Presentation on theme: "The unwritten laws of society. What are Social Values? Social values are the unwritten laws by which a culture lives. They are so transparent that they."— Presentation transcript:
The unwritten laws of society
What are Social Values? Social values are the unwritten laws by which a culture lives. They are so transparent that they may exist without us even realising their impact. Whilst it can be easy to recognise the values of history and other cultures, the social values of our own culture seem natural, self evident, its just the way things are.
Absolute and Relative values Depending on their nature social values can be relative or absolute. ABSOLUTE VALUES are those that are fundamental, unchanging and true for all members of society across time. Such values may include truthfulness, respect for others and the sanctity of human life. RELATIVE VALUES are subject to change as society and the individuals within develop. Examples of those include those relating to gender, race and sex. Attitudes towards race have clearly come a long way in the past 30 years.
Example of change The following is a clip from a 70s British TV sitcom called Love thy neighbour. It was very popular both in Britain and Australia yet the behaviour and language would never be acceptable now.
Are Social Values universal? Social values may remain constant across generations and cultures or they may vary depending on whether the value is absolute or relative. Social Values are relevant to time, place and culture. For example the social values relevant to mainstream western culture in Australia in our current time may not be consistent with social values relevant to popular Muslim culture in Indonesia at the current time.
Not all values equal Not all values are seen as equally important Individuals and communities constantly create and evaluate their values system so the importance of a value can change. If we expressed the importance of certain values along a line from must to never we could see their place move up and down the line as society evolves and the inherent value system changes.
Types of Social Values We can have dominant or traditional social values. We can also have emerging, alternative and oppositional social values. Agreeing with values and acting on them may not always be the same. Social values are based on a combination of belief, behaviour and aspiration. Sometimes we believe in a value but do not act on it. Eg – Whilst we may agree on the value of a healthy diet we still eat junk food.
Types of Social Values DOMINANT: Dominant social values are those that the majority of people in a society support at a particular time. Examples of dominant social values in Australia at the moment could be values such as: Men and women are considered equal, or Australia is a multicultural society and treats all cultures as equal.
Types of Social Values TRADITIONAL: Traditional social values are those that a majority of people have believed over a long period of time. They may be dominant values or they may have declined in importance over time. Values such as Women should be home makers or Men should be the breadwinners in a household are both traditional values that were held for a long time however they have declined in importance in Australian society at the current time.
Type of Social Values EMERGING: Emerging social values are those that develop as a result of the failure or inadequacy of traditional or dominant social values because of the emergence of new ideas. They may, in time, replace the earlier values or may add a degree of sophistication or complexity to our understanding of them. Acceptance of same sex couples could be considered an emerging social value at this time in Australian society.
Types of Social Values ALTERNATIVE: Alternative social values are those which are held in contrast to dominant or traditional values. Alternative social values may in time develop greater support and emerge as new dominant values or they may remain as an alternative, held by a smaller more insignificant sector of society. Traditional values may, over time, diminish in support sufficiently to be considered alternative. The once traditional value of Men being the family breadwinner has diminished to an alternative value.
Types of Social Values OPPOSITIONAL: Oppositional social values are those values held by a small group in society which are in opposition to those held by the majority of society. Values held by cultist sects or religious extremists could be considered oppositional social values. They are only held by very small sections of society and often in opposition to those held by the majority.
Representation of Social Values Media products are crafted to suit an audience, they must reflect the basic beliefs and values of the target audience or that market will not buy the product. Television presenters often say: Thankyou for watching, see you tomorrow, take care and good night We know he is not speaking directly to us. He wont see us tomorrow and is unlikely to have thought about us taking care or having a good night. He is simply representing the social value of good manners when farewelling someone in our society. If he was to say something like May Allah watch over you he would not be representing dominant social values in our society.
How are values represented? Social values are embedded in every part of a media text. In audiovisual texts they form part of every story and production element. A character, a look, a colour, a plot development, a sound, a relationship, every object, location, situation. Everything within a text potentially represents a social value.
Supporting & Challenging values Most mainstream media texts support the dominant or traditional values of their production period. The makers of these texts want the biggest audience they can so products are designed to appeal to a wide market. It varies according to target audience. Look at American teen movies for example. The representation of characters and plots reflects social values, and typically involves portrayal of tradition gender roles and the importance of beauty and hedonism. Interestingly, although being about having fun the sub plot usually has conservative messages about sexuality and promiscuity. The most desirable characters are usually not the promiscuous ones.
Supporting & Challenging values Media texts also challenge social values Government advertising for example is often designed to challenge social values. In recent years such advertising has been used to change attitudes and behaviours in a broad array of areas. Traditional and dominant social values surrounding areas such as road safety, sexual abuse, smoking, alcohol use, terrorism, and disability awareness have been challenged in order to promote change.
Early 1970s USA So what do you know about the 1970s in the USA? What were the dominant social vales of the time? What types of significant events were happening during this time? Remember we dont want broad generalisations, we need to be specific. What was happening politically? Was this a time of social change? I dont want to hear your speculation, I want evidence. Get online and find out now.
Early 1970s USA Shift away from the social activism of the 1960s towards activities for individual pleasure such as recreational drug use, rise of the disco, swinging, etc Womens movement started to gain some support and changed conditions for women by the end of this decade. African Americans started to make their presence felt as the number elected into congress grew
Early 1970s USA Vietnam war continued to divide the country. Student protests lead to the shooting of 4 students at Kent State. Secret government papers about the US involvement in the Vietnam war are leaked to the press discrediting President Nixon. Distrust in the government continues to grow Environmental movement launched in 1970 with the first Earth Day. Several federal policies are introduced regarding clean water, air, endangered species, etc.
