|Due By (Pacific Time)||11/28/2016 07:00 am|
Each question needs to be answered in at least 150 words
1. Resistance to social change is often tied to the interests of those who will suffer in the event of social change. Describe one social, economic, or cultural factor wherein you would have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. How would you resist change?
2. There is some controversy over U.S. immigration policy. What are the benefits and costs associated with increased or decreased immigration? What effects do you think increased or decreased immigration will have on jobs, security, and culture? How might this lead to social change?
3. Research chemical and nuclear waste disposal on the Internet. Consider and discuss the following:
· Do you favor the economic factors over protection of the environment? Why or why not?
· Would you be willing to house a chemical or nuclear waste repository in your neighborhood? Why or why not?
4. Read transcript for "Sociology on the Job: Collective Behavior and Social Movements."
Reflect on social movements.
· Discuss the following: What causes are you passionate about? If there is something you could change in your community, what would it be and how would you do it? If you have been involved in any community organizations working to effect change, describe your experience.
Hello. I'm Professor Tracy Xavia Karner. Today we'll be visiting Stand for Children in Houston, Texas. One of the common reasons students are often drawn to the study of sociology is the desire to make the world a better place. Many seek to work towards social change that will bring about more equality, social justice, or right perceived wrongs. Contemporary social movements are often organized around issues of identity, like gay rights, or common concerns like the environment. Currently two movements that have been very active in Houston are the grassroots organization that support the Dream Act, which seeks educational opportunities and a pathway to legalization for undocumented children who have grown up in the United States, and the more formal organization, the Service Employees International Unions Battle, for a living wage for the janitors. Both movements are attempting to frame their goal in a manner that the public will support. Shouldn't all children who grow up in the United States have the opportunity for education and employment? Shouldn't the people who clean the multi-billion dollar corporate offices make a living wage of ten dollars an hour? Communicating the issue and their proposed solution is a key aspect of building the kind of momentum necessary to effect legislative or policy change. Today we'll meet a sociologist who has spent his adult life working with various organizations to effect social change. Indeed he's been very active with both the Dream Act and the Service Workers Union efforts, before taking his new position with Stand for Children.
My role is to direct an organizing program here in town along with a couple other staff members here, to organize and mobilize parents to become involved in the political process, you know, around education policy at HSD and serve the surrounding school districts. What an organizer does is really go out and meet parents and identify leadership. They identify people who have some innate talent or large networks or people that you think can be developed into a strong leader and, you know, form a relationship with them, a very tight relationship, and the goal is to identify as many leaders as possible over a geographic expanse. And then train these leaders on how to unite with one another to come to kind of agreement on a common agenda and to mobilize, you know, to turn their people out in order to show power and to have an effect on policy. My background in sociology was definitely a big boon for that because so many of the theories of social change and social movements, you know, really grounded my understanding of what it meant to understand power dynamics and social stratification and inequality and essentially how a group that traditionally is powerless, or powerless in the traditional sense, can organize to attain power. My goal is to get them to stand up and engage in public life. As one of the organizations I work for, the IAF, which is, goes back to Saul Alinsky and Alinsky organizing the back of the yards in Chicago, hard-charging community organizing, but it's the ability to ask somebody, to teach somebody, and take them step by step from basically having no exposure or skill in public life, to being a fully educated, fully active, fully aware social actor and public figure. Even if your assets, you know, even if the money you have in your pocket is zero, if you can engage and learn the tools to engage in public life, you can be part of the power structure.
Many of us, like Mike Espinoza, want to be part of the solution, working to create social change to bring about a more just, equitable, and healthy society. The sociological perspective backed up by strong research skills provides a good toolkit, not only for understanding where the challenges lie, but how best to address them, and ways to successfully communicate ideas for change to the broader society.
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