Friday, December 1, 2006

Where I am coming from...

So many of you know me, some not as well as others. I know that after being on Myspace for almost a year, it's may seem a little silly to be posting what may seem like an 'introductory' blog, but I thought it might be a little fun for you all to get a little peek into part of the way my mind works, so I'm going to talk a little about my dreams and aspirations.

For the past couple of days I have been on here bitching about the big giant motherass assignment I had due on Thursday (the one that I handed in at 1pm today, THANK GAWD). I'm currently a student of sociology in my third year of University. I was originally a psychology student, but I have been taking sociology courses since my first year. In some ways the two disciplines are quite similar, and in other ways they diverge greatly. They are both studies of human behaviour, but psychology focuses mostlyon the individuals thought processes and behaviours, where sociology focuses more on interactions between people on the micro and macrosocial levels.

I left Psychology halfway through second year, because I realized that I had more of a passion for sociology, as well as enjoying the research methodology more. After the three years that I have been exposed to this discipline, it's safe to say that I am of the Social Constructionist mindset, with Marxist tendecies. That is to say, I don't beleive in anything. Or more accurately, there is very little I take for granted as 'natural' anymore.

People make the mistake of thinking that when someone says something is not 'natural' that you mean it is wrong. I try not to make value judgements as to what is right or wrong. I like to think more along the lines of what is 'harmful' or 'harmless'. Most of the time now, when I say 'natural' I mean congenital, something that is built into you at birth. There is very little I concieve as natural anymore, I tend to find evidence to the idea that pretty much every value, norm and idea about life we have is constructed in some way. I guess this idea I derived mostly from the courses on Sexuality, as well as sociology of the Family.

I think the problem that many detractors of Social Constructionism have is that it sounds so much like a big conspiracy, like people conciously set out to spread ideology. It's so much more subtle than that. Most of the norms we take for granted, for instance gender roles, are so embedded into our psyche that we are unaware of the socialization that is taking place. When you tell a little boy that he can't wear a dress because he is a boy, that's conditoning him to accept certain behaviours as masculine. It's not a concious thing though, because we concern ourselves more with teaching our children conformity, not in the name of perpetuating the construction of gender, but in the name of making life more comfortable for our children. It's not a concious thing. Social construction means simply that norms are created through human interaction, not handed down by some divine entity.

As far as my Marxist tendencies go, I say that because I do beleive that there is a dominant class, a power elite that works to perpetuate their own power. Why not? If I had a great deal of power, I would fight to retain it as well. I also beleive that some of the hegemonic assumptions that we live with day to day are perpetuated through certain agents of socialization, such as the media, namely the tool of advertising, for the benefit of major corporations. I could go on for days about this.

As much as I complain, I love my education, and I would love to continue it as far as it will take me. My ultimate goal is to specialize in media studies, one because it fits in so nicely with my pop culture addiction, and two, in light of the theories of social constructionism, it is interesting how this approach begs the question of art imitating life, or life imitating art. More accurately, life imitates art... but art tends to feed into hegemonic ideologies.

Anyway, yeah. That's a little bit of me. Sociology whore. I'm rambling... but anyway. I'm going to watch a movie I think... first one in weeks.

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