Last Updated 28 Jan 2021

William Isaac Thomas

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The Thomas Theorem William Isaac Thomas (13 August 1863 – 5 December 1947) was an American sociologist. I decided to write about the W. I Thomas after reading about the other theorist I decided that W. I Thomas theory was much more intriguing and very controversial. W. I Thomas is well known for his quote: "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences. " In 1928, the sociologist W. I. Thomas formulated this statement which later became known as the Thomas Theorem.

In other words, the interpretation of a situation causes the action. This interpretation is not objective. Actions are affected by subjective perceptions of situations. Whether there even is an objectively correct interpretation is not important for the purposes of helping guide individuals' behavior (http://en. wikipedia. org, 2011). The Thomas Theorem in my interpretation means that whatever you think or believe in it will become true. I agree with this theory to a certain extent that this only applies to some things in life and not all.

For example if I think that I am going to be a millionaire it will not just come true I would have to do something in order to make my thoughts come true. How we view the world creates real and tangible outcomes in how we feel and what we do. W. I. Thomas (1863–1947) (1966) stated that whatever we believe to be real will become real in its consequences. So if we believe one religious or political group is right, we will act in a way that supports that view, and we may disagree with those who view things differently.

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We may try to convince them that our view is right (Vessling,2010). Although many people do not agree with the Thomas theory there are many who do. Law enforcement agencies use it to train officers in the handling of the mentally ill, and it’s been used effectively to explain everything from beauty contest outcomes to panic runs on bank deposits(soulshelter. com, Tim, 2008). The Secret, written by Ronda Byrne and As a Man Thinketh, written by James Allen are both self help books and based on this theory.

Some say the formulation of the Thomas Theorem is ambiguous. It could mean, "The consequences of a situation follow from how it is perceived, not the way it really is," or "The power to define a situation includes power over its consequences. " It also could simply mean, "Beliefs have consequences, regardless of whether they are true. " Whether Thomas was referring to self-fulfilling prophecies, or expressing skepticism about the existence of an objective world; depends on how the statement is interpreted (www. ehow. com, 2011).

Frank Van Dun criticized the theorem, he goes on to say: "The consequences of a situation being believed to be true are the same as if it is actually true," it is false, because one can't create or negate a reality by wishing for or denying it. If it means, "The consequences of a situation are real no matter how well it is defined," it is trivial because that reduces to the aphorism, "Get real. " Besides the negative feedback from many, W I Thomas was also a pioneer of a psychological approach to social phenomena, and thus can be regarded, together with William Graham Sumner and Wilhelm Wundt, as a forerunner of cultural psychology.

His The Polish Peasant was an important landmark in American sociological research. He used biographic data personal letters, autobiographies, diaries, and other personal documents developing the life-history method for which he became famous along with the ideas of George Herbert Mead, Thomas' concept of the "definition of the situation" later proved to be an important starting point for the revolution of symbolic interactionism against structural functionalism(http://www. ewworldencyclopedia. org, 2011) In conclusion I am a Christian so I believe in God, I also believe that if I ask God to do something that it will be done. The bible reads in Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you (King James Bible). W. I Thomas theory maybe a little farfetched to some but this is truth to many. Based on my research I can relate more to the Thomas Theorem. References Alden, WH. 2007) William Isaac Thomas Retrieved from http://www. newworldencyclopedia. org/entry/W. _I. _Thomas Phillips, Colby. (2011). What is the Thomas Theorem of Sociology Retrieved from http://www. ehow. com/info_10068714_thomas-theorem-sociology. html Tim (2010) Understanding the life Through the Thomas Theorem Retrieved fromhttp://www. soulshelter. com/fortune/understanding-the-world-through-the-thomas-theorem-2/ Vissing, Yvonne (2011) An Introduction to Sociology

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