Schwalbe's Reification Essay

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Reification takes away individual responsibility making it harder for people to realize they are the ones in charge of the social world. One should always remember that although the social world seems to have always existed, humans are the ones responsible for making it and maintaining it (Schwalbe, pg.20). The problem with not seeing the social world as “humanly made” is that the people who did the building are not given the credit for their attributions (Schwalbe, pg.21). Using the example of technology Schwalbe insists, “Reification keeps us from seeing that the force attributed to technology comes from people choosing to do things together in certain ways” (Schwalbe, pg. 21). Not being able to see the social world as humanly made, makes …show more content…

This explains why there is still poverty and wars in the world. Contrary to forces in nature such as gravity, that humans can do nothing about, the social world can and is controlled by humans. Schwalbe writes “it is within our collective power to recreate the world in a better way” (Schwalbe, pg.22). Comparatively, when it comes to who people think they are, many times they do not realize that social categories are also based on ideas invented by people. The example the author of the article uses is race. Schwalbe writes: “many people think that they belong to a race and that races are visible, biological realities. But races, too, are human inventions” (Schwalbe, pg.22). Although this may be true, it does not make the concept of race less real. Because people choose to believe race is real, race is a social reality. Schwalbe also talks about how who a person is, depends on the social world that person grew up in. This is what creates the cultural differences between people from different countries. These ideas have the power to give people self-sense, as Schwalbe writes “The ideas that hold the social world together tell us who we are” (Schwalbe,

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