Reviewing and Applying Sociological Concepts

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The concepts I have learned about throughout the first half of this class have been interesting, some more than others. There are five that are the most meaningful to me. They are global perspective, culture, society, peer group, and reference group. A global perspective is the study of our society’s place in the larger world and the larger world itself (Macionis, page 6). I need to have a global perspective to help myself see better sociologically. Having a global perspective will allow me to better understand the current events I hear about on the news. I need to better understand the rest of the world in order to better understand my own world. Without a global perspective, I am like a horse with blinders on. Just like the horse can only see what is directly in front of it, I am unable to see the rest of the world aside from my portion of it. Taking a global perspective will lead me to see that different places have different cultures. A culture can be defined as the ways of thinking and acting, along with the material objects that make up a people’s way of life (Macionis, page 54). I need to understand that people I meet may have grown up in different cultures and have different beliefs or values. If I take a global perspective, I will be able to better respect and value the cultures of the people I come into contact with. Learning about different cultures is one way to learn about people’s history. Everyone’s pasts and futures are linked by their culture (Macionis, page 54). As I prepare to go to college in the fall, I think about all the new people I will have the opportunity to meet. I will have the chance to interact with people from other countries. I will have the chance to not just learn more about them as... ... middle of paper ... ...d by the society that I was growing up in. The kids of today are more technologically savvy than I was at their age, but they are simply products of their environment. Charles Horton Cooley used the term looking-glass self to mean a person’s self-image based on how they think others see them (Macionis, page 108; Cooley, 1964, original 1902). This theory is fairly straightforward. How a person views himself is based on how he thinks other people see him. I have done and will do throughout my life. If I think the people at school think that I am quiet, then I will view myself as a quiet person. If I think my friends at church think I am a good listener, then I will view myself as a good listener. The danger of the looking-glass self is that it can greatly harm a person’s self-esteem. It can also give people a false sense of pride and make people have large egos.

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