Sociology Based Articles - I

Sociology based Articles - I

 

We have compiled for you some articles based upon esoteric topics like Sociology, Psychology, Biology, Philosophy, etc (which are usually asked in exams) to make you comfortable with reading of such topics. Reading of such topics can greatly help you in solving RCs.

Each passage is followed by Central idea of the passage. Our advice is that you read the whole passage first and try to figure out the main idea and then see whether you were close to the stated Central Idea or not.

 

A society is healthy when its culture counterbalances its economics. That is to say, when you have a capitalist economic system that emphasizes competition, dynamism and individual self-interest, you need a culture that celebrates cooperation, stability and committed relationships.

We don’t have that. We have a culture that takes the disruptive and dehumanizing aspects of capitalism and makes them worse. This truth is poignantly captured by Kathryn Edin, Timothy Nelson, Andrew Cherlin and Robert Francis in a paper titled “The Tenuous Attachments of Working-Class Men,” in The Journal of Economic Perspectives.

The researchers conducted 107 in-depth interviews with working-class men. Many of the men told them that the economy doesn’t allow them to provide the same standard of living that their fathers could provide.

That has created the culture of the side hustle. The men feel that they have to have three or four occupations, and they bounce around among them so they can stay employed full time. One man, who had been trained as a diesel mechanic, also got certified as a barber and enrolled in a visual production training program at a state college.

Many of the men work off the books as handymen. Many spend long stretches out of the labor force, hanging around with friends and bumming off others. Some have entrepreneurial dreams that seem, from the outside, unrealistic — like making a living as a novelist or a D.J.

Their private lives are as loosely attached as their economic lives. Many of the men expressed the desire to be good fathers to their children — to be more emotionally expressive around their kids than their own fathers had been with them. But they expressed no similar commitment to the women who had given birth to those children. Some found out they were fathers only years after their children were born.

 “Nearly all the men we spoke to viewed the father-child tie as central while the partner relationship was more peripheral,” Edin and her colleagues write. Naturally, if the men are unwilling to commit to being in a full family unit, the role they actually end up playing in their children’s lives is much more minimal than the role they really want.

The men are also loosely attached to churches. Most say they are spiritual or religious. But their conception of faith is so individualized that there is nobody else they could practice it with. They pray but tend to have contempt for organized religion and do not want to tie themselves down to any specific community.

“I treat church just like I treat my girlfriends,” one man said. “I’ll stick around for a while and then I’ll go on to the next one.”

Another said he believed in God, but he rejected the idea of “a God with strings telling us how to live. That didn’t work for me.”

The researchers emphasize that while economic forces have disrupted the men’s lives, they are insufficient to explain the detached mode of life that has become common.

Cultural forces have also played a role, namely the emphasis on autonomy — being your own person, focusing on your own personal growth, shucking off any constraints. This ethos, at least in the cities where the interviews happened, has replaced the older working-class ethos, based on self-discipline, the dignity of manual labor and being a good provider, they conclude.

Central Idea of the passage

In this passage, the author highlights the waning quality of personal relations while providing some economic and cultural reasons for this phenomenon.

References – The New York Times