Impactful Sociology

There have been a number of sociologist and philosophers that contribute to what we today call the field of sociology. Chapter one covers most of these sociologist and philosophers who have impacted the world we live in today. I believe that Émile Durkheim had an incredibly impactful theory, especially on our world today, and not just the American society.

In the paragraph explaining who Émile Durkheim is, there is a sentence that summarizes what he believed, “people rise to their proper levels in society based on merit” (Openstax College, 2015, p.12). To me I see this statement and look at how much education is valued in our world today. People are constantly pursuing higher education in order to gain more knowledge which helps them gain better employment opportunities. With these better employment opportunities people are able to become wealthier and are better able to take care of their families. Most societies today encourage their younger generation to go into college and constantly pursue higher education. The thought that is consistent throughout different societies across the world is that, if a person were to gain higher education they become wiser, better skilled, and wealthier. This thought is essentially drilled into a person’s thoughts since the day they are born. When, for example, parents see that their child can perform a skill they immediately think oh our baby will grow up to be this or that.

Another important theory that Durkheim studies was the idea of suicide. He believed that different societies looked at and valued suicide differently. He then concluded that socioreligous forces were the major sources as to why someone might commit suicide. I agree with this as well, because when looking at the Japanese society or culture, for example, to them suicide is an honorable “thing” one can do. However, in most societies suicide is looked down on or frowned upon, or even considered sinful. Religion is a major player in this case as Durkheim suggests, because different religions view life and death differently.

To me these two ideas were very interesting. As I sit here and think about what I am typing; I think to myself, if it wasn’t for our society and culture weighing in so heavily on the way we live, would we all value the same things even if we had different opinions about them. Does culture really frame our society as much as these sociologist say? Or could it just be that everyone frames their own opinion and the popular vote sort of speak is what everyone agrees on.

Openstax College, (2015). Introduction to Sociology: Second Edition. Houston, Texas:Open Stacks College