I just read, “Drawing Blood: Being a poor person in America”, and it is so relatable. It makes me realize that there is not much quality of life in America, unless, of course, you come from a wealthy family line. What we do here is work hard, either education-wise or labor-wise, and never really get to see the results of our sweat. If we want to have decent money we won’t have the time to enjoy it, and if we decide that we want to actually have the time to stop for a second and enjoy the world around us, then we’d have to quit our jobs and not have money to enjoy it. And yes, we do need money to enjoy life; who are we trying to kid when we pretend to believe in the famous saying, “money doesn’t buy happiness”? Don’t get me wrong, happiness is not all about money, but it plays an important role. I’ve been working in fields that cause alienation since i was 16 and I’m already sick of it. I work for selfish, rude, and of course, wealthy people who’s favorite thing to do is make others feel non-human. It’s so hard to accept that most of us are pretty much stuck in this position; most of us won’t make it out. I will though, I refuse to work for the rest of my life with the purpose of making my boss richer.
What impacted me the most about this video was the Eastern belief that having these transformations done will change their fate for the better. This only shows how shallow people can be. This video also comes to show that us humans want what we can’t have; we are never satisfied. A thick person wants to be thin, a thin person wants to be thick, a blonde wants to be a brunette and a brunette wants to be a blonde, and it continues for pretty much anything that we can think of. This can also relate to the belief that “the end justifies the means”, their belief is that in order to achieve beauty, anything is ok. All is fair in love, war, and beauty…
More and more people in our society are becoming willingly oblivious to the progressing corruption. People do what ever it takes to get to the top, and this relates to Merton’s “the end justifies the means” doctrine. It doesn’t matter how wrong the act may be, as long as it gets you where you want to get, then it’s alright. If the norm to achieve success is to go to get an education and work your way up, the majority of the people deviate from that norm in order to make their procedure more efficient. In other words, ambition has lead to demoralization. Merton believes this to be an adaptation to anomie; when the culturally assigned goals are no achievable through the culturally available means, then there is anomie. What I speak about in this paragraph is an example of a type of adaptation to anomie. People believe in the goal, but they change the means to achieve it; they become innovators.
An example of innovation is the medical field; it has become more than maintaing people’s health. Sadly, doctor’s misdiagnose, or prescribe the wrong medicine in order to keep the patients going into their offices and paying them, or making the drug company money by prescribing the most expensive medicine. The end is making money and their innovated means is to scam people in a way that is socially accepted. Reality is being altered, I would say, in every field nowadays, and everyone ignores it so that they don’t have to say that they agree with it.
Weber emphasizes the difference between class and status. According to Weber, status is honor-determined power, and class is on a separate spectrum determined by economic situations. I agree with him on the idea that the world went through a disenchantment because of the rise of the concepts of status and class. Life’s new purpose has become to rise in the ladder of class and/or status, nothing more than that. In the video that we watched in class, they speak about Americans suffering from status anxiety but i think that it should be called class-status anxiety. By calling it status anxiety they are conveying that Americans merely want to be honorable and acknowledge because of what they do, but in reality, it is not that simple. I would say Americans are more money hungry than honor hungry, which causes them to strive to move up in class and not necessarily in status. Nonetheless, there is still anxiety. Americans have been conditioned to believe that they are in the land of the free and equal, therefore, in theory, they have unlimited opportunities. Because of this belief, we set infinite aspirations for ourselves that set us on a never-ending quest for success.
As a psychology major, I am a strong believer of the famous concept of “mind over matter”. To me, the brain is the most crucial organ in our body. With that being said, I disagree with Marx when he goes against Hegel’s theory on reality, which states that, “Reality is a product of our conceptual categories or consciousness and thus has no existence independent of our own construct of it.” What Hegel brings forth is that the mind is in control of one’s reality, and Marx contradicts him by saying that it is actually the other way around: one’s reality is in control of the mind. Marx’s counterargument is understandable due to the fact that that is indeed the case for weak-minded individuals. Society has trained us to be that way, but we cannot solely look at it that way. I don’t think that the brain’s capabilities should be undermined simply because society has put a restriction on our mental growth.