Sociology

~The Study of Human Social Behavior~

FIVE TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

  • Gender Roles
  • Socialization
  • Culture
  • Sports
  • Social Structure

GENDER ROLES- Part Men and Women Play in Society

  1. Gender roles in the United States have changed a great deal over the past few decades. In the 20th century, it was commonly found that men worked to support the family, while women were typically homemakers. Men would have occupations outside of the home and women would clean, cook, and taken care of the children.
  2. As time progressed to this day in age, a definite shift in women's roles can be seen. Many women have jobs outside of the home and are seen in a more equal light with their spouses when in comes to care giving.
  3. With that in mind, it is not as socially acceptable for a man not to be the breadwinner. Stay-at-home dads are not seen the same way in which stay-at-home moms are. Though it is not widely accepted, it has made some progress in the fact that it is a role actually seen in society, which was not something that could be said in the 20th century.
  4. Stereotypical gender roles also exist among society and are often found in media. These gender roles assigned, if allowed to influence the mind, can be harmful to the way in which people distinguish men and women.
  5. In many movies, men are portrayed as strong, leaders who oftentimes save the day. They are given very masculine traits and appearance, and are typically in very good fitness. An example of this would be Tarzan, he is a very strong, heroic, manly, etc.
  6. In many movies, women are portrayed as weak, petite, damsels in distress. They are often very frilly, feminine in manner and seen as followers. An example of this would be Jane from the movie Tarzan, she is very weak, girly, and in need of saving by Tarzan.
  7. With that said, these stereotypes have been strayed from in the past and have been seen to be strayed from more so in this day in age. Movies like; Hunger Games, Frozen, Divergent, Brave, etc. all had extremely strong, independent women as lead roles.
  8. Moreover, gender roles tend to vary region to region. We see this today with current events, particularly those regarding terror groups. Many radical Islamic people feel America to be wrong in giving women more dominance in society. Their roles given to women are much different compared to that if the U.S.

SOCIALIZATION- Cultural Process of Learning to Participate in Group Life

  1. Without prolonged and intensive social contact, children do not learn such important basics as walking, talking, and loving. Interacting with others helps us grow intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Certain things can only be learned through the contact we have with others.
  2. Self concept has a lot to do with the connection between socialization and oneself. Our self concept is our own individual perception apart from others, however the thoughts we have of our self can be influenced by others.
  3. There are different agents in which people receive socialization: Family- Parents teach children gender roles; teach social norms Religion- A lot of societal concepts have roots in religion Schools- First situation where children are exposed to non-family relationships Peer group- Composed of individuals roughly the same age and interests Media- Means of communication designed to reach the general population
  4. As in the movie Castaway, de-socialization can occur when someone has been separated from others or civilization. Old norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors are all given up and oftentimes forgotten about.
  5. Re-socialization is what occurs after someone has been stripped from the things that compose their being. It is a process in which people relearn or adopt new norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors.
  6. The development of socialization changes throughout different periods of your life. The needed skills during childhood are carried on throughout the rest of your life, however are refined and improved. Additionally, emotional development allows for a further in ability with social skills as you progress.
  7. Role taking during childhood is a way in which children act out roles in which they have begun identifying. This helps kids figure out how to behave as well to fill the norms of society and initiates positive social development.
  8. There are stages of role taking: Imitation Stage- Child imitates physical / verbal behavior of significant others Play Stage- The stage during which children take on roles of others at a time Game Stage- More sophisticated role taking, in which several roles can be considered simultaneously

CULTURE- Knowledge, Language, Values, Customs, and Physical Objects That Are Passed From Generation to Generation

  1. Culture can be defined by both materialistic and non materialistic objects. Material aspect of culture include; skyscrapers, computers, cell phones, and cars. Non material aspects include; beliefs, rules, customs, family systems, and capitalist economy.
  2. Culture and society walk hand in hand, being that one cannot exist without the other. A society is described as a group of people who live in a defined territory and participate in a common culture.
  3. Instincts contribute to the behavior of human beings, but cannot be considered the sole influence. This is due to the fact that everyone would be the same if controlled by instincts, so culture goes much into the behavior of humans.
  4. Language is a piece of a culture's composition and frees humans from the limits of time and place. Being able to read, discuss, and recombine existing ideas allows for cultures to progress.
  5. Norms and values help define culture as well. Norms are rules that define behavior and values are broad ideas about what most people in society consider to be desirable. These each shape the standards a society holds for each member within a particular culture.
  6. Some values found in the U.S. include; achievement / success, activity / work, efficiency / practicality, equality, democracy, and group superiority.
  7. Culture has three reasons in which it may change; discovery, invention, and diffusion. Discovery is one, being the finding of something new, it presents new information to a culture which can cause alteration. Invention is another, which is similar to that of discovery, in that it provides something new which can change the culture.
  8. Cultural diversity exists among all societies. Some factors that promote this diversity include; immigration, globalism, better and faster communication, travel, and increased cultural relevance.

