Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wonder


For you nerds out there (I guess - is a sociologist considered a nerd?) I'd just like to take a moment to reflect on my chosen major - Sociology. I have been taking classes for about two semesters now, and hopefully am gaining somewhat of an idea of what it's all about.

What is it, essentially? The study of the human collective. It's psychology, plural. Heavily tied into anthropology (that's very similar, with an empirical twist). Since I'm starting this major late into my college career, I'm actually going backwards and taking the introductory class this semester. We're learning the basics: how to do research, research ethics, culture, class, economics, Marx and Weber - all that good stuff.

Now, in my more particular socio classes, we seem to be focusing on these general topics:

1. Class Struggle
2. Gender
3. Globalization
4. Statistics
5. Suffrage
6. Race!
7. Gender!!
8. Class!!

Yes. Something definitely repeats in that list. We are heavily interested in, it seems, class and gender struggles throughout the world. How do the oppressed battle the oppressors? How does matriarchy struggle for a presence in patriarchy? How does race bias affect societies? It seems like, in other words, we're going over the major developments of the last century: gender, class, and race. These are really important issues because they are still issues. In many of my classes, the professors urge us to try to understand the delicate and complicated problems we face, even in the industrialized world. All in all, I'd give the focus a hearty B+.

The only thing I would really like to see more of, and so far am not, are other issues that may be harder to distinguish if we're looking on the surface. It takes a little digging, and a little remembering - but whatever happened to wonder? Or C. Wright Mill's "Sociological Imagination?" I don't want to sound idealistic, but can't we enchant our research with this wonderful tool? We have a great set of lenses to utilize: empirical research, statistics, data, sociological terminology. But what of wonder, adventure, thinking outside of the box? From dabbling into sociological books and talking with my professors, it seems they too are quick to admit you will not find such a spirit hidden readily in scholarly jargon. 

In fact, one of my professors even admitted that many books often tend to be a show of intellectualism over any honest, heartfelt questions. So I ask this one: Why can't we wonder? The answer of course, is redundant. Of course we can! There are a few gems in sociological research (Sidewalks) which attempt to narrate the research and make it accessible for everyone to learn from. It's in this spirit that I guess I am writing, too.

And in that case, let me wonder a little with you. These questions, right now, I'd like to ask without imposing concepts, and thus a bias:

1. What makes us tick, really? Not just economics, biology- those are a part of it. But really, what makes us tick?
2. What fundamental assumptions to we use to create how we see our realities?
3. Or even, can our basic assumptions about the world, and our relation to it affect every aspect of our reality - from individual actions to entire civilizations?
4. What discoveries has wonder brought us?
5. Because we believe we are born into the world, and not out from it - does this make a difference? Can it describe why things are the way they are? (Not in good shape for civilization, it seems.)
6. Let's allow ourselves to just wonder, and see what arises.


These and so many questions have arisen during my classes, but alas - they are never 'satisfied' or rather, no meaningful answer is given. To add to the starting point of criteria in our classes, I'd love to see us crack open Alan Watts' book, "Man, Nature and Woman." It explores our fundamental assumptions about humanity that run deep into culture, history and pour out in the present. The belief that there is a "self" and "other" for instance, creates a duality that seems to birth every opposite in the cosmos. These points, risen by Watts and many eastern philosophers (and sociologists in their own right), could do wonders for helping us understand ourselves, singular and plural. Why not start sailing the inner-cosmos, as well as the outer? To borrow the shamanic label, it's time for sociologists to embrace the psychonaut. 



10 comments:

Anonymous said...

"What is it, essentially? The study of the human collective. It's psychology, plural."

Sociology isn't psychology in plural. Society isn't a "collective".

In general, if in doubt what sociology is, I found it helpful to go back to the "source" (or at least half way) and read E Durkheim and M Weber.

shaman sun said...

"is the scientific or systematic study of society, including patterns of social relations, social stratification, social interaction and culture," seems pretty broad enough to include the psychology of groups, societies. Sorry if the term "Collective" wasn't precise in this context?

From where I sit.... said...

Not sure what the heck kind of clarification that are gonna get from looking at both Durkheim and Weber...one would give you social facts (and yes, a plurality ie., collective conscience, etc...) while the other would give you an interpretive and more subjectivisit take.

I think the questions originally posed are really relevant and I would recommend looking at the debates that emerged from the whole Public Sociology debate which has sorta f*ing rocked the discipline.....
check out:
http://www.humiliationstudies.org/documents/KallebergPublicSociology.pdf

and

http://pubsoc.wisc.edu/news.php

Coach Factory said...

coach outlet, louis vuitton outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, true religion, tiffany and co jewelry, michael kors outlet online, polo ralph lauren, nike shoes, cheap oakley sunglasses, kate spade handbags, louis vuitton outlet, burberry outlet online, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, longchamp outlet online, michael kors outlet store, louis vuitton, true religion outlet, chanel handbags, polo ralph lauren outlet, oakley vault, gucci handbags, nike free, louis vuitton handbags, michael kors outlet online, prada handbags, red bottom shoes, nike air max, burberry outlet online, coach outlet, ray ban outlet, christian louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet, prada outlet, kate spade outlet online, tory burch outlet, nike air max, louboutin shoes, coach outlet store online, true religion outlet, jordan shoes, longchamp handbags, coach purses

Coach Factory said...

