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“ Karen Davis: A Contributor to Society”
Karen Davis is a senior at Frostburg State University who is particularly attentive to the world around her. Davis loves to spend time with her family and enjoys music and theatre. Aside from these cozy interests, Davis often likes to go “Rough Camping “ which she defines as a type of camping where cabins and other comforts are abandoned for tents and blow up mattresses. After transferring to Frostburg in 2010, Karen began a path of education where she eventually decided to major in sociology and minor in both cultural anthropology and women’s studies.
Even whilst eating lunch at Frostburg State University’s Lane Center, Davis analyzes her surroundings. In regards to a napkin labeled “100% Recycled Material” Karen comments: “They obviously write that because they want customers to feel good about using the napkin, yup, that’s my perspective on media and marketing.”
Upon first going back to school, Davis felt as though many things in her life were simply a result of things happening to her. After taking Sociology courses, she learned and accepted her place as a participant in society with the ability to make an impact. This newly found realization is what attracted Davis towards the major and enabled her to notice other characteristics of sociology: “Sociology is extremely multidimensional and really focuses on the application of our perceptions. It covers life at home, government, education, race, gender, sexuality, and even things like creating and producing…its very vast and fascinating. Since then, Davis has gained skills that she highly values and has made many perceptions about the world around her.
Growing up in Allegany County her whole life, Davis feels that studies regarding the history and contemporary standing of African Americans were not properly taught in the local public school systems. Through her college major in sociology, she was able to learn about the subject and became very passionate about it. Davis was fascinated by the history and strong involvement of African Americans which she was unaware of before: “I have a deep appreciation for the economic contribution that slaves made for this country…I just feel like, in order to understand contemporary phenomena one has to examine the early roles of African Americans.
Davis has also developed very strong opinions about the status of women, another group that has struggled throughout history. Through her first women’s studies class, “Gender and Social Life” Davis was both surprised and saddened to learn of the little progress women have made in society since the 1970’s. This caused Karen to ponder the issue and ask: Why? A question commonly used in the field of sociology. Davis came to the conclusion: “It’s all because of the lack of education and awareness, individual men are not going to surrender their power, and that’s what this has led to. I feel that women should become more aware of their standing instead of just accepting the status quo.”
Davis is confident that her eventual degree in sociology along with her two minors will offer her many career paths: “You can go from a bachelor in sociology to many other disciplines. For example, if you are interested in statistics, then you should know that a lot of statistical information which is published could be the work of a sociologist who has done research to compile the data.”
Even though sociology has offered Davis so many complex ways of thinking, it has made her more observant of simplicities in life as well. In an attempt to exemplify her reverence to the natural world, Davis often likes to walk barefoot in the grass and feel the earth beneath her feet. She feels it is a way to connect with natural world.
Davis’s favorite quote mirrors the overall lesson she has learned from pursuing sociology: “It is not our consciousness that determines our existence it is our social existence that determines our consciousness”- Karl Marx.