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Social Environments: Subjectivism and Objectivism Relationship Essay


Many scholars have attempted to explain philosophical relationship between subjectivism and objectivism. Despite the fact that some scholars have been accredited for their approach in explanation of the two concepts, there has been a notable improvement in definition of these aspects over the years. Habits or behaviors are influenced by different social environments, to which individuals are exposed. The essay will focus on outlining effects that different environments have on individuals. Suffering will be an element of reference in this essay. Four social environments discussed will be: a small group, an individualist, atomized subordination and a strong group.

Background Information

According to Bourdieu, behavior of people in different social environments is influenced by experiences and acquired perceptions. He states that this could be the only way, in which can be distinguished from . Comprehension of habitus concept defines relationship between objectivism and subjectivism. For instance, behavior portrayed by an individual is influenced by external conditions that are objective. Objectivism influences individual behavior by repeatedly exposing the mind to different social environments. In this regard, behavior of an individual is not static but influenced by social environment. Different social environments provide requirements that act as guidelines, which members are expected to follow.

According to Bourdieu, subjective aspects like cognition adopt objective values and result in unconscious beliefs. It should be noted that unconscious beliefs formed are essential in identifying different social environments since they act as universal standards. Behavior or habitus aids in comprehension of different social environments. Habitus functions in both ambiguous and explicit discourses (Bourdieu 112). Subjectivism embraces objectivism and functions in a practical manner. In this regard, habitus concept of Bourdieu is closely related to Lau’s concept of practice.

Lau’s concept published in 2004, sought to build on approach of Bourdieu and at the same time to make corrections. According to Lau, Bourdieu failed to differentiate subjectivism from objectivism phenomenally. One of the postulations made by Lau is that for recognition to take place attention has to be improved by self regulation. In this regard, behavior is influenced by level of attention and self regulation of the mind. Secondly, behavior is influenced by level, at which an individual is willing to accept objective aspects. In this regard, behavior of individuals is influenced by self-awareness and consciousness of other things (Lau 364).

Small Group

Small group grid can be defined as relationship that an individual has with his peers. The environment is less formal and based on shared values that join different people in a given group. People are likely to form a group based on suffering that they are going through. For instance, women with financial difficulties can form a group, in which they can be able to save their finances and overcome their suffering. In this kind of a relationship, suffering of each member is maintained in the group. Furthermore, sincerity is the most important value in the group. Members are expected to be honest to each other and act in the interest of the group. For instance, members should be sincere when highlighting the extent of their suffering. In this regard, there will be cohesion and better understanding of each other’s situation. Members form their identity and establish a sense of belonging in a small group environment (Lassiter 130).

The worst act that can occur in an environment of a small group is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy would mean that members are not sincere to each other thus reduced cohesion. As a matter of fact, a small group is likely to disintegrate, if there is hypocrisy among the members. There would be reduced cohesion, since the extent of suffering of individuals would not be known at the group level. In this regard, there are likely to be incidences of underrepresentation and overdominance hence disintegration.

Further, individuals in a small group are expected to perceive themselves as a complex self. They are complicated since they represent many aspects. For instance, individual issues are represented at a group level. The group is given first priority by the members, since the focus is on the entire grid (Lau 138). It should be noted that individuals are only expected to benefit directly from the group. For instance, fines can be introduced to ensure that all individuals give their contributions on time for the welfare of the group.

Form of art is expected to be romantic, since innovations and diversifications are emphasized in a small group. It should be noted that people who come together to form a small group do so to improve the existing situation. For instance, the women who are addressing their financial issues could be dissatisfied with place given to female gender in the society. In this regard, they are likely to embrace new methods that will change their situation. The cause of suffering could be intrusion by aspects of the society. Financial difficulty experienced by women could be also caused by the society. For instance, women could be burdened with society defined roles that deny them an opportunity to get engaged in income generating activities.

Group boundaries and strategies to acquire financial stability could be the only way to end their suffering. They perceive themselves as a strong group that will end the sufferings of every member soon. The group defines unplanned incidences as foreign events, which are treated in a strongly negative way by members. The group is susceptible to foreign events hence they are not represented or tolerated.

