The Socjournal» Matthew

Name: Matthew


    June 20th, 2010

    Durkheim would agree with me that the function of language is essential to socialization, but how exactly is language developed? A follower of Marx would say that a common language between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie would emerge (in order for the two classes to communicate) but the upper class would develop and use a different vocabulary set than the working class. This can be seen by an example conversation between Steve, a member of the working class, and William, who is the owner of a company.

    Steve: “Hey Mark (Steve’s friend), how’s it going? I’m good. I heard the company is going through some tough times and there’s gonna be a huge round of layoffs. I’m pretty shaken. I’m scared for my wife and kids, I might have to take up another job on the side just to support them.”

    William: “Hello Jon (The CEO), how are you? I am doing well thank you. The projections our analysts created are not being realized by our company. Unfortunately we will have to downsize a large section of our labor division. It will hurt us in the short term but the company will eventually stabilize itself.”

    When using Marx’s conflict perspective, we can see how language can develop out of the conflict and difference between two social classes.

    While the common functionality of language is universal, the way different societies construct their language is VERY different. Meanings for general nouns are the same, but grammar and syntax can be different. The example of French and English is one such contrast. There are MANY differences between French and English. In English when one says “I like you”, the syntax is noun-verb-pronoun in this case. But in French, if one wants to say “I like you” they say “Je t’aime”. In the French case the syntax is noun-pronoun-verb and if said like that in English would roughly be “I you like”.

    The one thing that sociologists want to figure out in the case of languages is “Why do English speaking societies structure their language differently than French speaking societies?” And that is a very tough question to answer…..

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    Welcome fellow sociologists!

    May 13th, 2010

    My name is Matthew Nykolichuk and I am a second year International Business student minoring in Sociology at the University of Calgary. I am here to write about and provide a fresh view of sociology from a university student’s perspective.

    I first was exposed to sociology while taking it as an option in my first year. At the time I was only majoring in International Business and didn’t have a clue what sociology was, till I sat in on a few classes. Our SOCI 201 prof, Dr. John Manzo, was a comedian! His first lecture was him telling jokes for 50min and how it related to the course outline.

    For the entirety of our second lecture, he discussed what sociology actually was! Normally in chemistry or math you know what it is, but sociology is different. Chemists study chemical reactions, mathematicians study numbers and equations, so one would think that sociologists study society. But anthropologists study society, economists study society, political scientists study society, and even psychologists study society to an extent. But sociologists put society as the priority in their research. In economics, people study how society uses the ECONOMY. In political science, people study society as it relates to POLITICS. In religious studies, researchers study society on how it relates to RELIGION. Sociology is just the study of how society itself works.

    Naturally I was intrigued by the concept! I always wanted to know how society as a whole operates. And it goes beyond learning about society, it sociology can be applied at a micro level with individual groups, such as a church, a sports club, and groups of friends…and even enemies. I also sat in on another soci lecture my friend was taking, it was on crime and deviance. Again I was intrigued.

    After sitting in on those two courses I decided to make Sociology my minor. It wasn’t a spontaneous decision, but I did make it rather quickly. I loved the material so much and saw a world of applicability for it. It even worked out perfect for my business program and I do not have to take another year.

    And that’s my story about how I became involved in sociology. Ever since, I have been constantly observing groups of people and how people behave. One example is when I was at a seminar in an auditorium and everyone was standing up clapping. After clapping for a few seconds I noticed a few people start to sit down. Now normally that’s a normal behavior that goes unnoticed, but I asked myself why certain people sat down first as opposed to others, AND when it was considered an appropriate time to sit down in the first place (Remember no one tells people to sit down, the group has an automatic gauge that allows them to determine when they all should sit down).

    Sociology does that to you, you begin to notice stuff that happens in a group you haven’t before, and you start to observe and question cultural norms more often. It’s really fun!

    Well I hope you keep reading my posts on my perspective on sociology. There will be a unique perspective and I aim to provide lots of value to my readers.


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