The first Chapter of Sociology by John J. Macionis and Linda Marie Gerber, provides information about sociology (what it is), the sociological perspective, the importance of global perspective, applying the sociological perspective, the origins of sociology, sociological theory, and applying the approaches: the sociology of sports. The information provided in this chapter on those topics helps students understand and introduce sociology and what sociologists study. When reading the chapter I was able to reflect on my life. This chapter has also helped me learn about the importance of sociological perspective and global perspective. The first section of the chapter discusses the sociological perspective and how it is different from common sense. The sociological perspective allows individuals to see how society can shape individuals lives.
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When I read about the sociological perspective, it made me to reflect on the decisions I have made in my life. I realized that many decisions I have made in my life were affected by social forces. For example, when I made some of my social media accounts such as Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. I only made the accounts because my friends had them so I wanted to join as well. Another example is when, I decided to buy a phone in grade 8. Many kids my age had phones and I wanted one as well so I could fit in with them. After reflecting on the decisions I have made that were affected by social forces, I learned that I should not let society affect the decisions that I make, I should focus on what I want and should not care about what others have or what they do.
The first section of the chapter also discusses the sociological imagination. The sociological imagination is when an individual transforms a personal problem to a public issue by referencing historical change to understand their present situation. I think the sociological imagination can be applied to many different social issues in Canada. In the Canadian society, I think poverty is one of the biggest social issues. By using the sociological imagination, I argue that poverty is a public issue. Society is the reason why many people are living in poverty due to the different changes in society. For example, in the case study about the sociological imagination, Mills explains when classes rise or fall a man is employed or unemployed when wars happen men go to war and the women become single mothers, etc…. The second section of the chapter discusses the importance of a global perspective in today’s world. Where we live in the world, shapes the way we live. When reading about high, medium and low income countries, I thought about the different countries I have visited in the world. The countries I have visited are England, U.S.A, India, Australia, and New Zealand. Out of those 5 countries India is a low-income country. When I think about the 2times I visited India I think about how my a lot of my family members do not have the luxuries that we have here in Canada. They have to warm up their water before every shower while we always get warm water in our sinks and showers. They also have to boil their water from their taps before drinking it because unlike our water it is not filtered and clean. Although Canada and India have some similar social issues India’s social issues are more serious because many of the issues could not be solved easily. After realizing that my family in India do not have the luxuries that we have in Canada, I realized that I take everything that I have for granted. I complain about insignificant things like the Wi-Fi is slow or that I only got to shower for 30 minutes instead of 60 minutes because my mom turned the dishwasher on. I do not think about my family members and others living in low-income countries who do not even have Wi-Fi and can only take 2-5 minute showers. I think reading about global perspective and using global thinking really opened my eyes. The third section of the chapter discusses the advantages of sociological thinking for developing public policy, for encouraging personal growth, and for advancing in a career.
The sociological perspective helps us be politically active in society. While reading this section I reflected on my life and thought about if I was politically active or not. I came to the conclusion that I am politically active. Whenever I am on twitter I always look at social issues that are going on in our Canadian society as well as social issues in other countries around the world. I like to read about the issues and think about both sides of the issue and raising awareness. I believe that being politically active is important because it is good to know what is going on in the country you live in as well as other countries so that as the future generation we can help improve the societies. These improvements can be made by making changes that are beneficial for everyone.
The fourth section of the chapter discusses the origins of sociology and linking it to historical social changes. Reading about how sociology was developed was interesting. I think that if sociology had not been developed, then societies all over the world would be different. For example, in the text it states that individualism and ideas about democracy changed who controls and makes decisions in society. If no one had had expressed their ideas about democracy and did not ask for society to change its ways we would not have the organized government that we have right now. I believe that with the ideas that have been developed by many sociologists, people have a better understanding about the world around them and it helps change it for the better.
The fifth section of the chapter discusses sociology’s major theoretical approaches. Through the different theoretical approaches, society is observed differently. I think the gender-conflict approach and race-conflict approach are the best approaches to observe the Canadian society. Although Canada is a very culturally diverse country and has equal rights for both men and women, there are still many issues regarding equal pay in the same work environment and white privilege in the workforce, at school, etc… Some jobs in Canada pay men more than they would women even if the male and female are in the same position doing the same work. Many people who are white are favored over those who are of color. Whether it’s in school at work or in public. Many teachers may not even realize that they are favoring the white children in their classes and focusing on their needs instead of the needs of the children of color. In the workforce some employers tend to choose a white individual over a person of color even if the person of color had the better resume or interview because of racial and cultural stereotypes. People of color are treated differently in society in various ways and it is something that should be focused on to help improve the society that we live in. Women are also treated unfairly in the workforce and it should be focused on so they men and women get treated and paid equally. The sixth section of the chapter applies the major theoretical approaches to sports. The structural-functional approach focuses on how sports helps society function smoothly. This theoretical approach discusses how sports helps an individual in various ways such as, being fit, letting off steam and having fun. The social-conflict approach focuses on the connection between sports and the social inequality such as, sports benefitting men more than women, some sports being more accessible to those who are wealthy and racism. Racism in sports is a big issue. Many athletes who are of color are treated differently compared to those who are white. The social-interaction approach discusses the different meanings and understandings people have of sports. This approach explains how players affect their teammates understanding of the sport. For example, explaining the play before the game starts. The approach also explains how the reaction of those watching the sport affects how players perceive the sport. For example, if the audience is cheering the team on during a game, the players will feel motivated and will want to play good and win so that they can feel proud and their fans will be happy. However, if the crowd is not cheering the team on, the players will not feel motivated and will start slacking.
To conclude, I believe that chapter 1 of Sociology by John J. Macionis and Linda Marie Gerber, has given me the information I needed about sociology and has helped me reflect on decisions I have made in my life. The different sections of that chapter provided various information that expanded on the information that was given in class during lectures, therefore making it easier to understand what was going on during the lecture.
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