Talks Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,081 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


¶ … Freedom Riders Honored; Katie Feldhaus (2011) talks about the impact that Freedom Riders would have on the Civil Rights Movement. These were students and various individuals who were opposed to the Jim Crow laws in the South. During the early 1960's, a wide variety of people from all racial backgrounds intentionally went to these areas to break these segregation laws. In response to these acts of civil disobedience that were occurring many individuals were: imprisoned and attacked. as, they were: risking their lives and their freedom to make a difference.

The article is a reflection of the sacrifice that many individuals made during this time. as, it is discussing these struggles from: the viewpoint of the people who participated in the ride itself. Where, they talk about how they felt and the kind of hardships that they had to endure, as part of their desire to address the injustices that were occurring. An example of this can be seen with comments from Congressman John Lewis who said, "Boarding that Greyhound bus to travel to the heart of the Deep South, I felt good, I felt happy, I felt liberated. I was like a soldier in a nonviolent army. The Freedom Riders changed America forever." (Feldhaus, 2011) This is important, because it is illustrating the overall focus of the article.

Obviously, the group of Freedom Riders was presented in a positive light. The reporting was: both biased and unbiased to a certain extent. The way that it was biased, is when it was discussing the struggles that these individuals were going through at the time. Where, it is painting these people as modern day heroes, who changed the world forever. Yet, beneath the surface some of the actions that they were taking, directly challenged the status quo and the institutions that it represented. In this aspect, one could argue that there was a certain amount of bias in the article, because they are making these individuals appear to be larger than life. When in reality, they are just ordinary people who were trying to make a difference (based upon what they believed). They did not know the outcome of: their actions or if they would have an impact upon society. Instead, they were reacting to the frustrations that they were feeling from the system the only way they could (civil disobedience). This is important, because it is showing how there is a certain amount of historical bias in the article. (Feldhaus, 2011)

The way it is unbiased is: by looking at these events from more of a neutral standpoint. In this situation, the author is examining the long-term impact that the Freedom Riders had on America and the world. as, they were a part of: a larger movement that would no longer stand for the injustices that were taking place. This served as a blueprint for how oppressed minorities and opposition groups would stand up to: the very institutions that were discriminating against them. Over the course of time,… [read more]

Thomas Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions Thesis

Thesis  |  7 pages (1,902 words)
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¶ … Thomas Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions: Comments from the Internet

Scientific development, and with it technological innovations, has been among one of the most powerful forces driving social and cultural progress since the beginning of recorded history, and indeed since prehistoric times. As the human understanding of the way in which the world works changes and progresses, it… [read more]

Stereotyping Minorities in Medica Essay

Essay  |  10 pages (3,037 words)
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Stereotypes (Media)

The media has an influential presence in society. The images that are seen through the media are often not an accurate reflection of the true nature of people from various ethnic and/or religious minorities. Over the past two decades there has been a concerted effort to draw attention to the stereotyping of minorities in the media. The minorities… [read more]

Robert Merton Thesis

Thesis  |  8 pages (2,713 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 4


Robert Merton

This is a template and guideline only. Please do not use as a final turn-in paper.

Robert Merton (1910-2003), was a sociologist. He founded the sociology of science and was known for his theoretical work in the analysis of social structures, especially the intended and unintended results of social action. He was also the first sociologist in history… [read more]

Analyzing Poverty and Underclass Essay

Essay  |  1 pages (486 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Conflict Theory and Structuralism Functionalism as Explanations for Poverty and the Underclass

It has been said that the poor will always be with us. Yet, one might wonder why this must be so, especially in nations such as the United States, where the general standard of living is as high as it has been in any society in the history of the world. Is there a way to solve the problem of poverty and thereby improve the state of the underclass? The beginning point to answering such a question must lie in understanding how this problem comes about in the first place.

In this brief paper, the problems of poverty and the underclass will be described through the paradigms of two influential theories which have impacted the study of sociology, politics, and economics for the last century: conflict theory derived from the writings of Karl Marx and structural functionalism derived from the theories of Max Weber (among others).

