Friday, October 28, 2011

Response to chapter 15

I often have concerns about our growing population. I can't even fathom how many people are born each and every day whether those pregnancies were wanted, unwanted, or forced. 6 billion people is an unimaginable number when it comes to numbers. Every body containing a soul...complexities, dimensions, affections, sensations, limitations, dreams, hopes, fears, anxieties, phobias, pimples, chins, and legs just to name a few. And even in our vast expansion regarding technology and the way we heal ourselves, stratification becomes somewhat of a crude and unchecked visitor here. It astonishes me how very little the people in this world get to see a healthcare professional. The discussion on rural and urban areas also peaked my interest. How certain areas fall into poverty when just a short amount of time ago it might have been a more visually and financially appealing area.

Response to chapter 16

Well this is the final chapter of the book and what can I say? I think this chapter was appropriate to finish off what was very a very interesting read and a deep translucence into what makes us as humans tick. It is true that social changes are exactly like the events in life, in that things change. Going through the examples of how a society goes through its changes, events, precipices, and eventually its reinstatement through change or the breakdown of a society because of the inability or its lack of will to change. I can definitely relate to disasters as a part and sometimes the ultimatum of change. My own home country is going through a disaster everyday with out president. Every day that passes by draws closer to the end of his reign though. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Response to chapter 14

I have alot to say about this chapter. As it may be known, I was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 2008. Being fortunate enough to have adequate insurance, I did not have to go through the nightmare that an understated multitude of people are going through every single day. Stratification plays an enormous role here. This is where the separation of the rich and the poor becomes very grossly clear and apparent. in the United States, most hospitals will not turn down patients because of their inability to pay. While sounding like a truly selfless policy, this leaves the question of what happens after?

Response to chapter 13

I learned quite a bit from this chapter on how the world views religion from a society's standpoint. A few years back, we had learned about the untimely and supremely tragic mass suicide at the Jonestown settlement. With the nation polarized, the views on religious groups began to change. The words "cult of death" were splashed across the front page of Time Magazine with pictures of the littered dead in the foreground.
I believe this event contributed to the stigma we have today on religion. Many people base their general opinion on anything remotely controversial on a singular and polarizing event. Both sides of the story are often not heard. While I strongly oppose any sort of propagation, pressing, and bigoted forms of communicative religion, I do strongly believe also that there must be another side to such events that raise questions of creed and integrity.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Response to chapter 12

I firmly believe that a socialist government has its advantages and disadvantages. Some of the subjects that we touched base on in this chapter remind me of the situation that is going on in my country. In everything that we have accomplished as a species and as a society, we must realize that a capitalist society while providing opportunities to those who are lucky enough to obtain these chances has many flaws and does not afford equal treatment to those who are not so fortunate to have these social connections. While I choose to remain politically neutral, it is clear and apparent that any sort of government we have today is flawed because of one fundamental reason. We are all human and as such there is no perfect system. I'm resolved to believe that we each have to do the best that we can and when we see any sort of opportunity to better ourselves as humans we must take it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Response to chapter 11

Race and ethnicity are sensitive subjects to everyone even though they don't have to be. The book makes reference to the fact that even though we might all be from different creeds and origins, our physical characteristics comprise less than 1% of information obtained from DNA. Even though organizations and major corporations are disbanding any sort of prejudice towards racial issues, it still exists in our world today. With all the advances in our world today as a species, it is hard to believe that these insipid issues are still something people take value in.

Response to chapter 10

This chapter spoke to me about gender roles and how the western world would view them. My adult life so far has been challenging because of these archaic western views. I do agree somewhat in keeping with tradition and allowing women to raise children not because it is easier to hand off the work to a female or for any sexist reasons, but because I feel a female would better have the instinct and subconscious knowledge of how to raise a child. Because of my career and my temperament I feel that I would not be an appropriate parent. In terms of society and gender, I feel that nowadays there is a glass ceiling for both genders not because of their sex but because of social status.

Response to chapter 9

This chapter spoke to me about social statuses around the world and just how unfair a caste system can be. This to me compromises a gross oversight because we in the United States still retain social statuses but we do not demote or ignore human rights simply because of the individual socioeconomical situation of a person. Although this does happen in certain areas in the US it is generally accepted as bad manner and unacceptable behavior. Gender issues are something else that adds to the stratification of cultures. As discussed in class, there are cultures who revere males who take so-called "feminine" roles in a household or in a community. This is more appealing to me not just because I am a gay man seeking to eliminate the stereotypes associated with my subculture, but because I try every day to break general stereotypes on what a male is expected to do in a predominantly masculine society.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Response to chapter 8

There was quite a bit of my family that I recognized in today's discussion about the caste system, social status, and how we view those who are supposedly "below" or "beneath" our class. In my country there is a steadily growing gap between those who have financial resources and those who don't even have the means to provide their children with basic necessities. My grandparents had always had a cleaning lady who would come once a week and work at the three story upper class house we all lived in. Later in life I had found out she was being paid a lavish 15 dollars a week for her services. At that time most weren't even making 5. It speaks how out of range our collective cultures have become.

