Sociology Aspects

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1A. Define sociology and describe two institutions that play asignificant role in socialization. How do these institutionsinfluence socialization?

Sociology is the scientific study that deals with individual socialrelationships. It offers tools for understanding how the societyfunctions, effect of social institutions on human lives and thechallenges individuals encounter in their interactions with otherpeople. Hence, sociology is an educational and exciting field ofstudy that scrutinizes and explains essential subjects in ourpersonal lives, our societies as well as the entire world. At anindividual level, sociology examines the social causes alongsideconsequences of things like race, romantic love, family conflict,religious faiths and gender identity. At the community level,sociology scrutinizes and explains issues such as crime, law, wealth,poverty and discrimination among other subject matters. Globally,sociology explains phenomena such as migration, population growth,economic development, war, and peace. Hence, sociology provides aunique way of viewing and comprehending the social world in which wethrive in and which forms our lives.

Several systems play a critical role in our socialization they arecommonly referred to as social institutions. These systems consist ofa group of individuals who unite together for a common purpose.Examples of these social institutions include family and education.The family is an emotional entity that affects the character of anindividual. It implants values, fulfills fundamental needs andassigns roles and norms. These aspects contribute a lot to anindividual social behavior as life progresses. Besides, each familyestablishes rules and regulations that each member is indebted toconform. Love which is demonstrated in our families raises ourself-esteem and confidence which enables family members to interactpositively with other people in various aspects of lives.

Education is a social institution that provides an arena forsocialization and hence contributes to shaping the lives ofindividuals. Educational establishments bring together persons whooriginate from different backgrounds, and thus this creates diversityand enhances the relationships of its members. Moreover, schoolsserve as an instrument of transmitting cultures in our society whichfosters our social behaviors. Also, the institutions inculcatevalues, norms, and sense of responsibility which boost our socialaspect.

1B. Describe functionalism, conflict theory, and interactionismand give examples

In sociology, theories try to expound why particular groups ofindividuals prefer to execute certain actions and how societiesoperate or change in a specific manner. The major theories insociology as are discussed below:

  • Functionalism Theory

According to this theory, each component of the society isinterdependent and hence adds to the community’s performance as awhole. It views the society as a multifaceted system whose segmentsoperates together to facilitate solidarity and stability. People areborn into a community and evolve into the products of all the socialinfluences surrounding them as they are socialized by differentinstitutions such as the family, media, and education. For instance,the government offers education for its citizens which later on paystaxes on which the government relies on for proper functioning. Thefamily depends on education institutions which help their childrenmature up and get well-paying jobs to raise and sustain theirhouseholds. If everything goes as expected, components of societygenerate order, stability as well as productivity. Also, if all doesnot go as planned, these elements of the society must adjust tomaintain stability and productivity. For instance, when a particularcountry experiences a recession coupled with unemployment andinflation, social policies are trimmed. Consequently, educationinstitutions provide fewer programs, families constrict theirbudgets, and hence new social, productivity and stability occur.

  • Conflict theory

The conflict theory traces its origin from Karl Marx’s viewsregarding the class struggles.

The theory discusses the positive notions of the society thatinfluences its stability. Compared to the functionalist who protectsthe status quo and evades the social change by arguing that peoplecoordinate to alter the social order, conflict theorists questionsthe status quo and promote social transformations by observing thatwealthy and powerful individuals induce social order on theunderprivileged in the society. Conflict theory is particularlyhelpful in understanding situations such as poverty, war wealth,discrimination, slavery as well as other conflict associated socialincidents. It argues that the society is in a situation of constantconflict and competition for inadequate resources.

  • Interactionism Theory

This approach focuses more on the influential power of directpersonal interaction, rather than on the influence of institutions orhistorical developments. Interactions comprise of verbalcommunication as well as mannerisms. Interactions primarily affectthe way individuals perceive themselves, other people, as well as theworld around them. According to the Interactionism perspective,values are identified by the social relationships. The theory doesnot affirm the actions as being necessarily right or wrong. The valueof an action is socially approved. For instance, alcohol consumptionfor less than 18 years may be legal as well socially accepted in onenation and illegal in another country. Besides, the theory discardsthe use of hypotheses, affirming these assumptions make a studyprejudiced by routing it in a predestined direction. Hence, thetheory suggests methods such as unstructured interviews and contentanalysis.

1C.Explain the characteristics of bureaucracy and two dysfunctions ofbureaucracy

Bureaucracy is a management system devised toachieve large-scale administrative duties by analyticallycoordinating the tasks of several individuals. The bureaucratictheory was propounded by Max Weber and hence suggested the followingcharacteristics that conform to the bureaucratic structure of theorganization. It is consists of ruling class responsible forsustaining and coordinating the activities of the members. Keyfeatures of these categories include full-time workers who are paidon a monthly basis, payments differ according to positions. Occupancyis determined by the rules and regulations of the company. The secondfeature of the bureaucracy is a hierarchy of posts in the firm.Hierarchy is a structure of ranking a variety of positions indescending scale that is from top to bottom. Moreover, officesconform to the model of hierarchy, that is, subordinate offices aremanaged and supervised by the senior offices. Division of work isadopted whereby the specialization enables sharing of the duties inthe organization. Each department in the bureaucratic organizationhas a particular sphere of competence that involves obligations to beexecuted by the systematic division of labor.

Bureaucracy suffers from several dysfunctionswhich limit organization’s process of attaining the specifiedobjectives. For instance, employees tend to rely too much on therules and regulations of the organization that restricts theirinitiative growth. It neglects the human factor by treating employeeslike machines and not individuals. Also, the systems experience toomuch of red tapes, as well as paperwork which, inconveniences.Besides, bureaucracy introduces rigidity in the organization wherebythe employees becomes too much used to the structure and henceopposes change regarding the introduction of new tactics ofoperations. Besides, employees do not acquire a sense ofbelongingness to the organization as they depend so much on theirsuperiors.

1D.Explain the impact of ethnocentrism on the US`s problems with othercountries. How has mass media influenced this issue?

Ethnocentrism is a situation of believing inthe superiority of a particular ethnic group. Ethnocentrism soundsbad, but it has both positive and negative features. For instance,for minority ethnicity, it enables the group to establish andmaintain its identity. The dark side of ethnocentrism is that itcauses individuals from a particular ethnic group to look down onthose from others ethnic groups. Americans tend to be ethnocentricwhen they travel to other nations. This is because the United Statesalways perceived itself as being more powerful and economicallysounds incomparable with other countries. The country has citizensfrom all over the world hence issues such as discriminationsregarding races have always been witnessed. Immigrants are givenfewer opportunities in various aspects in the United States.Additionally, Americans tend to view other nations’ ways of doingsthings as being as wrong. For instance, they associate sufferings,poverty, and sickness in underdeveloped countries being from theresult of performing their techniques wrongly. Hence, this makesAmericans be a bit distanced with other nations.

Mass media influence people’s doings forinstance, it controls the public in their perception concerningindividual issues through the process of framing. Hence, Mass mediain the United States have addressed ethnocentrism in various ways.For instance, most TV stories from local television new markets USArace and ethnicity. Studies show that African –Americans in the USAare mostly visible in negative new stories. Journalist tends to framethe whites positively as opposed to negative frames associated withblacks. These views of mass media have increased ethnocentrism spiritin the United States.

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