Conflict theory suggests that poverty is the direct result of the struggle between the working classes and the owning classes. Both groups seek to enhance their lives through pursuing their economic interests, but the workers do not have the means to achieve this because they own neither the means of production nor, ultimately, the very product of their own labor. The owning classes benefit from their labor and they are paid just enough to subsist. Those who fall behind in such a struggle lose even…… [read more]

Men and Emotions Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (699 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


Men and Emotions

Most of us look around us, and we perceive our society in terms of the present. We forget, and perhaps some might not realize, that our society has evolved to the present from a patriarchal society governed by rules that have for centuries dictated the behavior of men in society. Until the 1970s, when American feminists had begun bringing about changes in the relationship between men and women, families and society, men were cast in the role of head of their families, bread winners, who were the main source of the family's income, and who had very little direct input in caring for and raising their children. This in which men were cast, and the changes that men have experienced in society since the 1970s, has undergone drastic change from the traditional role of bread winner. Today, men are not necessarily the main source of the family income, are expected to directly participate in raising their children from birth, and are generally expected to be more in touch with and expressive in communicating their emotions.

The film, The Wrestler (Aronofsky, Darren (Dir.) 2008), dramatizes the changes and the role of men in society today. In the film, starring Mickey Rourke as the wrestler Randy the Ram, tells the story of a once popular wrestling star, whose star is fading with his age, and with age, his body is experiencing the debilitating effects his career as a wrestling gladiator. The film begins long after the Ram's career has become less glorious, but Randy is poorly prepared to physically or mentally do other than that which still brings him the cheer of audiences, and that which continues let him feel like a man.

Randy is forced to face his physical decline after suffering a heart attack and undergoing bypass surgery. He makes an effort to conform to the reality of his physical impairment. He doesn't want to be alone, to die alone, and for the first time since his daughter was a young girl, he reaches out to her. He tries to explain to her that he was…… [read more]

Rawls on Justice as Fairness Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  8 pages (2,190 words)
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Justice and Fairness

Rawls' first general premise is that it is beneficial to everyone in society for that society to reflect principles of justice that are fair and equally beneficial to all members of society. In that respect, Rawls' ideas are no different from many other philosophers and legal scholars; what is different about Rawls' concepts of justice in society… [read more]

Durkheim Marx and the Economic Climate Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (860 words)
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Durkheim asserts that it isn't economic reform that is needed to help society, but a "moral" reform. How does Durkheim's perception differ from Marx's prescription? How do they make their arguments.

Whereas Marx sees the primary problem of society as a class struggle, Durkheim saw the division of labor in modern society as the primary source for disintegration and conflict (Ritzer & Goodman 2004). Drukeheim notes, somewhat similarly to Marx, that the increased stratification of society has led to greater inequality and a reduced sense of social responsibility. He does not, however, argue that class ought to be eradicated through common ownership, as Marx does, but rather suggests that moral reform that encourages inter-class organizations can effectively restore the elements of society that are missing due to the modern division of labor that creates stratification (Ritzer & Goodman 2004).

It is important to note that Durkheim did not perceive this type of inequality or the same need for moral reform in non-modern societies, including those of the past and contemporary societies that had not yet industrialized (Ritzer & Goodman 2004). This makes his theory quite different from Marx's. Marx perceived a division of class in all stages of the progress human civilization, and it is for this reason that he determined a full revolution would be necessary in order to eradicate class -- it was something that had been perpetuated since the dawn of civilization. Durkheim, in contrast, saw the division of labor as a uniquely modern problem that had occurred only with the advent of industrialization and that could therefore be fixed with simpler reform efforts (Ritzer & Goodman 2004).

Marx makes a clear distinction between materialism and idealism. Explain his argument. How is Weber's conceptualization of the world similar or different?

