Introduction to Sociology
Freedom, Influence, and Society
In this paper I will take an in depth look at three topics discussed this semester that stood out to me and really stirred my imagination. This class has really opened my mind up on a number of different topics and ideas. I will look at the three topics that really caught my attention. The first topic asks the question of whether or not human beings are free. We repeatedly hear America is the land of the free, but how free are we? The second topic asks the question can an individual really make a difference? Everyone likes to believe they make a difference but the actual difference made by the individual may be less than we would imagine. The third topic that caught my attention is the question of whether the world is becoming one society? Even with the different economies, religions, and cultures, is the world becoming one society? I will discuss these topics in depth, explain why they stood out to me, and discuss the impact they will have on my attitudes and behaviors going forward.
First I want to take an in depth look at the question of whether or not human beings are free? To answer this question we must first understand what freedom is. There are several social controls such as family, society and government that influence many of our everyday thoughts and actions and limit our freedom. Charon defines freedom as “one’s ability to control his or her life.”(Charon, p. 110). He states that freedom is a matter of degree. How much influence does the individual really have on their own beliefs and actions? The sociological view of freedom sees it as a two way street “society shapes the individual, but the individual also shapes the society.” (Charon p. 110). Sociologists would like to believe that humans can be free but they also realize the power of the social controls and restrictions placed on individual freedoms by society....