Societies and Social Interaction
Today’s society, the postindustrial society, is one which is heavily reliant on technology. The time we are experiencing now is information based and relies heavily on the computer technologies that have boomed into existence. This society is “based on production of information and services” (Openstax, 85). These new “services” have made life so much easier for the human race from what our ancestors experienced in previous societies. Due to these services people have lost their understanding of what it means to work hard to be able to provide food and shelter for not only yourself, but also for your family. To work hard in the sense of being able to go hunt for food, or be able to maintain a farm, not in the sense of going to work and earning money. I believe that because of this technological “boom,” people have lost their connections and understanding of simple living.
I would like to live in the era of the agricultural societies. To live during these times would be interesting to say the least. People are exposed to these new technologies that helped them tend to their farms better and faster, therefore, they were able to create and produce more goods. Also, the rise of “leisure and humanities” such as music, poetry, and philosophy. I believe it would be interesting to live in a time where people can finally be creative and expressing their creativity was starting to be accepted as a social norm. Before, times were much simpler and people only focused on being able to survive in terms of making and producing food, providing shelter, and staying away from dangerous environments. People were able to get their work done faster and were able to find time to be and become creative.
Karl Marx, one of the most influential and respected social thinkers, developed this idea of alienation. In his terms, alienation “refers to the condition in which the individual is isolated and divorced from his or her society, work, or the sense of self” ((Openstax, 88). I believe everyone in almost all societies has experienced some form of alienation. As for me I experienced alienation during my time working as a sales associate in a retail store. I experienced the “alienation from the process of one’s labor,” because I had been working there for such a long time I started to notice when the company’s policies would change, and because I had no control over them I couldn’t enjoy my time working there and what I was doing. Therefore, was just there to process every transaction and repeatedly as the customers the same set of questions. The process became so mundane and not enjoyable the way it was before. I was expected, as an employee, to follow all of these new rules and I had no control in changing anything whatsoever. Therefore, my job became very boring and I had to quit because I was not enjoying my work anymore.
Everyone is bound to experience some sort of status in their lifetime; this is crucial to become a functioning part of society. A status is defined as to “describe the responsibilities and benefits that a person experiences according to their rank and role in society” (Openstax, 92). Each status is either ascribed, or one that an individual does not select, or an achieved status, meaning it is obtained by choice. I personally have the following statuses: daughter, sister, student, employee, and teacher. My status being a daughter and a sister are ascribed statuses because I did not chose to be someone’s daughter or sister. However, I chose to be a student in order to further my education and open doors for myself in the future. I am an employee because without a job I would go hunger and homeless. Finally, I am a teacher because I chose to work as a lab assistant in order to not only maintain my knowledge but also help pass it on to future students. These last three statuses are achieved statuses that I was able to gain through my education and skills that I have learned throughout the years. This last section was interesting to me because I have never actually thought about the different statuses I hold as an individual in the society that I live in. these statuses are important not just to me but also to others, because each status a member holds in a society contributes to that particular society.
Openstax College, (2015). Introduction to Sociology: Second Edition. Houston, Texas:Open Stacks College