As I am coming to the end of my first term of taking an Introduction To Society, one of the core concepts that I found most important was bracketing. Bracketing, to be playing the stranger by holding preconceived notion off to the side while allowing new ideas to be evaluated. Bracketing is the premise with which all learning about sociology should be done in order to have an open mind. Bracketing enhanced my understanding since it gave me the ability to rationalize and decipher new ideas without any bias or prejudice to the material at hand. Taking this Introduction To Society course has forced me to read about topics that I would never have seeked out on my own. And in the process it has broadened my thinking since things are not always how I might image them to be causing me to allow these new ideas to come in, and possibly replace my old archaic preconceived notions. One topic that expanded my knowledge and gave me a clearer understanding was the implication of social and mass media on society. One societal division I was not aware of before reading about mass media and it’s implications was the social division of social class between Facebook and MySpace. Facebook has attracted the wealthy, educated and white population while MySpace attracts the minimally educated, non-popular outcasts of society. This interest has caused me to enroll in the Mass Media and Society for my next term.
For somebody my age I have travelled to many different countries such as India, Egypt, Japan, Botswana, Australia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Combining my travel experiences with my new knowledge from this course has made me further understand how I place myself within society. These two factors in my life have had a large impact on my life shaping me to be who I am today and enhanced my vision of myself. When traveling to such different countries you are forced to bracket your own preconceived notions unless you want to be a vulgar American tourist wearing shorts in a Hindu temple.
Removing my preconceived ideas of who I am, I was fascinated by the entire concept of privilege, causing me to come to the realization that within the human race I am considered to be within one of the most privileged categories of society, being a white male. This new notion opened my eyes to the new reality of how my friends and acquaintances might view me before they even really know who I am as a person. I didn’t realize that people who were not a white male were born with a disadvantage before they had really entered the human race. This differentiation of privilege continues to happen because people chose to follow the path of least resistance.
This course has taught me that bracketing is important since without it one will walk around this world never learning or expanding one’s thinking.
This Candid Camera video that we watched in class highlighted social facilitation and the power of suggestion. Social facilitation is how one’s behavior is changed when surrounded by a group that is acting in an opposing way. The power of suggestion is how someone’s opinion or thoughts are altered by the opinion and thoughts of the people they are surrounded by who are experiencing the same situation. In one scene, three men in an elevator who were knowing of the experiment, worked together to force conformity upon the subject that entered the elevator by doing things such as turning to face the back of the elevator or taking their hats off, which resulted in the subject following.
I Feel: I feel this video was a great demonstration of social conformity when subjected to group behavior.
I Think: I think the experiments were well conducted to create social awkward situation for the subject being exposed to the scenario.
I Believe: I believe group conformity plays a large role in modern institutions such as post secondary, high school, and the work place.
I Know: I know situations where individuals are subjected to group pressure occur everyday all around the world forcing the individual to subordinate to the group’s thoughts or ideas.
Premise 1: Individuals are often subjected to group conformity at work or in social situations.
Premise 2: The power of suggestion is able to persuade an individual away from their own independent ideas in order to not rebel against the group in their effort to fit into society.
Premise 1: privilege sets people up to not see or care about what is going on.
Premise 2: people naturally follow the path of least resistance.
Many people are born privileged with unearned advantages. People are born in to social categories that are not necessity aware of their status. The privileged people are the people who are white in skin color and male in sex. These people of privilege or people in a system of privilege are in denial about what is going on around them. Breaking the silence of privileged people that use denial as a psychological defense mechanism to alter reality would be the biggest way that we will ever see any change in our society. There needs to be more education among the privileged people to be less ignorant and stop blaming other people. People following paths of least resistance have to know that they are making subconscious choices that are defining who they are as a person. Silence allows the system of privilege to carry on.
I Think: I think awareness is apart of the solution to breaking the silence on privilege.
I Feel: As much as subordinate groups are being stereotyped in this video, I too feel like I am being stereotyped as a pompous and entitled while male which I do not feel I am.
I Believe: I believe privilege is a problem in our society and that it could be aided by breaking the silence surrounding it.
I Know: I know from watching this video that I live a life of privilege because I am a white male.
Last class on November 21, 2012 I participated by offering many suggestions while trying to classify the faces into their racial groups from the website.
On Oct 29, 2012 I participated in class by giving an example how my generation has contributed new vocabulary such as “to google” to our society.
On Oct 29, 2012 I participated in class by offering a definition of culture to contribute to class discussion.