- 1. How do you determine a person’s social class?
- Artist: Lisa Southwick
Visualizing Sociology in Everyday Life
Eva G. Farris Reading Room, W. Frank Steely Library, Northern Kentucky University
Sept 20 - December 31, 2010
Featuring the photography of Chris Caldeira and Lisa Southwick with contributions from Prince Brown, Jr., Ray Elfers, Katie Englert, Missy Gish, Erin Hart, Norris Jones, CIV, USACE, SSGT Lanie McNeal, USAF, and Terra Schultz.
Sponsored by Joan Ferrante
Social class is a complex and elusive concept. Still we know that social class has a profound impact on the kinds of goods and services people can access, and by extension the kind of life they can live. While many factors determine social class, a person’s occupation and income play particularly important roles. Economic transformations such as outsourcing and automation can render specific kinds of labor useless or reduce their monetary value. The monetary value assigned to labor affects how long a person must work to access basic necessities and items of choice.
On the surface, classifying people by racial category may seem like a meaningful way to divide a population. But is it a meaningful way to classify family members? Sociologists are interested in how a system of racial classification that divides biologically related people into distinct racial categories has come to be accepted as seemingly natural way to divide humanity.
The bulk of our day-to-day living occurs in a physical place a “fish bowl” that includes our home, school, and workplace and the routes between. That place encompasses the store, the gym, the church, or other destinations that make up routine activities. Though we may be familiar with other areas of the world through media-driven images, the place in which we live is directly experienced. Many factors shape the character of a place including the country in which it is located and the technology available there. Place encompasses the largely predictable and taken-for-granted ways of doing things that profoundly shape perceptions of reality.
Many of us invest considerable time, money, and effort in distinguishing ourselves from the other sex. While most people assume that males are naturally masculine and females are naturally feminine, in fact gender is a socially created distinction. The behavioral and emotional traits that make a person appear masculine or feminine are learned.
There is no fixed line separating masculine from feminine traits, yet many of us act as if there are. Sociologists seek to uncover why some people embrace these socially created distinctions while others resist and even challenge them.
Steely Library phone number: 859.572.5457