Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Are you going to eat that? The Social Construction of Reality



There is no difference between spit or saliva except for how we think about each. This is called the social construction of reality. Our reality is how we experience the world. The social construction is that our society or the people around us influences how we experience the world. Hence our experiences(reality) are created (constructed) by others (society). Spitting in different cultures or different situations (baseball) can be experienced differently, i.e. more or less acceptably. For example, most of us have been to baseball games and watched players spit all throughout the game. We didn't get repulsed by that. During one World Series, Reggie Jackson averaged 19 spits per at-bat! Another example is when parents or siblings use their saliva to wipe off a baby's face. We don't find that repulsive, but if a teacher drops saliva onto a desk it becomes gross. This can be true for nearly all of our experiences; feelings of happiness, sorrow, stress, worry. Nearly all of these are created within us by the society we are in.
Here is an example that you might not realize. The Japanese would be grossed out by the typical American bathroom. In Japan, toilets are located in a different room than the shower and bath. And the Japanese shower is always separate from the bath. They see the shower for cleaning and the bath for soaking after you have cleaned. What are some moments in your own life where you experience these feelings, but when you stop and think about it, you realize that the feelings have been created for you by society?
Another way social construction can be illustrated is in our symbols and how they shape our reaction. For example, there is a feeling that you should not walk on the Patriot.There is no real reason why, but it is a social construct. Another example is the faculty restrooms. Some of the restrooms are for individual use, that is one person at a time. These rest rooms are exactly the same: one toilet and one sink. However, the rooms are labelled with "Men's" and "Women's" signs. That makes men feel weird if we use the "women's" room, even though the men's room is exactly the same. (and vice versa). The sign is a social construct that elicits that feeling.

What does the sociological theory “social construction of reality” mean?
Who first coined it?
What is the Thomas Theorem?

How does SCR and TT apply to your life?

9 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. When you have saliva in your mouth it is ok, it helps you and is good but as soon as it leaves your mouth,its gross. The spoon full of spit was nasty. I would never eat it off a spoon even if it was my spit because its gross. Maybe I would for a million dollars but I am not planning on it.And I still don't know if I would do it. It kinda grosses me out to think about it.

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  3. random but when i went to china... ahh the squater toilets ahhh! i avoided it in all 17 days there and i held it in like no other haha!

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  4. I can see the point that your trying to make but its all about context. When you spit on the spoon and tell someone to eat it they are grossed because they think about the spit. But when you exchange saliva through kissing you think about the feelings you have for the person, thus forgetting the exchanging of saliva. When we shower/bath we dont think about soaking in our own filth because we have never been told that thats gross, so maybe thats why its so different here than japan, it must be oour different culture.

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  5. Sal, if you read my latest post it is just like yours.. I totally agree and think that the way we see spit/saliva is just because we were brought up to see things like that. Its gross when its in a spoon and you are asked to drink it, but if you use it as water (to clean something off, ect), it is all of a sudden a totally normal thing to do! Anything could be gross if we were brought up to think it..its just how our minds work!!

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  6. I was not really surprised when you mentioned how the japanese have a sperate bathroom and toilet area. In Poland that's what most people do too. I was fascinated by how the japanese take baths. It's pretty cool and I would probably try it if I ever did go to Japan.

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  7. When you were explaining how the Japanese bathe I was really surprised. I never knew they bathed like that. It's very interesting and unique, but if you think about how we take baths it's actually kind of gross. It's also kind of humorous how we get grossed out by the whole spitting in a cup thing, when we have spit in our mouth. Society has totally affected how we view things.

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  8. I agree with everything said! When I was in China this summer, it was definitely a culture shock when almost everyone freely spit everywhere they pleased. At first I was disgusted by it, but then as I stayed there longer and longer it just became something I accepted and it's still something that I think back upon whenever I hear someone spit now.

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  9. I was born and raised in Hong Kong and there was spitting EVERYWHERE. Yet from what I remember, it was always men that was spitting, and women would either find it gross or not care but they would never spit themselves ( at least I havn't seen it).

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