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Real World and Its Place in Social Theory


Sears and Cairns explain that, often, we perceive the real world as an external element in our lives, which we have no control over (83). Also, they make us understand that the real world, which we perceive as an external creation of unknown forces is the making of our own internal beings. In other words, we project what we feel to the outside world (based on our fears and feelings), and from this understanding; we create the real world. I completely agree with this assertion, based on the fact that reality is created by our feelings, thoughts perceptions intentions, and motives. Therefore, the creation of the real world is not an outside-in process, but rather, an inside out process (Tymieniecka 3).

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This fact can be evidenced from Maracle’s story (cited in Bogardus 126) where she narrates her life experiences in the hands of racists and tells of how her experiences changed her perception of herself, her children, and her quest to pursue a political career. She gives a critical account of how life experiences can turn oneself against themselves, citing many instances where she felt bad about herself because she did not grow up to be appreciated and loved.

In fact, she gives an account of how she managed to turn the hate she felt for herself, onto her children. From this understanding, Maracle seems to expose the relationship explained in sociological terms as the relational effect of one’s environment on one’s personality (Naiman 3). Moreover, her story exposes how this relationship can be further spread from generation to generation, as was evidenced by Maracle’s hatred of her children (because they resembled white people). This is her creation of reality.

Her story exemplifies Sears and Cairn’s concept because, from her hatred of white people, she was able to create a reality filled with hate. Also, in Brym’s article, where he narrates how his high school drama experiences led him to study sociology, he confirms Sears and Cairn’s assertion that we create reality as a product of the things we hear, smell, taste, and feel because they are our primary tools for the creation of our reality (Brym 245). Also, from Brym’s article, we see that his involvement and exposure in high school drama greatly acted as a catalytic element to his involvement in drama.


Sears and Cairn’s (25) assertion can be largely perceived as a focal point of most sociological insights because their assertion touches on the society and its influence on people, and the reverse (the people’s influence on the society) (Carl 58). From this analysis, we can see that people create their own realities, based on their thoughts, and this trail of events subsequently form their actions. From this analysis, we can also note that, from the emotional charge we give our thoughts, we are able to predict or determine our life situations.

In other words, people who are more optimistic about life have better chances of changing their lives for the better, while people who think negatively about their circumstances are bound to wallow in depression for a long time (Valpy 68). Depending on one’s own conviction, one can decide to agree with this point of view, or not, but from this critique, we can see that Sears and cairns emphasize the power of our thoughts, feelings, and actions in determining our reality (Lonergan 308). Personally, I believe in Sears and Cairn’s assertions because I support the view that, the reality is a creation of human thought.

Works Cited

Bogardus, John. Anthropology of Contemporary Life Study Guide. Burnaby, BC: Simon Fraser University, Centre for Online and Distance Education, 2001. Print.

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Brym, Robert. How High School Drama Helped Me to Become a Sociologist: An Essay in the Sociology of Autobiography. Canadian Journal of Sociology/Cahiers canadiens de sociologie 31(2), 2006, 245. Print.

Carl, James. Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Identity. In Seeing Ourselves: Exploring Race, Ethnicity and Culture. Toronto,ON: Thompson, 1999. Print.

Lonergan, Bernard. Phenomenology and logic: the Boston College Lectures on mathematical logic and existentialism. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001. Print.

Naiman, Joanne. How Societies Work: Class, Power and Change in a Canadian Context. Toronto: Fernwood Pub, 2008.

Sears, Alan., & Cairns, James. A Good Book, in Theory: Making Sense through Inquiry. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010. Print.

Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. Human Creation between Reality and Illusion. New York: Springer, 2005. Print.

Valpy, Michael. The New Radicals. Elm Street: Multivision Publishing, Inc., 2000. Print.

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