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Sociology

Sociology is usually defined in terms of the scientific or systematic study of society, two notions that postmodern – and just serious – thinkers today openly question. In fact, a recent check at Wikipedia reveals that the word “academic” has … Continue reading


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Reification – Are things always as they seem?

Reification is a sociological, philosophical and literary concept concerning language and symbolization.¹ For Marxist, Weberian and postmodern sociologists, reification also involves social power. It occurs whenever ideas, concepts or theories are falsely assumed to accurately represent some entity or thing. … Continue reading


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Comte Henri de Saint-Simon – His concern for the poor shines above everything else

Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon (1760-1825) or, more commonly, Saint-Simon is one of those figures who comes up regularly in sociology courses, especially so-called “classical” or “classical theory” courses.¹ Until writing this entry, I knew little about him. But I … Continue reading


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Functionalism – Are we simply what we do?

Embed from Getty Images In art and architecture functionalism refers to combining aesthetics and efficiency. With intellectual roots in the 18th and 19th centuries, in the 1920s and 30s the Bauhaus movement designed furniture for utility. In architecture, the idea … Continue reading


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Psychiatry – An evolving science

Psychiatrist and patient in counseling session Psychiatry generally sees itself as a branch of medicine specializing in the assessment, treatment, study and prevention of unhealthy psychological suffering. However, not everyone sees psychiatry in an entirely benign light. In a nutshell, … Continue reading


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Rakshakas – Hindu and Buddhist demons

Embed from Getty Images Ogoh ogoh, demon procession during Balinese New Year’s Eve in Ubud. In Hinduism, Rakshakas (or Rakshasas) are demons appearing in the Puranas (sacred scripture laden with mythic stories) that are capable of shape shifting. Females are … Continue reading


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The Son, Catholicism and its Critics

In Christian theology, the Son is part of the Holy Trinity. The Christian Trinity refers to the belief that God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit form a co-equal, co-eternal mystical union. Jesus, the Son, is fully human … Continue reading


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Structuralism – another ‘religious’ belief?

Structuralism is an approach found in the Social Sciences. Its adherents maintain that human beliefs, practices and interactions follow natural, universal patterns.¹ In psychology, structuralism is usually contrasted with functionalism. Structural approaches also appear in anthropology, linguistics, sociology and religious … Continue reading


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The changing face of scholarship

Embed from Getty Images Pierre Bourdieu at an unemployed demonstration in front of ‘Sciences Politiques’ and ‘Normale Superieure’ schools in Paris, France on January 16, 1998. Like most things in life, the idea of scholarship has many meanings. Many people … Continue reading