For Marx, the materialism of class differences was secondary to the idealism that was an inherent part of the class system in human society (Davidson 2009). That is, he saw the material inequality of the higher and lower classes as the result of the ideology that allowed class distinction and oppression to be perpetuated. Marx argued that the material wealth of a society was unfairly distributed because of the unfairness of the class system, and the ideological willingness and ability for the higher classes to continue oppressing the lower classes. Material possessions and wealth were a necessary tool for effecting this oppression and their own continued dominance, but such materialism was not the true source of the oppression but rather a result of it. In this way, Marx saw no distinction between social and political class, as…… [read more]

Dutchman Amiri Baraka's Play Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,342 words)
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Amiri Baraka's play, Dutchman, addresses the inevitability of racial stereotypes in American society. According to Baraka, assimilating into such a culture is a type of suicide, or at least a murder of one's own cultural identity. At its basis, his message to black people is "assimilate at your peril." Many also feel that this statement applies to other sectors of society, marginalized on the basis of paradigms such as sexual orientation, culture and religion. Indeed, it is true that, despite the fact that the United States has recently elected its first black president, many stereotypes and cases of prejudice remain. Cultural and religious groups experience hostility towards each other, and even in today's supposedly open-minded society, the right of homosexual people to marry each other remains a hotly contested issue. Racial prejudice has also seen a peak since the 9/11 attacks of 2001. Even security professionals, charged with ensuring the safety of all law-abiding citizens, have singled out certain cultural groups for increased surveillance and unlawful detention. It is little wonder then that Baraka's play still holds such power in today's America, which appears to require that minority groups either join the ideal of the "melting pot" or suffer discrimination. However, according to authors such as Chielozona Eze, there is a third option that involves neither assimilation nor hostility; a solution known as "transculturalism." Furthermore, the mass media appears to promote a movement away from general stereotyping of certain groups. The general cultural consciousness today appears much more tolerant of difference than it was some forty or fifty years ago. Although many incidents of prejudice still exist, it is also true that these are widely condemned rather than accepted by society in general. This offers some hope in terms of Baraka's generally negative views regarding his culture and its place in the United States.

Dutchman uses many symbolic references to the way in which the dominant white culture in the United States either oppresses or assimilates other cultures, or specifically the black culture in the play. Indeed, the title itself refers to the cultural memory of slavery. The idea of the slave ship drives the plot of the play. Slavery itself is implicated as the first attempt to assimilate Africans into the European culture, although this is as a subordinate sector of society.

The vehicle for Baraka's views is Clay, who is obliged to remain on the subway until his death. Clay's choice to board the subway is symbolic of his choice to assimilate into general American culture. This choice causes him to lose not only his identity during the course of the play, but also his life. Symbolically, Lula and the other passengers remove his body from the subway.

With this symbolic consideration of social phenomena, Baraka appears to imply that assimilation is both a lifelong and gradual process. It is insidious and apparently harmless, like the subway simply appearing to be a means of transport. However, it is a process that, once begun, can only end in… [read more]

Future of Modernization Thesis

Thesis  |  3 pages (1,217 words)
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¶ … Future of Modernization in the United States

The past few decades have witnessed the introduction of a number of innovations in technology and transportation that have created a truly globalized marketplace and all signs indicate that these trends will continue well into the future. The economic benefits of increased international commerce are well documented, of course, but there are some other factors involved in this equation that may not be so readily discernible. To determine the impact of the inexorable march towards continuing modernization in the United States and abroad, this paper provides a review of the relevant literature concerning these issues followed by a summary of the research and important findings in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

How does modernization manifest itself in U.S. society?

As the nation with the largest economy, prolific agricultural industry and most sophisticated military forces, modernization is clearly evident throughout U.S. society. In this regard, Huffman (1999) notes that that while agricultural output has increased more than five-fold in the last century, the number of workers required to produce this output has been significantly decreased, a trend that is directly attributable to the modernization of the agricultural industry. Perhaps nowhere are the signs of modernization so apparent, though, as in the telecommunications industry. The increasingly widespread use of cellular telephones, personal computers, and wireless connections to the Internet have created a truly modern society that has immediate access to more information than has been available at any point in the history of mankind. The use of consumer robots is also becoming increasingly prevalent as well as innovations in healthcare.

Is modernization likely to continue in the U.S.

