Academic- Thoughts on Giddens

One aspect I find most interesting about Giddens’s perspective on structuration and the reflexive self is the idea of a constant cycle. We as human beings are not static but rather constantly moving forward- yet we are continually caught in this cycle between institutions and human beings and the effect they play on one another. We discussed in class that the way the self is formed in these modern times has just become a reflexive movement between the modern institutions and oneself. It is constantly bounced back and forth between people and the institutions.

Where exactly then is the freedom? We come up with new ideas and stories, but are they really individual or always subconsciously based upon something else? If we are constantly finding our individualism from other things and people, when can we truly step back from all the subliminal influence and delve into who we really are as human beings? It’s a mind-blowing concept I find almost depressing for a couple reasons. I mean don’t get me wrong, I think the evolvement of industrialization and institutions is a great thing in that it has created a myriad of opportunities and innovations. However, I also think it has stolen the ability for humans to think for themselves. It seems the only option in doing so anymore would be to completely disconnect from the world around us, which in this day in age is just not realistic.

In addition, this cycle has affected the structure of society in that it has ironically made coming into the real world so much harder to navigate. It used to be that you would grow up and follow the family line of profession. Nowadays, coming from a young person’s point of view I can honestly say that the number of opportunities I am faced with at times is overwhelming. I often never know if I’m making certain decisions for myself or because of pressure from institutions around me to do so. This is why the cycle is such a controversial notion. It has created so much, but in result spread the real meaning of individualism and ability for decision-making much too thin.

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