Path 1: Personal experiences drive the types of knowledge a sociologist finds interesting, and the types of knowledge they will create.
Do any of the experiences described by the presenters interest you? Which one(s) do you find the most interesting and why? Do you have a personal connection to any of the topics or ideas discussed? Can you think of a personal experience that might be examined sociologically? Out of all of the presenter’s in the video, Joe Keller and Cameron Day’s experiences and areas of study interest me the most. Keller spoke about the sociology of reality and what goes on behind closed doors, which spiked my curiosity because I have family issues that aren’t exposed and seen at surface level, and I know I am able to hide it well. Therefore, I know that there are other people and situations that have an entry different story behind closed doors, and learning about those situations and what causes them to be hidden fascinates me. In addition to Keller’s experience, I am also interested in Day’s experience and field of study, the criminology aspect of sociology. I have always believe that everything happens for a reason, even the bad things. Likewise, I believe that there is a reason people do what they do, even if they do bad things. If people were able to understand the reasoning behind why criminals commit the crimes they do, we would have a better understanding of how to help the person, prevent similar future incidents from occurring, or even how to give the person proper punishment. On a more personal level, I believe that my father’s addiction can be examined sociologically and fit in with the field of study of the two aforementioned gentlemen.
Path 2: Applying the ideas of those considered giants in the discipline
We will learn more about these ‘giants’ throughout the semester. But, from the video, which theorists’ perspective seems most interesting to you? How might you be able to apply their ideas to the world around you? Emile Durkheim’s perspective seems the most interesting to me because it relies heavily on emotions, and I have always been emotionally driven. His theory deals with social ties, solidarity, and even suicide, a topic I am sensitive too because of a family member with a past attempt. I would love to learn more about why these things happen and how emotions and interactions with society are involved in these rates. Durkheim’s ideas may be applied to the surrounding world when it comes to situations such as job interviews, because as said by Laura in the video, the social ties a person has with their past schooling and work experience can affect their likelihood of getting a job versus an another applicant for that same position.
Path 3: Ask key questions to guide them in the creation of knowledge
Which of the key questions discussed in the video did you find the most interesting? Why? Can you think of an example of something that you might examine using one of these questions? The question I found the most interesting in the video was: Who benefits from the way society is organized, and at whose expense? I found this question intriguing because it illustrates that everyone has a hidden agenda. It seems as if people act in ways that bring them their desired benefit, no matter who they step on in the process. This concept illustrates that people are naturally evil, and although I do not agree with that, it still makes me wonder what it is that causes people to believe that people are only looking out for themselves. An example that can be examined with this question is the war on drugs, but more specifically, drug dealers. Dealers will destroy the lives of others just to provide an income for themselves.
Path 4: “Things are not what they seem”
How might looking beyond popular understandings be helpful in understanding the world around you? Can you think of an example where looking beyond the ‘popularly held assumptions’ about something