Tag Archives: Social Sciences

Exercise 2 : Learn To Love YOU!

So I notice that when people first start talking to me they come off as being content with their lives only for them to open up five minutes later about how they hate x, y and z. When I first meet someone, whether it be online or off, I generally can get a good feel for who they are the minute I start speaking with them. I don’t like to sound cocky but I can see through people pretty well. Often times, I won’t point out these little things because, to me, that doesn’t matter. But, for the most part, people can generally go on and on about things they don’t like about themselves.

Think about it, while you may be shaking your head and saying “No, no I’m really happy” (Which, I think that there really are people who are happy with themselves out there) You can probably go on and on about this one thing that you really dislike about yourself. This can be some bad habit, your appearance, something you did years ago that still haunts you or a myriad of other issues. While we can all go on rambling about things we dislike, do we take the time to ramble about things we like?

I don’t mean that you should go running around proclaiming you are god’s gift to mankind but, be a little nicer on yourself! This exercise is designed to help YOU bring out those positive qualities and start highlighting those rather than always rambling about the negative.

1. Take out a piece of paper and fold it in half vertically. You should have a left and a right column.

2. Label one column “Things I love about my appearance” and “Things I love about my personality” Notice how we are not writing a “Pro’s” and “Con’s” list.

3. Begin with your appearance. I guarantee you can list at LEAST 5 things you love about your appearance. Is it how your hair shines in a certain light? Is it about how your eyes get to be a beautiful color when you wear a certain outfit? Or about how people are commenting on your beautiful figure? Whatever you can think of, write it down.

4. Next go to your personality. Do you love how you always can help out a friend in need? Do you volunteer at a local shelter or soup kitchen? Can you make others laugh? You can probably name a ton of things about your personality. Write ’em all!

5. When you’re all done, go over each list. Notice all of the wonderful things you have just said about yourself. Keep this list in a place where you can see it and the next time you’re thinking about rambling on about all the bad things, take a look at this list.

No matter what, you are beautiful and wonderful. There are so many diverse and great things about being you that only you can possess. Don’t worry that you don’t have what the person next to you has, be happy with what you have. More often than not, the person next to you is wanting something you have.

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Judgement: Fact Of Life?

Review of “Black Men and Public Space” by Brent Staples

Judgment is a topic that comes up very often when discussing matters of race, ethnicity, social status, economic status and the various social structures that we are all categorized in. I personally believe that it’s wrong to judge others based on appearances without actually getting to know them first. Aren’t we all the same anyway? Essentially at the core we are all made up of the same molecules and the same elements and the only thing that is different is our perceptions of the world. No one person is really an individual. I don’t mean to speak harshly but rather use this knowledge to possibly look at one another with more respect and seeing others as ourselves could pose to be useful when using harsh words or actions. It may be naïve for me to say that I would treat others with respect and walk up to a person holding a gun as if they were my equal so there is a fine line between judgment and safety.

The issue that this man is facing is the fact that society brings upon judgment based off of the facts of the majority. What ends up happening is, groups of people get judged for things that they have never even done or thought about doing in their lives. Although we must see his perspective as being that of one who is being judged, we must also see the outside world’s point of view.

The amygdalas of the human brain is where our “fight or flight” responses take place. These responses are closely related to registered pictures or words based off of a negative emotion, such as fear. What ends up happening is that the fear is registered and brought into the outside world and applied. The issue here is that we are using our fight or flight responses based off of people we have never met before.

The issue that this man has to overcome is the fact that we have no choice as to what position we are born in and as to what kinds of people are out there in our world. We have no control over the media and what kinds of images they would like to portray to the world. In the case of how groups of individuals act, we have no control over that as well. If the majority of the African American population is seen as gun-wielding murderers and rapists, unfortunately there is no control over that either.

We do however have a choice. Now this may seem unfair but it will essentially boil down to changing one’s life to suit others, which is what this man demonstrates to us. Towards the end of the essay he has clearly evaluated his environment and has acted upon it. By implementing ways to create a more comfortable atmosphere for him and others around him he has learned to avoid people and even whistle a tune from Beethoven.

This may not sound like the most pleasing thing to do, change yourself to suit others but it may be an essential way to survive. Throughout the history of man, and other organisms alike, we learn to adapt and survive in the most comfortable way possible and this is just another example. Although it is much different than having to change your way of hunting food or fending off predators it is an adaptation nonetheless.

The beauty of humankind is the fact that when it boils down to everything we essentially have control over what we do. As stated before, we may not have the abilities to change the world around us but we do have the power to change ourselves. I feel for this man and I do believe that he means very well in his life and he is not a horrible person in the least, he has managed the situation he was given very well. Most would take on the role of the murderer, thief or rapist purely because they begin to think that way about themselves without even realizing it. This man clearly has a strong mind and will to survive and adapt in the world he was born into.

