Sociological Perspective

Topics: Sociology, Social stratification, Symbolic interactionism Pages: 6 (2050 words) Published: January 27, 2007
Sociology is defined as the systematic study of human society. At the heart of sociology is a distinctive point of view called "the sociological perspective." Sociologists look for general social patterns in the behavior of individuals as they relate to a group and how the group and social structures affect our individual perception and behavior. Human behavior is patterned, and repetitive. We can predict with reasonable reliability what each of us will do generally under given conditions (Seymour, 2003). Our uniqueness as individuals is in the context of the group we belong. Sociology studies the social forces that impinge on our lives in so many unseen, yet significant ways. Sociologist Peter Berger said: In seeing the strange in the familiar "things are not always what they seem." Sociology pushes us to question the assumptions we are making about society, and reveals aspects of our social life that we typically would not claim to be "obvious" facts. Our social world guides our actions and life choices as individuals. People act in the context of the group they belong; it is the group that influences human behavior. The realization of the strength and importance of the group is the heart of the sociological perspective (Berger, 1983). In this paper, I will explain the sociological perspective of the personality and character of the lead actor, Denzel Washington, and supporting actor, Bruce Willis, in the movie called The Siege. Their personalities and characters shaped by the same America society, both of them work for a law enforcement agency, but their beliefs, values and attitude to duty are divergent. My points of reference are based on the theories of Max Weber and Émile Durkhiem Max Weber

The idea of symbolic interactionism, or interactionism for short, was coined by the German sociologist and economist, Max Weber (1864-1920). Weber emphasized the subjective meaning of human behavior, the social process, and focused on the subjective aspects of social life and social systems. Max Weber believed that we need to know the image of humans, rather than on human's image of society. He said that humans are pragmatic actors who continually must adjust their behavior to the actions of other actors and situations. He also said that humans can adjust to these actions only because when we are able to interpret them, i.e., to denote them symbolically and treat the actions and those who perform them as symbolic objects. Society consists of organized and patterned interactions among individuals. This focus on interaction and on the meaning of events to the participants in those events (the definition of the situation) leads to toward change, and continually readjusting social processes. These emphases on symbols, negotiated reality, and the social construction of society lead to an interest in the roles people play (Blumer, 1969). Émile Durkhiem

Émile Durkhiem, (1858-1917), argued that social institutions are functionally integrated to form a stable system; and that a change in one institution will precipitate a change in other institutions. Structural functionalism takes the view that society consists of parts, each of which have their own functions and work together to promote social stability. Another emphasis is placed on needs, which must be met for a social system to exist, as well as the ways in which social institutions satisfy those needs. Thus, every society will have a religion, because religious institutions have certain functions which contribute to the survival of the social system as a whole. This analogy between society and an organism focuses attention on the nature of social systems: social systems work to maintain equilibrium and to return to it after external shocks disturb the balance among social institutions. Therefore, members of the society are schooled into the basic values and norms of that society, so that consensus is reached. (Garfinkel,1967). Synopsis of The Siege

The Siege is a...
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