A Case Study: Sociology Why do men hold higher positions than women? What is Racism? What is the difference between Race and ethnicity? How can social policies improve society? These are frequently asked questions that many people in today’s society would like to have answered. These are also questions that sociologists strive to discover the answer to everyday. Sociology is a science guided by the basic understanding that one’s life is affected by their place in the social world. There are many different characteristics and views about sociology and society.
A majority of those issues are brought to light in Dr. Carl’s textbook Think Sociology. Dr. John D Carl lives in Oklahoma with his wife Keven and daughters, Sara and Caroline. He is currently a Sociology Professor at the University of Oklahoma and holds a PhD from the University as well. John also had different majors in college. He received an associate’s degree in natural science from St. Gregory’s College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Oklahoma. Later Dr. Carl continued Graduate studies in theology and social work, earning a master of social work degree in 1995.
During the interview Dr. Carl mentioned that he has worked and lived in a variety of places, including Mexico. He has worked in hospitals, schools, churches, and prisons. These encounters made Dr. Carl want to return to Graduate School to study in Sociology. During his time in graduate school John passes his general exams with distinction and then focused his course work in the areas of demography (the study of statistics), criminology (scientific study of crime and criminals), and stratification. These areas of study play a significant role in the studies of sociology.
As he mentioned during the interview the textbook was written for educational purposes for undergraduate students. It is used for one to learn the framework of sociology. The text actually happens to be an extremely easy read and all of the information is intriguing. To better appeal to the student demographic, Dr. Carl designed the book to look like a magazine. The cover of the textbook shows a teenager, with colored hair and tattoos, listening to music. This was immediately appealing to me because I usually expect college textbooks to look un-relatable and boring.
However, the cover relates to all teenagers in my generation. It also shows how a simple design can change one’s outlook on the entire class. With a fun and vibrant textbook cover one would expect the class to go over popular aspects of today’s society. The book even has a numerous amount of fun facts. One of the fun facts that was mentioned in the book is that majority of white males commit suicide due to their frequent listening of country music. Research shows that the common themes, infidelity, alcohol consumption, and general hardships, of country music drive men to suicide.
These fun facts help to keep the reader’s attention, and they also shine a new light on the world of sociology. One of Dr. Carl’s goals is to hopefully persuade a nonmajor to think sociology. All of those interesting facts will indeed catch one’s attention and increase their urge to learn more and study sociology. However, there is more than one intended use for this particular text. This text is also used to point out all of the current social issues and persuade readers to step up and speak out on equal rights for women, overpopulation, racism, and other social factors.
This text will challenge the reader’s thoughts and beliefs. During one of Dr. Carl’s recent lectures he discussed chapter 11 in the book which deals with feminism. In the text Dr. Carl states that majority of his students consider themselves to be anti-feminists. All of this was put to rest when he said that he asked his class the following questions: “Do you believe women should have equal pay? ” and “do you believe women should have equal rights in the work place? ” When majority of the class raised their hands he surprised them when he said that there all a bunch of liberal feminists.
By doing this he made his students realize that they need to do their studying and research before claiming to be something they are not. This all made his students want to go back and re-read the text and do some digging on their own. Dr. Carl stated during the interview that “it is exciting for me and them when you see a student start to think about the world in a new way. ” He also said he wrote this textbook because he enjoys writing but it is teaching that he truly loves. This is also an obvious intended use for the book. Dr. Carl makes his students purchase the te for the class and gives them assigned readings.
He also donates the proceeds from the book to a charity of his choice. One of the biggest disputes, and one of Dr. Carl’s favorites, to talk about is Racism. Dr. Carl stated that many people confuse racism and prejudice. Racism refers to discrimination based on a person’s race. While prejudice refers to having a negative attitudes towards an entire category of people. However, being prejudice does not just contain race but also other physical characteristics, like someone who wear glasses or has red hair. Prejudices are usually reinforced by stereotypes, which are perceptions people have on an entire group.
Such as saying that all black people are violent and all Latinos are illegal immigrants. Dr. Carl also mentioned that famous Graves Theory. This theory states that racism in the United States has relied on certain assumptions that go unchallenged. One of these assumptions is that many people in the United States are too blind to realize that racisms still exists, which is why people do not step up and speak out. Another unchallenged assumption is that races have genetically determined differences in athletic and musical ability.
For instance a frequently stated stereotype is that all African Americans are fast and naturally athletic. Dr. Carl noticed that many of his African American students have been asked “are you her on a sports scholarship? ” His students told him that questions like that really upset them, because a majority of their peers believe they are only at the university due to their athletic ability and not for their intelligence. Last but not least, the main topic of the whole text is discovering how people social status and characteristics effect the society as whole.
There are many different frameworks study around the world and they are called Paradigms. Dr. Carl said that another goal of his is to help his students discover what paradigm they fall under. The three types of paradigms, which are the main basis of sociology, are Functionalism, Conflict theory, and Symbolic Interactionism. Functionalist believe that everything in the social world exists because it has an intended outcome and unintended outcome. Conflict Theorists believe that inequality exists because of differences between groups with wealth and power.
Lastly, Symbolic Interactionism believe that labels are attached to certain individuals. All of these paradigms are mentioned all throughout the text. For instance, when talking about racism one may discuss a functionalist point of view against a symbolic interactionists perspective. Dr. Carl also brought to light that one may be a functionalist when it comes to gender equality but a Conflict Theorists when it comes to dealing with someone’s beliefs regarding overpopulation and such. As one can see there are a tremendous amount of view points in the world of sociology because it is studying the world as a whole.