Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Something I've learned about humans while studying non fiction

tgarber's picture

 I've learned that humans feel the need to categorize everything. There are always things that break the categories in our lives: gender, race, politics, etc. In order to make sense of our lives we use categories. This adds a greater question that I have yet to answer: Why do we have to categorize in order to make sense of our lives? What would happen to our lives if we didn't have these categories to "organize" our lives?  


maht91's picture

 I feel that because our

 I feel that because our world around us is chaotic and disorganized, we feel more comfortable with the categories. I agree that the categorization gives us the organization that is lacking in the world around us. 

tgarber's picture

 I like that phrasing

 I like that phrasing, "a necessary evil in our lives", because it is very useful, but categories also are used to isolate people. Now, that I think about, categories are not the problem. It is how we use categories to define our lives that complicates the issue. 


SandraGandarez's picture

thoughts on your thoughts

This is the same issue I was thinking about after class today. I came to the conclusion that we categorize to have some sort of organization and structure in our everyday lives. What would happen if we didn't have this method of organization in our lives, you ask; total chaos is the simplest way to describe it. We like to group things for simplicity like grocery stores and genre. If you wanted to watch a horror film and not a romantic comedy, you would be able to separate out possibilities based on those categories. Politics is just used to categorize people with similar outlooks on life and world issues. That's why saying you're a democrat or republican has a wealth of meaning behind it other than the word. I think categorizing is a necessary evil in our lives.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
4 + 15 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.