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Sociology: Are People Just Puppets? Essay

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Are people puppets of society? Do we control the social system or does it control us? Society is said to mould individuals, but to what extent? Questions no one can properly answer, although different sociologists have different perspectives. We could argue `Yes, we are puppets of society' or `No, we have free will and can make our own decisions' Although the most preferred theory is that `We are influenced by society but our fate is not determined by it.' All three argue whether we are puppets of society or not?

(Social structure -Education)

Many sociologists believe that we are controlled by society; they claim that social institutions, such as work, religion, the law, media, education, and family life, determine our behaviour. These institutions mould us to act like Robots where we all look and work the same. For example the institution of Education controls the way we behave during school. We follow the rules and show respect to teachers. We have to wear school uniform or dress appropriately and cover our stomachs and shoulders. It forms our opinions on things, such as what are considered to be good and bad grades for examinations, different schools have different standards. Certain schools have control over when students are allowed to go to the toilet, banning them from leaving to go during lessons and most schools decided when students are allowed to eat and drink, confining it to lunch and break time only.

(Social structure - Media)

People may believe that they have individual images but sociologists that believe the social structure theory, arguing that we are puppets of society, would differ from their opinion. They say that Media has control over our behaviour too. When we read magazines or watch celebr...


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...late at night and there are no other cars or pedestrians around people will often drive straight through the red lights. This shows that institutions do not control people; we can make our own decisions.

(Structuration)

My person opinion is that I do not believe either of these theories; I believe that society can often have restrictions on how we behave although it is our decision what we do. There is a theory that argues this case too. The Structuration Theory, it combines both the social structure and the social action theories. Anthony Gidden's defined it, he notes that `social life is more than random individual acts, but is not merely determined by social forces.' Meaning it is not merely hundreds of activities of small groups of people, but can not study it by simply looking on a macro level, you have to study using both the macro and micro theories.



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