Personal Learnings from the Subject and How Can I Use This in My Everyday Life

PERSONAL LEARNINGS FROM THE SUBJECT AND HOW CAN I USE THIS IN MY EVERYDAY LIFE During the first meeting, Prof. Esteban thought us about what does SOCILOGY means. Sociology is the scientific study of human social life, groups and societies. It is a social science which originated from the word Socio(socius) and Logy(logos), which means study. It is an ever-changing concept, includes human interaction, a scientific study of human behaviour that has the tendency to predict or explain. “People should develop the ability to understand their own lives in terms of larger social forces. This is called sociological imagination, a concept given by C. Wright Mills. Sociological imagination is the strategies that can help you sort out the multiple circumstances that could be responsible for your social experiences, your life choices, and your life chances. Therefore, think sociologically, which implies to cultivating the sociological imagination. Prof Esteban explains that it is like a gold fish out of the aquarium, has the ability of an individual to detach himself from the environment to know whether he is a problem or the solution to a problem.

As I read further in the module given as a reference, I learned.. SOCIALIZATION AND THE LIFE COURSE Life course is a biological process. In this process there is a personal change from infancy through old age and death brought about as a result of the interaction between biographical events and social events. The series of major events, the stages of our lives from birth to death, may be called life course. Movement through life course is marked by a succession of stages by age.

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Analysts have tried to depict the typical stages through which we pass, but they have not been able to agree on standard division of the life course. As such life course is biological process, which has been divided into four distinct stages: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Life course stages present characteristic problems and transitions that require learning new and unlearning familiar routines. Through the process of socialization society tries to prepare its members for taking up the roles and statuses associated with life course stages.

Each life course stage by age is also affected by other factors like social class, gender, ethnicity and human experience. Although childhood has special importance in the socialization process, learning continues throughout our lives. An overview of the life course reveals that our society organizes human experience according to age –childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. CHILDHOOD Childhood usually covers the first 12 years of life: time for learning and carefree play. Nevertheless, what a child “is” differs from one culture to another.

Presently we defend our idea of childhood because children are biologically immature. But a look back in time and around the world shows that the concept of childhood is rooted in culture. ADOLESCENCE Just as industrialization helped create childhood as a distinct stage of life, adolescence emerged as a buffer between childhood and adulthood. In earlier times, and in Pakistani society even today, societies did not mark out adolescence as distinct time of life. People simply moved from childhood into young adulthood with no stopover in between.

Adolescence usually overlaps teen age though it is also a social construction. ADULTHOOD Adulthood, which begins between the late teens and the early thirties, depending on the social background, is a time for accomplishment. They pursue careers and raise families. These youth embark on careers and raise families of their own. They reflect on their own achievements—Did the dreams come true? Early Adulthood: It covers the period from 20 to about 40 years, and during this period personalities are formed. They learn to manage the day-to-day responsibilities personally.

They try to make an adjustment with spouse, and bring up their children in their own way. They often have many conflicting priorities: parents, partner, children, schooling, and work. Middle Adulthood: Roughly covers the period from 40 to 60 yrs. During this period the individuals assess actual achievements in view of their earlier expectations. OLD AGE Old age – the later years of adulthood and the final stage of life itself – begins about the mid sixties. The societies attach different meaning to this stage of life. Pakistani society often gives older people control over most of the land and other wealth.

Since the rate of change in Pakistani society is not very fast, older people amass great wisdom during their lifetime, which earns them much respect. On the other hand in industrial societies old are considered as conservative, unimportant, obsolete. In a fast changing society their knowledge appears to be irrelevant. On the other hand, Concepts was discussed as follows: 1. History – “ not to know that happen in the history is to be forever a child” 2. Biography – doesn’t have destiny and is a product of own doings. All things are products of your own 3.

