SOC327 2017 Tut1 – Mon 1330

How do you feel? Bodies and emotions seem like the most basic and essential parts of us. You knew your body before you could talk, and your feelings before you could think. They form the core of you. How can such primal things as bodies and emotions – the greatest markers of who you are as an individual – be influenced by society?

Perhaps a few questions might help answer the question:

  • Do you have a tattoo?
  • Do you wear a dress?
  • Did you have braces?
  • How well do you throw a ball?
  • Do you tell people in your life that you love them regularly?
  • Can you restrain your anger?
  • Are you envious of anyone around you?
  • How happy are you?

Think about your answers to these questions. Were these just simple choices that you made as an individual, or skills you did or didn’t pick up at random? Or did your society shape your answers in predictable ways, based on your sex, age, race, education, wealth, health, and social class background? How has society shaped your body, and the way you display and use it? How has society shaped your feelings, their expression, and how you manage them?

#S327UOW17 #Tut1 #Mon1330

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16 Comments

  1. I agree that as children, before we could walk or talk we obviously recognised our bodies and emotions, even though we cannot remember those moments. However, as children we are dependant on all of those around us, not just family members, but other individuals in person or on television; thus we are susceptible to be shaped by the views of those around us from a young age.
    Parents dress girls in dresses and boys in shorts and t-shirts, boys see only male football players so they think they have to be sporty, compassion breeds compassion, anger breeds anger.
    Our thoughts and feelings will always continually be shaped by those around us and that is not always a negative thing, it in tact helps us develop into the people we become.

  2. I agree that as children, before we could walk or talk we obviously recognised our bodies and emotions, even though we cannot remember those moments. However, as children we are dependant on all of those around us, not just family members, but other individuals in person or on television; thus we are susceptible to be shaped by the views of those around us from a young age.
    Parents dress girls in dresses and boys in shorts and t-shirts, boys see only male football players so they think they have to be sporty, compassion breeds compassion, anger breeds anger.
    Our thoughts and feelings will always continually be shaped by those around us and that is not always a negative thing, it in tact helps us develop into the people we become.

    #S327UOW17
    #Tut1
    #Mon1330

    • I agree with Rogers questioning, that the greatest markers of who we are, are influenced consistently by society. The underlying embodiment of existing as a human being allows people to have emotions and experiences that do not have to be labelled.

      In the modern day society although, there are constant exposures to social situations and culturally diverse practices that tend to shape and condition a human response. As an individual grows, bodies and emotions move from being simple sensations to a more aware and conscious thought process. This is explained through the structuralist analysis of bodies and emotions, which recognizes that an individual’s expressions and senses are guided by social structures and bonds.

      While one’s body and emotions are irrevocably intrinsic, they are able to be enhanced or depressed through interactions that are able to shape a person’s entire body image.

      #S327UOW17
      #Tut1
      #Mon1330

  3. I agree with Rogers questioning, that the greatest markers of who we are, are influenced consistently by society. The underlying embodiment of existing as a human being allows people to have emotions and experiences that do not have to be labelled.

    In the modern day society although, there are constant exposures to social situations and culturally diverse practices that tend to shape and condition a human response. As an individual grows, bodies and emotions move from being simple sensations to a more aware and conscious thought process. This is explained through the structuralist analysis of bodies and emotions, which recognizes that an individual’s expressions and senses are guided by social structures and bonds.

    While one’s body and emotions are irrevocably intrinsic, they are able to be enhanced or depressed through interactions that are able to shape a person’s entire body image.

    #S327UOW17
    #Tut1
    #Mon1330

  4. I agree with Rogers questioning, that the greatest markers of who we are, are influenced consistently by society. The underlying embodiment of existing as a human being allows people to have emotions and experiences that do not have to be labelled.

    In the modern day society although, there are constant exposures to social situations and culturally diverse practices that tend to shape and condition a human response. As an individual grows, bodies and emotions move from being simple sensations to a more aware and conscious thought process. This is explained through the structuralist analysis of bodies and emotions, which recognizes that an individual’s expressions and senses are guided by social structures and bonds.

    While one’s body and emotions are irrevocably intrinsic, they are able to be enhanced or depressed through interactions that are able to shape a person’s entire body image.

    #S327UOW17
    #Tut1
    #Mon1330

  5. My answers to dot-point questions were straightforward to mind, although I do acknowledge the influence of social constructs such as my upbringing, physical condition and location in shaping those answers. I found two social theories to be interesting from the lecture and the reading from Lupton as they may challenge or expand upon a few points from the above blogpost.

    The possibility of social influence on an individual’s emotions could be seen through a phenomenological theory. This phenomenological theory could be used to challenge a sentence used in the main blog post, “You knew your body before you could talk, and your feelings before you could think.” The phenomenological theory suggests that emotions are based of an individual’s interpretation of bodily sensation and an understanding of self and social milieu influences this. (Finklestein, 1980, p 119.) Using the phenomenological theory it could be argued that while an individual can know their body before they could talk, they may not know their feelings before they could think, due to possible influence of social factors towards giving emotions meaning. (Finklestein, 1980, p. 119.)

