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  • Topic: Sociology, Structural functionalism, Structure and agency
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  • Published : November 30, 2010
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Dylan Gonzalez
Professor Donna Bobbitt-Zeher

Sociology 101

20 October 2010

Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science that involves the study of people, groups, and societies. This science explains the dynamics of society and how they and how they connect to our actions in everyday life. It studies the ways that social structures human attitudes, actions, and opportunities. The basic framework of The Forest and the Trees has two main points. The book discusses the main analogy of the “forest and the trees” and the analogy of the “One Thing”. This also mentions the relationship between social systems and individuals. There are many components that make up these topics. Also, there are different perspectives on them and on sociology itself.

Simply put, the forest is society and the trees are individuals in society. The same way a population of trees makes up a forest, individuals make up society. A bunch of trees close together make a society just like a bunch of people make society. They help shape and form each other. Individuals’ actions and behaviors are based on the social system they are a part of. At the same time social systems are made of many individuals. “As we participate in systems, our lives are shaped by socialization and paths of least resistance.”(Johnson 19.) At the same time we, as in individuals, are make social systems.

Paths of least resistance are the easiest choices to make based on the society that an individual is in. It doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best choice. For example, if somebody makes a racial comment and you think it’s wrong but at the same time everybody else is laughing so you just laugh because it is the path of least resistance. It is the route that will make you feel more uncomfortable than just not laughing and being judged by everybody else who did laugh. It is the path with the least amount of conflict on the individual. “People make systems happen, consciously or...
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