Author Archives: francesl83

Sociability and Simmel

According to Simmel, sociability is defined as a playful form of socializing, that is, a pleasurable experience that comes our of a persons interaction in society. This situation would occur when you’re enjoying the time spent with other people for the sheer delight of enjoying the conversation or interaction with the other person. Sociability disregards social status or positioning and basically reality so people just enjoy the conversation. I’ve come across sociability when going out with colleagues and managers after work. Having gone out with my boss, managers and colleagues, we are all on the same level even though at work, the managers and my boss are at a higher level than I, we simply have conversations and socialize just for the pure joy of socializing with each other. Whether or not the other people felt that way, I’m not quite sure but I experienced sociability. 

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Social Stigma

The definition of social stigma is a “severe disapproval of a person because of a particular trait that indicates their deviance from social norms”. When hearing about social stigma in class I thought about middle eastern Muslim women wearing a hijab or burqa as a veil to cover their body and their face out of respect to their religion and society. But according Erving Goffman, stigmatized people are people that don’t have full social acceptance and are constantly striving to adjust their social identities like mental patients, drug addicts, prostitutes, etc. Social norms control much of society therefore having people sort of lose a sense of self as trying to keep up with social norms and steering clear from being a social stigma if that makes any sense.

Fashion in Asia

The day Professor Hala shared the video on fashion in Korea with us in class was very interesting. I heard about many women getting surgeries in Korea but didn’t think it was that extreme. One part of the video a fashion designer said he wants more natural looking girls now which goes back to the idea that once many people dress a certain way then its not fashion anymore; since many girls in Korea get plastic surgery, it is no longer “fashionable” to be unnatural. It also didn’t surprise me how girls in Asia want to look like a white woman because its “beautiful”. When I was in high school, my mother had asked if I wanted to get plastic surgery on my nose so it would be skinnier and pointier, of course I said no but Asian parents have this idea of perfection, perfection in school grades, career, and beauty which then grows on the child. It’s not a bad thing to strive for perfection but when it comes to a point to thinking a certain race is perfection and beauty thus changing your entire facial feature to achieve this, then that isnt fashion nor perfection in my eyes.

Weber and House of Sand and Fog

In the film House of Sand and Fog Weber’s ideal types were shown. An ideal type according to Weber is an abstract analytical construct, a means to do a social research derived
from empirical observation. A traditional example of the ideal type from the movie would be Behrani renovating the house to build a balcony of some sort in order to have things the way they were. An affective action from the movie would have been Kathy attempting to kill herself due to an emotional state she was in at the time.

Wealth Inequality and Marx

After watching both the videos on wealth inequality in America, it showed me how unequally distributed wealth in America is. I always heard about the top 10% and thought that there was a “middle class” but these videos shocked me. I would have never known that the top 1% owns 40% of the nations wealth where as the bottom 40% owns .3% of the nations wealth. The wealth inequality is outrageous and it’s even worse that the people they interviewed on the David Letterman show and the 5,000 Americans the Harvard professor surveyed don’t even know how unequal the countries wealth is distributed and think they are in this ideal economy that consists of somewhat of a more spread out wealth between all the classes. But even if more people understood the inequality of wealth in America, would it change? 

This video can be related to Karl Marx’s capitalist system of commodity. As the capitalist pays the worker to create commodities and obtain a surplus value (M-C-M) the worker will work to obtain money to buy commodities (C-M-C). This explains how the capitalist obtains most of the money as shown in the videos while the worker only has a small percentage of wealth.