Society and Social Interaction
Our textbook defines a postindustrial society as “a society based on the production of information and services,” (Introduction to Sociology, 2015, p. 79), in other words, it’s the modern society that we live in today. From the surface, this might seem to be the pinnacle of civilization. Everybody is driven to learn more, discover new things, and create ways to make life even simpler and more convenient. However, we as a society seem to be facing some unforeseen challenges. It’s possible that those of us living in this technologically advanced, sophisticated society today, might not be so much better off than our ancestors. Personally, I would rather live in a previous society, before education replaced ingenuity and our values were left behind in a desire for success and admiration.
The textbook mentions how education has become necessary for success, “Social classes are divided by access to education, since without technical skills, people in an information society lack the means for success,” (Introduction to Sociology, 2015, p. 79). The importance placed on education has become evident in the competition and standardization that most children experience in the school systems among developed countries. For example, students are required to take many state and federally mandated exams every year. Higher education has also become nearly a requirement for anyone wanting to become successful, although the cost of a college education is far more expensive than the average person can afford on their own.
All of us are labeled with many ascribed and achieved statuses. I am a female, a daughter, a sister, and a teenager; these are all examples of ascribed statuses, as I did not choose them. My achieved statuses include high school graduate, college student, and a cadet.
In this unit, I also learned about Karl Marx’s theories of alienation. Although I think many people can relate to the feeling of having no control over their own life, I found the theory of Alienation from others to be the most relatable. In the very individualistic and competitive society that we live in today, people can often come across as selfish. Sometimes it seems that everyone is only concerned with their own well-being and success, and many are willing to disregard the needs of others in order to stay on top.