The wheels have been set in motion and there is no turning back now. While there will always be some people who believe that "getting back to nature" al a Thoreau and Walden Pond is the best way to live, and Americans are always on the lookout for the newest, fastest and best of whatever is available. Computers are becoming smaller and will soon disappear altogether as ubiquitous computing is realized. Americans will likely receive some type of brain or ocular implants that eliminate the need for any type of external connection to the World Wide Web and Americans in the 22nd century will likely look back on this period in the nation's history as one of the major turning points in the drive towards modernization.

Is modernization a world-wide trend?

Modernization is without a doubt a global trend that has affected both developed and developing nations and the signs of these trends as easy enough for all to see. For instance, Snyder (2004) emphasizes that, "Around the world over the past generation, the children of traditional societies are growing up wearing Western clothes, eating Western food, listening to Western music, and (most importantly of all) thinking Western thoughts" (p. 22). Even the poorest of the poor in remote places in India and China now possess cell phones and have access to the Internet and… [read more]

Sociological Structure of National Security Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,616 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 4


Sociological Security

The Sociological Structure of U.S. National Security

The attacks on the United States on September 11th 2001 revealed a stunning set of shortcomings both in terms of the nations security and with respect to the reliability of its Intelligence Community. Indeed, it has been a popular refrain that the breaches which revealed such cataclysmic shortcomings in our national… [read more]

Social Biases Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,559 words)
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Social Biases: A Continuing Societal Dilemma

In most societies, discrimination is frowned but continues to be practiced, whether intentionally or unintentionally, directly or indirectly. Stereotyping and prejudice, as well, remain a societal concern; though these have diminished to a significant degree according to social scientists.

Social biases are like a thing of the past that is now embedded in our… [read more]

Wealth in America Thesis

Thesis  |  5 pages (1,909 words)
Bibliography Sources: 10


Wealth in America

The subject to wealth in America is one that immediately brings to mind a number to view and opinions. America is the most affluent and advanced country in the world today. However, what is also central to this subject is that wealth in the United States is not evenly distributed. The United States is a country where… [read more]

Bastards of the Party and Social Deviance Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (867 words)
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Bastards of the Party and Social Deviance Theories

Anomie Theory:

The Anomie concept of human social behavior dates back to the turn of the 20th century and sociologist Emile Durkheim. According to Durkheim, the dramatic changes in society brought on by the Industrial Revolution resulted in profound economic changes and fundamental changes in the way many people worked and lived. Those whose means of earning livelihoods were rendered obsolete by the new industrial age found it more difficult to achieve the median standard of living and to participate in "normal society."

More specifically, Durkheim described the source of tension as the discrepancy between the continually improving lifestyles that became achievable through industrialization and what was, in fact, actually achievable for individuals whose economic and social status decreases during that period (Henslin, 2002; Macionis, 2003).

The documentary traces some of the social issues facing African-Americans and the evolution of organized criminal gangs to the social and economic inequalities based on race in the first half of the 20th century and into the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s. The author focuses on the decline of the American family in the black community during the 1970s that followed the collapse of many industrial areas in other parts of the country that resulted in widespread resettlement in California.

In terms of formal American laws and public policy, persecution of African-Americans was strictly prohibited in the early part of the century. However, institutionalized racism undermined any real impact of formal legislation and constitutional law, and made it largely impossible for blacks and many other racial minorities to achieve the increasing standard of life in the United States.

In particular, the documentary details the racist sentiments of former Los Angeles County police chief (1950-1966) William H. Parker and the degree to which the police authorities in Los Angeles contributed to the source of social tension described by Durkheim. Likewise, at the federal level, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also devoted inappropriately intense interest in dismantling the organized gangs that originally developed mainly to provide quasi-police protection to a community where city police remained unconcerned with crime so long as it remained confined to the minority communities.

Strain Theory:

Robert Merton applied Anomie concepts to develop a theory of social deviance partly derived from some of the same tensions or "strains" precipitated by the social and economic factors described by Durkheim a half century earlier (Gerrig & Zimbardo, 2008; Schmalleger, 2008). Specifically, Merton suggested that the long-term discrepancy between the values and achievements promoted by society and those that were actually achievable to minority and other underprivileged communities…… [read more]

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