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UA1 - John Rankin Soc 101.02 Unit Assignment 1 To Obey or...

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John Rankin Soc 101.02 Unit Assignment 1 9/21/05 To Obey or Disobey: The Condition of Human Freedom As humans we are all entitled to freedom. The Declaration of Independence describes this freedom as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. However, the argument can be made that even the government that blesses us with freedom exists in part to limit our freedom. Every day we are exposed to social structures that constrain or mediate our free behaviors. Some question whether we can actually be free in such a situation, pitting our own individual autonomy against the expectations of these social structures. I believe we are free. Our freedom exists in the choice to obey or disobey the authoritative social structures that watch over us. The authority of social structure is dealt with every day on three different levels. The smallest, or micro level, concerns our every day interactions with other people in social settings. When I was sixteen years old I encountered a social interaction on the micro level that resulted in my adherence to social structure. I was leaving hockey practice when I realized I had left my spare stick in the rink. On my way back into the rink I looked to my left down by the brook the rink was named for and saw the shadows of two people. They called me over. I recognized one of them as my friend and team mate Joe Gubicza. He handed me a pipe and I realized he was smoking marijuana. I had never done any kind of drugs before. My views on such an activity were that I would not ever pursue it on my own, but in a social setting I wasn’t so sure. As team mates we
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would normally support each other.
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