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A LIENATION AND C ONFORMITY 2 Factors of Social Change.

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Presentation on theme: "A LIENATION AND C ONFORMITY 2 Factors of Social Change."— Presentation transcript:

1 A LIENATION AND C ONFORMITY 2 Factors of Social Change

2 A LIENATION Alienation = emotional dissociation and isolation and is marked by an inability to follow the rules of society or share in the values in society. Alienation is said to occur because people have difficulty adapting to societal change

3 I SOLATION Known as a state of seclusion i.e. a lack of contact with people May stem from: Bad relationships Deliberate choice Contagious disease Repulsive personal habits Mental illness Substance abuse

4 A LIENATION Change can be difficult for some people – use the Industrial Revolution as an example: &feature=related What were the major changes experienced by the majority of the population? How did they cope with these changes?

5 V IEW FROM S OCIOLOGY Emile Durkheim  Anomie – condition of industrial workers without roots or norms as they struggled to survive. Karl Marx  Alienation – proletariat (workers) or lumpenproletariat (unemployed) could not reach their full potential because so many aspects of their lives were controlled and exploited by others

6 R EMEMBER D URKHEIM ’ S S TUDY ? A NOMIC SUICIDE Anomic Suicide is committed by people when society is in crisis or rapid change. In such times, customary norms may weaken or break down. With no clear standards of behavior to guide them, many people become confused, their usual goals lose meaning, and life seems aimless. i.e. Rapid social change of the Industrial Revolution

7 A ND ALSO E GOISTIC S UICIDE Egoistic Suicide is committed by people who are not strongly supported by membership in a cohesive social group. As outsiders, they depend more on themselves than on group goals and rules of conduct to sustain them in their lives. In times of stress, they feel isolated and helpless. i.e. Homeless Youth

8 A LIENATION – CURRENT DAY EXAMPLE Term has broadened over time. Anyone who does not share the major values of society and feels like an outsider.  Discrimination (i.e.. exclusion from society for various factors) Dissatisfaction Reasons for alienation vary: Discrimination that excludes a member of a visible minority from participating in society Dissatisfaction of an unhappy teenager – homeless youth

9 R ESEARCH Q UESTION ? Causes? Effects?

10 A LIENATION Everyone has experienced alienation from society at some point in their life. Someone who loses their job and becomes unemployed might feel alienation toward a society that seems to value wealth and success. For some, alienation becomes so severe that they give up and turn to crime or poverty. Suicide and substance abuse can be both the result of, and an explanation for, alienation. But not all alienation is bad; some people may become reformers and lobby to change an aspect of society. Women in the 1920s and 1930s experienced significant alienation from the prevailing social attitudes towards what was a woman’s role. Led individuals to challenge the accepted view and become leaders in the fight to achieve legal, financial, and political reforms to benefit women.

11 A LIENATION – ANOTHER EXAMPLE C ONTEMPORARY EXAMPLE OF A LIENATION Joining of cults or gangs Anarchy/ Extremism - set out to destroy the society which they live through armed struggle Terrorists

12 A LIENATION These extremely alienated individuals are called Anarchists. Often resort to violent means – retaliation. Bombing n massacre/9742-1_ html

13 S OCIAL CHANGE - A LIENATION A ND C ONFORMITY Alienation can cause positive change E.g. Women’s movement was about change because of dissatisfaction with social roles Conformity has a tendency to discourage social change. E.g. trying a new hairstyle Nervous about reaction of others stifles desire to change

14 C ONFORMITY Process whereby an individual’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviours are influenced by other people Could be the result of social pressure People often conform to achieve a sense of security in a group of people – a feeling that makes one ‘belong’

15 C ONFORMITY – S OCIAL G ROUPS When social scientists examine the topic of groups, they state that a group is two or more people who have these four characteristics: They interact regularly and influence each other. They believe they have something in common. They have an informal or formal social structure with leaders and followers. They have a group consensus on certain values, behaviours, and goals. By looking at those characteristics you can probably think of the several areas in your life where you see other people talk and influence thinking and emotions. People who just happen to be waiting in a line at the same time would not be considered a social group. They are a collection of people or what social scientists call an aggregate. They interact only briefly, if at all, and have little influence on one another.

16 C ONFORMITY People adopt the values and ideals from their families, friends, and other groups to which they belong. People also tend to adopt the values of the society in which they live. A great majority of people in Canadian society tend to have similar ways of thinking. Even though everyone may not agree on which political party should be in power, for example, most do believe in the fundamental freedoms of democracy.

17 S UBJECTIVE V ALIDITY Subjective Validity Term coined by social scientists All people believe that their attitudes are right and proper Being with groups helps to strengthen the idea of subjective validity and that is why humans tend to enjoy being around like-minded people. Social scientist further argue that without subjective validity people would experience uncertainty, a feeling most people do not like.

