Summary for nine articles on sociology

For each article , write a mini-essay on it and the mini-essays should include a summary about each article and personal opinion about it. Also, at the end of the second paragraph, include a real example of how each article can be applied in real life.


Article 1

In the article, “A World’s Population Booms, Will Its Resources Be Enough for Us?,” Dimick (2014) has conveyed his worry about the imbalance that has already been observed between the resource supply and the growing rate of population in many countries t the world. The article put much emphasis on the issue of food scarcity. Food scarcity has taken the shape of a menace and Dimick (2014) has put stress on the issue in a thorough manner. Dimick (2014) has pointed out that there are more than 7 billion people on earth and roughly one in eight among them does not have enough food to eat. This is a pathetic condition that the author has depicted in the article to make the readers aware of the imbalance between the resources and the number of the people who are in need of such resources. Dimick (2014) has noted that the rise in population is affecting agricultural practices too. And the author is thoroughly apprehensive about the fact that whether or not, in the long-run, humankind would be able to grow enough food for sustaining their own life. 
It is a fact that the world population is on a rise. This would surely impact the resource availability in the long-run. The gravest issue of concern is that, there are ample chances that the agricultural practices would get affected by the rise in population and this would jeopardize the process of food production in a thorough manner. Though debates on population growth are going on; till date no single solution could be reached to address the issue. This is yet another menacing problem that is devouring the social and economic prospects stored for the future generation. It is quite obvious that this article can be applied to real life in the context of food scarcity, and there is lot to learn from the article in terms of reaching a solution that would be useful in addressing the issue of food scarcity in the future. 

Article 2

In the article, “Does Divorce Have Long-term Damaging Effects on Children?,” two contradictory views have been depicted. On the one hand it is Elizabeth Marquardt who believes that there is undoubtedly a negative impact of divorce on children and on the other hand, Constance Ahrons believes that divorce does not pose any long-term risk for the children of the divorcees. Elizabeth Marquardt, who is the director of the Center for Marriage and Families, is of the opinion that divorce has the potential to impact negatively on children in both the short- and long-run. Constance Ahrons, who is the co-chair of the Council on Contemporary Families, argues that her research on the children of divorced parents have shown that in the long-run such children seldom face any difficulty in leading normal and successful life, and that they are not harmed by the divorce by any means. It has been denoted that divorce has both negative and positive impacts. And the article is a lesson that can be learned thoroughly to understand the real nature of divorce and the outcomes that it generates. 
Divorce is a serious social issue. From the very inception of the concept and the process, divorce has rendered thorough impacts on the family life. It must be noted that the article has greater significance in real life where it has been observed that divorce has ushered negative changes in the lives of the children of the divorced couples. Though in some instances it has been found that the children of the divorced couple have not been affected much by the issue; on many occasions the reverse has been observed. The majority of divorce cases give vent to negative impacts, and that what has been observed in real life situations. So, it can be said that more than doing good; divorce usually renders outcomes that are harmful for the children. 

Article 3

In the article, “The Modern World-System,” Wallerstein has provided a philosophical as well as a social outlook in terms of judging the structure of the modern society. The author has not only pointed towards some specific paradoxes but has also highlighted specific phenomena that have constituted the character of the modern world system. For Wallerstein, the modern world system has the characteristics of an organism, and hence, it has a lifespan throughout which it changes in some respect and remains stable in some other respect. The author has suggested that the modern world structure has given birth to the world economy that should be held responsible for the expansion of economic and social gaps among various groups and communities. The modern world is an amalgamation of profiteers and the oppressed. And in the core of this paradox lies a social system that is yet to develop into a mature one. 
It can be assumed by going through the article that the author has depicted a confusing picture of the modern world system. The construction in itself is confusing and dilemmatic. And at the centre of this confusion lies a paradox. If the article is applied to real life then it can be seen that social structures, like organisms, are ever changing. To some respect they are evolving and to some other respect they have shown stagnancy. This blending of dynamism and stagnancy has given rise to a modern social order where class distinctions have become more pronounced. It is a modern world structure in which mankind is still waiting for a solution to mitigate the problem of the widening economic/income gap between different groups and communities. 

Article 4

In the article, “The Other Side of College: The Nonacademic Effects of Higher Education,” Dougherty and Hammack have discussed about those impacts that colleges render on students that should be classified as something that are not academic in nature. The authors have discussed about the social and behavioural impact of college education on the students. College students, under the influence of college education, undergo important changes. The authors have found that the changes encompass arenas that constitute the general knowledge, civic and political attitudes and behavior. The authors have also pointed out that aspects like personal ambition, self-confidence, and creativity are also influenced by college education. The article is all about the impacts of college studies on the social and psychological growth of college goers. 
Colleges do not only impact on the educational/academic life of students; rather, they also impact on the non-academic life of students as well. It is a truth that colleges are institutions that not only shape the academic career of individual learners, but they are also social institutions, shaping the social outlook of students. If applied to the real life scenario, this article can be proved to be very much effective. This is primarily because the article has rightly stated that college studies influence the attitude and behavior of students in a thorough manner. The level of self-confidence of an individual college-goer is, to a large extent, determined by the college education structure. And it cannot be denied that college education has a direct link with individual learner’s creativity and important social and people skills. 

