My car is one of the most important personal belonging I have, which I acquired two years ago. Before this, I had a great passion for cars since when I was a young child, as I used to sit by the roadside and watch cars move up and down. I remember most of the days I branded many cars like mine, and upon retiring home in the evening, I would not help a feeling of owning a car when I grow up. After getting a chance to join college, I thought the first thing to acquire is a car, which I did after making some few savings from my small business and other grants from my parents. It felt so great when I acquired the car, and it was like a dream come true because for the first time I owned something so close to my heart.
The car is very important in my life because apart from being valuable to me, it also serves several purposes and always keeps me company especially when I am lonely and bored, I can get to take a long drive around the city. The fundamental purpose of the car in my life is enabling me to move from one point to another with ease and convenience, especially when I am late for class or any other social function. Additionally, with the car, I can visit many places around the city and in the outskirts, which I consider doing as a social activity in the evenings and during the weekends. Sometimes when I am driving around in the evening, it feels like I am disappearing away into the sunset to meet the beautiful sunrise. The type of joy that I get when driving my car is great especially when I am singing to myself and the car sound seems like it is singing back me, making me feel the importance of the great company by my side.
The car has several components that make it whole and help in its functionality, but most importantly, I am one of the most important parts of its functionality. This means that the car cannot function without me, and neither can I run my daily activities without the car. The relationship between me and the car is mutual because we both have to play our respective parts for functionality. Some of the roles I have to play for the functionality of the car is ensured it is in good mechanical condition, it has gas, and it is clean (Borowski 11). On the other hand, the car has to take me to various destinations whenever I want to and wherever I want to go.
From the conflict theorist perspective, the car can be viewed as competing for the limited resources. The social relationship between the car and me is maintained through an exchange of precious resources such as money, time, and affection. I spend money on maintaining the condition of the car so that it can provide best services for me. Additionally, I spent much time on the same and not forgetting the affection I have for the car because it is one of my precious items. In most cases, it is hard to decide whether to spend money on servicing the car or fueling it or spending the money on some other equally important functions (Borowski 11). The same applies to time and affection, creating a conflict between the very necessary factors on resources.
The symbolic interactionism analyses society through the subjective meaning, which people impose on objects based on what they believe rather than what is true. From the symbolic interaction point of view, my car can be viewed as a waste of resources especially because I spend a lot of money on it, and the fact that it does not generate any income for me (LaRossa et al. 146). However, the bigger picture is that I gain maximum utility from the services that the car elicits. The meaning of the car to me is a convenience in the movement from one place to another and transportation. In the college place, the car also symbolizes status and ownership, which gives me social standing and fulfillment.
Social inequality means the unequal distribution or access to given social goods and services. A car can be considered as a luxury, and in most cases, not all can afford it. This makes those who can afford the car of their choice feel good and privileged. The main inequalities in society are economic income, education, parental leave, and class (Boyer & Pascal 14). The economic income of an individual can dictate the type of car they can own. Owning a car is a privilege and at the same time status and social stratification. Because of parental leave from my parents, I can acquire an item that defines my social being and satisfies my other social needs. Social inequality helps to create a gap between the haves and have not, which is suitable for the enjoyment of an item because other parties are not able to acquire it. At college, not many people have a car, and so it creates a social fulfillment by unequal resource distribution.
Social institutions are behavioral systems and patterns that define the structure of human behavior through normative character. Some of the social institutions are divided into primary and secondary institutions. Primary institutions are basic and found in primitive societies, while secondary institutions are involved in catering for the secondary needs of people. An example of secondary institution needs includes education and polity. The two major social institutions related to the car are family, mainly for socializing with new members and the provision of group life. The second institution is economy, which is responsible for regulation of the power structure (Walby et al. 231). The main purpose of the family as a social institution is the fact that it prescribed my behavior for the fulfillment of my needs through aiding in purchasing the car and providing the social life and the needed group life.
The economy is the main regulation system of production and wealth distribution. Through the economy, it was possible to acquire the car. This institution assigns roles and status to individuals by distributing the resource of wealth so they can fulfill their social needs (Boyer & Pascal 14). Additionally, the existence of social institutions supports individual and social survival through tasks and responsibilities that see a success of society and fulfillment of social needs. Acquiring a car is both a social and economic activity, which satisfies my social needs and economic needs too.
LaRossa, Ralph, and Donald C. Reitzes. "Symbolic interactionism and family studies." Sourcebook of family theories and methods. Springer, Boston, MA, 2009. 135-166.
Jia, Guangshe, et al. "A study of the mega project from a perspective of social conflict theory." International Journal of project management 29.7 (2011): 817-827. (Jia et al. 821)
Borowski, Andrzej. "Confidence in social institutions in the post-communist countries." International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences 25 (2014): 7-17.
Boyer, Pascal, and Michael Bang Petersen. "The naturalness of (many) social institutions: Evolved cognition as their foundation." Journal of Institutional Economics 8.1 (2012): 1-25.
Walby, Sylvia, Jo Armstrong, and Sofia Strid. "Intersectionality: Multiple inequalities in social theory." Sociology 46.2 (2012): 224-240.
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