“America” by Neil Diamond is a song of how great America is, and how everyone wants to live here. This song has a lot of meaning, and can relate to the readings because within the readings there were different stories about how mother’s leave their children and families to different countries such as America in order to work; In hopes of being able to provide for their families one day. Diamond expresses in his song how wonderful America is, and how far they all travel just to be here. Also in the readings, it was discussed how when Mexican’s come to America, and the parents can’t speak English, so the children eventually need to translate for them. “America” expresses how if anyone could and wanted to be in the United States that they would. “Home to a new and a shiny place, make our bed and we’ll say our grace, freedom’s light burning warm, freedom’s light burning warm.”
This particular article addresses the social movement happening on a global scale, KONY 2012. This thirty minute YouTube documentary depicting the inhumane acts of exploiting children to serve as soldiers has skyrocketed all the way up over one hundred million views! Joseph Kony is under heavy criticism as of late and has fled in an effort to escape prosecution for the vicious war crimes. The way the video has grown, bringing it to the level of global attention, demonstrates how new advancements can contribute vastly to social movements.
Young children who must grow up under the harsh realities in Uganda have often been exposed to extremely brutal forces of treatment. As one young man Jacob states, “We worry the rebels, when they arrest us again, then they will kill us.” (KONY). These injustices for a long time went unnoticed and thus were allowed to continue and bring further harm to the young children. Using the media outlets available in our society today has allowed this injustice to enter into the public eye leading many to call out for change. The Kony 2012 group’s ideology, a coherent system of beliefs, values, and ideas that justifies its existence, mainly is formed around their assertion that abducting young children and either killing them or transforming them into killing machines is inhumane and unjust. (Newman 2011:223)
Keeping ourselves united through resources available to us such as the internet is vital in this day and age to effect change. Whether it be the internet, television, unions, or other groups the only way change, like what we are seeing with KONY 2012, is able to occur is through active communication and organization. William I. Robinson addresses the need for people to stay actively involved in society to allow social movements and change to occur, “downward mobility for most US workers is positively correlated with the decline in union participation” (Robinson 2006: 377). Efforts such as the KONY 2012 movement demonstrate the power that the resources available to us can have on social change and the significance of staying in touch with issues of society.
The use of sociology is so vital in our postindustrial society, or the society in which knowledge, the control of information, and service industries are more important elements of the economy than agriculture, or production, institutions, and everyday life because it manages to inspect, evaluate, and explore our way of thinking and in which light we view it. Through the song, “I Know I Can”, by Nas, he suggests towards a reform movement, or a collective action that seeks to change limited aspects of a society, but does not seek to alter or replace major social institutions. What makes Nas so able to bring up such relevant, intense social dilemmas is that, “sociology enables us to make perceptions of social stability unstable or at least fair game for analysis”(Newman 2011).
Throughout the lyrics of the song “I Know I Can”, Nas brings up cultural problems that can be directly correlated with “..children feeling responsible for decisions that adults make”(Orellana, Dorner, and Pulido 2003). These decisions children are left to decide on their own may end up in tragedy, and, as Nas noticed, definitely calls for some sort of social reform. Through the use of his sociological imagination, Nas is able to become more aware of the atrocities going on before him, such as a young child participating in “Heroin, cocaine, sniffin’ up drugs all in her nose”, and “young boys.. thinking life is all about smoking weed and ice”. Unfortunately, due to vast amounts of cultural diffusion, or processes by which beliefs, technology, customs, and other elements of culture spread from one group or society to another, children are becoming more and more exposed to the negative realities that life holds. Fortunately, in the song “I Know I can”, Nas calls out the current negative cultural diffusion that is stuck in our society today.
A recurring theme in the song “I know I can”, is the idea that if you work hard, you can become and be where you want to be. In the video “Which Way Home”, there is a similar underlying theme that “anything is possible if you try hard”. Social change is not some enormous, impenetrable that effects our daily life; it is a human creation. Nas realizes this ability of social change when he says “read more, learn more, change the globe”. Through his sociological imagination, Nas is given the proper utensils to break the very barrier that separates the what he wishes to see in society, and what he actually sees.
Parker Blackburn, Nicole Waldron, Cassandra Fisher Page Little
Social change is defined as an alteration in the social order of a society. It may be driven by cultural, religious, economic, scientific or technological forces.
Today in class as we discussed social change globally. We watched the Hans Rosling Ted talk on global population where he modeled and explained that the world’s population would grow over 9 billion in the next 50 years. We were able to look at the different graphs and if you go to Gapminder World, you can manipulate the data he talked about and play around with the different global trends.
Another example of social change discussed in class was the Isarithmic history of the two-party vote and how political views have changed tremendously over time. Since the 20′s and so on in the US, the south especially, we were able to see the shifts from Democrat to Republican and how back then the Democrats had majorities in the Senate, the House, and the Presidency. This has been a huge social change as this has shifted throughout the years and the south has become predominantly Republican as they are the majority in the House today.
Social change has played an important role in our society as things have changed overtime and will only continue to do so in the future.
This song, Revolution, by The Beatles, illustrates a time at the peak of social change. It was created in the midst of a war and during a period when racial equality was on the uprise. People realized that the only way to achieve a new social consciousness was through the united power the community held. Social Change never comes from the higher ups, it originates on the streets and gains enough momentum over time to produce an outcome (Smith, 2012). This song displays the angst and pressure that everyone in this period felt, knowing they had to do something but had trouble organizing themselves. We all want a revolution, but if we are not using all the energy in our bodies to propel a movement forward then we cannot complain. We must be the active change we want to see happening, so get up and make a difference! The Beatles were known to be one of the most influential groups of all time and they used their fame for a better purpose. They promoted love, acceptance, peace and collective strength through their music. Their words still help todays generations to be motivated enough to act upon an issue they wish to challenge in society.
