Why I Would Be a Terrible Sociologist

So my primary major is Recreation and Sport Business, with a focus in Sport and Diversity. Something I don’t advertise very often, is that I actually have a secondary major in Ethics and Public Policy. The B.A. in Ethics and Public Policy allows me to take classes in various departments like philosophy, economics, sociology, psychology, and political science. While I appreciate the critical thinking skills and analytic skills that this program allows me to discover, after only less than a year in the program I think I’ve learned a valuable lesson about myself- Naturally, I would make a really awful sociologist.

Sociology is all about examining trends in society, and various social groups and institutions, and how they affect our lives. While I find this kind of information fascinating, I want to throw it all out the window. Maybe it’s the athlete in me, but I always want to believe in the underdog. I want to believe in equal opportunity. I want to believe in an even playing field. The thought that where I come from, my socio-economic status, my gender, my ethnicity, and a host of other reasons influence my life in ways I can’t control makes me uncomfortable. I believe, without a doubt, that none of the above reasons are ones that will hold me back from achieving what I want to accomplish in my life. Do I believe that those sociological factors have an impact on my life? Sure, but I would never want to classify them as barriers.

The graphs and the numbers game, and the trends, and the sociological projections are so incredible valuable for us in order to create a better, and more equal society, but I find it hard to look at my own life, and other individual lives, through the same lenses. Maybe I will always be the devils advocate for sociological research- that annoying kid in the class always stating “Well yeah, but, it MIGHT be possible for X individual…”

Nothing is ever certain in this world. I am a firm believer that we cannot predict the outcome, and as much as we try to plan we really just have to roll with the punches of life and we will end up where we are supposed to be. I want to dream big dreams, and believe that nothing can hold me back from them. I want to throw numbers and percentages and averages out the door, and believe that I am forging my own path in the world without the influence of outside factors beyond my control. You can never accurately predict the outcome of a game, match, or race, just by looking at the sport statistics. You can never account for will power, determination, and blind unwavering dedication.

Maybe the quantitative research isn’t for me. Maybe I’ll keep my faith in the unknown, and the exceptions to the rule, and the underdogs.

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