Forest from the Trees Analysis

2134 Words Jan 25th, 2011 9 Pages
Dear Sorority Girl,

As humans, it is in our nature to view things simplistically. Most of us participate in day-to-day events single-mindedly. We are much too wrapped up what we are doing to take a step back and recognize the greater picture. We fail to notice the impact of the social systems that constantly surround us. The systems that we associate with are much bigger than ourselves. In fact, they define who we are not only as individuals, but also as part of a society. Allan Johnson, author of The Forest and the Trees, does an incredible job of investigating on the importance of looking at society through an outside lens; taking a step back and analyzing the social systems we are all involved in. He shows that in doing so, we are
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These reactions are attached with emotional elements as well. It is our attitudes that shape how we participate in social life. The love and dedication for the sorority you join is formed by the beliefs, values, and norms that you have for your sorority. The process of joining a sorority itself is also looked at as joining a new social structure. According to Johnson (2008), “social structures organize social life around relationships that connect people to one another and to systems as well as connecting entire systems to one another” (78). More simplistically put, social structures are about how relationships are organized on all aspects of life and how these relationships are interconnected. Statuses are positions in these structures, and we ascribe to many statuses within our social system. The best way to think about it is to relate statuses to social job titles. With this said, along with the status of being a girl and a college student, rushing a sorority provides a new position as being a rushee, perhaps a pledge, and then, after initiation, a member. Another status that members of a sorority may claim is a position on the executive board, such as treasurer. Fulfilling a status can be seen as a way of being committed to a certain social system. With such commitment comes a duty that needs to be fulfilled. This duty can be looked at as a role. A role is the collection of beliefs, values, attitudes, and norms
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