Mertons theory of deviance is quite interesting. Society tends to categorize the poor or the unfortunate as those who commit crimes as they see that the unfortunate has nothing to value so they tend to commit questionable acts. However Merton thinks that its the social structures in our society today that help influence who commits crimes. Merton also explains that those how and why people commit crimes are based on their morals and values. This i think is something we all can agree on, ultimately its ones morals or values that determine if they’ll commit a crime. Being poor or unfortunate may play a bit of a role or be a factor as well but someone being poor that grew up the “correct way” may not commit a crime as one who grew up rich and brought up the “wrong way”. Crimes are not committed based on your social status, its committed based on your values. It may just be that those with lower class status are those who don’t have as much values as those with a higher status.(not saying its true just giving an example)
Goffman’s definition of stigma is “a discrepancy between actual and virtual social identity that causes us to alter our estimation of them downward.” In todays society there is often a stigma which isn’t just related to one person but to a group of people as a whole. Stigmas don’t just pop in and out for fun, but can rather be created through ones actions. In addition even though a single person’s actions may put a stigma on ones self, it does in a way start to form or characterize an opinion about a group of people as a whole. An example would be the attack on september 11. Most young children at the time would be ignorant to the idea of terrorism or the differences in race. But because of the actions of a few people(Terrorist), people would start to generate of characterize the idea that islamic people are associated with terrorism. Now younger generations growing up will have this stigma attached to them even though they have nothing to do with the actions of others. All in all stigmas can be attached to anyone or to even a group of people. Its not the way things are suppose to be but it is what society allows.
Fashion can be seen as a style or a trend that people tend to follow. Trends can range from clothes to body art, piercings and even technology. Fashion however can arise from anywhere, whether it be upperclass fashion, or even street fashion. Simmel however thinks that fashion can only arise if someone of the upper class adopts the idea. Also Simmel thought that fashion cannot be vogue because the general population usually adopts the latest fashion. Simmel also compares the metropolis of mental life in the city versus the country. Simmel also thinks that “we have to develop this Blasé attitude in order to survive”. The video we watched in class also clued in on fashion. During the seoul fashion week, people take fashion very seriously. One artist “the guy in the barber shop” did not care much for the fashion week. He was more worried about the image that fashion portrayed to the rest of the world. He stated that someone who has never met a Korean before may be judgmental when they do come in contact with a korean because of what is portrayed to the world about Korean fashion. The video showed how fashion was such a trend in south korea that girls were able to do almost anything in order to keep up with fashion. Surgery is so normal that it is like “going to the dentist”. In my opinion fashion is just indeed a trend. People tend to follow whatever trend is in place and for those that don’t follow, they’re often looked upon as different from the rest of society. Fashion does in fact change frequently. For example iPhones are created or updated almost every year so to keep up with the fashion trend you’d need to update or upgrade your phone frequently.
Gender inequality is defined as economic and political disparities between genders. The video we watched in class epitomizes gender inequality in our society today. In the clip a woman was introduced to her job and every person in the workplace was a male. This shows how men dominated the corporate world and women had no plausible place in the “corporate world”. The video also went on to show how women weren’t seen as capable of performing certain tasks. One of the characters stated to paraphrase ” heres a type writer, its simple enough for a woman to use”. This also went to show that machines had to be simplistic and easy enough for a woman to use. In my opinion this was just the way of society at the time, the idea of women working seemed bizarre . However this doesn’t make it right but it could explain the reason behind why people behaved the way they did in this time.
Americans all have the idea that one day they can achieve the idea of the american dream. everyone wants to be the richest or most glamorous person walking, no one wants to think that the “normal life is for them” they want to be more than what they already are. Sometimes they think the normal life or the life they have just isn’t enough, sometimes even the rich want to become richer. when people see others advancing while they are getting left behind, they tend to get envious and greedy, and develop a dislike about a neighbor or anyone who is prospering if this prosperity doesn’t apply to ones self. People tend to be self assertive, so they need others to praise them and to always be in the spot light, and even when that happens, its sometimes not enough. The video epitomizes the idea that the normal life isn’t enough. One character who was a store manager wanted to be way more than that and believed that one day he could achieve being on television as long as he pursued it.