Nation – nationalism Benedict Anderson (nationalist) Imagined Communities Anderson argues that the main causes of nationalism and the creation of an imagined community are the reduction of privileged access to particular script languages (e. g. Latin), the movement to abolish the ideas of divine rule and monarchy, as well as the emergence of the printing press under a system of capitalism (or, as Anderson calls it, ‘print-capitalism’). Anderson’s ‘modernist’ view of nationalism places the roots of the notion of ‘nation’ at the end of the 18th century.

While Ernest Gellner considers the spread of nationalism in connection with industrialism in Western Europe (and thus not explaining sufficiently nationalism in the eastern non-industrialised European regions), Elie Kedourie connects nationalism with ideas of the Enlightenment, with the French revolution and the birth of the centralised French state, Anderson contends that the European nation-state came into being as the response to nationalism in the European Diaspora beyond the ocean, in colonies, namely in both Americas.

He considers nation state building as somehow ‘imitative’ action, in which new political entities somehow were ‘pirating’ the model of nation state according to its models (mostly U. S. but also South America). The large cluster of political entities that sprang up in the west between 1778 and 1838, all of which self-consciously defined themselves as nations, were historically the first such states to emerge and therefore inevitably provided the first real model of what such states should ‘look like’.

If for the more elitist theorizing of Kedourie it was the Enlightenment and Kant who produced the ‘nation’, Anderson holds that nationalism, as an instrument of nation-state building, was an American invention. LEVELS OF SOCIAL REALITY 1. Micro level – yourself and them 2. Middle Level – joined the group 3. Macro Level – Bigger groups 1. INTERACTIONISM (MICROLEVEL) -social change and social order are products of human interaction. RATIONAL CULTURE THEORY (ECONOMICS THEORY) • The equation of human rational behavior with instrumentalist, especially economic, rationality represents the hallmark of the economic or rational choice approach.

The latter imports, makes explicit and extends orthodox economics’ implicit conception of rational behavior as economic rationality. This orthodox conception defines economic rationality by maximization of exclusively materialist objectives, namely profit by producers and utility by consumers. The rational choice approach then explicitly applies this conception to all rational and human behavior that is thus construed as ipso facto economic rationality. The paper argues that the rational behavior of human agents is far from being invariably utility- and profit-optimizing, and thus cannot be automatically reduced to economic rationality.

The main argument is that behavior can be rational not only on economic grounds but also on non-economic ones. Hence human behavior can be non-rational in economic and yet rational in extra-economic terms, i. e. economically irrational and non-economically rational. UTILITARIANISM -seeking for happiness to avoid pains -searching for incentives and benefits 2. SYMBOLIC INTERATIONISM -how an individual receives the message (interpret the message) The Symbolic-Interaction Paradigm The structural-functionalists and social-conflict paradigms share a acro-level orientation, meaning a focus on broad social structures that shape society as a whole. The symbolic interaction paradigm provides a micro-level orientation, meaning a focus on social interaction in specific situations. The symbolic-interaction paradigm sees society as the product of the everyday interactions of individuals. “Society” amounts to the shared reality that people construct as they interact with one another. • Human beings are the creatures who live in the world of symbols, attaching meaning to virtually everything. Symbols attached to reality (material or non material). • Meanings attached to symbols. • Symbols are the means of communication. 3. FUNCTIONALISM – social order and structure -is a result of your performance ABSOLUTE ADVANTAGE 4. CONFLICT THEORY Karl Marx – the wealth of nations reach us poor – Social misunderstanding – Conflict between rich and poor – Theory of opposites e. g. (you wouldn’t know there are females unless there are males) The Social-Conflict Paradigm The social conflict framework sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change.

