I’ve recently taken a huge interest in human nature, and the social frameworks which influence and impact exactly how we tick. I happened across a curious little persona in my studies, this is called Social Constructionism… and through it I have discovered that I myself am a Social Constructionist.
This is fine, I hold a lot of fellow Social Constructionists in high regard and although it does have its implicit complications on how an individual views the world, I seem to be aptly immune to becoming overly pessimistic or going completely daft.
My role in society as a social constructionist is that as someone who views the world one social situation at a time, and attaches the actions we as a society take to the cultural influences we unknowingly take part in. Kind of a mouth full, right?
I’m sure my readers are now thinking, “Great, now get to the point!” well to cut to the chase but I in good conscious I need to acknowledge my bias as a matter of my own personal perspective. My correctness is just a matter of coincidence, I’m sure.
My working with ideas surrounding human nature has me quite fascinated by how much society is unknowingly restrained to conformity. I am not completely thrown off the spectrum which dictates that we would be best off living alone in the woods without societal influence. I see society as an important body and a driving force for the survival of our species, among huge amounts of other innovative endeavors. I do however feel that make up of all societies is fundamentally flawed, which can and has been detrimental to individuals and groups which are inheritably governed by the figureheads which control what is acceptable and what is taboo.
Nothing is beyond criticism, and nothing is without flaws.
I live in a society where an individual can be proscribed merely because of genetic background, heritage and a whole slew of other innate features. In this case the individual, who has done nothing wrong besides being born “wrong” is immediately handicapped for the rest of their life because they do not meet the qualifications of the norm.
In turn even those born into the society “properly”, can also become handicapped and effectively labeled taboo if they somehow disrupt the flow of normality of the dominate culture. Acting out of one’s social role is a huge leap which infringes upon the very social pecking order in which we’re subjected too.
Now this criticism is to be made within reason, some behaviors must be proscribed because they upset the overall cultural stability of a society. Murderers are one such example, of a category of person which needs to be either removed or rehabilitated. By creating a hierarchy of acceptable and non-acceptable behaviors we’re incidentally falling down a slippery slope, but that is a price of functioning society. In my opinion consistent reexamination is probably the key to help keep a society functioning in such a way were the ability to be oneself (within reason) is maximized. In a way some of the cultural standards which exist now in the world have been doing just that. Amendments which help manufacture equal rights for all human beings, and the like are a good example.
However, even with such amendments on the books there will always be clashes and discrimination. Perhaps this is innate in our genetic make up, to automatically single out individuals based on some arbitrary notion… but in a genetically diverse species such as our own this can and probably should be ignored, without our societal system reinforcing these ideas.
I'll leave you now with this quote from me, it is taken from a recent conversation and is something I'd like to focus on for my next blog. Keep in mind that this blog is the type of context:
Cut the restraint from an empty stomach and full mind, and you'll soon see the true nature of an individual.