Sociology in Every Life One central and important study of sociology is the study of everyday social life. Everyday life and sociology are definitely two distinct terms and situations, but they hold a close relationship. While sociology studies human interaction, everyday life consists of everyday human interaction. Everyday life is filled by human beings interacting with one another, institutions, ideas, and emotions. Sociology studies the interactions with all of these and shows how mere interaction resulted in things like ideas and institutions.
Everyday that you wake up and come into contact with what you do and the people you speak to is sociological. You wake up and interact with objects. Some of these objects you see yourself in such as your clothes, and your music, would be called the sociology of identification. If you live with your parents and siblings, you wake up and interact with them, by saying good morning and having breakfast with them. You recognize and participate in the family institution. When you go to school, or church, or your job, you know what’s expected of you and you know how to act in the way that is labeled normal.
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Therefore, you interact with a set of norms by conforming to them or breaking them which is deviance. The fact that we have an everyday life in which there are patterns in ways of living is what sets a foundation for sociological analysis and for being a witness in what we do, in order to understand ourselves better. You use sociology in many ways everyday. Race and ethnicity are important concepts in the field of sociology and are ones that are studied a great deal.
Race plays a large role in everyday human interactions and sociologists want to study how, why, and what the outcomes are of these interactions. There are several sociological theories about why prejudice, discrimination, and racism exist. Current sociological theories focus mainly on explaining the existence of racism. The three major sociological perspectives are, functionalist theory, symbolic interaction theory, and conflict theory they each have their own explanations to the existence of racism. The Structural-Functional theory argues that in order for race and thnic relations to be functional and contribute to the conduct and stability of society, racial and ethnic minorities must assimilate into that society. Assimilation is a process by which minorities gradually adopt patterns of a dominant culture. It is believed that deviance encourages social change. A good example of this would be how race and ethnicity are strongly linked to crime rates. The amount of African Americans that were involved in crimes was a higher proportion than any other race. African Americans makes up 13 percent of the population but were accounted for 28. percent of the arrest. There are several reasons why arrest for African American could be this high but the main cause would probably be because of social standing. Some disadvantages to the African American population are that white people have an overall higher occupational standing and they also receive schooling beyond high school. Many people of this race are brought into single parent homes which lead to a huge gap in wealth and these children receive less supervision which puts them in a greater risk of living in poverty.
Over 40 percent of African American children grow up in poor families leaving the high crime rates to not be a surprise. Prejudice is also another factor to the high crime rates because white police tend to arrest black people more readily. If crime involved drunk driving, business fraud, embezzlement, and cheating on tax returns the white population rate of crime would rise dramatically. These factors have made many people of this race strive for the best while others are still not trying at all.
Although we operate from a class system it seems like many African Americans are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Individual achievement isn’t happening. If more people would aim for individual achievement, social standing wouldn’t be such an issue in today’s time. I believe categorizing people according to their color, sex, or social background is wrong. The only way to overcome these negative stereotypes is to stand above the descriptions that have been applied to your race. I have learned that hardwork is the key to success, whether it is in life, work, or your social standing.
Even though social stratification carries over from generation to generation it doesn’t mean you have to have the same life your parents had. Everyone is able to achieve a better life if they work for it. Social stratification is found everywhere and what is equal and unequal is different in all societies. In my society it seems like wealth and power is the key element of difference. People who are poor or have lower position are downed on. While writing this paper, I learned many things. I learned society has a huge impact on my life and those around me.
I learned that personal issues can manifest into a social issue that affects the whole society as a whole, just as the major social issues can affect my personal life. Overall, writing this paper has benefited me to look closer at society and see how different issues affect me in my life. References Macionis, J. (2009). Society the basics. (12th ed. ). The sociology of race and ethnicity . (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. trinity. edu/mkearl/race. html Winant, H. (n. d. ). Race and race theory. Retrieved from http://www. soc. ucsb. edu/faculty/winant/Race_and_Race_Theory. html