Social structuralism is the idea that people operate within pre-established systems. It takes a conscious effort to remove oneself from one’s immediate realm of understanding to see the greater context. More often than not, our perspectives are shaped by what we’ve been taught, whether through personal experiences or repeated patterns of behavior. These norms remain intact unless a shift in context forces those norms to be acknowledged.
Through a two-part experience, Shift to Question features a web-based interactive and research journal that reveals an analysis of social structures by juxtaposing them with current issues. People can gain a greater understanding of how social structures are formed within their context by analyzing how people assign, convey, and process meaning. Factors such as social class, religion, and politics become lenses through which to view the world and the people within it.
The critique that humans are not intelligible except through their immediate interrelations is a harsh truth to bear. These relations constitute a structure that remains constant in abstract culture. Nobody ever wants to admit they’re wrong and everybody wants to have an opinion. Therefore, it’s important to understand how our responses are direct reflections of our personal ideals and to acknowledge how they can hinder our ability to see things as they are.
Completed at Parsons School of Design for Thesis.