Article 5

In the article, “On Sacred Objects as Symbols,” Durkheim has suggested that out of the most commonest objects one can make a most powerful sacred being. This is human nature and it must be considered as an attribute of human culture and human civilization. Sometimes it is the symbol that determines the action of an individual from the religious perspective. Symbols change the way of thinking, and Durkheim has rightly pointed out that a soldier to gives his life for the sake of protecting his country’s flag would never think of the process to be risking the life for the sake of a piece of cloth. This is the power of symbol that has been described by the author in the article. Symbols bring about sentiments and sentiments shape and reshape the human attitude. 
Durkheim’s article is a worth one to read. Going through the article one can understand that power of symbol and symbolism. Both from the social and religious contexts, symbols play a crucial role in human life. If this article is applied to real life scenarios then it can be seen that symbols create belief systems which embody the way of life of an individual. It is quite symbolic that if a person consumes the meat of an animal which is forbidden in his culture, there are ample chances that the man would feel sick even though the meat might be thoroughly healthy. This is the power of symbolic representations of certain philosophies and ideologies. And such philosophies and ideologies constitute one’s way of life in a thorough manner. 

Article 6

In the article, “The Sociology of Environmental Health,” McCormick has discussed about the importance of health in the context of social wellbeing. The author has stated that though in the past the reason of ill-health was constantly though to be of individual in nature and that the unhealthy person was considered to be the maker of his own undue condition; later on the belief was gradually changed. The author has suggested that with the evolution of time that ill health has been linked with environmental factors to be specific. The shift from individual health to environmental health has been a large leap, and this has been emphasized by the author in a distinct manner. To describe the issue more elaborately, the author has resorted to the policy of discussing about heat waves which has been a critical issue demonstrating how environmental conditions affect human health. There is an intimate relationship between the health of an individual and the environment in which she dwells, and this truth has been justified in the article. 
The article is very much informative. It has discussed about an important issue: the effect of environment on health. If applied to a real-life scenario, it must be seen that public health problems are quite related with environmental problems. The concept of heat wave has been justifiably mentioned by the author as in the practical scenario heat wave has often acted as a culprit claiming lives of many. Moreover, it is a fact that health care practitioners still now face obstacles in remedying environmental illness. And this fact has strengthened the practical basis of the article to a large extent. 

Article 7

In the article, “Murder and Statistics,” Sternheimer (2007) has discussed about the surge in the rate of homicide. What the author has presented before the readers are the statistics and report published and conveyed by the FBI. The author, quoting the experts, has warned the reader that the populace might be at risk of a new wave of crime related to homicide. But there is a doubt that has been depicted in the article. The author has stated that the risk might not be equal for all. And there lies the importance of the article because it has dealt with realistic assumptions. 
The article is an informative one. In the article some specific statistics have been provided by the author. If the article is applied to the real life scenario then it can be seen that it is quite pragmatic. It is a fact that not all individuals are at equal risk of being harmed by someone. For an instance, the risk of being victim of homicide is not equal for every individual human being. And this truth has been explicitly depicted by the author in the article. 

Article 8

In the article, “The Power Elite,” Mills has put emphasis on a very important issue. The author has discussed about the political scenario of the United States. Who really are the decision-makers in the United States? This question has been answered vividly by Mills. It should be noted that Mills has rightly pointed out that it is the elite class which holds the political power and control over the country. The corporate elite, the political elite and the military elite are the group of elites that actually dominate the administration of the country. This truth has been thoroughly discussed and elaborated in the article. 
Mill’s article should be considered as an important and informative article. It is a fact that in a large democracy like the United States, the power of decision-making is not thoroughly in the hands of the populace. If applied to the real life scenario, it can be seen that though there is a significance of the public opinion in the country, the real decision-making power is in the hands of the elites. The corporate elites dominate the political decision-making front by the dint of their financial power. This truth is undeniable and one cannot undermine the power of the corporate elites. Moreover, it must also be noted that in the real life context, in the American democracy, power is concentrated within the hands of few. 

Article 9

In the article, “Religion in the Public Sphere,” Habermas has pointed out that religion and religious communities have gradually grabbed political power in an unprecedented manner. In the public front the power of religion has already been felt. What the author has explicitly stated is the power of religion in mending and reshaping political courses. The author, citing the administrative condition of some nations, has cited how religion has overtaken political regimes and how religious heads have secured political power in a thorough manner. The wrath of radicalism and fundamentalism in the religious context has also been discussed and explained by the author to the readers. Moreover, it has been a truth that the wave of secularism has not been so much powerful in terms of challenging the political power of religions. 
The article is not only informative but it is quite a logical one. Religion has already obtained political power in many states. If the article’s gist is applied to real life scenarios then it can be seen how religious heads have been accumulating political power in some specific nations. Radicalism has given rise to terrorism and terrorism has challenged the political power of myriads of nations. Fundamentalist views and radical views related to religions are triggering feuds which are taking the shape of wars. And that is one primary reason why the power of religion in the public sphere cannot be overlooked or undermined. 

How sociology is important to life?

Considering the articles and their central themes, it can be said that sociology is thoroughly important to life. Starting from issues like resource allocation to the importance of religion, in almost every aspect of social life, sociology plays an important role. The sociological theories are the ones that play a crucial role in understanding the nature of our social life and the nature of the social environment in which we live. Issues like divorce can have important impacts on the social life and how the implications of divorce might be impacting the lives of individuals can be better understood by understanding the sociological perspectives. 
The risks of menaces like homicide, though can be gauged more appropriately by criminology, can also be learned more explicitly through the study of sociology. Sociological theories are quite justifiable in explaining theories of deviance and the resulting crimes. Hence, from this perspective too, sociology is important to life. Gender discrimination, class distinction and issues like power concentration – all can be better understood by studying sociology. And considering all these facts it should be said that the study of sociology can be a means of enlightenment and that is one primary reason why sociology is important to life. 

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