In this article, there is a discussion about how many families are split apart when parents have no choice but to immigrate to the United States in order to get a job. This way they hope to earn enough money to pay for themselves and the rest of their family back home. As a result, they are not only working sometimes horrible jobs, but they are also thrown into a culture completely different from their home culture. This serves as a proponent of social change.
A majority of the immigrants in the U.S. today are attempting to work and eventually bring the rest of their families over too, so that they can have the opportunity to an exceptional life (2009). Although there are many components of American culture—such as the current recession—that hold these migrants from earning a decent amount of money, they continue nonetheless to fight for themselves and their families back home. Andres Lopez (from Guatemala), featured in the article, describes how, “Without work…he has barely enough money to support himself, let alone to send to his family in Guatemala” (2009). However, “For many migrants, supporting families back home is an essential duty…As migrants continue to sacrifice for their families, some experts say they jeopardize their ability to support themselves” (2009).
Arlie Russell Hochschild (2002) also discusses a story about a family who was split apart because of the need of money. In her article, the mother of two children, Rowena Bautista was forced to migrate to the United States because she needed to make money which she could then send back to the Philippines—where her two children were living with other relatives. This story connects to the article above, revealing that families from different countries are often torn apart as a result of migration to the U.S. They look to the United States as a place where they will be able to provide for their families and ultimately where they can live a better life, without as many hardships (2009).
In class we started off with a viewing of one of The Who’s more popular songs, “My Generation”. This was supposed to help segue the focus of our class to the increasing lack of intergenerational communication, however, we got a little held down on the topic of rape. So instead of talking about what we mentioned in class, I will cite a reading from this week that address the problem of the lack of participation with peoples that are becoming increasingly marginalized and forgotten because of their age. In our culture, “a structured pattern of age-segregation begins early in life.” (Uhlenberg and Giervield 2004: 322). The more one thinks about this, the more truth there is in it. Children are age-segregated from the very beginning whether it be in, nurseries, school, sports or church. This age-segregation is prudent in some cases, but not all. Our society should allow and help facilitate more intergenerational contact as it has positives for both sides of the spectrum. Older and marginalized people can share their knowledge and wisdom with the youth of today, while the youngsters of our generation can teach old folks how to use social networking or other interactive media. The Netherlands has a good system for promoting this communication by structuring specialized guilds. Older people that are associated with one of these guilds can be called upon to help younger individuals with a variety of troubles such as car repairs, tutoring, or business advice. “Through this matching process, older volunteers and younger people are brought together in a context that is likely to promote positive inter-generational interaction.” (Uhlenberg and Gierveld 2004: 326). If there were more programs like this that promoted intergeneration communication, I feel that our society would be better off as a whole.
“My Generation” by The Who is a song of frustration in the Baby Boomer generation. Pete Townshed wrote this song to show his struggle to find a place as a young man in our society in the late 1960s. As the adolescence were becoming their own age group, and the differences among each generation were becoming even more drastic, the young people of the Baby Boomer Generation in the late 1960s needed a song to identify their place in society. The hardships that this generation will have to face in the next 20 to 30 years may conclude that “dying before we get old” is more likely than with any other generation. With a smaller population supporting the soon elderly Baby Boomers, social security and governmental health plans may not be able to fully cover this generation.
According to this article, age segregation has led to an increase in age discrimination in the workforce, which is both hard to avoid and prove:
“The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reports that the number of age discrimination charges has increased over the past few years, rising from 16,548 charges (21.8% of all claims) in 2006 to 22,778 (24.4% of all claims) in 2009.” (Overman: 2011)
In this week’s reading, it is noted that “In modern societies where social and technological change is pervasive, it also is necessary for younger people to teach the old. If older people do not interact with and learn from younger people, they risk becoming increasingly excluded from contemporary social developments as they age through later life [...] age-integration is needed if all generations are to be productive participants in the society” (Uhlenberg and Gierveld: 2004). Age discrimination is more likely to happen when older workers fail to interact with younger people that can teach them computer and technology skills. To counteract this occurrence, Laurie McCann of AARP advises older workers to “‘Take advantage of any sort of training, especially in computer skills and technology. Make sure you’re not getting behind. Maintain your professionalism, down to your dress and hairstyle.’”(Overman: 2011)
According to this week’s reading, “Retirement in the United States has recently become more flexible, allowing an increasing number of older people to participate in the labour force.” (Uhlenberg and Gierveld: 2004). Unfortunately, current age discrimination may prevent many older and able people from working. Perhaps the creation of inter-generational programs like those mentioned in the reading can help to alleviate the age-segregation which leaves older workers out of mainstream society.
After class I really started thinking about how we live in a culture that likes to tackle the national issue of rape through women. Women are often blamed for being raped and are accused of being irresponsible or naive. When i googled “rape prevention” the second result was one that I found both humorous and upsetting.
The article is entitled Rape Prevention Tips From Rapists: Stay Inside Or Die A Horrible Death. The article consists of tips for women to prevent being raped. Some of these tips include “Do not grow out your hair” and “Don’t be such a woman”. The author is obviously exaggerating to make the statement that women shouldn’t limit living their lives in fear of rape and carry all the responsability of rape prevention.
I then found a website on the second page of the google searches Mencanstoprape.org, it can be found here. The website is dedicated to “mobilize men to use their strength for creating cultures free from violence, especially men’s violence against women.” and is a contrasting approach from putting the responsibility and focuses more on educating men to be more aware of their behaviors and prevent sexual assault and rape by equipping them with better communication skills.
WRITTEN BY SHRENI SHUKLA