Merton explains why nonconformity and deviance occurs. The reason being that people sometimes become pressured that they must conform to society. Some do conform but some do not. Those that do not conform may take deviant actions to show that they do not agree with something that is being done. In the video we watched in class, a protest was being done by a large number of people. I believe this to be the action Merton produced, known as rebellion” Rebellion refers to the role behavior of political deviants, who attempt to transform the existing structure of society”. Those people took action on what they believed was right by protesting. They went out and tried to fight for what they wanted to really get their message heard. Another point that was mentioned in class was the fact that now rebellion is not being displayed as much as it used to in the past or at least differently. People now do not take action to change things the same way, we are too technologically invested to do something. Most people just sit around on their phones and computers and are not willing to go protest for something they believe in. If there was an issue that they wanted to change, the most rebellious thing they may do is post something up online about it. Which is obviously not enough and will not change anything. It just shows how much has changed throughout the years.
In the seoul fashion week video it was shown that many asian women undergo plastic surgery to look like the women of western culture. These women want double eyelid surgery in order to get wider eyes that western women have. This shows that many people have this idea that if they look like someone else that they will be prettier and it will make them happier. But does it actually make them happier? It seems like its not much of a choice but something that will be done eventually. In their culture getting plastic surgery is something very common. It would seem as though it’s part of society’s norm to get the eyelid surgery. These women receive the pressures to get the surgery done because everyone is doing it. It is common trait that all human’s hold, we want what we cannot have and even if we get what we wanted it will never be enough. We will always want more or something new. I think that no matter what society a person is part of, this idea will always stick. Even here in the U.S. many people are getting plastic surgery as well. The only difference is that here in the U.S. women strive to be skinny and have a larger chest so they will undergo surgeries to change that. The actual surgeries being done in different cultures differs depending on what their society believes is beautiful. The idea that we all want what we do not have seems to be true because of the pressures society holds.
Goffman talks about the idea of stigma, which is a mark of social disgrace a person may get for a certain characteristic they hold. People will be made fun of or rejected by others who create the stigma. An example of this is a gay person. I have read numerous readings for my sociology of sexuality class, most of which showed the same idea. Many gay people are forced to live life uncomfortably because of the stigma that is associated with them being gay. Most gay people will try to hide their sexuality by trying to act heterosexual because society holds the idea that being heterosexual is the “norm”. For many, they did not want to be associated with the word gay because they did not want to feel different than what society says. They would feel like outcasts because there are people who put them down. Stigma is something that should not be done and i believe that it is because society sets out these ideas of what is normal and not normal, that is why stigma still exists. No one will want to ever feel left out so many try to hide their own characteristics in order to fit into society. It is extremely unfortunate, which is why there shouldn’t be a “norm” because everyone is different and are all part of this society.
This is in relation to the ideas of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Beyoncé has been identified as a feminist and showed this in her music, more specifically in a song. Her song ‘Flawless’ includes a part of a speech made by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about gender inequality. She points out how women have been expected to act in certain ways differently than males. Women are expected to stay thin, not be too successful, not be sexual beings and expected to strive for marriage. Men on the other hand do not have these expectations. Gender socialization is constantly being done. Unfortunately society gives specific roles for men and women. As much as we would love to say that we are equal, the reality is that we are not quite there yet. That is the point Chimamanda makes in her speech. She spoke about something she experienced, she had gone out with a male friend and she tipped a man who had parked her car, the man thanked her friend even though she was the one who gave the tip. Women are not seen as the “bread winners”, it is always the men. The man who parked her car assumed that money came from her male friend. Women are somewhat expected to become dependent of men. That is what society teaches women. Although gender inequality has gotten somewhat better than the earlier years, it is still very much present.
There is so much wealth inequality in the United States that it makes you wonder why that is. Everyone strives to get to the top and become part of the wealthy. Unfortunately many will not be able to reach their goal because there are forces that make if difficult for them. Marx spoke about two groups of people. The bourgeoisie, are the people who hold the most economic power. These are the people who own the wealthiest companies. The people who work for them are called the proletariat. These are the people who do not own property and are forced to work for wages as a mean to survive. This hasn’t changed. The modern day bourgeoisie has to maintain their status by exploiting the proletariat. The proletariats are not getting the amount of wealth they deserve, which makes it almost impossible for them to become a bourgeoisie. It is difficult for them to own properties without the wealth needed to do so. This is why the wealth in the U.S. is unequal as it is. This is just getting worse as the years go on.