Response to chapter 7

There are things in my life that relate to deviance in many ways. I have deviated from society's standards as far as high school goes. I graduated with a below average gpa.
I was pulled out of the closet by my parents as they made all manner of efforts to get and squash whatever demon I had inside of me telling me I was gay. I wasn't really part of any sub-culture in high school as there wasn't a set group of people that I liked to associate with. In all honesty there were very few people that payed any attention to me during those years. s deviants from conformity themselves, it made the loneliness just a little bit more bearable. If there weren't any deviance from the beaten and worn out path how would we progress as a  society, country, species and people?
It is because of that thinking outside of the box mentality that we enjoy the many technological advances that are present in our every day lives. Being different...not a deviant.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Response to chapter 6

While the class today was very entertaining, it stimulated a great amount of thought in me. The sexualization of our culture is something that I sometimes can sympathize with and other times strongly oppose. In class we discussed moral ambiguity when it comes to questions of sexuality and gender identification. This hits home for me because as a gay male I face these issues often. It was very interesting to learn about different sub cultures as far as sexuality goes.

Response to chapter 5

This chapter helped me to understand the individual characteristics and dynamics of group mentalities. Social groups are what define us as people and should thus be observed as a part of life. Dyads and triads are interesting to observe because while one is a social group between two people, a triad can be just as effective if not more at socialization as one of the members can mediate and keep the other two in check. While learning about this I thought it might be a novel idea to apply such methodology to the world of formal organizations.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chapter 4 Response

My life as well as any other person is full of unique and everyday social interactions. It reminded me of the hierarchy we place ourselves in every day. For those of us who have jobs and work for a living, we have to respect our supervisor/manager whether we want to or not. A role similarly played by our parents. It was very interesting to learn about statuses. The way we perceive a status is essentially how we perceive ourselves and the surrounding world. Different kinds of statuses merit different responses and duties. The addressing of roles was something I found quite interesting too. Because I am a student ambassador and an employee of the school, my duties with each are many times in conflict.  

Chapter 3 response

This chapter struck a lot of notes with me. Throughout my childhood and well into my teen years, my parents were absent quite a bit of the time. We saw them at night when we ate dinner, but the day belonged to us. My parents were not neglectful of us at all. They called many times during the day to make sure we were doing what we were supposed to. Their physical absence is what made some of the times in my youth difficult. Since the chapter touches base a lot on how humans are essentially dependent and require an adequate amount of socialization with their families and those closest to them. There were also references to the movie “Mean Girls”. I identified with that movie quite a bit due to the fact that my high school experience was much like the clique filled environment depicted in the film. Socialization among teenagers in high school is largely segregated into cliques. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Response to chapter 2

This chapter spoke quite a bit about to cultural and social influences that we encounter in our world today. From  the way we raise our kids to how we produce and prepare our food. Everything that we as people have done or will do is influenced directly by how our individual culture. This chapter also addresses gender roles and why we assume or reject the parts we are socially designated to play in our society; such as the sexualization of women and targeted advertising as a means to sell a particular product geared towards the female. It addresses a man’s role in a dominantly male society where prolific business moguls and entrepreneurs who coincidingly are men, do not face such issues as gender discrimination or glass ceilings in the workplace. The very function of how men and women interact with their surroundings is broken down and explained in sometimes hard to believe examples. Overall it was a very engaging chapter

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Response to chapter 1

Since this is the introduction of the book, I found that most of its content to be a general gathering of information on how to analyze the cultures we are surrounded by in our everyday lives. From global perspectives to how to ethically research topics, it's a good way to start off a very elaborate text. It was interesting to learn that sociology can be studied and analyzed by different methods. In positivist sociology, one observes and studies social behavior in a scientific matter that directly reflects the subject at hand. A scientific system would directly and systematically observe social situations in every day life. Finally, empirical evidence is another way to perceive sociology by using evidence we can verify with our senses.
So in short very much enjoyed reading something as elaborate and forthcoming as this chapter.