The author of the book entitled Down to Earth Sociology focused his writings on conceptual issues regarding the social interactions of the people in everyday life including the aspect of understanding the individual experiences in the society and the analysis of the different dominant social cultures. The selections of the said book also emphasizes the different significant themes of the modern sociology including sociological analysis of the concept of gender, power, politics, sports, religion, racial tensions, crimes, poverty, homelessness, and the global outlook of economic capitalism.
In this book, the author Henslin presented his ideas and analysis in the same scientific manner and process that is being implemented by the contemporary sociologist of the modern age. Through this, the book has able to critically analyze and present every intricate detail that is involved in the sociological research as guided by the main concept of the hypothesis. The book presented its views in relation to the present hypothetical concepts and theories in trying to explain and interpret the different social phenomena in the modern civilization.
Included in the book of Henslin are detailed discussions of the different sociological theories that are guiding the research and development pursuit of the said field. These sociological theories are defined to have been developed at multiple levels, ranging from large theory to highly definite and explicit small-scale ones. Rather than thinking of one theory being excellent to the other theories it is more beneficial as well as informative to view these different theories as correlation with each other.
One of the sociological theories on how to explain different phenomena that has been elaborated is the Structural-Functionalism, which is defined as a sociological theory that pertains on how to explain several social institutions as a means to be able to satisfy or fulfill the individual’s biological means. Another theory that has been discussed in Henslin’s book is the Conflict theory that is explained as a sociological theory that points out that society is not about unity or universal agreement but rather this theory is all about competition.
According to this theory, society consists of different individuals who are competing for the limited supply of resources. An example of this conflict is in the Legislative branch of the United States Government wherein men are still viewed as more powerful and superior over women when it comes to the politics. As an effect, women’s privileges to express their opinions and ideas are still significantly limited. In this situation, it is clearly stated that there is a clash or conflict between genders, which also illustrate the obvious concept of inequality between men and women.
Aside from the ones previously mentioned, another theory that was discussed by Henslin is the Symbolic Interactionalism that is discussed as a sociological approach on how to understand the proximity or relationship between human and society. The basic idea of Symbolic Interactionalism is that human action and interaction are only by means of exchanging substantial communications and symbols. Based on this theory, humans and lower forms of animals are different from each other because lower form of animals can easily respond to the environment while the human being has the capability to interrupt this process.
In addition, lower forms of animals do not have the capability in conceiving different alternative responses to gestures unlike human beings they can easily grasp different gestures. Another theory is the Role Theory; this pertains to the different roles represented by an individual in their everyday lives such as the father, secretary, or friend. For instance, most people their notion or representations of secretary include: answering phone calls, making and managing appointments, filling different paper works, and typing memorandums.
These different roles of a secretary could not be expected of professional basketball player. Basically, every individual have different personalities and roles in the society. In addition, the book entitled Down to earth sociology by James M. Henslin focused on real life situation in which all the readers can surely relate. Henslin’s book is indeed user friendly, entertaining to read and indeed valuable because it talks about actual life situations and social phenomenon.
The sociological perspectives that is generally employed in the book enables the people to look below the surface of social life and examine different factors that shape our behavior, attitudes, and culture as well as our beliefs in life. Bibliography Henslin, J. M. (2005). Down to Earth Sociology. The Free Press, New York, USA. 13th Edition, Pages 281-296. ISBN 0743267605. Von Der Haar, Christine M. (2005). Social Psychology: A Sociological Perspective. Prentice Hall, USA. ISBN: 0130809837.