I often get the question often about why I decided to study sociology when I want to go into business/ Human Resource Management. One doesn’t usually equate the theories of Marx or Dubois with payroll structuring or onboarding paperwork. But those assumptions are part of the reason why the study of sociology matters even more in the private sector. Sociology itself is an important study because of its potential for good through all aspects of the so-called “real world”. The world needs more people who understand. We need professionals that have the capacity to understand other’s dreams, beliefs, wants, and desires, regardless of their background or current status. These things make us human. They make us equal. Each individual matters just as much as each law written, for one, doesn’t go without the other.
I believe we have our public sector stray too far from the active perception of human needs. In a world where almost every process has been automated and the various technologies grow, we have to remind ourselves that this is all supposed to be for the benefit of the human population, not at their expense. People need people. People need people to listen, to understand. The ever-expanding profit margins come at the price of the human labor cost. The mother of three is giving up time with her children to finish the expense reports in time. The man who should have retired five years ago but the markets swung the wrong way. I hope to bring back some humanity into the business world by listening and keeping those stories in mind when interacting with employees and management, and I strongly encourage others to do the same.
I’ve always had a personal interest in sociology. As a biracial individual of Black and White descent, my upbringing felt like the war of the worlds except I was the alien threat. Both sides of my heritage clash constantly in this country, whether it be in the media, the justice system, or just everyday interactions. Constantly being subject to questions of “what are you” or assumptions of adoption without both parents present made for an identity crisis from as early as I can remember.
I have had to fight for the right to just be myself. But I understand this fight does not just stop. It is too pertinent a battle to just cease to exist. Without it, my voice would sink to background noise, left unaddressed in the void as I might've been once in the past. I am fortunate to live in a time where I can speak up. My life no longer is illegal by law. But the fight is not over. And by all means, I will continue to speak up. I have a passion for community outreach and fostering environments of inclusivity, as I have spent the time I’ve been graced with making it happen. All the activities I choose to devote my time to have been in the name of something bigger than myself.
Studying sociology has given me the tools to strive to add to the conversation of diversity within the greater systems, and where we can pick up the slack with the right work. We can create a movement of inclusion so we all know we have a place, and furthermore a purpose. A woman of color like myself, making it in the real world, is enough to turn heads. And there are 1000s versions of me out there that could join me, All of us actually. Understanding sociology means understanding that there are voices out there that need uplifting and acting in the best interest of those who don’t know how to speak loud enough.
To truly begin to create a society where participating in the economy is not simply a means to an end, but a livelihood once more, we have to be willing to understand each person's motives for working. Who they are supporting, what their parents taught them, how they apply themselves to their work. These things come through our individual social patterns, and deciphering them comes with a thorough study of sociology. We all have the ability to be what the world needs. Understanding the societal complexities that we all share can be a transformative tool in the arsenal of change, proving its might in the struggle against the established system. The system that so often cuts out who needs it the most. Let’s be here for the marginalized, the broken, the overlooked, and badly beaten. We’ll all be well equipped to bring in talent from all walks of life, no matter what red tape divides us.