William Isaac Thomas and Robert Ezra Park Sociology has been an important discipline and field to the lives of people as it provides an avenue for discussion and further studies regarding how the human society works…
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Issues in the society are also talked about in the field of sociology as the people studying it called sociologists are making solutions to reduce the unwanted existence of problems (Browne 2011, p. 3). It is also done to improve the quality of life. Among those people who study the society, William Isaac Thomas and Robert Ezra Park are two of the famous sociologists of their time. In the paper, the lives and works of both sociologists will be explored while comparing and contrasting them to one another. William Isaac Thomas was then born in Virginia to a family of farmers and strict Methodist. His lineage came from the Dutch and later on he and his family migrated to Knoxville for a better education for him and his siblings. When he entered college, he studied English and graduated from University of Tennessee (Ritzer 2005, p. 834). When he worked as a professor, he taught many language courses while having a growing interest in sociology as inspired by Herbert Spencer. Afterwards he got married to his first wife (Prus 1996, p. 113). His work on the cultural problems of European nations then was followed by his promotion in the sociological instructorship in University of Chicago. He also became one of the editors of the American Journal of Sociology. Then his major break came when he published the Sex and Society that showed some revolutionary ideas on the issues of sexuality though it may be considered at present as sexist and bias (Ritzer 2005, p. 834). Later on he got a financial assistance from Helen Culver that gave him the chance to study Europe and Poland in particular where he got interested with the Polish immigrants as they were the major European settlers in Chicago. To make the study successful, he learned their language and conducted various interactions with them both in Chicago and Poland (Cappetti 1993, p. 225). His work about the Polish people entitled The Polish Peasant in Europe and America was co-authored by Florian Znaniecki whom he met in Poland and he hired as his research assistant. Their work focused on how the peasants adapted to their surroundings especially the sociological factors. Thomas then argued that the factors just gave each individual the choices wherein he makes his decision, but the experience is extremely subjective as the actor is the great influence (Ritzer 2005, p. 835). His perspective and works then served as the foundation for the creation of social psychology as the actor does not rely solely on his inner reality but also carefully use the social factors in the material reality in decision-making. That particular discipline then focused on the theories of motivation as affected by the social factors and the importance of both subjective and objective considerations in studying sociology. His perspective then can be summed up to the concept of symbolic interactionism wherein human beings react to the same situation differently as a result of differences in interpretations due to their own subjective experiences (Pruss 1996, p. 114). His ideas then were used in his succeeding works like The Unadjusted Girl and Old World Traits Transplanted. Despite of his great works, he got into a controversy when he was arrested by FBI for violating the Mann act as he traveled across states with young women. He did not live a traditional life as he believed in pragmatism more than morality as he believed in non-conventional ways. His charges were then dropped but he got fired from being a professor in the University of Chicago. He later on went to Boston to publish his next works as he got the negative publicity in Chicago. His next works were published under the name of other authors like Robert Ezra Park who had contributed only a fraction in the
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