Societies and Social Interaction
Out of the many societies we studied, the one that I most would like to live in would be the Agricultural Society because it is incredible how much we developed writings, music, food, and interactions with animals after being nomadic for so long. I would have liked to see the “development of leisure and humanities” (Openstax College, 2015), timeless things we do today, such as raising crops, going to markets, writing stories, and making things. The Agricultural Society is the first instance we closely resemble how we as humans live today.
It is amazing to see during this time period how many inspirations came about to make work more efficient, such as making farming tools out of metal, and reusing waste as fertilizer. These ingenious inventions are still in use today, albeit refined. The only drawback this society presents is the emergence of everlasting social classes and distinctions, still felt today. While perfect equality will likely never exist, it is good to strive for social equality, and not treat some members of society better or worse than others because of money, race, gender, or creed.
As social class emerged, some great thinkers began to ponder. One such great thinker was Karl Marx, who came up with the four alienations. The alienations I feel affected by most is the alienation from one’s self and the product of one’s labor; as I go about life, the big question is why? Why should I be productive? Why shouldn’t they replace me with someone with equal ability? By this, I feel no sense of “pride in an identity” (Openstax College, 2015) or “have the opportunity to relate to the product” (Openstax College, 2015) I am helping produce.
As well as alienation, status came about with social class. The ascribed status, or the one given to me by society, I have is a young female. The status I have achieved is broke college student. It is interesting to me to see how as we move through life, we have opportunities to move up in rank in other people’s eyes. As we gain different statuses, the role-strain increases, and it seems like a competition in our society to see who has it the worst. But why does it matter, as long as we have a positive opinion of ourselves, as long as we are trying to live? The answer I suppose is also in this chapter; the constructed realities handed down to us. So how do we change this? “The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.” (Jane Austen, 1813)