Flashcards in 3AB Society: Social, historical and political Deck (13):
Changes in technology
- Changes in communication technology, medicine technology and transport have changed how we function as well as the very structure of our social groups
Influence of technological change on social structures and functions: Family
- Advances in medicine and medical technology have changed ‘the family’
- People living longer
- Life expectancy at birth was 57 in 1901-10 but jumped to 80 by 2000 (Booth & Tickle 2004)
- Not uncommon to find representatives of four generation in family even though couples delaying having children
- Families have to resolve how various generations relate and the role each plays
Impact of reproductive technology Donor insemination
In most states there is no system to allow donor and child to find out about the other
- Practice of secrecy and anonymity designed to protect donor
o Potentially negative consequences for child and donor
- Children conceived from donor sperm found to have issues of identity and self-concept
o Similar to those reported by adopted children
- Concerns of possibly marrying someone who is their half sibling if donor made multiple donations
- Further challenges notion of family when we consider type of single-parent family in which motherhood has been brought about through DI
o Single parenthood has been seen as disruption to normal family situation caused by widowhood, desertion of spouse or undesired pregnancy
o DI now allows possibility for woman to be mother on her own terms and become single parent by free choice
o Roles and relationships within new family structure need further exploration
Influence of technological change on social structures and functions: THE WORKFORCE
- Rapidly changing technology has affected structure of workforce
- Far fewer jobs for unskilled workers and new types of jobs coming into existence every year
- In Australia, skill shortages resulting in
o Higher mobility of workers as they move to jobs that offer top wages
o Changes to visa arrangements to encourage skilled workers from overseas
- Advances in computer technology have resulted in proliferation of computers and necessity of computing skills in many workplaces
- Considerable research in trying to reduce “digital divide” gap between those who can use computers and those who cannot
Mark Warschauer (2002)
- Several studies of instances where governments or companies have tried initiatives to boost skills
Govt. in New Delhi in India established “Hole-in-the-Wall” project
- Computer kiosk set up in one of poorest slums in New Delhi
o Computers housed within booth but monitors protruded through hole in wall with joysticks and control buttons used instead of mouse (no keyboards)
o Computers connected to Internet by dial-up access
o No teachers provided with the intention that children would teach themselves at their own pace
- Children worked out how to click and drag objects, select menus, get on Internet, use paint etc
- Initially hailed as success
o However internet rarely used as it seldom functioned and no content made available in Hindi
o Parents compained that children who used to do homeowkr now played computer games
- Warschauer reported parents and community came to realise that computer use without instruction is minimally effective
- Concluded that attempts to reduce digital divide often fail because resources tend to be put into providing hardware without considering human and social systems that must change for meaningful access to new technologies
Sense of Community
- feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and the group,
- and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to be together (McMillan - Chavis, 1986)
Elements of Community
- sense of community as defined by The McMillan- Chavis Model
- integration and fulfillments of needs
- shared emotional connection
- Is a feeling that one has invested part of oneself to become a member and has the right to belong.
• Membership has boundaries - who do/don’t belong.
• Groups often use language, dress and ritual to create
• Boundaries can be very clear or very subtle (e.g. Dressing as a ‘gang’ or graffiti from a particular gang that only other gangs recognise).
- Boundaries provide the structure and security to protect the group intimacy (emotional safety).
sense of belonging and identification
involves the feeling and beliefs of:
• Expectation that one fits in the group and has a place there
• A feeling of acceptance by the group • Willingness to sacrifice for the group
important contributor to a person’s feeling of group membership and his or her sense of the community.
• E.g American college rituals strengthens group cohesiveness.
Common symbol systems
reates and maintains group boundaries and can create social distance between members and non-members.
• E.g rites of passage, language, dress
• Members are more attracted to community in which they feel that they are influential.
• There is a significant positive relationship between cohesiveness and a community’s influence on its members to conform. (Conformity and community influence on members indicates the strength of the bond).
The pressure for conformity and uniformity comes from the needs of the individual and the community for consensual validation. (Conformity serves as a force of closeness as well as an indicator of cohesiveness).
• Influence of a member on the community and the influence of the community on a member operate simultaneously in a community.
Integration and the Fulfilment of Needs
Reinforcement and need fulfillment is a primary function of a strong community.
• Some of the rewards that are effective reinforcers of communities are status of membership, success of the community, competence and capabilities of other members.
• The extent to which individual values are shared among the community members will determine the ability of a community to organise and prioritise its need fulfillment activities.
• A strong community is able to fit people together so that people meet others’ needs while they meet their own.