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My Rant about Sociology & Life
Audrey Looking Up
Just finished watching "Kinsey", a biographical depiction of Alfred Kinsey and his work with sexual histories/experiences of a huge array of people (depicted in his books). It made me reflect on what I had heard about his flawed studies in psychology courses, and how it was depicted in the movie. Pretty interesting, nonetheless.

But, it made me think about the psychology of this and that. Which made me think of my major, now being Sociology. Similar, in various ways, if you think about it. I know Sociology isn't looked upon in nearly as great of a light as Psychology, though. I'm willing to accept being looked down upon for it, by some.

Steffan's dad made a few comments about my choice of major, that I know he probably didn't mean to sound so rude, but it hurt for about a minute. I told him I was majoring in Sociology, and he responded with a judgmental, "Why would you do that?" and proceeded with saying, "I knew guys on the sports team that needed an easy A to stay in their programs, so they took Sociology." He didn't think Sociology was something you could actually major in. He tried to soften the conversation by saying, "Well, if that's what you're interested in ... but you may change your mind once you get into it."

I understand his standpoint. No, you don't get a lot of money with Sociology. No, you probably won't be well recognized and well-respected with a degree in Sociology. It's not as prominent as Psychology. But ... I find it interesting. I like looking from a distance at groups and finding patterns, problems, solutions, whether it be with social dynamics or from a more business-oriented standpoint, etc etc etc. I like that it's an enormously broad topic, so that I'm not narrowed to a few career choices. Psychology is impacted. There's enough people interested in that department. I'm looking elsewhere.

I'm tired of narrow-minded/hurtful comments, where if they don't approve of it, it must be a terrible choice. I know Steffan's dad's intentions aren't bad, but I've heard from a couple people, that my major is useless. It's not useless to learn about the world around you. I refuse to think that.

Knowledge isn't useless. Just like in Little Miss Sunshine, "You do what you love, and fuck the rest."

Okay, I'm done. :-)

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Personally, I think all of the social sciences are not real sciences and just a way for most people to forward their own prejudices and ideas.

But that's my personal hangup. I think you're an intelligent girl, and it's really about what YOU get from your studies. So, I agree. If you love it, it's the right choice. Maybe you'll do something with it that will benefit a lot of people.

I can understand what you mean. Every social science class I've taken always includes people who think one way, and further establish that belief system in everything they do for the rest of the semester. But, I kind of find those people to be good experience nonetheless, since they challenge me to stay neutral. My sociology class at LBCC was filled with Conservative Republicans who really had opposing views from me, and some even talked shit behind my back on occasion, but ... the world is full of opposing views and I like learning to work with them & understand them all better. Personally, I could see people pushing their own prejudices and ideas from a number of directions in various majors, since we're all influenced differently, but that's me. :-P

Thanks for the comment. I appreciate it. :-)

Well, I do think it's possible (if extremely difficult) to be totally objective in certain fields. Math, for example. But the social sciences are based on quantifying and predicting humans and human behavior. I believe the human mind is far too complex and unique for that kind of study. Everyone will react differently in a personal way, and societies function based on sets of particular circumstances. Trying to find an underlying pattern in the way people interact is like squeezing people into boxes they don't really fit, because I don't believe there IS an underlying pattern. And I think squeezing people into boxes leads to stereotyping rather than seeing an individual human being.

But the truth of the matter is that people in real life DO stereotype and learn to evaluate others on first impressions. This is why I think someone like you has a lot of potential in sociology. Understanding the ways that people view others gives you a chance to change things for the better and fight prejudice and misunderstandings. You have my full support. :)

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