Applicationof Sociological Concepts
Applicationof Sociological Concepts
Thehistory of sociology can be traced back in the year 1839. AugusteComte who is referred as the father of sociology and a Frenchphilosopher was the first man to study and apply sociology as aseparate discipline of its own. He derived the term Sociology fromtwo words ‘societies’ which is a Latin word meaning society and‘logos’ which is a Greek word meaning science or study. Thereforehe defined sociology as the science or study of societies. With timethe definition was improved and defined as a social science thatstudies all the aspects of the society as a whole unlike in the othersocial sciences where only a few aspects were examined leaving theothers. Since then the subject has spread worldwide slowly, and bythe year 1876, sociology was taught in the United States of Americaas a separate discipline and spread to other nations in the world.Sociology as a discipline is significant to individuals in that itenhances the social interaction and organization among them cementingtheir relationship. Therefore, individuals become aware of the kindof relationship they develop with others. For example, as socialbeings, they should build a good relationship with economic,psychological and political aspects. The paper discusses and analysesthe various concepts studied in sociology and their application inlife.
Sociologyas a subject entails different concepts that try to study and analyzeall the aspects of the society. The central concepts includes theculture, the social organization, the social structure, the socialidentity and the social inequalities.
TheCulture:culture has been defined as all the ways of life that has beenevolved by individuals in a particular society. It refers to the sumtotal of the people’s way of lives that constitutes the way peoplethink, act, and feels[ CITATION All12 l 2057 ].Culture can be expressed in various forms. For example, culture canbe expressed in the form of language, beliefs, custom and moralstandards of society. Individual born in a certain society use theirculture to differentiate themselves from the rest in the community.Through learning sociology, one gets equipped with the knowledge ofthe two broad perspectives through which culture can be expressed.The two perspectives include material culture which representsculture through the use of objects such as houses, dress, paintingsand cars while non-materials culture is expressed in the form ofvalue systems, mode of thinking, language and religion and many otherforms[ CITATION All12 l 2057 ].
Cultureis made up of four main components. They include communicationcomponents which include symbols and language. By having a commonlanguage, it helps a group of people to interact and share theirthoughts, ideas, and feelings with one another. Different languageshave different symbols, and therefore through learning sociology, onecan be able to interact with others in various situations either athome or workplaces. Language is not only used as a tool forexpression, but it also helps in shaping and structuring ourexperiences and what we see around the world.
Theother component is the cognitive component. The component constitutesthe beliefs, values, and accounts of the society. The constituentsare considered as the basic units of knowledge development. Forexample, the ideas represent the mental organization and can be usedto align the stimulus. The values act as a guideline for a socialliving while beliefs are the facts considered to be true. Therefore,true understanding the cognitive component one gets acquainted withthe requirements and expectations of the society. Thus it promotesgood relationship among individuals.
Thethird component of culture is the behavioral component. The componentis majorly concerned on how we act. It includes the acceptable normsin society. The norms include the rules, laws, and expectations setby a particular society that individuals are supposed to observe andadhere to them. Therefore by understanding this component, one can beable to different between the right and the wrong by adhering to thelaws enacted to safeguard the society and act in the right direction.The fourth component is the material component. It includes thematerial objects that are made by individuals for practical use orartistic purposes. For example, the kind of houses constructed thepaintings and the kind of dresses they wear. All these can be used todifferent individuals from different societies with differentcultures. Through associating with the material culture, one developsa sense of belongingness and can identify himself/herself with acertain group.
Ingeneral, the culture in our society helps one to appreciate thatthere is diverse of cultures designed by various societies. Thereforeit opens room for one to practice cultural relativism rather thanethnocentrism. It molds an individual not to have a judgmentalperspective but learn to appreciate the different histories andmutable characteristics of societies to avoid the stereotyping ofgeneralizing about societies. Thus, the culture will enable one togain insights about others and how the different group works tohandle various issues at home and workplaces.
TheSocial Structure.In this case, different societies exhibit different patterns andarrangement of various institutions and organizations and how theyinteract. The social structures include the family, school,religion, media, and the government[ CITATION Cro17 l 2057 ].The various institutions are interrelated and interdependent to eachother. They act as agents of socialization in a society and outsidethe society uniting the people as one. They help in organizing peopleinto distinct social relationships and roles. For example, in afamily, there is a father, mother, son and daughter and therefore itenables one to conform to the social structure he/she fits in throughidentifying their roles and the kind of relationship existing amongthem.
