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SOSC TOPIC 2: Tradition and Modernity.docx

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Social Science
SOSC 1000
Terry Conlin

2. Tradition and Modernity 1 the readings and the films in context 2 traditional (hierarchical) society 3. Modern (mass) society 4. the great transformation 5. Liberalism & modernity versus the “paternalist model” 6. James Burke: The factory & Marketplace Revolution The readings and films in context - The cold war provides the context for all readings. Pro-modernity bias exists in all of the readings. The Traditional Society - Modernity and tradition coexist in society. The basic unit of society is the family. Not the nuclear family, but the extended family. Family is the welfare state of society; it provides security for a strong set of obligations. The needs of the family override individuals in the family. Us vs. them ideal exists in traditional society where US is the family, and them is everyone else outside the family. There is hostility, fear and suspicion to those outside the family. Prestige is highly valued in traditional society. Respect and approval is a major thing. Your task in traditional society is to enhance the prestige of your family and never to make it lose any. Obligations to the family include being married and producing sons....lots and lots of sons. You are to link your family to another through marriage, to a level that is equal to your family in prestige or higher in the social ladder. Marriages are arranged within the family. Old people are considered to be wise, young people are incredibly foolish. Young people are stricken by romantic love, where elders view romantic love as dangerous as it can be feverish. The idea of a dowry is incredibly important. The family is the source of services in society. Problems within the family are dealt with internally, alcoholism and mental issues for example. Loans and financial issues are also internally handled. Crime is a private matter in traditional society not a public one. Strict sexual division between men and women. Men’s work always has higher status than that of women. Nature has dictated that men are stronger, proud, brave, self confident, clever, stubborn and bad tempered. Women are flexible, patient, non violent, subservient, self sacrificing. Moral code revolves around the honourable man and woman. The honourable man is embedded in manliness, for women it is prudency. Sex is a major issue in society. Men have GOT TO HAVE IT. Women must prevent it. Infidelity among men is OK, but with females it is horrible. Women are sneaky evil beings. Women must at all times be modest; women must have lots of male children. Those children should be seen not heard. Spare the rod, spoil the child. Everyone in traditional society have someone that they differ to. Children to parents, women to men etc.. Ambition is not a virtue. Know your place. Accept it and shut up. Traditional society has a closed belief system, based on tradition, religion, superstition and magic. It is not open to new ideas. The old way is the correct way. Modern ( mass ) Society - Individual freedom is essential; we resent whatever restricts our choices and freedom. Modernity values ambition, modernity values upward mobility. We are t
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