18 R OOTS OF C ONFORMITY Social scientists M. Deutsch and H.B. Gerrard identified two types of conformity. Informational influence is the human desire to accept information from another, admired person who indicates that the information is valid. For example, a parent may tell a young child that smoking is bad. That child will conform to what the parent states because the child admires the parent. Normative influence the pressure to conform to the positive expectations of others. For example, some young adults will take on the same job as a parent because it has always been expected that they would.

19 S OCIAL C HANGE AND C ONFORMITY Conformity has the ability to discourage social change. People tend to do the same thing the same way year after year and to resist the temptation to do things differently. Conformity also allows people to feel as if they fit in, and this can have serious consequences especially if it encourages people to accept practices that they know are wrong.

20 C ONFORMITY IN C ONTEMPORARY S OCIETY Most people conform to the standard values and norms without even realizing they are doing so Some degree of conformity is necessary for societies to function i.e. Stopping at a red light means that you are conforming to the law and the good and safety of society

21 C ONFORMITY AND Y OUTH Pre-teens and teenagers face many issues related to conformity Pulled between the desire to be seen as unique individuals and desire to belong to a group where they feel accepted i.e. wearing the latest fashion, cutting your hair into a certain style, smoking, changing the type of music you listen to All of these are examples of conforming to a social norm

22 K EY Q UESTIONS In groups of 2-4, discuss the following questions: What groups in society may feel socially isolated? Why is this? What groups in society are forced to conform?

23 W HAT WOULD YOU DO ? S CENARIO 1 You are waiting to cross the street and the light is red. A group of pedestrians start to cross the street before the green light even though there remains some risk of oncoming traffic. What do you do?

24 W HAT WOULD YOU DO ? S CENARIO 2 You are looking for garbage at a concert. You find one but it is full and you see people just throwing garbage on the ground around the garbage can. What do you do?

25 W HAT WOULD YOU DO ? S CENARIO 3 You have just started a new job and are sitting around with your new co-workers. Someone tells a joke that is very racist and everyone is laughing and starts telling more racist jokes that you find offensive. What do you do?

26 D ISCUSSION Which situation would be the most easy and most difficult in terms of resisting conformity? Why?

27 THE PEOPLE, THE COMMUNITY, THE MOVEMENT THAT CHANGED THE WORLD The Montgomery Bus Boycott political and social protest campaign 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, USA oppose the city's policy of racial segregation on its public transit system many important figures in the civil rights movement were involved in the boycott, including Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

28 M ONTGOMERY B US B OYCOTT The boycott caused crippling financial deficit for the Montgomery public transit system, because the city's black population who were the principal boycotters were also the bulk of the system's paying customers. The campaign lasted from December 1, 1955, when Rosa Parks, an African American woman, was arrested for refusing to surrender her seat to a white person, to December 20, 1956, when a federal ruling, Browder v. Gayle, took effect, and led to a United States Supreme Court decision that declared the Alabama and Montgomery laws requiring segregated buses to be unconstitutional.

29 S EGREGATED B US S YSTEM Under the system of segregation used on Montgomery buses, white people who boarded the bus took seats in the front rows, filling the bus toward the back. Black people who boarded the bus took seats in the back rows, filling the bus toward the front. Eventually, the two sections would meet, and the bus would be full. If other black people boarded the bus, they were required to stand. If another white person boarded the bus, then everyone in the black row nearest the front had to get up and stand, so that a new row for white people could be created. Often when boarding the buses, black people were required to pay at the front, get off, and re- enter the bus through a separate door at the back. On some occasions bus drivers would drive away before black passengers were able to reboard.

30 R OSA P ARKS When Rosa Parks refused on the afternoon of Dec. 1, 1955, to give up her bus seat so that a white man could sit, it is unlikely that she fully realized the forces she had set into motion and the controversy that would soon swirl around her. Other black women had similarly refused to give up their seats on public buses and had even been arrested, including two young women earlier that same year in Montgomery, Ala. But this time the outcome was different.

31 A L ONG W ALK H OME – M ONTGOMERY B US B OYCOTT Explain the role conformity plays within the Civil Rights Movement. Give one specific example of a character that conforms and the result of this conformity. Explain the role alienation plays within the Civil Rights Movement. Give one specific example of a character that is alienated and the result of this alienation. Risks are sometimes a reality for bringing about social change. Explain the risks that Mrs. Thompson takes to be part of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. If put in Mrs. Thompson's place, would you have taken those same risks? Fully explain your reasoning. What prevents us from taking part in movements that we may feel sympathetic towards? hannel&list=UL


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