The applying applied sociology into your family topic appealed to me for many reasons. As a parent I constantly worry about the affect my parenting choices will have on my daughter. I always second guess my decisions and often wonder if she thinks I am a good mother. I want to do right by my daughter by making sure she is getting what she needs from me, in order to have a healthy self-esteem and self-worth. After all “overall research suggests, nothing is more likely to produce a happy, well-adjusted child than a loving family” (Gibbs, 2001).
The biggest reason this topic appealed to me though isn’t because I want to validate my parenting style, but because we just moved in with my boyfriend and his daughter making us a newly blended family. So far everything that I have read on blended families has given me a dim outlook on what is going to be a long adjustment period for everyone involved. I am curious to see how this applied approach will help me better understand the dynamic of this new family of ours. In chapter 3, socialization is defined as the “social experiences by which people develop their human potential and learn culture” (Macionis, 2011, p. 8). In this chapter we learn that the first setting of socialization for a child is their family.
The family has the greatest impact on attitudes and behaviors. The family gives the child social identity. “It is usually the family that children learn skills, values, and beliefs from just simply by the type of environment the adults have created around them. The quality of the surroundings provided by parents and other close caregivers to young children will determine whether children learn to see themselves as strong or weak, smart or stupid, loved or simply tolerated” (Macionis, 2011, p. 5. ) This is particularly important for me because when blending two families together to make one you are changing both of the children’s environment and surroundings. This will most certainly have an effect on each member of the family as they learn to adjust and become comfortable in their new environment. Applying applied sociology into my family definitely gave me a fresh and new perspective on how to effectively communicate with each member of our family.
Applied sociology is used to find and address the problems within a society by using various methods that are based on theory and then tested using both evidence that can be measured and evidence that is more sensory”(Applied Sociology, 2013). There are four basic areas that the family creates the ideas that govern it. * “The first is socialization. Socialization in the family is the shared beliefs that become your normal. It is the indicator on how you should interact within your family. * Next is Segregation. Segregation is parts of the family that function better when being separated from the whole.
In our new blended family I find it necessary to separate our children during homework time. This improves their concentration and ability to complete the assignments in a way that they can focus and learn. * Next is ritual. In our family it is a nightly ritual to tuck our kids in together and say prayers together each night. * Finally, we have sanctioning. Sanctioning is the one on one interaction of reading another person’s actions and expressions to determine the appropriate behavior” (Applied Sociology, 2013).
After having an understanding of the ideas that govern a micro society such as a family you can apply this knowledge to better communicate, and understand the members of your family. To apply this science in your everyday life you can start by doing a content analysis on each member. A content analysis is when you observe the content of the media each member is exposed to. By simply observing their reaction to certain content will give you a better understanding of what moves them and in what ways. You can find out what interests them, motivates them, or even what upsets them.
Another approach that I found intriguing is the interview process. This is a direct approach that gives the member a chance to open up on a one on one basis. I think that this approach will make the member feel safe to share how they really feel about topics that arise. In using this technique it will help you understand what role the member feels they play in the family, and give them a sense of value that their thoughts and feelings matter. This way each member is considered when making decisions that affect the entire group.
Knowing that the family is a micro society, and that society affects the judgment and decisions of its members it is extremely important to understand the needs of the individuals involved. This information has been very helpful to me and my current situation of blending my family together. I want to understand and to be understood within my family. Learning how to apply this into my family will give me a better understanding of what the problems are and how to approach the situation in order to have a better chance of solving the problem (Applied Sociology, 2013).
Applied Sociology. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.appliedsoc.org/applied-sociology/ Gibbs, Nancy. “What Kids (Really) Need.” Time. (April 30, 2001): 48-49. Macionis, J.J. (2011). Society the basics. New Jersey: Upper Saddle River.