    Examination of the main blog post question, “Can you restrain your anger?” through a Symbolic-Interactionalist or Dramaturgical lens could provide another reason of emotions being effected by social factors. The Symbolic-Interactionalist theory suggests that emotions are experienced similarly to a performance. The quote can be seen as an example of this through the act of restraining anger, which could be argued to an individual or social factor that influences another individual to consciously restrain their emotions.

    #S327UOW17 #Tut1 #Mon1330

  6. In reflecting on the questions posed in this blog post my answers ranged from simple yes or no, to conditional responses. Once reading the concluding paragraph, I reflected on why I could answer some questions more easily than others. Could I, a female, simply answer yes to “Do you wear a dress?” because society has taught me it is acceptable to wear a dress because of my gender? Did I have more trouble answering “Can you restrain your anger?” because I had to think about what kind of setting society would deem acceptable for it to be suitable that I do not restrain my anger? I guess that’s why there are so many theories that try to explain the connection between emotions and their triggers.

    If I am understanding the lecture, these questions may be answered and explained by structuralist theory that we learn how to respond to situations and control our emotions in what is deemed acceptable from society. Lupton (1998) says that the structuralist perspective “sees individual’s emotional states as directly associated with their position in the social system and their membership of social groups, such as their gender, or social class,” which begs the question that if I was in a higher or lower social class than I am in now, would my responses to the questions change? I believe the answer is yes, what do you think?

  7. In response to Samantha, I agree completely. However, I do pose the question of whether the responses to these questions are shaped only by the social categories in which the individual considers themselves, or rather, the classes of people the individual answers these questions in front of. I believe that depending on the context or situation in which the question was asked, the answers are subject to change based entirely on the audience the individual posts them to, regardless of their true beliefs.

    Fu et al., (2012) argues that group membership is an evolving feature of the human existence where it is beneficial to act differently towards different members of different groups. This strategy is used to combat a type of ‘natural selection’ process by attempting to shape personality and character to appear more appealing, to ultimately survive within a social society, advance oneself or to acquire a sense of belonging. This process is common when in the presence of an authority or hierarchy.

    For example, in an interview setting, when answering the question regarding to the ability to restrain anger, an individual is more inclined to produce an answer that makes him or her seem more desirable to their interviewer. In comparison, answering this exact same question in front of a close friend, the individual is more inclined to elaborate and answer the question true to their real beliefs, hence changing the way they consider the question.

    #S327UOW17
    #Tut1
    #Mon1330

  8. The structuralist theory explains how our bodies and emotions are shaped by social constructs, but also how our bodies and emotions continue to enforce social structure on a day-to-day basis. Shilling notes that humans survive by becoming ‘social beings’ and reflecting the perceived ‘expectations’ of society. As a woman in the 21st century, I answered those questions and realised that my answers are unconsciously conforming to societal standards. I don’t have tattoos, I do wear feminine dresses, I had braces to straighten my teeth and I can hardly throw a ball to save my life. All these answers reflect a very feminine “women” within societal social structures.

    Our body and our feelings do form the core of our individuality, however from the moment we enter the world, this core is manipulated, both positively and negatively, by society. Little girls are given Barbie dolls and boys are given toy trucks and from this moment there is a gender division between what is considered feminine and masculine in society. While I believe in diversity and being myself, society has definitely influenced my emotional and physical expression through interaction with the world around me.

    #S327UOW17 #Tut1 #Mon1330

  9. When reflecting on the questions put forward by Roger I must agree that from a young age we are aware of our body and emotions, although we have little to no understand about the influence’s society has on our decision making and developing perceptions. Both males and females are categorised into gender specific jobs, sports, hobbies etc. Although we might have an interest in a certain group, the stigma surrounding it leaves us questioning whether participation in this group will be accepted by the wider community, thus sculpting our bodies and emotions. Shilling summarises “social beings’ as the very protection mechanism humans use to survive in such a censorious world. It is very obvious that our emotions and bodies are the product of social construct.

    #S327UOW17
    #Tut1
    #Mon1330

  10. Through sex, age, race, education, health, social class background and even wealth, society has shaped our bodies and the way in which we display and perceive them.
    The questions Roger presented which assisted in answering the questions of ‘How can such primal things as bodies and emotions – the greatest markers of who you are as an individual – be influenced by society?’, clarifies your own personal response and makes you question your answer.
    Our feelings as individuals, are manipulated both positively and negatively. An example of this is demonstrated through the question ‘Did you have braces?’. Of course everyone wants to feel and look nice about themselves as individuals, but is getting braces a way to manipulate this through what society feels about perfect teeth?… Say if there were no such thing as braces, would everyone still worry or care if their teeth were straight or crooked? It is through a question like this, that makes you really examine and debate what society is becoming and how something that can cost thousands and thousands of dollars can alter self confidence.
    Lupton suggests that it is through cognition and emotions that positive and negative categories are ‘checked’ and triggered by self and others.

    #S327UOW17 #Tut1 #MON1330

  11. I believe we are born with primary emotions in order to give cues to our carers about what we need to survive. As we grow we are socialized by the environment in which we are raised and we perform to roles prescribed to us at birth depending on our age, gender, race and religion (or lack thereof). Upon reflection, I realized that many aspects of my life have been influenced by society.

