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Reflection on module - Essay Example

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LIVING THEORY Instructor Institution Submission Date I have had my past two years in sociology class address micro level sociology frameworks while my current module is at the macro level where we have been analyzing sociological theories from different schools of thought…
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LIVING THEORY I have had my past two years in sociology address micro level sociology frameworks while my current module is at the macro level where we have been analyzing sociological theories from different schools of thought. It has been an interesting journey all through as I have learnt the art of people’s behavior and the overall effect of people’s behavior within the context of a society. I had not previously understood the way people reason and behave until my enrolment for the sociology class. I have always had interest in understanding the rational on which people as social beings reason and make decisions; at individual level as well as in group context. From the economic classes, the theory of consumer behavior as well as rational choice theorem had been learnt. These partially explained how people (economic agents) make choices based on the limited nature of resources as well as on their personal gratification. Moreover, the rational choice theory depicted people to make choices deriving interest from maximizing their returns (Guth and Kliemt, 2010, p.54). The social theorems studied earlier also explained the decision making processes by individuals or groups in everyday lives. I therefore had some background on the social processes even before the module began. For the purpose of my academics, it has always interested me to pursue sociology studies to advanced levels. Understanding the living theory is therefore necessary for the purpose of understanding sociology at advanced levels (Whitehead, 2009, p. 104). My studies too were necessitated too by my keen interest in serving the community as a social worker. This therefore also required that I have a better understanding of the decision making processes by people. Among other skills that the study for ‘the living module’ will require is good grasp and understanding of the sociological theories especially the theories of Bourdieu as well as the critical analysis skills through which the theoretical frameworks are studied. Debating, argument as well as the ability to criticize are basic skills that are paramount for the successful study of the living theory. Critical analysis within the module would necessitate the student to have a good ability to express his/her views within a debate context and properly present his/her arguments. Therefore the module required soberness in studying in order to successfully study the theoretical framework that are developed inn explanation for explaining the daily behavior of persons. The module concentrated on studying the theories developed to explain daily behavior of persons. It concentrated more on the theories developed by Bourdieu (Fowler, 1999, p.1). Moreover, the module required me to carry out a review on an article but Simmel on ‘the stranger’. However, the critical review proved a hard task in that I could not easily understand the content of the article. In sum, the ‘living theory’ module has not been an easy one owing to the fact that studying it was relatively stressful and the experience absolutely negative. Understanding the module was hard because the theories were advanced in languages that were not easy to understand. Nevertheless, I have gained profound incites as regards the general sociologists and their work. Sociologists study the behaviour of human beings in the society to find out why they behave the way they do and how they relate to their environment (Whitaker, 2008, p.1). The social theory advanced by Bourdieu is applicable universally and describes the universality of decision making at all situations or places based on the cultural instrument. He reasoned that social classes are not resultant of economic conditions but rather the result of cultural capital. Other than the cultural capital, he thought that human behavior is influenced by social, economic and symbolic capital. Moreover, he reasoned that the choices individuals make are not constrained by economic factors as Marx would make us to believe, but by cultural codes which individuals are unaware of and which have a social origin. On the ‘stranger’ perspective by Simmel, he thought that, “society is made up of the interactions between and among individuals, and the sociologist should study the patterns and forms of these associations, rather than quest after social laws." (Farganis, 1993 , p. 133) There is always a conflict between use of objectivism and subjectivism in understanding behaviour, but some sociologists such as Bourdieu have managed to avoid this conflict by finding a middle ground between the two (Huizing, 2007, p.5). Different sociologists use different approaches to studying the society but most of them incorporate views from their counterparts; for example there are the functionalists who believe in parts that make up a social system and the structuralists who emphasise the social laws. Notable sociologists include Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Anthony Giddens, Merleau-Ponty and Wittgenstein, among others. Bibliography Farganis, J (1993). Readings in Social Theory: the Classic Tradition to Post-Modernism. McGraw-Hill: New York. p. 133 Fowler B. 1999. Pierre BourdieuOs sociological theory of culture. VARIANT ? VOLUME 2 NUMBER 8 SUMMER 1999. p.1 Guth W. and Kliemt H. 2010. (Un)Bounded Rationality in Decision Making and Game Theory – Back to Square One? Games 2010, 1, 53-65 p. 54 Huizing A. 2007. The Value of a Rose: Rising above Objectivism and Subjectivism. Working Papers on Information Systems ISSN 1535-6078, SPROUT. p.5 Whitaker L. G. 2008. Getting Started in: SOCIOLOGY. The McGraw-Hill Companies learning splutions. 3rd Edition. p.1 Whitehead J. 2009. Using a living theory methodology in improving practice and generating educational knowledge in living theories. Educational Journal of Living Theories. Volume 1(1): 103-126 p. 104 Read More
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