Working Out to Look Good: A Sociological Perspective Assignment

Working Out to Look Good: A Sociological Perspective Assignment Words: 842

Working Out to Look Good: A Sociological Perspective The word ‘common-sense’ connotes innate knowledge that is shared among humans. A search on the internet produced the following definition of sociology – the scientific analysis of a social institution as a functioning whole and as it relates to the rest of society. ‘ (Merriam-Webster, 2011). In other words, the student’s statement (from the assignment question) implies that we have an inherent ability to understand every-day issues without the systematic methods employed in sociology.

From a sociological perspective, however, the word ‘common-sense’ itself is suspect, since it has to be learned through colonization and thus differs from culture to culture. However, the focus of my essay lies elsewhere and I am constrained by length requirements from elaborating on this point. So for the sake of my argument, let us assume that common-sense is innate in humans. My focus is on dispelling the misconception that the study of sociology can be substituted with common-sense. Take working out at the gym for aesthetic reasons as an example, with regards to men specifically.

Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!

order now

Common-sense might tell us that men work out in the hope of developing athletic, muscular bodies, which women find attractive (Reuters, 2007). Probing further, an inquiry as to why this preference in taste exists might probably elicit responses such as ‘It’s natural. Women are by nature attracted to toned, muscular men. ‘ Left to his own devices, or common-sense, one may offer a myriad of such explanations, gleaned from his own experiences or from secondary sources that may or may not be accurate.

Even if they were, rigorous evidence is hardly called upon to purport said claims, since they are derived after all, from common-sense. Sociological study enables us to analyze issues in a systematic fashion. Sociological research involves 6 steps – Formulating a question or theory, reviewing existing literature, selecting a method of data collection, the actual collecting of data, analyzing the data and finally reporting the results (Bryn and Lie, 2007, p. 36). For example, I might propose a theory that gender roles play a big part in shaping our views of beauty.

Gender roles are common assumptions regarding the respective behaviors of men and women (Bryn and Lie, 2007, p. 110). OR FUNCTIONALISM?! Focusing on men, I theorize that in the past, men who were strong were more suited for manual tasks needed for the survival and sustenance of his family, like hunting. . An indication of a strong man is a muscular body, and women, in desiring security and stability, were socialized to look for this trait in men.

In the 21st century forever, men who are most capable of providing a comfortable existence require wealth, and intelligence is among the top prerequisites for securing a well-paying job. This might explain why indicators of such traits- expensive clothing for wealth and paper qualifications for intelligence- are now seen by women as attractive traits in men. Therefore, it follows logically that if intelligence was not such an integral factor in securing a comfortable existence, women will not find it as attractive a trait.

The next step would be to review existing literature to learn from what has been searched and also to avoid duplication of effort. After that, I would need to select a method of collecting data. For this, I believe that a survey would be suitable. I would draw up a questionnaire asking women to choose between the more attractive trait in men, a muscular body or high intelligence (l excluded wealth because it would be hard to find a community that does not use some form of currency). Next I would need two sample groups of suitable size, ideally 1 500 each.

The first group should comprise random women of around the same age from a spread of cosmopolitan and erotically cities like Singapore and New York, where intelligence is highly rewarded financially. The other group should preferably be from communities, such as tribes that hunt for food, where physical strength is a valued asset, and are insulated such that intelligence offers an individual little advantage over his peers, I. E. One is unable to leave his community for a better life overseas where his intelligence might be rewarded. The two groups should as far as possible be similar in all other aspects.

The independent variable here is the value placed on intelligence by society. If upon analyzing the data, the results of the survey are such that a significant number of women from the cosmopolitan cities prefer intelligent men over muscular ones, and an overwhelming number of women from the other group prefer muscular men to intelligent men, it is likely that my theory is correct. Otherwise, some of my assumptions are wrong, or my theory itself is flawed and will have to be discarded or reconsidered. For the sake of future studies or investigations, the results of the findings would then be published to add to the existing literature.

How to cite this assignment

Choose cite format:
Working Out to Look Good: A Sociological Perspective Assignment. (2022, Mar 09). Retrieved April 14, 2024, from