Societies, Social Statuses, and alienation

Let’s begin this blog by defining “society.” According to Introduction to Sociology, a “society” is, “A group of people who live in a definable community and share the same culture” (OpenStax College). Throughout the centuries, our society has changed significantly. As stated in Introduction to Sociology, “Sociologists…classify societies along a spectrum of their level of industrialization, from preindustrial to industrial to postindustrial” (OpenStax College). Currently, we live in a postindustrial society, however it is not the level of industrialization I prefer. Another important concept, relating to society, that will be discussed is the concept of “alienation.” Karl Marx, one of the most significant sociologists in history, referred to “alienation” as the “condition in which the individual is isolated and divorced from his or her society, work, or the sense of self” (Openstax College). Finally, I will introduce the concept of personal “status,” which is defined as “the responsibilities and benefits a person experiences according to their rank and role in society” (Openstax College).

One would think that a postindustrial society would be the most ideal because of the availability of technological and cultural advances. Actually, similar to the Mongolian society in which the athletes visited, my preference would be the preindustrial society. My reason is that the postindustrial society requires an over dependency on technological devices such as computers and cellphones. Similar to the Amish society in Pennsylvania, the preindustrial society relies more on manual labor, trained animals, nature, hunting and horticulture. In comparison, unlike the postindustrial society, existence in the preindustrial society requires a tough, self-reliant, manually independent, feudal and natural lifestyle.

​The type of alienation that more closely resembles my role as a USAF Airman is the “alienation from the process of one’s labor.” As a computer operations specialist, with a 2-year commitment, I have no control of where I work, what my job entails, what my hours will be, or even the temperature in my office. Moreover, when Karl Marx, in “Estranged Labour,” states that the alienation of labor is when, “The worker therefore only feels himself outside his work, and in his work feels outside himself. He feels at home when he is not working, and when he is working he does not feel at home,” (Marx), it appears as though he was referring to my role as a computer operations specialist.

​My “ascribed status” is that of a, “male, African American, son,” because these are characteristics I did not select but was given to me at birth. Furthermore, the characteristics from one’s ascribed status can also be used as a method by which individuals can be categorized by society.