6 August 2010
Dr. Anne McDaniel
The World has produced a great deal of thinkers. Socialologists have a keen understanding and insight into human nature and the world around them. They have developed many theories on the human thoughts and actions. Herbert Blumer was a profound sociologist who had a deep impact on social theory. He was an interactionist who coined the term “symbolic interactionism” and formulated the most prominent version of the theory. An interactionsist focuses on the aspects so social life instead of the social system. They view humans as active creatures who fully participate in creating their own social world instead of conforming to socialization. In society today, people live in a world in which television is an active part of their lives. It has a vast variety of selections people can watch on tv. From comedies to world news, televison has the ability to influence every generation in different ways. If Herbert Blumer were to watch the show Two and a Half Men, he would have a great insight to the series.
Two and a Half Men is a comedy about two brothers. The two brothers, Charlie and Alan Harper, are complete opposites except for the fact that they both have a strong dislike for their mother and love for Alan’s son Jake. Charlie is a free spirited bachelor who drinks excessively, smokes cigars, gambles, and womanizes. He lives an easy lifestyle as a jingle writer and lives life on his own terms. Alan is the neat, responsible and well-behaved younger brother. He is an uptight chiropractor who lives with his older brother after separation from his wife. The show is about all aspects of social living from, sex and dating, love, marriage and divorce, single parenthood, and mother and sibling relations.
In Charlie’s world, life as he knows it revolves around him. He lives in the moment and plans not too far ahead and is happy in his own world. According to Herbert Blumer, symbolic interactionism rests on rests on three primary ideas. First that human beings act towards things on the basis of the meanings those things have for them (, 2001. Para. 4). Charlie lives in a Malibu beachfront with a Mercedes in his garage. He has no problem, rather enjoys telling women where he lives and what he does for a living. Charlie sees these objects and values the roles it plays in his life. The second premise is that such meanings arise out of the interaction of the individual with others (, 2001. Para. 4). Charlie understands that the women he persues are often impressed with his worldly possessions and achievements. This leads to his carefree lifestyle he so blissfully enjoys. The third premise is that an interpretive process is used by the person in each instance in which he must deal with things in his environment (, 2001. Para. 4). Charlie sees the connection with the success he has with women and the objects he has to achieve that chosen lifestyle.
Charlie and Alan could also be observed in the social conflict theory of sociology. Charlie is considered to be in the “upper class” level of society whereas Alan is in the “working class” part of society. Charlie has the easy life with the money, girls, and lavish things. Allan is the struggling “blue collar” worker just barely making ends meat. Throughout the series, the two brothers are in constant conflict with people in their lives. Different variables would fuel the conflict, but they are always going through some type of struggle, whether it is with each other or with someone in their lives. Through these conflicts, they would either learn a valuable lesson or they would eventually be able to see the greater good through it all.
The show Two and a half Men is a great...