Function Of Social Life In Allan Johnson's The Forest And The Trees?

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In Allan Johnson’s book The Forest and the Trees, he notions that in order to understand the concept of social life, we have to not only look at the individual, but also at the environment the individual is placed and how they interact and create social systems. Johnson explains that “a forest is simply a collection of individual trees, but it is more than that. It is also a collection of trees that exist in a particular relation to one another, and you cannot tell what that relation is by looking at the individual trees.” (Johnson 2014) By using the imagery of the forest and trees, he shows how social systems and people influence each other.
Within these social systems, culture is created and is used as “tools to make sense of things, including
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This film displays many examples of privilege, roles in social groups, and paths of least resistance that help to connect and further Johnson’s overall view on the function of social systems within society.
The movie centers around a teenage girl named Olive and her struggle with her new social identity that was brought upon her by a rumor that had spread throughout her school. The new identity that Olive is given is a tramp, because many of her peers believe that she is sleeping around with a lot of men. However, in reality Olive is not engaging in these actions, but is trying to help improve the identities and perspectives of many male students who are either outcast, or lack the confidence to own who they truly are.
The first concept that was shown throughout the movie is privilege. Privilege is an advantage over other individuals that is not earned and is exclusive to a certain social category. The privilege that Olive had over the rest of her peers
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At large, the first social system would be the school. As you dig deeper, you could then begin categorize individuals into social groups. The main social group that was shown in the film was the Christian organization. The group played a role in trying to steer Olive back on the right path in life, and disassociate her with her new identity.
The last concept that was shown in Easy A was paths of least resistance. A moment in the film when the counselor reveals to Olive that she had been sleeping around with one of the students and gave him Chlamydia is seen as an example of a path of least resistance. This is because Olive took the blame so the counselor would not lose her job. It was expected of Olive to take the responsibility of the counselor’s actions because Olive’s new role was comprised of creating a better identity for the ones around her who were in need.
During the first lecture, Professor McGinn asked the class to formulate individual questions that they wanted to answer during the semester. My question is, “Why are college educated African American females more likely to marry a spouse of a lower level of education?” To expand this questions I am also curious as to why they are least likely to marry outside of their race compared to the African American

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