    When answering the questions I initially answered with one word, such as “yes”, “no”, “alright” and “sometimes”. I then though about why I had answered like this, and realized it was mostly due to my environment and the social norms I was unknowingly abiding by. The structuralist theory explains how my environment has unconsciously shaped my answers to these questions, for instance as a female I wear dresses but this is because it is acceptable for me to do so in this society. Likewise I had braces in order to conform to societies standards of beauty.

    Additionally, if appears that society has also shaped what emotions I am able to outwardly express. For instance I am able to express my love for others openly while I’ve noticed my younger brother does not, I think he would be teased at school for being so open. Additionally, he is able to throw a ball much better than me as sports in encouraged more in the male population than it is with females. This demonstrates that society has shaped the population’s emotions and bodies in different ways simply due to the circumstances in which we are born into.

    #S327UOW17 #Tut1 #Mon1330

  12. I believe we are born with primary emotions in order to give cues to our carers about what we need to survive. As we grow we are socialized by the environment in which we are raised and we perform to roles prescribed to us at birth depending on our age, gender, race and religion (or lack thereof). Upon reflection, I realised that many things in my life have been influenced by society.

    When answering the questions I initially answered with one word, such as “yes”, “no”, “alright” and “sometimes”. I then though about why I had answered like this, and realised it was mostly due to my environment and the social norms I was unknowingly abiding by. The structuralist theory explains how my environment has unconsciously shaped my answers to these questions, for instance as a female I wear dresses but this is because it is acceptable for me to do so in this society. Likewise I had braces in order to conform to societies standards of beauty.

    Additionally, if appears that society has also shaped what emotions I am able to outwardly express. For instance I am able to express my love for others openly while I’ve noticed my younger brother does not, as he would be teased at school for being so open. He is able to throw a ball much better than me as sports in more encouraged in the male population than it is with females. This demonstrates that society has shaped the population’s emotions and bodies in different ways simply due to the circumstances in which we are born into.

    #S327UOW17 #Tut1 #Mon1330

  13. n answering the questions posed by Rogers post I found some questions so easy at first until I re-read each question through a more socially constructed ‘lens’. I questioned my answer to “do you wear a dress?” as I do believe society has made it acceptable and preferred in certain settings for me to wear a dress. Important social events and formal settings make wearing a dress almost essential for women, for example a young woman is encouraged to dream up her perfect wedding dress.
    I am an emotional person who tells people in my life I love them daily so why, then, did I have so much trouble justifying my answer to the anger question? Like love, anger is an emotion felt by all so why do I feel as a woman I need to show all emotions except anger? Society has assigned anger to masculinity and thus, as a woman, I should not need to express anger. This concept works both ways. My partner will get teased by his mates if he expresses his emotions to me in front of them or even on the phone. This idea of males as emotionless is not a new notion and with current feminism movements I believe it is slowly being eradicated.
    I agree with the initial statement made in the post; “you knew your body before you could talk, and your feelings before you could think.” However, as babies we spend much time mimicking the actions of those around us, being told when we pull our face into a smile that we are ‘happy’ and when we frown we are ‘sad’. I believe we are born with primary emotions in order to give cues to others about what we need or want in order to survive. As we grow we are socialized by the environment in which we are raised and our future is dependent on our age, gender, race and religion (or lack thereof). They way in which I express myself is far from a choice I make as an individual, but rather social skills that I pick up from those who raised me. And we are then put in the position of teacher when we interact with the younger members of our society.
    #s237UOW17 #Tut1 #Mon1330

  14. In answering the questions posed by Rogers post I found some questions so easy at first until I re-read each question through a more socially constructed ‘lens’. I questioned my answer to “do you wear a dress?” as I do believe society has made it acceptable and preferred in certain settings for me to wear a dress. Important social events and formal settings make wearing a dress almost essential for women, for example a young woman is encouraged to dream up her perfect wedding dress.
    I am an emotional person who tells people in my life I love them daily so why, then, did I have so much trouble justifying my answer to the anger question? Like love, anger is an emotion felt by all so why do I feel as a woman I need to show all emotions except anger? Society has assigned anger to masculinity and thus, as a woman, I should not need to express anger. This concept works both ways. My partner will get teased by his mates if he expresses his emotions to me in front of them or even on the phone. This idea of males as emotionless is not a new notion and with current feminism movements I believe it is slowly being eradicated.
    I agree with the initial statement made in the post; “you knew your body before you could talk, and your feelings before you could think.” However, as babies we spend much time mimicking the actions of those around us, being told when we pull our face into a smile that we are ‘happy’ and when we frown we are ‘sad’. I believe we are born with primary emotions to give prompts to others about what we need or want in order to survive. As we grow we are socialised by the environment in which we are raised and our future is dependent on our age, gender, race and religion. They way in which I express myself is far from a choice I make as an individual, but rather social skills that I pick up from those who raised me. And we are then put in the position of teacher when we interact with the younger members of our society.
    #S327UOW17 #Tut1 #Mon1330

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