Early 1970s USA Developments in the sexual revolution continues throughout this decade. Contraceptive pill (which was developed in the 60s) began to have more wide spread acceptance and use. Sharp rise in divorce rates and a significant rise in the percentage of single parent families. Rise in the amount of middle class families in the USA.
The Brady Bunch The text we will be using for Social Values this year is The Brady Bunch. The Brady Bunch is an American sitcom produced and set in the early 1970s. It centres around a white, middle class family in the USA. I have chosen this text for a number of reasons but the most important is that the social values are easy to identify and analyse as they are often very different to our own.
The Brady Bunch The 1970s was a decade of change, however The Brady Bunch harkened back to traditional family values of the 50s and 60s. Repeatedly and firmly upheld the family as a tight unit of support, love and understanding in a time where divorce rates and single parent families was high. Brady Bunch steered clear of political and social issues of the day. Rarely did we see any non white characters
The Brady Bunch The womens liberation movement gained a great deal of momentum in this decade but issues of gender equality are boiled down to brother and sister fighting. The counter culture of the 60s/70s was only represented in minor characters and seen as abnormal. In a family of 8 people the male is still the only one that works. Women perform the traditional female tasks such as cooking, cleaning and household duties.
Expressing a Social Value Part of the skill in discussing social values is knowing how to express them properly. A social value needs to contain a concept, must express a value towards that concept and should indicate a time and place. WRONG – The social value of gender equality. RIGHT – Equality between genders is beginning to gain positive support in the early 1970s in the USA. This is represented in......
Representations Social values are represented in the text by a number of elements. It is important to be able to discuss how the text portrays these values through the representations. How does character behaviour support or challenge values? What does the interaction between characters or attitudes towards each other indicate? What does the characters appearance and dress tell you about what the product supports? Is clean cut and conservative represented as the norm, or something out of the ordinary?
SAC type questions Describe two social values that existed in the period and place of production of The Brady Bunch(season 2) During the early 1970s in America equal rights for women was beginning to be accepted as a dominant value among society. The movement which started in the 60s carried over to the 70s. Aims at social equality and repeal of the remaining oppressive, sexist laws, were successful. Striving to be part of the middle class was seen as desirable and an indicator of success during the 1970s in America. Larger homes with excessive appliances marked the copious consumerism evident in the middle class. Education is continued to be valued by Americas during the 1970s. The introduction of desegregation programs and access to education for women and minority groups reinforced this value.
SAC type Questions Explain how one of the social values you identified is reflected in one or more of the representations in the Brady Bunch. Importance of education is clearly supported by a number of representations in The dropout episode. Mike and Carol become concerned that Greg has become obsessed with baseball and is neglecting his studies which is reflected in the conversation they have at the table. The use of close ups in the SRS sequence reinforce the importance of this value. The flippant, light music typical of the program is not present in this scene. The fact that the Gregs teacher rings home after a week to report a slip in his grades is indicative of the value placed on education. The representation of the successful sports player, that sparked Gregs obsession, revealing his career was finished at 34 but he was secure as he had a college education further supports the value. Greg is reluctant to listen to the advice and continues with his self absorbed obsession which eventually leads to a crash, perhaps indicating that the path he chose was not highly valued.
SAC type questions Explain how one of the social values of the production period have influenced the content in The Brady Bunch. The traditional social value of the importance of conservatism in American society has influenced the content of the Our Son, the man episode. Greg trys to fit in with the counter culture of the time. He buys some groovy clothes, begins speaking and acting different and decorates his own room. All of these changes are suggested as abnormal. Carol describes the change to his room as going from Modern Danish to American disaster. This reflects the conservative nature of American society and how challenging the counter culture was. Gregs siblings, who he normally leads, laugh at his clothes and ridicule the way he speaks. He looks out of place in the conservative, clean cut family. His attempts to get a date, and hang out with the guys are rejected. At the close of the episode he eventually decides to return to the conservative safety of the family where he belongs and go on their predictable, annual camping holiday to Mount Claymore.
SAC type questions Discuss the extent to which one or more of the representations in the text either supports and/or challenges dominant, emerging, alternative or oppositional social values held during the time of production. EMERGING VALUE OF FEMALES HAVING EQUAL RIGHTS The roles of the women in the Brady Bunch conform to traditional roles and values of the 1950s. They are generally seen as home makers and involved in traditionally female roles. This challenges the emerging social value of women being seen as equal to men in American society during the 1970s. In the Babysitters episode Alice is making curtains for her boyfriends apartment. She says that she intends to turn that mans apartment into this womans apartment. This suggests that she cannot be independent without a man which challenges the whole value of womens independence. We also see this emerging value being supported in the babysitters episode. When one of the siblings asks who is in charge Carol says that Greg and Marcia are equally in charge, yet later in the episode when some trouble arises Greg take charge of the situation without any consultation.
SAC type question cont TRADTIONAL VALUE OF CHILDREN RESPECTING ELDERS Although this is a traditional value which is losing ground in the 1970s in America it is still firmly upheld in The Brady Bunch. In the dropout Don Drysdale has to tell the boys to address him by his first name as a kind of a treat Even so the youngest cannot accept a challenging value such as this still uses the respect term of Mr Drysdale. In Our Son, the man Greg seems to challenge the norm by addressing his parents by their first names. They make a point of saying that though they acknowledge this is the fad at the moment they dont accept it and expect to be called Mom & Dad. This reinforces the notion that Brady Bunch supports more traditional values on the adult/child relationship rather than the emerging values. At no point in any of the episodes we watched do any of the children challenge what their parents tell them when given a direct instruction.