The Forest and the Trees review

The Forest and the Trees review - T he Forest and the Trees...

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The Forest and the Trees Chapters 1-5 notes Chapter One *diversity * “differences are what make life interesting and enhance creativity” *privileged groups-subordinate groups *privilege and oppression *individualism: the period that the rational mind of the individual person was recognized and elevated to a dominant position in the hierarchy of things, separated from and placed above even religion and god. *individualism is a way of thinking that encourages us to explain the world in terms of what goes on inside individuals and nothing else. *missing the forest for the trees-forest is simply a collection of trees that exist in a particular relation to one another, and you cant tell what that relation is by looking at each individual tree-spread them out and they are just trees but put them together and they are a full forest *paying attention to that something more-whether it’s a family or a university or a society and hoe people are related to it is at the heart of sociological practice THE ONE THING We are always participating in something larger than ourselves, and if we want to understand social life and what happens to people in it, we have to understand what it is that were participating in and how we participate in it. Understanding social life is neither just the forest nor just the trees-it’s the forest AND the trees and how theyre related to one another. Sociology is the study of how all this happens. *social systems-the concept of a system refers to any collection of parts or elements that are connected in ways that cohere into some kind of whole. Ex: engine in a car-arranged to make a car “go” Family: a collection of elements related to one another in a way that leads us to think of it as a unit Elements: mother, father, sister, brother, child Elements also include shared ideas that tie those positions together to make relationships such as how good mothers are supposed to act in relation to children-we can think of what relates as a whole and call it a social system
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-get past racism by realizing that the system isn’t me and im not the system -compare social systems to a game such as monopoly-social system that has positions (players, banker), it has a material reality (the board, the pieces, the dice)-there are values that define the point of the game-to win and rules that spell out whats allowed in pursuit of winning, including the idea of cheating -greedy behavior is presented to me as a path of least resistence when I play the game of monopoly what happens when people participate in a social system depends on two things: the system and how it works, and what people actually do as they participate in it from one moment to the next. What people do depends in part on the position they occupy in relation to the system and the other people in it. People are what makes a system happen-without their participation a system
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The Forest and the Trees review - T he Forest and the Trees...

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