Sociology of Work

I wish I went deeper to understand this topic when I was in university. It is so useful to understand society and groups and behavior at work, especially if you work a lot with people! If you’re a Sociology student, do read more about the topic and you will understand it more when you’re actually working! You could also use all those research and put them to the test. The benefit to you is that you understand people’s behavior better and that knowledge is just so powerful!

A lot of people asked me what I did in uni and what I’m doing now for a career, and they get confused, “Sociology? What are you doing here?” Here being in an oil and gas or a construction industry. And I always have no proper (or witty!) answer to give them. What they don’t know is that I’ve learnt to understand people’s behavior, effectively, where I could anticipate their reactions towards a situation. It could just be my awesome upbringing by my parents, but I also believe that all those books I’ve read, all those essays I’ve written, have also contributed. I empathize with people I work with more. In that way, we could compromise and work things out together that could benefit both sides whenever there’s a conflict of some sort!

In my final year of my first degree, I wrote an essay on work transforming us into particular embodied beings. This was one of the essays that I enjoyed writing in my final year. Hochschild (1983) said that as the world’s work sectors are becoming more service-based and they place more emphasis on that, there is a requirement for individuals to become an “emotion worker”. What this means is that we are acting to perform a job properly. We hear this a lot that we have to be professional. From Hochschild’s understanding, this would mean acting because we are behaving in a certain way in order to perform our jobs according to what is expected of us.

Isn’t that so interesting? Haha. Being an emotion worker has two ways of doing it, and what I understand from those ways is that we are fighting against what we are expected to do and what our own self is trying to achieve. The individual versus the company we work for/with. I was just watching a TED podcast last night on individual association and group association…or solidarity. God, I wish I was still in university! Things make so much more sense now that I’m working and have aged a bit. Haha

Anyway, my point of posting this evening was to share about my current work experience. But I digressed, and I think I enjoyed writing this way. Hmm.

What I’ve learned about this life so far is that we could only trust ourselves and God. It’s become so confusing and frustrating to balance between trusting yourself and others that, in the end, people are just looking out for themselves because you’re the only person you could hurt when you’ve lied to yourself. And there’d be less guilt in that. And perhaps you’d forgive yourself easier.

How this post took different turns, I don’t know :P may you always be chasing your dreams, my lovelies.

/E

on a number of things

You never really know until it happens to you or someone you know:

1. the changes on policies since the Tory (+ LD) government took over are affecting people who have been working for some time and then wanting to seek further education to upgrade their skills and qualifications. Stripping off an education grant means people will not be able to afford it themselves, their employers won’t be willing to support them (as it is expensive!), and this change is a barrier for people who want to secure their career for their future. This isn’t helping, Mr. Cameron!

2. a young adult offender has been learning to cook whilst in prison and has since then got a DoE award for something related to cooking/food. A law-abiding citizen, however, has to pay ridiculous amount of money to take a cooking course (and pay for the prisons!) to maybe have a chance of being a really good cook to win a DoE award or something similar. Maybe this law-abiding citizen has better chances in prison to pursue his dream of becoming a recognized chef, eh.

3. you’ve seen it in films and documentaries about eating disorder. and you think, “damn these people, they’ve got to get a grip and etc, etc, etc”. Point is, you have a lot to say. But when it comes to someone you know that has this problem, you are almost speechless. You work up a few encouraging words and hopefully they know you want to understand them. And you do. You really want to. But you can’t because you don’t know what they’re going through. You thought they had it all together. You thought everyone has problems and people get by. But this. It is easy to judge someone you don’t know because they’ll never really get a chance to talk back at you. It becomes pretty personal when it is someone you know and you really want to be helpful.

4. In an innocent world we all used to live in, everything is peachy. It is now ingrained in my mind that the world is not so. The world can be cruel, unfair and shocking. And it is difficult to stay positive. Last night, there were so much misery on TV: “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields”, “Luther” (psychotic in London), “Jamie’s Food Revolution” (obesity, diabetes, heart disease). The night before was the controversial program by Sir Terry Pratchett on assisted death. I, for one, have many things to say about that, but I think I will keep that for another post.

 

As we grow older, we know more. When we were younger, we want to grow older already because of the perks of being independent and part of the adult team. Now, when we’re older, we wish to go back. When things were innocent and everything was peachy. When there were no bills to pay. No one to be responsible for. I do miss the olden days, but I would be oblivious. Young children in Africa, Middle East, America, Asia, everywhere have different experiences of childhood to me. If I did not know what I know today, I wouldn’t be able to engage myself in the public sphere of things. To talk about it in order to do something about it. Hannah Arendt believed in people debating about things to order to not forget. We shall not be silent when others are crying for help.

 

Enough for this morning.

/E