The Forest and the Trees: Sociology as Life

Allan Johnson tries to evaluate the several aspects with regard to the nature of social life and how it could serve as a stairway of questions we would like to know about the universe. The author tries to change the perception of people in their daily interaction in the world as well as how they envision themselves as components within the universe. The illustrations summed up in the book can be described as:

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  • The importance of people understanding the core insight that has the potential of changing our perception of the world.
  • It is a reflection of how we can use this insight to develop our current states in life and;
  • Passing the already acquired knowledge to generations yet to come.

Sociology can be defined as the study of the society. It further explains the development of human social activity. In using the forests and trees, the author wants to pass a message that human social activity is something active and which undergoes transformation on a daily basis. The forest and trees are signs of an evergreen lifestyle that should be typical of an active society.

In referring to humankind as being in something larger than ourselves, the author is trying to expose humanity as not being enclosed in their own personal ideas and traits. That life is an opportunity for us to understand our existence, use of our potential in the best way possible and pass it on to other generations. In individualism, it is possible to define the process that goes on within a human person and without taking consideration of the society. In thinking about one self, we fail to appreciate our role in the society and how we can be of help. Sociology is about the society at large and not individualism. It is therefore important for sociologists to understand the concept of individualism and how it negatively impact on the success of the society.

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