Society's Construction of Reality

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Society's Construction of Reality Many times sociologists speak about the social construction of reality and are never truly understood. In this essay I will try to explain what they mean. Renowned social analyst W.I. Thomas once made this statement: "If men define a situation as real, it is real in its consequences." What Thomas is stating is that man, his actions and reactions shape reality. This statement holds truth in it. It can be said that we as people change the world through our ideals and our actions. Our ideals foster developmental changes in society, while our actions foster equal if not greater reactions which changes the way society functions. Society is composed of "norms" and "sanctions." Norms are rules which mandate which things people should or should not do, say, or think in different situations(from: Sociology An Introduction). Norms are both written and non-written. The more flexible non-written norms are called "folkways." These unspoken social rules know as folkways are usually ideas or habits that society has developed overtime and which are done as almost a second nature. An example of this would be to say "thank you" after you have received something or praying before going to sleep as a child. Written norms such as laws are usually rigidly unyielding, these norms are called "mores". The violation of these mores are unthinkable and therefore are enforced by some form of punitive measure. These measures are examples of a "sanctions". Sanctions are the punishments or rewards that a society has placed on norms to discourage and encourage people from breaking the precedents that the norms had set(from: Sociology An Introduction) . There are two forms of sanctions, for... ... middle of paper ... ...rom one part of the world to another using powerful satellites within seconds creating a more closely knitted global society, a global village. Lastly there is language. "Language is a shared set of spoken an written symbols and rules for combining those symbols in meaningful ways"(from: Sociology An Introduction). The renowned linguist Wittgenstein had made the statement once that "limits of our language are the limits of our world". This statement means that if we don't incorporate a concept into our language than it probably not anything that is important in our culture / society. The concept of people manifesting their reality could easily be proven to be true. The importance of this information because if understand that what we do changes the world , after this is realized we can go about changing it for the better.
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