bottega veneta, lululemon outlet, ugg soldes, wedding dresses, soccer shoes, nfl jerseys, jimmy choo shoes, hollister clothing, new balance outlet, beats headphones, uggs on sale, north face jackets, moncler, baseball bats, uggs outlet, marc jacobs outlet, asics shoes, birkin bag, canada goose outlet, giuseppe zanotti, soccer jerseys, rolex watches, mcm handbags, babyliss pro, moncler, celine handbags, timberland shoes, ugg outlet, insanity workout, ghd, north face outlet, herve leger, moncler, valentino shoes, canada goose uk, chi flat iron, ferragamo shoes, reebok outlet, canada goose outlet, p90x workout, canada goose, ugg boots, canada goose pas cher, canada goose outlet, moncler outlet, mont blanc pens, iphone 6 case, instyler ionic styler, ugg, nike air max

Coach Factory said...

nike trainers, ralph lauren pas cher, nike air force, michael kors uk, lacoste pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, burberry pas cher, roshe run, nike huarache, vans pas cher, vans outlet, converse pas cher, air max, abercrombie and fitch, nike air max, hollister, hollister, barbour, new balance pas cher, louis vuitton uk, hermes pas cher, nike roshe, chaussure louboutin, lululemon, longchamp, ray ban pas cher, guess pas cher, timberland, tn pas cher, oakley pas cher, ralph lauren, hollister, sac michael kors, abercrombie and fitch, nike free, michael kors canada, nike roshe run, longchamp, north face pas cher, mulberry, sac louis vuitton, longchamp pas cher, scarpe hogan, north face, nike free pas cher, ray ban uk, louis vuitton pas cher, louis vuitton, sac vanessa bruno, mac cosmetics

ninest123 said...

ninest123 16.03
tory burch outlet, ugg boots, tiffany jewelry, prada handbags, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, louboutin, nike air max, nike air max, louis vuitton, jordan shoes, michael kors outlet, nike free, polo ralph lauren outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, burberry, longchamp, ray ban sunglasses, gucci outlet, louboutin shoes, oakley sunglasses, ugg boots, louboutin outlet, tiffany and co, chanel handbags, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, prada outlet, ugg boots, polo ralph lauren outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, ugg boots, replica watches, longchamp outlet, burberry outlet online, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton, christian louboutin outlet, replica watches, nike outlet, michael kors, uggs on sale

ninest123 said...

nike free run uk, hollister pas cher, air max, tn pas cher, nike roshe run, replica handbags, nike huarache, mulberry, nike trainers, vanessa bruno, michael kors, true religion jeans, michael kors, louboutin pas cher, ralph lauren uk, converse pas cher, oakley pas cher, coach outlet, nike air max, air force, lacoste pas cher, timberland, coach purses, lululemon, ralph lauren pas cher, nike blazer, nike roshe, abercrombie and fitch, sac guess, north face, north face, nike air max, hollister, hogan, longchamp pas cher, coach outlet, true religion outlet, air jordan pas cher, ray ban uk, vans pas cher, burberry, michael kors, true religion jeans, sac longchamp, ray ban pas cher, hermes, true religion jeans, nike free, michael kors, new balance pas cher, nike air max

ninest123 said...

asics running shoes, iphone cases, iphone 6s plus cases, oakley, abercrombie and fitch, soccer shoes, ipad cases, converse, mont blanc, louboutin, reebok shoes, soccer jerseys, ralph lauren, nike air max, vans, baseball bats, mcm handbags, instyler, ferragamo shoes, north face outlet, iphone 6 plus cases, insanity workout, gucci, north face outlet, timberland boots, lululemon, iphone 6s cases, chi flat iron, mac cosmetics, ghd, nike air max, nfl jerseys, vans shoes, hollister, iphone 5s cases, iphone 6 cases, beats by dre, herve leger, nike roshe, bottega veneta, new balance, hollister, valentino shoes, jimmy choo shoes, hollister, babyliss, giuseppe zanotti, birkin bag, p90x workout, wedding dresses, s5 cases, celine handbags

ninest123 said...

sac louis vuitton pas cher, barbour, canada goose, juicy couture outlet, converse outlet, moncler, pandora charms, ray ban, moncler, marc jacobs, lancel, juicy couture outlet, doudoune canada goose, replica watches, wedding dresses, louis vuitton, barbour jackets, moncler outlet, moncler, canada goose outlet, moncler, swarovski, montre pas cher, bottes ugg, pandora jewelry, supra shoes, canada goose, swarovski crystal, canada goose uk, louis vuitton, moncler, louis vuitton, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, coach outlet, karen millen, pandora jewelry, ugg boots uk, canada goose, canada goose outlet, moncler, pandora charms, ugg pas cher, links of london, thomas sabo, hollister, canada goose, moncler, toms shoes, louis vuitton, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia
ninest123 16.03

Blogging List

  • $DASH is the Tesla ($TSLA) of Cryptocurrency - Happy Anniversary Tesla Model 3 Reservation HODLERS! Today, March 31st 2017, is the one year anniversary of me and hundreds of thousands of people making a...
    2 months ago
  • kenodoxia - For Epicurus, there are some fears that are perfectly legitimate; so too are some desires. Epicurus offers a classification of desires into three types: ...
    1 year ago
  • The Story of Fruit - What's up with fruit? Fruit is a healthy choice and loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, as well as fiber (key to weight loss because it is good for your...
    2 years ago
  • Not so Gung-Ho this time - As predicted, I totally failed at keeping with the writing. In spite of the enthusiasm and spirit of my previous entry, I let everything else get in the wa...
    3 years ago

Followers

Live Traffic