Category Archives: In group

VALUES

Why did people move to America? To have freedom.  People would say that is and will always be our biggest value in America.  In our class’s sociology book, Values are defined as “collective conceptions of what is considered good desirable, and proper – or bad, undesirable and improper, in a culture” (Witt).  Early in the 18th century people moved to America for two reasons, for religious freedom and to start a new life in the “New World.”  In the United States, people can say anything, be anything they want and go anywhere with no limits.  But is that true?

Many Americans believe they do have freedom to make decisions.  But with the growth in technology and media people don’t realize they are involved in conformity.  Conformity means “the act of going along with peers-individuals of our own status who have no special to direct our behavior.”  Another big Value for Americans is trying to save money because our economy is not the greatest.  With the influence of the media advertising products that have no beneficial factor other than wanting a person to buy it makes it difficult to save money.  For example while I was watching television one morning I saw a commercial selling a “Pillow Pet” I began to ask myself what is the benefit of having this product, but then as the commercial went on, I realized it was intended for children.  If I were a child and saw that commercial I would assume that every child had one and would beg my parents to order me one so I could be involved with the In-Group.  The In-Group “is the feeling of being involved in something special.”

There are some people that don’t like the control of Conformity in America and they rebel by being deviant.  Deviance is, “behavior that violates the standards of conduct or expectations of a group or society” (Witt).  We have seen this happen to many celebrities all because of fame.  One example of this is Brittany Spears.  As a young artist she was forced to be a sweet and innocent singer, but as she grew up she began going out to clubs, parties and taking inappropriate pictures for the tabloids.  With America watching, we knew this was wrong and out of character for her, so we put her in a category of being deviant.

As I look at these examples I began to question whether or not I  am a conformist or if I make my own values.  I believe I am a conformist because I am in college getting the education I need to better my life.  I do believe I am involved in conformity because I eat cereal for breakfast to save time so I can do more things in my day and I shop for the newest clothes whenever I have money.  I believe that you can be whoever you want to be all you have to do is work hard to get there, which is another example of my conformity.

 

http://graceenguate.blogspot.com/2011/12/britney-spears-her-perogative.html

 

SOCIAL NETWORK

America is a postmodern society, a technologically sophisticated pluralistic, interconnected, globalized society (Witt122). One of the key elements of a postmodern society is networks. One of the major networks is the social network. A social network is a group or organization that allows people to have a broad outreach of other people, groups, or organizations and indirectly connect with them. “There are over 200 well known social network sites, with over 1.43 billion users. As of February 2013 Facebook is leading and Twitter is a close second for being the biggest social networking sites,” says Christian Arno writer of the article Worldwide Social Media Trends for 2012. The social network is growing three times faster than the overall growth of the internet. To help with better understanding of what social networking is, here a video on social network.

Now that you have seen that short clip on social network I would like to show, how social network affects the norms of our life. A norm is something we do or rules that we just embody as part of everyday life. I believe that the social network has become a norm for many people’s lives today.  Every day, multiple times a day, people are checking their Facebook news feed or reading a status on Twitter. According to the website, Mashable, “In 2006 people on average were spending about 2.7 hours a month on social networking sites. The average time spent now on social networking sites is about 7 hours a month.”. Therefore, I feel like social networking is becoming a norm in the average Americans life.

Many of these social networking sites require you to create a profile, just a few things about yourself. Once you have done this, for example on Facebook you can post a status or comment on a picture someone posted. These profiles allow people to view your values, a collective conception of what is considered good, desirable, or proper to yourself (Witt57).  On Facebook and Twitter, companies have their own page that people go to like or support or read about. A company may post a sale that it is having, and it is for everyone who follows them to see. Furthermore, you can make that page part of your in-group, a group or category to which people feel they belong (Witt108). Your personal in-group pages that you value are seen and can be liked by anybody with the same interests. By having the same interest in something as somebody else does, you two now have a connection through that page, thus making your friends and their friends able to see that page, indirectly connecting everyone in a social network.

 

With social networks being so large, there are good and bad things that come from them. That’s why I believe that their needs to be more social control on social networking sites. Facebook has led to some of the most deviant cases of cyber bullying on the social network. In 2012, I took writing 121, in which I wrote a research paper on cyber bullying. Being the twenty- first century, America is a postmodern society and “90% of teens are online” (Billitteri). Many of these teens are being tormented for what they consider to be the norms of their lives and their values attacked, because the abuser wishes to label them with a stigma, devaluing the person whom they view as different (Witt137).

Social networks have today, in some way, affected everybody  They help us find a job, are a dating service or aid in sharing music illegally. Social networks are growing every day, and growth is healthy for this economy. Growth just means we are moving forward as a society, and social networks are substantial elements for future growth.

Work Cited

Arno, Christian. “Worldwide Social Media Usage Trends in 2012” December 26, 2012 Article February 2013

Billitteri, T.J. “Are Laws Needed to Curb Online Aggression?” Cyberbulling (02 May 2008): 1-36 Article.22 Mar 2012. http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher

Mashable, “this is how much time you spend on facbook, twitter, tumblr”. 1-8 Article 11/28/2012 February 2013

Wikipedia. Online encyclopedia/social network/definitions/pictures. February 2013

Witt, John. SOC 2012.1-450 Text Book/ 2012 February 2013

Wikipedia. Online encyclopedia/social network/definitions/pictures. February 2013

Youtube. Videos/ “what is social networking”/ February 2013