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Insight Into Human Behavior In Sociology

1148 words - 5 pages

Sociology is the study of societies. Sociology analyses the various social phenomena, such as ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, to gain a better understanding of the dominating values [and 'norms'] that underpin a society’s function and provides an individual with a sense of belonging or attachment. This insight into human behaviour, both as an individual and as part of a group, has been the foundation for sociological thinking in the past and is still relevant in understanding the present and future. This essay is broken into three main points - the history; legacy systems and thinking; and institutions role in modern society - to support sociology's role in helping us to understand 'sex, ...view middle of the document...

To explain this further we must acknowledge the existence of patriarchy in our current society models. The systemic culture we have inherited is based on both capitalism and patriarchy; and is rife with gender inequality, particularly in the corporate world. In Acker’s (1990, pg XX) findings on gendering patterns on the divisions of labour, it is noted that “men are almost always in the highest positions of organizational power”. Meyer (2003, pg XX) supports this statement by outlining the effect globalization has had on women in the labour market, noting opportunities have increased but the barriers for advancement still remain. Following on, in 2012, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (2012) ‘Leaders in Top 200 Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) Companies’ series reported that only 3.5% of Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO) were female. Also highlighted within this series is only 12% of board directorships and 10% of executive key management positions were occupied by females. These results in present day society still reflect the struggles faced in first-wave feminism.
Conclusions drawn by studying gender can vary significantly. In the corporate world we see the inequalities faced by women in organizational hierarchy and power, but when we look at gender in terms of social support, we see something very different. As patriarchy is associated with the ‘law of the father’, masculine characteristics are considered the ‘norm’. However this ‘norm’ hinders men in relation to social support and in some cases networking. As characteristics, such as empathy and compassion are considered feminine, men tend not to exhibit these traits in their friendships and close relationships. Vaux’s (1985, pg XX) investigations concluded that women experience a favourable level of social support compared with men and is supported by Bell (1981, as cited by Vaux 1985, pg XX) “that women have more close friends than men and emphasize intimacy and disclosure in their friendships”. As we refer back to three models - given to us by Durkheim, Weber and Marx – the social reproduction of this inequality is evident in the digital age [in social networking such ‘MySpace and Facebook’]. Thelwall (2008, pg XX) conducted a study in relation to gender analysis of MySpace member profiles and concluded that the typical user was female and seeking online friendship. The study also found that females generally had more friends [close or acquaintances] than men.
Sociology teaches us that motivations, values, and ‘norms’ are not absolute, they are transient. Gender, itself, has undergone a significant transformation in Australian Society over the last 40 years (Holmes, Hughes, Julian 2012, pg XX). This insight...

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