Biology Is Destiny

2018 Words9 Pages
What arguments would a sociologist use to counter the idea that “Biology is destiny”? The idea that “biology is destiny” is an intrinsic element of what is known as the genetic self, the nature part of the nature or nurture debate. A sociologist will use points with grounds in social influences on the self to argue that rather than biology, there are other elements such as socialization that affect how we behave and are “destined” to be. This paper demonstrates the ideas and research of several sociologists to counter the ‘destiny of biology’ as it were, to show that development and behaviour are not pre-determined by genetics but instead by other, social-related factors, and goes on to level the argument with the notion that perhaps both are mutually influential on one another in the outcome of the self. Determinism is the philosophical doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes external to the will. In sociology, this relates to the idea that everything is previously determined by a particular factor, or that the outcome is influenced by an uncontrollable cause. Biological determinism argues that individual and group behaviour and social status are the inevitable result of biology – i.e. “Biology is destiny” (Germov & Poole, 2010, p.15). This paper gives several responses to the idea of genetic or biological determinism from the viewpoint of sociology. Sociology, according to Abercrombie, is the “analysis of the structure of social relationships as constituted by social interaction” (Abercrombie, 2006 p.367), and thus provides a basis for the evaluation of such ideas and theories. Sociologists may argue that rather than genetics, social forces influence the way we act and interact within society. The structure/agency debate in sociology examines the extent to which human behaviour is determined by social
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