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To Be A Sociologist

Article Review Of “Invitation To Sociology” By Peter L. Berger

Sociological “de-bunking” requires a person (the sociologist themselves) to actually want to question society. They want to be able to uncover something that simply may seem “Too good to be true” It’s the ability to question that allows us to uncover much more than we think. By being able to think deeper into something we toss aside any naivete thoughts of “This is just the way it is”

By being much more in-tune with things and to be able to say to oneself that something just isn’t right here, is a way to delve deeper. We must be able to uncover information that could be guarded by higher positions in society. Why would they want to cover it up? To keep those who are naïve, to stay naïve.

Most people would respond to sociological insights as untrue and if your talking to someone who holds a high position in society this can and will most likely be the case. The upperclassmen, including big businesses and the like would respond to it as “No, everything is fine! Everything is going so well” Obviously to protect themselves.

I had just recently watched a show where an ex-NFL player was delving deeper into the relations between concussions in NFL (And other contact sports) and how they effected them long term. He gathered together the brains of deceased players and decided to have them studied in a lab. 8 out of 8 brains showed long term damage. Many of the symptoms that corresponded with players and concussions were manic depression, early onset of Alzheimers and short-term memory loss to name a few. While all of the scientific data was there and all of the evidence was there the NFL’s head medical examiner sat there and stated “No, there is no long-term effect of concussions and NFL players and it’s fine to send them right back on the field after a concussion”

This validly proves the point that once faced with sociological insight of why things were happening that a big organization will hide and deny the fact. However, since the ex-player had actually done something about it and brought it to court they had gotten the head doctor set up for resignation and a new set of rules are now in play.

In the lower rungs of society, if faced with sociological insight, you will most likely get the same reaction as “No, that can’t be true” If there is no solid evidence there to support it, then it cannot be true at all. Many are afraid to go against those who are larger than them, which is understandable, but it can be the only way to ever get anything done. Even those who are faced with evidence still will show signs of disbelief. This is due to pride and not wanting to be wrong.

Are we just set in our ways due to the fact that we are afraid of being wrong or torn down by a higher person? It is a scary thing to think that we can in fact be wrong or we can in fact get thrown down by someone higher than us. This is part of the way to get more information, to delve deeper into a topic and to “de-bunk” our theories.

Thoughts © Maria Campagna 2011

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Society as a Whole

A review of “The Sociological Imagination” by C. Wright Mills

Within the United States I personally believe, especially after reading this article, that Americans view social problems more personally because the truth is, most (and I will say most because I do truly believe that there are people out there who do possess a more open understanding of their personal problems) are stuck in their own worlds and are afraid to venture out to discover their problems. Americans, especially, are too proud and too greedy to admit that it is not just them that has the problem but in fact that others also suffer from the same.

I can honestly say that I am deeply moved and relieved as well that I have found that my thoughts on society as a whole do fit somewhere and my theories have been clearly written about. It scares me as well as relieves me however. Since most of us are afraid to see the sources of our own problems we want so badly to understand ourselves that we are indeed missing the bigger picture. Many Americans are stuck in the thought of trying to understand themselves more fully that they do not heed warning to all of the signs that society as a whole is influencing them. Either that, or they just complain about their everyday life and say “Why me?” Now, I see, that it is not in fact “Why me?” they should be asking but “Why us?” Why is it that we are falling into a recession? Why is it that now we are losing more and more of our independence as people? Ultimately, if we lose independence as individuals we will go on to lose independence as a whole as well.

Society does function as a whole as Comte and Spencer have stated in their various works. If we as Americans fail to realize this, we are allowing ourselves to put our lives into the hands of greedy and corrupt upperclassmen who have the materialistic power of money. Losing a sense of ourselves is also making us lose a sense of society. It’s easy, just as we have seen in history during Hitlers reign that when a group of people is in a state of demise due to recession, depression and the like that we, as a society, will believe and go towards anyone that will “Give us hope”

It may in fact be history that has allowed for this way of life to develop. Think of when we first came to America. Us, as citizens, were still controlled by the English government and we desperately wanted to be freed. We gained our independence and I believe that it has now evolved into something so selfish and so crude that we take it for granted every single day of our lives.

We constantly want more, more, more that we spiral down into depressions because we cannot afford to live due to the fact that we bought a $100,000 car. It is indeed a personal fault for buying the car but what makes you want the car in the first place? Society. Now, a person will blame themselves for buying the car over and over and over again and will probably spend their money like that in the future and be in the same situation without looking at why they are doing it. If they realize the bigger picture I would hope that they wouldn’t want to become a part of a capitalist society. If we lose the ability to be able to control our spending, aren’t we losing independence?

The bottom line is, most Americans are selfish people and 9 times out of 10 are only out for the best interests of themselves. Personally, I do not understand this type of society and I do not agree with it at all. I do firmly believe as of right now that I may be among the few that do think this way, although I could be wrong with further research into this topic.

I can say that I have been, for a while now, one of those people who have tried to use psychology to completely analyze my situation. Now, I realize that certain things that go on in my life are not just me and there is in fact nothing wrong with me. Knowing this, lifts a huge burden off of me and prepares me to move forward into the future.

Thoughts © Maria Campagna

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