Social Location Determines Life
The sociological perspective examines the hidden reasons for one’s actions and identities that people have. It stressed how they are influenced by their society and most of all their social location. Social location predetermines all aspects of one’s life and there are rules that come with social location, and with rules come social control mechanisms and social stratification that keep people in line. With social location also come institutions that provide roles which form one’s identity. In the movie, “Good Will Hunting,” the main character Will Hunting is a young deviant what grows up in a rough neighbourhood and has the intellect of a genius. Role theory and other concepts from the sociological perspective explain Will Hunting’s actions and identity.
Within the sociological perspective there are many concepts, however there are only a handful of concepts that explain Will Hunting’s actions and identity. Social location is the overarching reason for ones actions and identity. It predefines one’s life; actions, emotions, identity and all aspects of life. Social location is defined as “…the intersection point of specific social forces” (Berger 67). A person cannot help but to be thrown into a certain social location and this location limits human behaviour and expectations. Social forces refer to anything in society that can cause change; friends, family, legal system, etc. Within a social location, there are certain rules one must abide by “…location in society constitutes a definition of rules that have to be obeyed” (68). These rules are present in order to keep a functioning society, social control comes in when people disobey these rules and need to be put back into line. Social control is defined as “…various means used by a society to bring its recalcitrant members back into line” (68). There are two main types of control mechanisms used by society; they are formal and informal mechanisms. The formal mechanisms are used by the political, legal and economic systems, most resulting in violence or against one’s will, and informal mechanisms which are used by family and friends, using instruments of gossip, ridicule, banishment or shunning. These mechanisms consist of an agent and an instrument. The agents are roles, positions, and institutions which serve as a model of how to do things properly. An instrument is what the agent uses in order to keep the person in line (therapy, violence, etc.)
Social stratification also ties in with social location because depending on one’s social location one is thrown into, their class system is assigned, “…any society will consist of levels that relate to each other in terms of superordination and subordination, be it in power, privilege or prestige” (78). This is a system of ranking, and one’s position is usually determined though economic criteria. One’s level may change however; “…a class society is one in which there is typically a high degree of social mobility”...