Sampler Public Sociology Rocio

20th century Public sociology focuses on the ideas brought upon society by our history of domination and war. The idea is that a community is stronger than a single person. The involvement of all the people in a society creates more pride and results in tension between other communities. When a community is in the larger sense more together like a state or country the people in that community create a greater pride. This creates war and a domineering ideology over others whom seem inferior to the stronger community and is enforced by that of knowledge either given and/or construed to fit the role a society government wants it to play.

The influence of 20th century sociology has is based on the ideas of those working behind the desk and deeply with the government. My take is more of how society has been the same but somehow different. We have not only continued to have wars for the same basic reasons but we think we have learned from our mistakes. Now sociologist focus more on the in depth reasons why society acts the way it does. We look into how power and money connect to dominating and taking over which create wars. But also sociologists try to understand how each society functions and how those functions create their opinions and traditions. What is most interesting is studying how a country like the U.S. in particular has small factions of regulation to undermine its owns societies progress.

Ideas from our Theorist Friends

Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

was a protestant minister in Detroit, here he bacame more aware and concerned about social justice as he observed the world around him. He then came to write and teach about social ethics at the Union Theological Seminary in New York and was a cofounder of the Americans for Democratic Action. This excerpt is from his book, Moral Man and Immoral Society

This is all about communication and the lack there of. How is it that one nation can seem to understand itself but yet still have injustice within its own society. Niebuhr saw what was happening in his own society and tried to make sense of it in a more global viewpoint. There is no compassion for the other world in connection to our own. In terms of society of the varriouse economic classes we see the difference in treatment. When the world comes into view, our own ideals dont travel to that of other nations we care for our own well being not others. To elaborate more in terms of how we think of war in a global standpoint can be the same but how we treat these decisions are in a sense for selfish discourse. "the selfishness of nations is proverbial… it was a dictum of George Washington that nations were not to be trusted beyong their own interest. "no state," declares a German author, "has ever entered a treaty for any other reason than self interest," and adds: "a statesman who has any other motive would deserve to be hung." "in stake i am in favor of advancing these interests even at the cost of war" (Lemert 248).

This is in connection with the idea of knowledge, who attains it and who is making it aceptible to society. We do have information but what is it actually doing to our society? It depends greatly on the kind of information, especially about the world around us and what conflicts are arising, that matter the most. When there is a distinct conflict with nations we see our news gives us one type of information and our outsourcing news from other countries and from the internet community that give us different points of view. The unfortunate truth is that although we have all of the information available to us it is not all of us that actual look for the correct information but just soak in what is told to be true by the most familiar or overpowering entity in our own society and this is true for those countries around us. Although we do teach in our school the ideas of Marx, Weber and many theorists of communisms and socialist views they are not appreciated at all by our mainstream media.

**>Kennan, George (1904-2005)

Studied at Princeton. Entered the U.S. foreign service in 1926 making him an expert in soviet affairs. from 1953-1974, he was a professor t the institute for advance studies in Princeton. This excerpt is from his telegram "on the united states and containment of the soviets."

"many of them (soviets) are too ignorant of outside world and mentally too dependent to question self-hypnotism and have no diffuculty making themselves belive what they find is comfroting and convinient to believe. .. Who if anyone in this great land (soviet union) actually receives accurate and unbiased information about outside world."

Kennan explains how the soviets not by their own fault have fallen even deeper into the unconciouse fait of specific information. No one is at fault for not having all of the information if your government is controlling your mind in terms of media and what can be shown to its citizens eyes. I take this concept from the ideas of Kennan to focus on how the 20th century sociologists know what should be known and what is not known by the world in each state. If we look closer at his theory we can see the different ways he sees our approach to giving the world of the soviets more knowledge would help our struggle for understanding before war persists as he was in the era of the cold war when he wrote this. He gives three steps to how to deal with the soviets 1st. to study our opponent. 2nd. we need to be educated by our government "there is nothing as dangerous or terrifying as the unknown" (lemert, 290). 3rd. we need to solve the problems in our own society first. How can we know how to approach such a world if we have not the proper information to go about a tactic to resolve problems in our own society.

**>Rostow, W.W.(1916-2003)

Studied at Yale and served in the Office of Strategic Services during WWII. Was a professor of economic history at MIT from 1950-1961. Worked as the special assistant to JOhn F. Kennedy in 1961. This is an excerpt from The Stages of Economic Growth

"In terms of history then, with the phrase "traditional society" we are grouping the whole pre-newtonian world: the dynasty in China; the civilization of the middle east and the mediterranean world; the midevil Europe."

  • The traditional society
  • The preconditions for take off
  • The take off
  • The drive to maturity
  • The age of high mass -consumption
  • Beyond consumption
  • A dynamic theory of production

Rostow takes all societies and their history to show us how a cycle of formation is taking place. He explains the stages of growth from where societies begin in a more traditional agricultural sense fending for their own well being and moving toward the industrialized concepts of trading and political structures. He refers to the "take off" as a place where societies begin there transition "the precondition for take-off were initially developed, in a clearly marked way, in Western Europe…as the insights of modern science began to be translated into new production function in both agriculture and industry, in setting given dynatism by lateral expansion of world markets and the international competition for them". Here is a clear understanding that when societies change from being self sufficient to being controlled by what the rest of the world contributes to its society and vice versa. It's a system of give and take and every society eventually follows this pattern in growth. He goes on to explain how there is a never ending cycle by telling us about technological maturity, consumption and production. In summation what can be done when the society reaches its growth? when we have everything we are suppose to that we have worked so hard to get?

To understand what 20th Century sociology really is we need to look at what is going on and what has gone on in the world around us. We must be aware of our history and learn from it not just by studying what our own society thinks we know but what we can learn from the world around us. It is the job of the person filling their brain with knowledge to find the facts and learn what is important. When we as a society learn to do this then we will learn how to understand those societies we find it so easy to fight with. It is not simply that the world is different depending on its own history but that every history connects in some way and societies are made of people that all have these same tendencies so why can we not understand each other better. These sociologists not only exemplify the different roots we should focus on as a society but that of what our society is and what knowledge is hidden from even the most powerful.

Main reading are:
-Niebuhr, Reinhold. 1932. "Moral Man and Immoral Society" (247-249)
-Kennan, George. 1946. "On the United States and Containment of the Soviets" (287-290)
-Rostow, W. W. 1960. "Modernization: Stages of Growth" (294-300)

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