Going into this course, my initial thoughts were that I would be learning sociology—the study of people. My first impression was, “how difficult of a concept could that be…studying people. I’m a people person, I like dealing with people; what more to it could there be?!” However, as I began to dive into the coursework, and read non-fictional examples of the complexities of people and society, I recognized how naïve my initial thoughts were. Several times during this course, the question of if we [the students], were able to apply what we had learned in this class to any of our other coursework? Now as a mechanical engineering major, one would suppose that the answer to that would simply be no. Math…science…sociology? How could these ever be related? However, within my rigorous discipline of study, it is very important to be able to cooperate with others in order to accomplish the task at hand. In the field of engineering, despite the tedious mathematical computations, teamwork is an essential aspect in solving problems; and if one doesn’t have the social capacity to understand people, then great minds will never come together—groupthink. One particular aspect of sociology which I was able to identify and thus, apply in my engineering design class was the different concepts of groups. Many times in this class we [students] got to choose, or were put into groups, to work on various projects. Depending on the case, I would work in an In or an Out Group. The In Group provided me with an intimate face to face association and cooperation with the other teammates, and made me feel that I belonged. Thus, everyone in the group felt comfortable and weren’t afraid to share ideas and thoughts with the group. On the other hand, when placed into an Out Group, every aspect of the project was formal and impersonal, with very little social intimacy or mutual understanding. Within this group, the project went according to the few who took charge from the...
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