Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

Articles from Vol. 2, No. 2, Fall

Alice in the Gendered Sports-Fan Wonderland: A Sociological Inquiry
C. Wright Mills encouraged people to develop a sociological imagination in order to "place themselves in social context and identify how public issues affect them at the personal level, arguing that people need to know the source of their difficulties...
Anomie or Alienation?: A Self-Exploration of the Roots of Substance Ab/use
Substance abuse is a serious problem for millions of citizens in the United States, and throughout the world. Everyday, across the globe, individuals of different races, ethnicities, religions, cultures, and social classes struggle with the disease...
"Asian": Just a Simple Word
"Asian"--just a simple word. Defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as "a native or inhabitant of Asia." (1) To others, however, the word "Asian" is widely portrayed and associated with docile model minorities, exotic strangers, and passive individuals...
A Welcoming Statement to the Editorial Advisory Board
The present issue of Human Architecture includes a collection of excellent undergraduate student essays written in various courses offered at UMass Boston during the 2003-4 academic year. The diversity of issues explored by students in these essays,...
Body Image: A Clouded Reality
When I think back to when I was a child, I remember not worrying or caring about major issues that now, as an adult, I can't help but worry about. Although I worry, I don't always do what I should to prevent the things I worry about from happening....
Defining the Other
"Everything is what is not." --G. W. F. Hegel I Throughout human history, we find a continuous struggle to define the other, the foreigner, the unknown, the opposite of we or I. And, as the above quote from Hegel indicates, what they are,...
De/reconstructing Utopianism: Towards a World-Historical Typology
We often find ourselves debunking utopianism because of the historical shortcomings of Marxism, despite realizing that Marxism itself, in its classical writings at least, never claimed to be a utopian doctrine in the first place. For the founders of...
Durkheim, Mead, and Heroin Addiction
The "social fact" of heroin use and abuse in the United States today is a particularly tragic and troubling one. In February 2000, The National Drug Intelligence Center reported the "hardcore addict" population to be between 750,000 and 1,000,000....
From Alienation to Exploration: Breaking Free from the Iron Cages of My Life
The social experience of alienation has affected most of my life. I grew alienated from my core self when I attended Catholic schools and I've been working on changing that ever since. Those rules were hard to live by and they took their toll on my...
Honesty, Trust, and Love-In That Order: A Sociology of My Emotional Kaleidoscope
Should I take anti-depressants? I've been thinking about this question on and off for the last few years. And, for the last six months, this has been one of many questions that I have asked myself. Although I am better equipped emotionally and mentally...
Just Live: The Trick Is, You Have a Choice
You would never know there was an entrance to a club on this street. All you could see is a crowd of about two hundred people pushing their way towards the same direction as if trying to save themselves from some catastrophe about to happen. Where...
My Life's Tapestry: Casting Theoretical Lights on the Social Threads That Tie Me Down
I view my life as a large and ever changing tapestry. I am cut from a bolt of very strong, durable, and coarse working class material. Being born female certainly factored into the pattern of this design. However, woven deeply in my foundation are...
Obsessed with Impression Management: A Critical Sociology of Body Image in Capitalist Society
I can not tell you how many times in my life I have said "if only I were thin." I honestly feel that life would be much easier for me if I were thin. The key word is "easier." I think that thin and beautiful people reap the majority of the benefits...
Questioning Motherhood: A Sociological Awakening
Having a child seems, for most people, to be a natural choice. For me, the choice translates into a simple question of desire: do I want to have a child? My answer, something I feel makes me different from many people, is no. The idea of having...
The Complexity of Naive Acceptance of Socially Manipulated Beliefs
Every society has traditions and routines that define its realities. Its members hold these values with high esteem and pass them down to the following generation. The recipients, in turn, become hesitant to embrace major changes to those norms that...
The Effect of Immigrant Experiences on the Bifurcation of Women's Consciousness
Marx believed that through labor, human kind would be able to realize its "species-being," i.e., its potential for creative and purposeful activity through work. What Marx envisioned was the use of labor for the enhancement of human life beyond material...
The Roots of Procrastination: A Sociological Inquiry into Why I Wait until Tomorrow
Ever since high school, I have struggled with handing in papers late, withdrawing from classes, and failing classes due to incomplete work. I have always wondered why? When my academic work first became negatively affected, I thought it was due to...
Who Are "I"?: A Sociology of My Traditional, Modern, and Postmodern Selves
It is not something of which I was always afflicted, but only recently, in the last five years, did I begin to question it. It has become more and more challenging for me since I had always believed that I knew myself, my passions, my desires, and...
Will I Marry Her?
A Barbie and a Ken doll--complete with their two babies and a dog from my favorite aunt when I was seven years old--are the Christmas presents I most vividly remember from my childhood. This image of family influenced my vision of the future for many...
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