In the current context modernity, post-modernity, and globalization continue to apply to the study of society and the individual. In addition, nationalism has reemerged as a response to globalization and structural socio-economic changes brought about by technology. including replacement of human labor.
Nationalism is defined as:
“loyalty and devotion to a nation especially : a sense of national consciousness ; exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations. Example: Intense group nationalism was one of the causes of the war.”
In Sociology the term reification is defined as:
“The process of coming to believe that humanly created social forms are natural, universal, and absolute things.” Quality Research International.
There can be a tendency to “reify” our perception of society. In other words we have a tendency to view society as a thing apart from us rather than a set of systems that humans have created.
From a sociological viewpoint what does the behavior described below say about the social-cultural characteristics of these respective societies? Is it objective for foreign observers to assume that individual behavior reflects a society’s dominant culture?
“In many cities (across the world), doctors, nurses and other health care workers have been celebrated with choruses of applause and cheers from windows and rooftops for providing the front-line defense against the pandemic….In some places health care workers, stigmatized as vectors of contagion because of their work, have been assaulted, abused and ostracized.
In the Philippines, attackers doused a nurse with bleach, blinding him. In India, a group of medical workers was chased by a stone-throwing mob. In Pakistan, a nurse and her children were evicted from their apartment building.
Dozens of attacks on health care workers have been reported in Mexico, where intense outbreaks among hospital staff of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, have unnerved residents and members of the medical community alike…Nurses in the state of Jalisco reported being blocked from public transportation because of their occupation. A nurse in Culiacán, the capital of the state of Sinaloa in Mexico’s northwest, said she was drenched with chlorine while walking along the street.” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/27/world/americas/coronavirus-health-workers-attacked.html
The examples above are of societies other than ours. However, recent armed protests in Michigan’s state capital present more relatable examples because closer to home . Is this American Society?
1. What does society mean to you? What would be your simple definition of society?
2. According to one governor, government should not be based on optics, celebrity, press releases or social media posts. Government should be based on expertise and competence. He contends that in the current context, government makes a difference between life and death. Governing in a time of crisis should be about facts and data not emotion and politics.
What does “governing” mean to you?
3. What can the macro-systems’ approach contribute to our understanding of international issues and relationships?
4. Which of the three “grand” sociological theories would best fit research conducted on the following topics? (Check the level of analysis – whether “macro” or “micro” in Module 1 Figure 1.2.) Please provide a brief explanation for your choice.
5. The Forbes article on the pandemic and the N.Y. Times article present two different perspectives on the ways that leaders of societies adopt policies to protect “the individual” in a health pandemic. The Forbes article focuses on the pandemics threat to societies’ democracy and individual civil rights The N.Y. Times article focuses on the threat to individual life. Which article did you find most convincing? Please explain why