Look @ Sociology
Growing up being naturally inquisitive, I always have the desire to learn and explore. Human behaviors and interactions intrigued me the most. I had many questions and doubts that were left unsolved until I embarked on this class. After the first week of intense reading and journal writing from multiple sociological articles, I could confidently say that sociology is a great eye-opener to the revelation of collective social behavior. It is the study that covers human behaviors from the macro institutions to the micro personal interactions. Moreover, sociology incorporates scientific methods and relies on empirical evidence similar to other science subjects. This is why sociology is considered to be effective and trustworthy. With the help of sociology, it furnishes me with a wealth of insights regarding my character, belief, and moral development.
There are spheres of external influence and agents that profoundly shape who we are as a person. These external factors could be upbringing, education, media, and peers, etc. All of them have a significant impact on determining an individual’s identity. Our brains are akin to a blank sheet of paper when we were first brought into this world. Therefore, we are highly susceptible to the influence in our growing environment. According to a study published by the University of Michigan, they discovered a positive correlation between environmental influences and personality traits. It suggests that the majority of our personalities are environment determined. However, correlation does not equal causation. There are hidden factors that may alter the study result. Do not forget that our hereditary genes also play a significant role in determining our personality traits. It is crucial to grasp the concept of nature vs. nurture as it is the starting point and prerequisite of entering a more in-depth and detailed study of sociology.
What are some other incentives that drive sociologists besides understanding the origin of our identities? The answer may be apparent to Peter Berger, a renowned sociologist who describes passionate sociologists like him would “naturally be interested in all events that engage men’s ultimate beliefs, their moments of tragedy and grandeur and ecstasy,/ all men’s social motive, emotion, and beliefs.” Many sociologists devoted their lives to studying the cause and social motives behind different phenomena because their studies could help policymakers develop a solution to address a social issue. For instance, gender wage gaps have been a prominent social issue in this country. People may suspect that the working environment is discriminatory against women. However, in some sociologists’ eyes, the gender wage gap may directly result from arbitrary decisions rather than discriminatory practices. Sociologists pointed out the raw statistics that imply women are receiving 10% less than men do not consider the position they are in and the career choices they make. They are plenty of factors that could alter the outcome of a statistic. A sociologist must eliminate subjective biases and evaluate things from different angles to deliver an accurate analysis.
Based on sociologists’ interpretation of the gender wage gap, it is challenging to pinpoint the exact factor that caused it. Also, there is no one “magical” solution to the problem. Nevertheless, policymakers could pass laws or establish programs catered towards helping women land a higher-paying job and explore different careers after acknowledging that the gender pay gap may result from career decisions rather than discriminatory practices. This is an example of how sociological studies could be implemented into policy-making decisions. It has a greater purpose than studying an individual’s behavior. Otherwise, according to Emile Durkheim, the author of “ What is a Social Fact,” “sociology would possess no subject matter peculiarly its own, and its domain would be confused with that of biology and psychology,/ sociology would be irrelevant and easy to confuse with other subjects if it does not study specific social phenomena.”
Now, we have discussed the application of sociology in the macro institution of things. It is time to discuss how sociology could be utilized individually. In the modern world, many people who work a nine to five job are depressed and feel trapped. They feel that they are trapped in a cyclic routine that never ends. Their visions and power are bounded by the social orbit in which they reside. They have a strong urge to break the cycle subconsciously, but they get demotivated when they fail to find a way to escape. In this case, C. Wright Mills, the author of “The Sociological Imagination,” encourages people to adopt a sociological imagination as it “ enables its possessor to understand the larger historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and the external career of a variety of individuals,/ It would help individuals to understand social issues from the greater context of things.” We need to look at the world through a sociological lens to understand our struggles and plan our own fate by becoming aware of the factors that led to our circumstances. Therefore, people will not be as depressed and be encouraged to find a new outlook for life.
Sociological imagination could also help in distinguishing the difference between personal troubles and public issues. For instance, Divorce should be considered personal trouble as it reflects a private experience between two people. However, when the divorce rate in the country is sky high, it represents a structural issue. Hence, it should be considered a public issue. Another example would be people who struggle to find a job. Many would criticize them for being lazy and not motivated enough to go seek out more opportunities. Again, when the town and the city they live in have a very high unemployment rate, it should not be considered personal trouble but rather a public issue. We often only look at the surface of things and fallen victim to confirmation bias. Therefore, it is vital to note that some crises are produced by something larger than an individual’s life that they have little control over. Sociological imagination also blesses us with the ability to think more critically so that we can explain the root cause behind certain phenomena. Moreover, it grants us the ability to question various aspects of our society instead of just living passively within it.
In conclusion, I think it is crystal clear that sociology is as essential as other science subjects. It conducts research with scientific methods as well. It teaches us the precise foundation of social structures and patterns rather than an artificial theory about them. Everything about us is related to sociology. Our identities, beliefs, morals, and behaviors are all shaped by it. It also has various implications in different aspects of our society, including government, economics, education, religion, politics, etc. It is impossible to ignore the study of sociology since it is one of the most influential things in our lives. I believe if we view this world through a sociological lens, it can help us get a more profound understanding of social issues and discover how they morphed the way we act today. As an aspiring entrepreneur, sociology is beneficial to me because it challenges me to apply analytical thinking and problem-solving skills from a greater context of things. It trains me to acquire a bird’s eye view when encountering difficulties so that I can have a clear view of the problem without being biased. Also, if I want to market a product, knowledge of sociology is required too. I need to study my potential customers and analyze their social patterns to develop strategies to make my product more appealing.
Additionally, it is going to transform me into a better leader. It helps me to understand the cultural and social aspects that shape each member of the team. I would also become more compassionate and establish a team atmosphere that encourages active listening and support. Because according to multiple sociology studies, people enjoy being in an inclusive environment. It would be the best condition to churn out creativity, and our overall productivity and creative outputs will be enhanced.