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Sociological Imagination on Infidelity

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Social problems are conditions or activities that the societies regard as undesirable. There are a number of social problems that are not defined as crimes under the law. For example, infidelity is a prevalent social problem that the law is afraid to punish due to the nature and the notion of agreement between parties to commit a crime. The cause and prevention approaches in the act of infidelity have not been agreed upon. The society view for the cause and prevention of infidelity is based on religious views. The society perceives the cause of infidelity as not being contempt with what the couple has and the relationship with marital unhappiness/dissatisfaction. John Berger termed introduced the perspective that things are not always what they seem to be; thus the sociological imagination to review the hidden explanation behind social behaviors of interaction.

The media have reported several cases of infidelity in a range of diverse couples. For example, the famous reality TV show, Cheaters that is focused on investigating cases of infidelity. The couple investigated and caught red handed in the act of infidelity always blamed reasons such as; unhappiness in the marriage, a way to secure job and money and a way to relieve stress. The explanations given by the victims of the show are of interest to the sociologist, as they would ponder to determine the actual reason for infidelity. A sociologist would rule out all the given reasons, as they do not hold enough logic to explain the acts. First, the explanation that the victims are not happy in the marriage is quite irrelevant because there is other more effective way to react to unhappiness in marriage, such as divorce. Furthermore, the victims caught red handed in the act of infidelity used scheming means to lie to their legal partners in order to commit infidelity. After being caught conducting the infidelity, the victims were quick to apologize, and, therefore, cannot be termed as unhappy in the marriage. Second, infidelity cannot be explained on grounds of search for greener pastures. This is because there are rich couples who engage themselves s in the act of infidelity. Third, infidelity on grounds of relieving stress are not a sufficient explanation since a person has a choice of relieving the stress by talking to friends or using other means of relieving stress such as exercising.

After ruling out the above explanations, a sociologist would use sociological imagination to explain that the cause of infidelity is correlated to opportunities that make it possible to conduct infidelity (Subotnik & Gloria 136). Exposure to elements necessary for infidelity to occur plays a large role in adding the infidelity. The rest of explanations given by the victims of cheaters only act as a catalyst to speed up the rate and dimension of infidelity. Therefore, external elements are to blame for the occurrence of infidelity, rather than the perceived internal elements between the couple.

There are two elements that would interest a sociologist in explaining infidelity; external and internal factors. The external factors are elements that make infidelity possible such as opportunities; business trips, the workplace, academic conferences and professional meetings are significant factors independent of rates of unhappiness within the couple. Internal factors are those that act as catalysts to welcome infidelity, and are born within the internal relationship of the couple; they also include opportunities such as careless and naive couples, long distance relationship, levels of sexual satisfaction and the age of relationship. In one way or the other, the sociological explanation for infidelity is summed up by the internal and external factors. However, the external factors play a large role in influencing an individual to commit infidelity while internal factors present a chance for the infidelity to occur. For example, business trips present a good opportunity for infidelity to occur, but with a hawk-eyed partner who calls after every second, it is impossible for infidelity to occur.

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