Wednesday, February 23, 2005

To Ponder - Sociology

Sociology is the study of groups from two to millions. Almost all of this science is involved in seeing if there is any order to how groups interact. These distinctions are almost always divided into classes, such as race, sex, socioeconomic status, nationality, religious affiliation and depth of belief, etc. However, generally it has been my experience with sociology professors and those who profess to be experts in this subject, that we are not to make any decisions based on what they purport to define. Thus, if studies show that a certain ethnic group is more likely to be very studious and achievement oriented, as an employer I’m not supposed to take that knowledge into consideration in the hiring process. Hmmmm

6 comments:

maddiekate03 said...

I agree that taking characteristics of peoples into consideration when making hiring decisions is important...However, it would not be fair to assume that just because the majority of that group behaves or performs in a certain way that an individual member of that group will necessarily live up to the characteristics of the majority.

Eric said...

Sociology Major (the study of poor people in an effort to graduate and become one).

In every college class that I had the most absurd comments always resonated from the Sociolgy wing. These people are typically the most prejiduced (believing that they are the most open) and unrealistic individuals alive. They are not business people yet they curse the ambitious attitude of the one who wants more.

They, in their own way, must keep the divide of existance for if we were truly all as one we would have no need for their services.

Randy Kirk said...

maddiekate - Does this mean that social workers don't take into consideration the data concerning groups when deciding how to counsel. I understand that we should get past the group i.d. and deal with the individual, but that isn't practical in the early stages of a relationship.

maddiekate03 said...

How interesting that Eric says that sociologists are the most "prejudiced" when he is obviously prejudiced against all of them (and there are conservative sociologists out there).

As a conservative sociologist and social worker, I do not believe it fair to lump us all together as unrealistic. Our common goal (at least in grad school) was to meet people where they are, and work with individuals based on their needs and work toward improving their current situation. We may not be a "business" people, but we are a compassionate group who desire to help people help themselves. Granted, there are those extreme leftist liberals who want to steal from the rich and give to the poor, but I don't think it's fair to lump all sociologists into that category.

maddiekate03 said...

randy kirk - i believe it's a combination of both keeping certain data in the back of your mind, but more importantly, looking at the individual who is in front of you - ESPECIALLY in the early stages of a relationship. Making wrong assumptions based on "data" can be extremely damaging to any relationship, if you use it to the disregard of the person presenting himself to you.

Randy Kirk said...

MK - Isn't that "back of the mind part" bring us back to the original thesis. We all bring those prejudices to every relationship. I continue to agree that it is wise to quickly begin to meet the real person, confirming some and discarding others, but we kid ourselves if we think our preconceived notions are easy to overcome.