To begin with, the topic that seems to be the most insightful in the chapter covers the problem of the reference group. It appears to be specifically relevant considering the influence of social media and information on an individual that is free to choose its reference group. That is the point of opportunities and threats: one may find online empowerment for civil rights promotion or a way to express themselves with art or any kind of creative work through influencers and the figures covered by the media. However, another may end up in a situation where they are inspired by the far-right white supremacy ideology and get radicalized through the posts on blogs. Hence, it is vital to be able to define one’s reference group to move one’s life forward.
From what I learned while getting acquainted with the topic of reference groups is that the notion was elaborated in the 1960s (Giddens, Dunier, Appelbaum, & Deborah 2018). Another peculiar fact is that reference groups can be fictional. Though one may not conceptualize it this way, they can hardly imagine a child that does not borrow the moral and ethical system of a character that they admire. In the text, it is explained how the phenomenon of fictional reference groups is used in marketing (Giddens et al., 2018). Therefore, there is a long tradition of studies on the issue with a well-developed theory.
Finally, speaking of the application of this knowledge in real life, it has several dimensions. On the one hand, if one sets a goal of becoming a successful start-upper, they need to seek a reference group among the entrepreneurs – this works in any realm. On the other hand, with the knowledge of the reference group mechanism, one should understand that they are always responsible for all the messages and ideas they share. They need to realize that they may be one’s, reference group.
Giddens, A., Dunier, M., Appelbaum, R., & Deborah, C. (2018). Introduction to sociology. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.