Sociology in a Changing World

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Sociology in a Changing World by William Kornblum provides a scope in evaluating and understanding sociological issues and how the variables such as social foundations, social dynamic and institutions inter-relate and inter-twine to shape the societies we live in, as it results into the values and norms we possess and believe. For instance, William Kornblum incessantly illustrates a sharp contrast in how two children born in two different sets of environment grow up to relate in a society.
The book asserts the two theories of Behaviorism and Conditioning. It states that, according to the Freud’s theory, all behaviors are learnt and all behaviors require reinforcement through Conditioning. The theory of Conditioning by Pavlov suggests reinforcing of behavior through reward and punishment. This displays the environment in which child receives nurturing.
The next subject in William Kornblum’s book is the sociology journey to the institution of family and marriage. The author delves into how the marriage and family as an institution has lost the meaning of love over the last decade. Through visual sociology boxes, the author vividly illustrates how people used to embrace, express, and convey the power of love and intimacy. In today’s modern world, there is a remarkable difference on how the society conveys love and intimacy; and, needless to say, there is the warped perception attached to love and intimacy. Today’s society has lost the deep meaning and purpose of love. The extent of love between couples, siblings or between parents and their children has been deteriorating and it no longer serves the core purpose of bonding a family for a unified society. The strain and demands of the modern life has adversely affected the family and marriage institution. The erosion of values and morals also has played a significant role in the fall of family and marriage institution.
The book God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical foundation by Andreas J. Kostenberger and David W. Ones gives insights into biblical foundation regarding marriage and family institution. It points out the cultural crisis we are facing now, which can be attributed mainly to western culture. The book cites the western culture as the cause of social and cultural decay. The culture is mainly responsible for a paradigm shift in marriage and family institution over the past few decades. The book clearly identifies cultural crisis as symptomatic of the underlying spiritual crisis. It provides solutions to the improvement of social institution as well as wholesome remedies to the maladies afflicting the modern culture.
The book highlights on the replacing of the biblical values with the society’s ‘progressive’ ones, which has had adverse, detrimental effects, especially to those who do not view the Bible as an authority in their lives. This is evident from the astronomical numbers of divorces. In fact, the authors identify the main threats to the marriage and family institution: divorce and homosexuality. Many hail the decline of the traditional-biblical teachings on marriage and family and substitution of them with competing moralities as significant progress. The competing moralities give birth to same-sex marriages and divorce. All these have adverse effects on society. For instance, divorce usually affects a child or children psychologically, emotionally as well as physically. The authors have emphasized the need for us to identify and understand how western civilization has undoubtedly hit and turned upside down the bedrock of human relationships.
Finally, a book Marriage, Work & Family Life in Comparative perspective: Japan, South Korea and United States by Noriko O. Tsuya and Larry L. Bumpass compares the families before the pre-industrial economy and the families during the prime of industrial economy. The authors compare and contrast the family institution during the two periods. During the pre-industrial period, families and households were the backbones of both the production and consumption. The transition from the agrarian to industrial economies disintegrated the families and resulted in separation of work at home, which saw division of labor in various economic activities. This quantum leap in economic activities resulted in men becoming the primary breadwinner, while women adopting the role of domestic work or home-makers, as they commonly known.
Market expansion as a result of growing economies led to an increase in global interactions, hence internal restructuring of societies that caused profound changes in many aspects of family life. The authors succinctly illustrate that right after World War II, structuring in the macroeconomic landscape allowed women to participate in paid employment. The advent of industrialization had hit the bedrock of the society, the family as well as the marriage institution. The growth of market economies comes with changes in views and perception towards marriage and family. The transition from the family and household production to individual earning eroded the once sacred notion of marriage as a lifelong commitment and obligation to one’s life, and, thus, this emphasized and promoted individual well-being and self-satisfaction and gratification.

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