Unlike structural-functional paradigm, which emphasizes solidarity, this approach highlights division based on inequality. Factors like gender, ethnicity, social class, and age are linked to the unequal distribution of money, power, education, and social prestige. A conflict analysis suggests that, rather than promoting the operation of society as a whole, social structure typically benefits some people while depriving the others • There is an on-going conflict between dominant and disadvantaged categories of people – rich and poor, white and the colored, men in relation to women. People on top strive to protect their privileges, while the disadvantaged try to gain more resources for themselves. • Schooling perpetuates inequality by reproducing the class structure in every new generation. • Who goes to school, to college, to university, to vocational training institution? SOCIAL CLEAVEGES 1. Economic status 2. Religion (with different perspectives) 3. Sex (gender) , cultural gender (influenced by culture) SOCIETY IS PATRIARCHAL “Patriarchy is the structuring of society on the basis of family units, where fathers have primary responsibility for the welfare of, hence authority over, their families.

The concept of patriarchy is often used, by extension (in anthropology and feminism, for example), to refer to the expectation that men take primary responsibility for the welfare of the community as a whole, acting as representatives via public office. ” Basically, it’s a society where men hold the power. …. On our second meeting, Prof Esteban focused on the agents of socialization. AGENTS OF SOCIALIZATION Socialization agents are the sources from which we learn about society and ourselves. People and groups that influence our self-concept, emotions, attitudes, and behavior are called agents of socialization.

They are our socializes. People who serve as socializing agents include family members, friends, neighbors, the police, the employers, teachers, political leaders, business leaders, religious leaders, sports stars, and entertainers. Socialization agents also can be fictional characters that we read about or see on television or in the movies. Every social experience we have affects us in at least a small way. However, several familiar settings have special importance in the socialization process. Some of the important agents of socialization are as below. 1. The Family

The family has the greatest impact on socialization. Infants are totally dependent on others, and the responsibility to look after the young ones typically falls on parents and other family members. It is a matter of child survival. There is an automatic provision of learning situations to the young ones. Family begins the lifelong process of defining ourselves of being male or female and the child learns the appropriate roles associated with his/her gender. 2. The School Schooling enlarges children’s social world to include people with backgrounds different from their own.

Among the manifest functions, the schools teach children a wide range of knowledge and skills. Schools informally convey other lessons, which might be called the hidden curriculum. Through different activities schools help in inculcating values of patriotism, democracy, justice, honesty, and competition. Efforts are made to introduce correct attitudes about economic system/political system. 3. Peer Groups Peer group is the one whose members have interests, social position, and age in common. Unlike the family and the school, the peer group lets children escape the direct supervision of adults.

Among the peers, children learn how to form relationships on their own. Peer groups also offer the chance to discuss interests that adults may not share with their children (such as clothing or other activities). 4. The Mass Media The mass media are impersonal communication aimed at a vast audience. Mass media arise as communication technology (first the newspapers and then radio, television, films, and the Internet) spreads information on a mass scale. The mass media have an enormous effect on our attitudes and behavior, and on shaping people’s opinions about issues as well as what they buy.

Where television provides lot of entertainment, at the same time it is a big agent of socialization. The portrayal of human characters in different programs and in advertisements on television helps in projecting the gender perceptions prevalent in the society; thereby helping in gender construction. The same programs help in shaping the attitudes, values, and basic orientation of people to life. 5. Religion Religion plays significant role in the socialization of most Pakistanis. It influences morality, becoming a key component in people’s ideas of right and wrong. The influence of religion extends to many areas of our lives.

For example participation in religious ceremonies not only teaches us beliefs about the hereafter but also ideas about dress, concepts of pak and pleet, and manners appropriate for formal occasions. From my point of view…. One central and important study of sociology is the study of everyday social life. Everyday life and sociology are undoubtedly two distinct terms and situations, but nonetheless, they hold a dialectical relationship. While sociology studies human interaction, everyday life consists of everyday human interaction. Everyday life is permeated 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, your music, your journal, etc. We would call this 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. Thus, 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” or “right”. Thus, you interact with a set of norms by conforming to them or breaking them(deviancy). The fact that we have an “everyday life” in which there are patterns and streams of ways of living is what sets a very 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. For example, when you interpret the people you meet and how you behave around them. So sociology is everyday life.

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