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Sociology is a branch of science derived from the word society; it is the study of human character and behavioral conduct. Usually the surrounding society and environment defines an individual’s behavior especially after one reaches adulthood. However, some people argue that economy and political surrounding nurture one’s behavior.
Genetics and sociology
The writer of the essay describes nature as the genes one inherits from their parents. However, from my personal knowledge and exposure, his/her definition of nature is a ‘new’ ideology. Nature is the physical composition of either plants or animals. Although both external and internal features of an individual like skin color or intelligence are inheritable, exposure to harmful substances like chemicals, medicine and processed food can alter the skin color or health.
Furthermore, the writer describes inheritable diseases like cancer as natural asserting that the infected or affected persons pick up different behavior from experience. I do not concur with the author’s assertion that chronic illnesses like cancer or diabetes originate from nature; I think they originate from modern unbecoming lifestyles.
Additionally, familial diseases like cancer and diabetes do not influence the behavior of an individual; they only change one’s lifestyle. Although all the aspects in the society affect one’s character, diseases can never define the behavior of an individual. Scientists like Kleinsmith posit that every human being has cancerous cells (67). However, the cells become malignant only when the immune system is unable to control their growth due to poor eating habits.
A number of sociological theories like the rational choice theory examine the impact of environment on one’s behavior. The theory relates social behavior to other factors like economy and politics whereby the urge to perform a specific action or task by an individual is not behavioral. Before someone steals or become a politician s/he focuses on achieving a certain goal. The person usually ignores the methodology or means involved when pursuing his/her goal.
Therefore, the urge to achieve a personal goal cannot determine ones behavior. From the description of the sociological theories, the term sociology can take a wide range of definitions and not only on impact of society or environment has to human behavior, but also on the past occurrences. On the other hand, the author of the essay bases his/her definition and understanding of sociology on interpretive theory.
Although family, especially parents determine the behavior of their children; politics and economy rarely change or determine the character of a child. In sociology, politics determine the character of an individual when he/she is born within a political family (Nash 2). Similarly, children born out of the political class rarely consider politics an important aspect in their lives.
Therefore, I strongly differ with the writer’s interpretation on the effect of economy to human behavior. If the decline in economy negatively affects one’s behavior, then all unemployed people in the current society would be criminals. Most young people in the current society have no jobs and do menial jobs for survival, which is contrary to the author perspective. However, the credit crunch, political turmoil, and poor economy of the world do significantly change human way of life.
In summary, chronic genetic diseases like cancer do not determine human behavior because they are preventable or manageable. Additionally, a decline in economy does not compel the youths or unemployed persons to venture into crime rather it is a motivation to work hard. Finally, the sociology theories do not limit the definition of sociology to human behavior in relation to the environment and society at hand.
Kleinsmith, Lewis. Principles of Cancer Biology, 2006. USA: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.
Nash, Kate. Contemporary Political Sociology. United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell press. 2000.