Sociology Essay

  • There are many countercultures in the world. Name one of them and explain why you believe they fit into this category.

Counterculture is a word that describes the norms and values of a cultural group that is different from the ordinary social mainstream. They can be dangerous since they do not have set standards that restrict them to promote positive change. Some countercultures advocate for changes that are only serving the interest of a small group, and this can encourage destructive and problematic behavior.  Examples of countercultures are the hippie movement, polygamist, green movement, feminist groups, among others.

            The late 1960s saw the emergence of the hippie culture, which grew and attracted thousands of American youths across the nation. The hippies gained popularity as America became move involved in the Vietnam War. I believe it qualifies as a counterculture because a majority of its followers were white youthful middle-class women and men that felt out of place in the mainstream middle-class society. Members of this counterculture disliked the pressure that comes with living by the usual standards of lifestyle, appearance, and employment. Almost all countercultures have some aspect of rebellion in their practices, and the hippies as well had their distinct brand of revolution. They chose to grow beards and keep their hair long, explore spirituality, and take drugs while at it (Pruitt, 2018). The hippies desired to have a good time and find more meaning to life. The culture had a strong identity which did not combine with other countercultures. Contemporary countercultures are very different from those of the past. If you were a member of a counterculture in the past, there was no bailing out. Also, being part of more than one counterculture was impossible. But as times have changed and numerous countercultures emerged, it is no longer unusual to be part of several subcultures. 

  • Each person in society has a status. What is your status? In addition, do you believe you were given this status? Explain why or why not.

            Everyone in society has a status, which most people assume to be the prestige of one’s education, lifestyle, or vocation. Sociologists define it as the position that a person is given within the community or a given group. The kind of behavior expected from persons of a certain status is their role. Status can be divided into two categories: ascribed and acquired. An ascribed status is one that is determined at birth, for example, ethnicity and gender (Mundra, 2015). A status gotten over one’s lifetime by exercising skills or knowledge is termed as acquired status.

I come from a family of five children, and being the first male child was an ascribed status, I did not choose to be the firstborn. In most communities and families being the first child comes with a couple of responsibilities. First, you are a role model for your siblings, which forces you always to behave and act mature. I have had to play the roles of a second parent to my siblings to the point that it does not feel like a status. I have always been hardworking in my school work and managed to be the first person to have reached the university in our external family. With this, I acquired some status as well. The university offers the highest level of education; therefore, when it comes to matters to do with career choices and majors, all fingers within my community are directed towards me. Being the most learned individual is a status that I earned by myself through hard work and persistence.

  • It is said that we all learn by experience. Or do we? There are three theories of socialization. Think of a personal situation where it was a “learning experience” and describe the outcome based on the theories of socialization.

The statement ‘we learn by experience’ is partly true and partly false. A child emulates the behavior he or she grows up seeing. It is because of this reason that children raised from a violent household end up being bullies. What is learned from experience is first hand and cannot be forgotten easily. However, it is not always necessary for someone to have experienced something for them to learn. Socialization is the process through which a person acquired the essential skill required to operate as a functioning member of society (Cole, 2016). It is a critical learning process because humans are contrary to animals whose behavior is biologically set. There are three theories of socialization, namely: Mead’s, Cooley’s, and Levinson’s theory.

I recall growing up; I was the lead singer of a band in junior school. It was a band of four, and though we were all age mates, I seemed to be the oldest because I was taller than the other three. I always knew myself to be a shy person and not capable of addressing a crowd. Whenever we performed with the band, I did not feel alone, and it did not feel like I was doing much. However, there was this one time we were set to perform during the prize-giving ceremony. And just before were took on the stage, the master of ceremony requested that the leader of our band do an introduction and briefly highlight our aspirations. At that time, all eyes were directed towards me, and though it was scary, I did as requested. From that experience, I learned that my fellow bandmates and almost everyone always looked at me as a courageous boy that possessed leadership skills. I take this to have been a moment of discovering myself from the reaction of others, which is labelled as looking-glass self in Cooley’s theory.

  • We all experience the stages of the Life Course — some more than others. At this point in your life, you may be in the Young Adulthood or Middle Adulthood stage. Thinking into the future, how do you see your Life Course playing out? Describe it using each of the remaining phases.

Apart from the life course looking into a person’s life history, it also foresees the influence that early life happening will have on one’s future decisions.  The life course divides human life into life spans like infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Though everyone experiences the stages of the life course, some people do it more than others. For instance, it takes some children a bit longer before they enter their puberty stage.  Being young adulthood, I am gradually leaving behind my teenage years and improving my behavior to settle down. People in this stage start becoming independent and are no longer influenced by peer pressure.

I believe when I enter my middle adulthood stage, my conformity in society would have become stronger and will consider getting married. The stage is appropriate for marriage as my job will be stable; therefore, sustaining a family will not be an issue. After roughly two years of marriage, we will now start having children. I would like to have three kids, most preferably two sons and one daughter. Their ages should not be too far apart, a 3-4 year interval. Raising children is tough, but with a supportive spouse, everything will flow fine. By the time I will be in the mid-old age, my children will have cleared school and gotten jobs leaving me with ample space to plan on retirement. I want to spend my old age somewhere far from the city; somewhere I can have a small farm to rear some livestock and poultry.

References

Cole, N. L. (2016, October 20). What Exactly Is Socialization? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/socialization-in-sociology-4104466

Mundra, A. (2015, April 23). Status and Role of a Person in Society. Retrieved from http://www.sociologydiscussion.com/society/status-and-role-of-a-person-in-society/2415

Pruitt, S. (2018, September 14). How the Vietnam War Empowered the Hippie Movement. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/news/vietnam-war-hippies-counter-culture

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