Sociology Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity. For many sociologists the goal is to conduct research which may be applied directly to social policy and welfare, while others focus primarily on refining the theoretical understanding of social processes. Subject matter ranges from the micro level of individual agency and interaction to the macro level of systems and the social structure.
Many philosophers , such as Karl Marx , changed Sociology , with their respective points of view . The list can go on and on , with Comte , Durkheim , Spencer , etc . Also , the perspectives on deviance and primary and secondary groups are rather intriguing , not only because it changes your outlook on your surroundings , but they challenge to view the world as a whole . Marx’s view on the bourgeoisie and proletariat are also interesting , in the way that he views people in these two groups , and that one day it may not be this way , so it also challenges you to think a bit into the future .
Karl Marx had a common theme to his writings , which was a profound sense of moral outrage at the misery produced in the lower classes by the new industrial social order . With this in mind , he believed society was built off of two social classes : The Bourgeoisie and The Proletariat . The Bourgeoisie , the ruling class , ran things in America in the 19th century , creating jobs for the working class and running their industrial empires . The bourgeoisie , included people such as Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller .
Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. As owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with “Fordism”: mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. His intense commitment to systematically lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations, including a franchise system that put dealerships throughout most of North America and in major cities on six continents.
Ford left most of his vast wealth to the Ford Foundation but arranged for his family to control the company permanently. John Davison Rockefeller (July 8, 1839 – May 23, 1937) was an American industrialist and philanthropist. He was the founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U. S. business trust. In 1870, he founded the Standard Oil Company and aggressively ran it until he officially retired in 1897. As kerosene and gasoline grew in importance, Rockefeller’s wealth soared, and he became the world’s richest man and the first American worth more than a billion dollars.
Adjusting for inflation, he is often regarded as the richest person in history. The Proletariat , the working class , made up the other ninety-nine percent in nineteenth century America . In most cases , the working class was exploited and degraded by the rich . The bourgeoisie , in most cases , found any way to save a buck . This means that if you looked a little sluggish at work , even though you were tired from a fourteen hour shift the day before , they would hire the next poor sap hoping and praying for a dollar an hour off of the street to replace you .
If that next guy slacked off , you better believe they would dip into the immigrant pool to those people who came here for better opportunity , to take your place for even lower wages and longer hours . Also , the proletariat mostly were not educated . They did not have people constantly updating them on world affairs , so they had to stay up to date on these things . Marx said , that once we , the working class , realize that are a whole society and not individuals in a society , then society will change . This shows that back then , and even now , people only look out for themselves . How will I get fed ? How much am I making ?
Is MY family ok ? Marx said that ” Political Revolution was a vital necessity in the evolutionary process of society and that it was the only means by which the improvement of social conditions could be achieved . (Marx; 1818-1883; 28 ) . ” Deviance is another interesting subject of sociology . Not only is it one of the main components in early day and modern day sociology , but it defines our society’s limits . Deviance describes actions or behaviors that violate social norms, including formally-enacted rules for example , crime , as well as informal violations of social norms , for example rejecting folkways and/or mores .
Deviance actually , more often than not , helps society as a whole , more than it causes damage . ” Deviance helps define the limits of social tolerance. ( Durkheim ; 1894 ;193-194) . For example , if a kid is talking too much in class , or someone gets arrested , that is defying the limits of social tolerance , because they are testing society , to see what they can get away with . Another example of functions of deviance in society is that “Deviance can increase the solidarity and integration of a group . (Durkheim ; 1894 ;194 ).
September 11th , 2001 was an act of deviance , because as a nation , focused on the twin towers in New York . At that very moment , when America watched the news on what had happened , America was integrated . Other main functions of social deviance include a ” “safety valve” for social discontent , indicate defects or inadequacies in the existing social organization , and set in motion steps that lead to social change . (Durkheim ; 1894 ;194) . ” Some consequences of deviance are dysfunctional . Deviances can disrupt or even lead to the complete breakdown of a social system .
Widespread , long-term , and more extreme norm violations can impair the functioning of groups or of entire systems . “Deviance can disrupt social order. ” (Durkheim ; 1894 ;194) . Violations of these norms can disrupt can set the social world unpredictable . An example of this would be if someone raped another person . If the authorities don’t reprimand the perpetrator , people would think it’s alright going around raping innocent civilians , thus disrupting the social order . Deviance also can “disrupt the will of others to conform”. (Durkheim ; 1894 ;195) .
If someone cheats on a test , and the teacher knows , and nothing happens , the students that studied hard for that test and received a lower grade than that of the student that cheated is going to want to do the same ! Which disrupts the will of others to conform to authority . No matter which way a person looks at deviance ( or deviants ) , it is neither all good or all bad . Just like everything else in life , it has its advantages and disadvantages , but you have to learn from all of your experiences , to make you a wiser person . Teammates , bandmates , classmates , clubmates , all of these people make up your social groups .
Whether you’re a jock , in the band , in a club , or just simply have friends , people don’t think about it , but everyone is involved in one social group or another . Without group involvements , infants die , adolescents get depressed , middle aged people suffer psychologically , and the elderly will get lonely and lose their way to live . A group can be as little as two people , or can be a very large with little shared interests . Two groups everyone has are primary groups and secondary groups . Charles H. Cooley coined these phrases , and said that “Members of our primary group were the most important in shaping the human personality.
” ( Cooley;1909;134 ) . Primary groups consist of five major characteristics : Informal , smaller in number , intimate , person-oriented , and longer in duration. Some primary groups in someone’s life can be your best friends , girlfriend/boyfriend , teammates , band mates , etc . A secondary group is a group whose members interact in an impersonal matter , and come together for a specific practical purpose . Some characteristics of a secondary group might include formal relationships , larger in number , less intimate , goal-oriented , and shorter in duration .
Some examples of someone in a secondary group would be classmates , co-workers , and neighbors . It is important to identify who’s who in one’s society . If you confuse someone from the secondary group in your primary , they can take advantage of you , mess with one’s emotions , and leave you feeling gullible , because of the hurt they can cause . Primary groups are important , because more often than not , they shape personalities , formulating self – concepts , developing a sense of personal worth , and feeling accepted in society .
Secondary groups are equally important , due to the fact that they allow you to work efficiently . For example , if you know everyone in your class , and you guys talk a lot , are the majority of the tasks going to be completed ? Most of the time they won’t . If you know closer to no one , you can function efficiently and effectively without as many distractions . It is important to note , most primary group are formed by associating yourself with your secondary groups . Sociology affects everything in life . From the clothes you wear , to the friends you hang out with , to the foods you eat , and even to the places you go .
If I’ve learned one thing in life and in this sociology class , is that it is easier to lose yourself in society , than to remember your values and where you came from . Styles change , your interests flip-flop , and friends come and go , but something that is always constant in life , no matter when you live , is family . Society can dictate what you like , what you wear , and what you do . Never , NEVER can it take away your family , and the key to true happiness to a society which ever changes , is to remember your roots .