SPORTS- Activities Involving Social Interaction

  1. Sport is a social institution, because it teaches the basic values of society and promotes attachment to society. Working together, as a team, teaches kids how to interact with one another and rules of sport are oftentimes rules that can be found in society.
  2. Sport subcultures, or a group within the larger context sport that has some of its own distinct roles. Often associated with these subcultures is an essence of violence. An example of this is seen tin the fact that hockey players favor violence more so than non-players, due to the expectation of coaches and teammates.
  3. Ways in which sports are a function of society include; teaching basic values of society, promoting attachment to society, helping identify with other members of society, and reflecting the cultures emphasis on achievement.
  4. Sports promote a social class escalator, focusing more on what you are capable of versus how much you have and where you come from. It seems sports are one of the few things where being a minority doesn't matter in the light of athletic ability.
  5. Sports reflect society in the fact they are more so male dominant. With that said, equality in sports has made much progress, particularly on a college level. Some colleges have actually seen a greater fan base for female teams.
  6. Culture is created and reinforced through sports. By there being a certain set of ideals and way of thinking that comes along with sports, it creates. The reinforcement comes from the ideals being both present in sport beliefs and societal values.
  7. Conflict theorists believe, that as a player becomes more involved in his / her sport, they lose sportsmanlike qualities. They think players become more driven by competition and lose sight of the importance in goods sportsmanship.
  8. It is hard to say this to be true for every child, however sports do help with the socialization of children. They help kids interact with one another and aid for some ability in teamwork.

SOCIAL STRUCTURE- "Social Map" For Various Group Situations

  1. The role of social structure is to help us configure how we fit into a group and its importance lies in the fact that it helps people interact, or relate to one another, in a better manner.
  2. The categorizations in which someone would define themselves would be considered their status, or position that the person with holds in a certain society. Some titles are ascribed or neither chosen / earned and other, while others are achieved or worked for.
  3. With status in mind, no one can be defined by just one simple title. Everyone has a status set or all the statuses that a person occupies at any particular time. An example of this would be a parent, a teacher, a bicyclist.
  4. A role is defined as an expected behavior associated with a particular status. Roles are used to describe behaviors, which are determined by the expectations and obligations of a particular status. Rights are what is expected from others, and obligations are the reverse.
  5. Role conflict is found in situations where one status' expectations clash with that of another. A perfect example for this is a teenager who is both a student and an employee. The demands that are expected of each can conflict with the balance of their lives.
  6. Some roles are found to be incompatible, or unable to reconcile with one another. An example of this would be a coach also involved in recruiting. Two big roles that probably would interfere with one another and not allow for the individuals to be both.
  7. All societies are similar in structure, but sizes and scale often vary widely. All members of a particular society know what is expected of themselves and of one another. Repetitive social patterns can be identified within a society.
  8. Smaller, independent social structures are present within a larger one, which work together to aid the societies members. In order to meet people's needs, modern societies must have ties with other countries.

Similarities Between Each-

  • Gender Roles and Socialization- How you are socialized (brought into new situations), determines views on gender roles.
  • Culture and Gender Roles- Depending on how the culture you are apart of views gender roles, more times than not determines your viewpoint on it.
  • Sports and Socialization- Sports are often considered a form of socialization given that they allow for certain skills to be learned.
  • Social Structure and Culture- Social structure is quite often determined by the particular culture you are in.
  • Sports and Gender Roles- Though it has been improving, sports are often still thought of as male dominant activities.

Topics in Real Life

Each of these topics are relevant to my life, given that I'm a part of a culture who faces sociological situations and problems.

  • Gender roles- Women are given much more rights compared to that of the past, yet the level is still not the same as men.
  • Socialization- Has to do with my interactions with people everyday. Every time this occurs there is a gain in socialization.
  • Sports- Not regarding me personally, but I can see how they influence friends, family, and others. Though socialization his good, sometimes expectation is too high.
  • Social Structure- This is easily seen in high school, given everyone has their own configurations of each other.

Current Events

  1. Gender roles is very prominent in society today, given that much dis accordance with terror groups has to do with how much role we give women. It is seen by these people as morally and socially wrong.
  2. Social Structure has been something considered and changed all throughout history. We see it on the scale of a nation with the Caste System, democracy, etc. It also has changed on a lower scale, given that the roles people take in society have shifted.