Also,these social institutions may result to other aspects of socialorganizations and operations. For example, the social structure ofeconomic stratification may show up which can be determined not onlyas a social class but also as a systematic racism, sexism,discrimination and other forms of biases. For example, the socialstructures in the United States of America have resulted to socialstratification where a small number of individuals control thecountry’s wealth and power while others have no powers. Throughstudying the social structure, it helps one to understand the variousfactors that influence or constrain the choices that we make. It alsohelps individuals to feel grateful and enjoy the opportunities andprivileges they hold in the society. Lastly, it helps one tounderstand why people with fewer opportunities struggle withobstacles that others do not.
TheSocial Organization.Social organization has been given different definitions by variousscholars. For example, Ogburn and Nimkoff define the socialorganization as the articulation of various parts which performsvarious functions. Therefore from his definition social organizationcan be said to be a system of structures or organization which worktogether to give the same end results. The individual in society willtry to associate themselves with different institutions for exampleschools, religion, families, and others. Both the organizations aredependent on each other, and therefore the interaction amongindividuals, family, groups and institutions is promoted. Throughlearning social organization in sociology, it helps one to understandhow various institutions works in society to get the best result. Theknowledge can be applied at workplaces to understand how the staff,employers, and employees reorganize themselves for the purpose of aachieving their goal.
TheSocial Identity.Social identity has been defined as the essential aspect of who weare. It includes the sense of belonging, sex, race, ethnicity andreligion. The social identity tries to locate us in this socialworld. It affects our deeds, feelings, and thoughts in everyday life.One acquires identity through socialization with distinct culturesthus gaining skills and knowledge that identifies him/her with aparticular group. Identity informs an individual exactly what aperson is regarding skin color and gender. Thus social identityinstills the sense of individuality and uniqueness in a person.
Thereare two types of identity. They include the primary identity whichstarts at infancy and childhood. It helps children develop a socialidentity[ CITATION Abd13 l 2057 ].Through identity, one recognizes himself as the family, religion orculture that he/she belongs. The other type of identity is thesecondary identity. Most people acquire this type of identity asprofessional identities. They are described by others or themselvesas a teacher, engineer or a sociologist. Therefore, in workplaces andsociety, one can identify himself with a given group or culturethrough studying sociology. In social identity, the roles areassociated with the main core foundation in which we build up animage of our fundamental roles and construct a mental map of ournumerous social positions[ CITATION Abd13 l 2057 ].
TheSocial Inequality.Social inequality is defined as the existence of different vacanciesand rewards among different people due to their status and positionsthey hold in a social group. Social inequality depicts itself clearlyin various aspects. For example, the level of income distribution,power, occupational prestige, race, ethnicity, and schooling. Variousapproaches have been advanced to explain the causes of inequality insociety. They include the blame the poor approach which stresses thatthe poor are responsible for their poverty. Another approach is theblame society theory. In this theory, it emphasizes that the societyis responsible for its poverty. Therefore a very big gap has beencreated that has resulted to social inequalities between the poor andthe rich.
Thesocial inequalities have resulted to social stratification in thesocieties. The societies have been structured into a hierarchy oflevels that are unevenly equal in ranks. Social stratificationinvolves the inequalities in the distribution of socioeconomicresources. Therefore through studying this concept, one understandsthe causes of inequalities and the various approaches that can beused to solve the problem.
Inconclusion, the concepts of sociology are important in one’s life.They help individuals to study the various aspects of the society asa whole. It studies the various structures of the institution andorganizations concerning the society. It systematically observesanalyses and explains the sociological aspects in broad sociology. Asa discipline, it helps people to understand the social relationshipsand interactions in various institutions. It equips individual withexcellent management skills, for example, the teacher can learn howto handle students. Also, the study of socialization helps one tounderstand various problems associated with these institutions of thesociety such as alcoholism, drug abuse, strikes, and indiscipline. Inshort, sociology gives us the ability to see the world from anindividual perspective as living a unique life and at the same timesee the world as a larger social dynamics with full of experiences,social realities, and opportunities that shape our everyday life[ CITATION Ras14 l 2057 ].
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