Strong Group

Strong group is highly classified and there are strong boundaries in place. An example of a strong group is relationship between a child and a parent. Honor is the value given priority in this environment. The greatest vice in this relationship is disobedience. It should be noted that a child is dependent on his parent. In this regard, the concept of self assumes an inactive role. The grid assumes primitivism in regard to relationship between a parent and a child. The focus is on abiding the natural or moral laws that already exist and not the adoption of new ones. A major cause of suffering in this environment could be brought by oppositions, which may emerge between a child and a parent.

Suffering can only be remedied by adopting natural measures (Lau 386). The person suffering is perceived as being brave. Unexpected incidences are defined as wrong behaviors or vices. The response to vices is less vigorous, since they are improper acts that require mild corrections, therefore, communication is essential in this kind of environment.

Atomized Subordination

The environment depicts two unequal parties that represent subjective and objective aspects. Relationship between a citizen and constitutional law is a good example of this environment. Truth is the value of priority in this environment and it is perceived as a duty. For instance, a citizen is expected to be dutiful and truthful to his nation. Similarly, it is the nation’s duty to protect the citizen. The greatest vice in this environment is the ignorance of duty. A citizen would be committing a great crime by not being truthful to his nation. The concept of self assumes an active role in the relationship. Classical art is depicted in atomized subordination, since it adopts existing values that are bound to change. Constitutional amendments can be considered as perfect examples of classical style of art (Lassiter 142).

Incidents of suffering emerge when there are violations of stipulated laws. Remedies of suffering incidents are aligned with existing stipulations. The sufferers end up being relieved from their duties. Irregular incidences are defined as special events. Despite the fact that they are likely to be irrelevant to the body, responses to them are strongly positive. Anomalies are appreciated since they seem to provide a diversified approach to the environment.


In this kind of environment, interests of self are given precedence. The greatest value one could achieve is personal success. The greatest vice an individual could do is withdraw from the process of achieving success. There are also individuals who feel guilty of their lives, since they have been unable to accomplish great things like those achieved by their friends. In this environment the focus is on the individual only. Professionalism is the existing form of art in individualistic approach. An individual identifies with his occupation. The focus is on the extent of individual’s achievements that are based on professionalism (Bourdieu 164). In this regard, there are people who regard certain careers with higher esteem than others.

Failure of the individual is the greatest cause of suffering in individualistic approach. Failure is comprehensive and is caused by the feeling of dissatisfaction, since there are few or no achievements made. The form of therapy accorded to this type of suffering can either be denial or acceptance depending on personality. The sufferer perceives himself as a failure in the society. Emergence of unexpected incidents is defined as ambiguity. An individual responds to irregular events in a mildly positive approach. The anomalies are associated with provision of insufficient criteria to the environment. There are likely to be different attitudes depending on personalities. For instance, there are some individuals who are likely to feel frustrated while others will feel that they are directly engaged in the process.


Different environments are likely to stimulate diverse actions and strategies. Impacts of socialization are unique for different environments. There are those environments that are crucial and impact greatly on lives of individuals than others. For instance, relationship between peers is different from that between a child and a parent. As a matter of fact, values that are given precedence in different environments aid in comprehension of existing relationships between parties. The essay assumed an aspect of suffering that is likely to stimulate a similar emotion.

However, it is evident that value and attitude towards the aspect differ with social environment. For instance, while suffering could have been caused by oppositions in the strong group environment, it was caused by intrusion in the small group grid. Despite the fact that objective aspects seem to influence the subjective ones, there is a difference in the overall effects. Personality which is an aspect of subjectivism plays a crucial role in ultimate attitude and perception of a given environment. For instance, there are individuals who are likely to be in denial in instances of failure, while others are likely to accept their fate.

Works Cited

Bourdieu, Pierre. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977. Print.

Lassiter, Luke. “Toward a Collaborative and Reciprocal Ethnography.” Journal of Anthropological Research 5.2 (2001): 137-149. Print.

Lau, Raymond. “Habitus and the Practical Logic of Practice.” Journal of Sociology 38.2 (2004): 363-387.Print.

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