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chp 16 soc103 social movement.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Lorne Tepperman

SOC103 CHP16 Social Movements - humans exist within society, shapes it and gets shaped by it too. - voluntary association is a group formed by voluntary membership. unlike other voluntary associations, social movements usually have a political goal. - social movements are organized groups of people with an agenda or plan for social change, to be achieved through agitation and political pressure. - to help people live in harmony, we have developed social codes - learned these rules and follow them most of the time - social life is changing all the time - change often starts from a narrow goal which ends up transforming the society. INTERDEPENDENCE: THE REAL STATE OF NATURE - one of the fundamental feature of social life, and which contributes most to social integration is, interdependence. - people need one another and benefit from each other - interdependence promotes tolerance and civility - all of our interdependence is important as sources of solidarity (organic) in an industrial society. - market respond to our human need for interdependence, and they are self-regulating in the sense that they set prices without political interference. this ability is a feature of ‘free market’ - past 30 years, deregulation has become the prime source of increased economic instability and inequality, hollowing out the middle class and transferring wealth from poor to rich. - internet institutions (youtube, facebook, google) is a market in information, virtually unregulated, extremely diversed - the richness of the internet has continued to delocalize social interactions - society today is a network of networks -according to research six degree of separation we are all connected by only 6 people from anyone in the world. - small world property, that individuals with very large and diverse networks played an especially important role in linking people and network. - these linking individuals are sociometric stars. - more recently, Ron Burt (sociologist) have called them brokers or even entrepreneurs - a name for intermediaries between individuals, organizations, and networks - we cannot control the size or quality of the network to which we belong. - at best we can try to insinuate ourselves into other people's large and extensive networks, if we can identify them. -> classic studies -improvised news: a sociological study of rumor - one mechanism by which we carry out ‘small world’ business is through rumors. - rumors are often the medium where ordinary people express political views, construct images of reality and show their social solidarity - rumors are improvised news - rumors travel through existing networks and provide a basis for sociability among people. - information conveyed is sometimes distorted but always carries important social truths - information, rumors often gets distorted as it travels from one to another. - according to Shibutani, rumor-formation is a problem solving strategy that relies on the pooling of resources, knowledge and intelligence, to make an informed and critical assessment of the situation. - rumors typically emerge when unusual, unexpected events occur, and the normally reliable channels of communication break down. - rumors are not merely the result of faulty communication - but resources may include accurate data, guesses and beliefs. - in a collective transaction, there are 5 roles to perform - 1. messenger - 2. interpreter - 3. skeptic - 4. protagonist - 5. decision maker - rumors can also collaboratively gain accuracy and provide more stability - rumor is a form of communication - which spreads within a network through a series of interpersonal communications, until they eventually reach the outskirts of the communication network. - by sharing and building bits of information of the rumor, the improvised news story (rumor) becomes uniform across different members - rumor is a powerful method of communication with the potential to strengthen and increase solidarity of networks. - critics - theory is too simplistic and fails to consider other forces that influence in rumor formation - e.g. intergroup distrust, competition, and conflict. VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATIONS AND SOCIABILITY - voluntary associations are more complex than networks, which address a wide variety of concerns, include alumni associations, charitable and support groups - all strive for social organization and integration - promote familiarity among their members through communication and interaction - the more people work together on a common goal, the more similar they become - these voluntary associations often aimed at solving particular problems which are rooted ultimately in sociability, which some have considered a natural human impulse. - e.g. play - according to Huizinga, PLAY has 3 features that attract people - FREE - DEPARTURE FROM ORDINARY OR REAL LIFE - OCCUPIES ITS OWN TIME AND PLACE - one thing that makes playing with others is fun, different people bring different qualities and personalities to the event. - differences make social interaction interesting and unpredictable - even play is free etc, there are social norms to obey, related to civility to keep us little of ‘ourself’ - people organize voluntarily, in all aspects of life, which is not always goal oriented. THE BENEFITS OF VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATIONS - voluntary associations provide sociability (unpredicted effects) - also brings together a diverse group of people for a common cause - increase people’s knowledge and social tolerance - these associations are often sites of positive learning and schools for democracy - trust, like familiarity is essential in society, a key to social order, cooperation and democracy. - trust is a set of socially learned and socially confirmed expectations that people have of each other, though trust in general is limited and conditional - still, trust enables us to live near one another without fear - voluntary associations that are more connected with one another help to promote generalized trust and social cohesion PEOPLE CONTROL ONE ANOTHER INFORMALLY - people can be made to feel guilt or shame even without enforcing social norms. - informal social control, controls people through guilt and shame and threatened rejection is extremely effective under many circumstances - informal social control is like a wonder drug, free, painless and usually works - ideas of communities enforce their rules through informal punishments, shaming, ridicule etc. - altruism and obedience is called by religions but due to increasingly secularize society, it is much more difficult. - social control, defined as control by society or social relations is distinct from political control, police control, legal control. - social control identifies society as the source of control in our lives. - people use many informal ways to control one another, but these mainly fall within 2 processes - rewarding wanted behavior - withholding rewards for unwanted behavior ->Classic Studies - the civilizing process - people can control one another informally - on the other hand, people sometimes also need the power of the state to back up their efforts to control one another - formal and informal controls work together to bring about important social changes. - ‘the civilizing process’ is the linking
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