Social change

All posts tagged Social change

What’s In The Future?

Published June 1, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Summer Break Edition:

(Originally Posted Feb 2013)

Future

Whats In the Future?

Some say the future is full of promise. Others predict a dystopia full of uncertainty and threats from the growing number of groups who create markets to embrace this apocalyptic future.  A recent example was witnessed by the focus of attention put on the apocalyptic fervor created from the 2012 Mayan prophecy. Meanwhile, sects of major Christian religions interpret global events like the Japanese earthquake, The Indonesian tsunami, the Gulf Coast oil disaster, and the plethora of weather events, including hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts and other natural disasters as confirmation of the forthcoming Armageddon. However research from the late Zecharia Sitchin  (2007), suggests a different meaning of the word Armageddon. The discovery of an ancient site called Megiddo at the foot of Mount Megiddo (Har – Megiddo in the original Hebrew text), from his scholarly view, points to the expression of Armageddon as a term derived in reference to Har-Megiddo, a place associated with annihilation by those with knowledge of the region’s destructive historic past as a prominent ancient battleground.

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Adding to the end-of-times frenzy, are the many indigenous community elders worldwide who also share similar beliefs in end of time outlooks from a little more optimistic vantage. The native peoples view is representative of a metaphoric death of one age or completion of a cycle; and the birth or beginning of a new one. The future in other words can either be bleak or promising contingent upon an individual’s attitude.

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For example, many anticipated a positive change with the replacement of the Bush administration that left our economy in a total wreck by the historical election of the first black US president, Barack Obama who won the election on the message of change. However according to former Governor Jesse Ventura (2009) upon taking the oath of the oval office in his first term; the only missing person from the old Democratic administration was Robert Byrd (Ventura, 2009).  One perspective views the current administration as a positive change, while another indicates that the only change was the actor in the leadership role, while the other acting agents remained the same.

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Sommers (2012), suggests that the direction of our future is subject to social, economic and environmental disasters that can spring from the following four constant and predictable forces of change: (1) resources, (2) technology, (3) demographics, and (4) governance. Trends can help guide these forces of change in a somewhat predictable manner. What is certain however is that the outcomes are unpredictable (Sommers, 2012). In other words, our future will be shaped from the availability of resources that sustain our population and the technology that helps transform raw materials (e.g., ovens to cook meals). In addition to these assets, is the interaction of demographics in the form of the productiveness of a society, which includes the right combination of age, gender and genetic diversity. These are further required components after resources and technology. How successful a group or society will be is contingent upon how productive they are. The the final aspect to a positive future is the governance that comprises the distribution and management of the group’s assets, resources, technology and people in the rule of law and marketplace. Understanding these concepts and how they interact is the key to help us gage the possibilities of knowing where and how to create a brighter future.

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In conclusion, Harper and Light (2011) offer the following advice to help us adjust to change to better equip ourselves as sculptors and active participants in bettering our future: (a) expect change, (b) understand change, (c) change ourselves and (d) help make a difference in the world by doing our part to be of service (Harper & Leicht, 2011).  These four tips, in addition to a conscious awareness of our connectedness to each other and our environment, are essential elements for shaping the globe into a more harmonious place of existence.

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““If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet. Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.” – Niels Bohr, a Danish Physicist

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References:

Harper, C., & Leicht, K. (2011). Exploring social change American and the world (6th ed.). Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Sitchin, Z. (2007). The end of days: Armageddon and prophecies of the return. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers.

Sommers, C. (2012). Think like a futurist. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Ventura, J. (2009). Don’t start the revolution without me (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing.

Social Change Analysis – Part II

Published February 20, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

Analysis and Overview

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Causes of Social Change

Humanity approaches an historical juncture that is prodding social change as the traditional methods of managing human affairs, at the interpersonal and international levels, are becoming less and less effective (Weinstein, 2010). To better comprehend causes of social change, experts study the where and how of material production as well as the distribution and consumption of goods and services significant to society. Studying the ancient past can be instrumental in facilitating homeostasis in the modern era. Without observation and analysis of the social sciences, causes and implications of change would be difficult to ascertain.

Experts also take into consideration demographic changes. In addition, researchers labor to comprehend the various natures of population transformations and the scale of a civilization’s interconnectedness that involves both the expansion and amplification of economic relationships (Dicken, 2011). Without sufficient knowledge of these components, all geographies of development can be disrupted.

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Conditions of Social Change

Researchers acquiesce that social change is brought on by transformational conditions that include: (a) significant events like invasions or earthquakes; (b) repeating cycles, patterns, and trends on a macroscopic level; and (c) from social activities that affect individuals (Chase-Dunn & Babones, 2006). In other words, barriers and obstacles that arise from causes like world events and behaviors of groups that seek basic human rights for example, are some of the elements that drive social change.

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Functioning Structures and Innovations

Social change can also influence the efficiency and functionality of nations.  Conflicts that occur extend opportunities for cultural evolution as a society interprets the variety of components that motivate action from them.  The conflict perspective theory of the social sciences, suggests cultural change evolves at a particular point in time when the availability of resources and opportunities alter as a result from collective action or reform.  The structural functionalism theory also known as the functionalist theory, looks at the interconnectedness of a society and how they function together to promote their system.  For example, scarcity of resources creates strain and conflict within a culture that disrupt functioning systems. Struggles with issues like inequality and ideology can also become engines of change (Weinstein, 2010).

Innovations occur as a result of the grievances and unrest that emerge in a society. These certain (often hidden) motivators emerge from a lack of an effective, efficient or equitable system (Cels & de Jong, 2012). There are four phases of the innovation stage: (a) a clear awareness of a challenge; (b) the setting, conditions, and the assembly of the elements involved; (c) a new meaning, configuration, or a eureka moment; and (d) a crucial upgrade or revision to an invention. These innovations are likely to succeed when a society is ready to adapt them.

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Environmental Factors and Cycles

Catastrophic events like typhoons, earthquakes and landslides, present new problems that have consequential effects on a population and their migration.  Scientific research confirms that climate change has an effect on the environment. McNall (2011) purports that human impact of change on the global environment has effected the levels of CO2 on our planet that is higher now than at any time in the last 650,000 years. He cites this for one reason that everything frozen on the planet thawing (McNall, 2011).

Identifying patterns of change in the economic and political aspects of a society is essential in understanding developmental change.  An economic theory of politics (also known as public choice) applies a more rational look at cultural behavior. By studying linear, cyclical and dialectical models of change, experts can assess whether patterns will follow a linear before and after frame, or a cyclical pattern, by determining if it is capable of returning to the same point (Weinstein, 2010).

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Basic Strategies of Change

Fundamental strategies can assist in the delineation of change that outline characteristics and boundaries of a population or system. These strategies can facilitate challenges between leaders and factions (Weinstein, 2010). Some of these tactics involve education, persuasion, and power as well as violent and nonviolent action.  Leaders that are capable of identifying problems and needs are able to make effective changes.

External assistance can also be a factor for those open to receiving it. This is especially true when it instigates community improvement and active participation with focus on an end goal (Weinstein, 2010). In short, a variety of ideas that are substantially different from the status quo, whether as modifications, substitutions or mutations of materials, also play an important role in stimulating cultural movement and growth.

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Changes in Ideology

As a civilization evolves, a culture’s ideological beliefs also helps shape the development of humankind.  For example, politicians, artists, and social activitists garner the power of the market with innovative ideology.  They contend the ability to champion a better ideology, also referred to as cultural orthodoxy, is the key to creating a demand for a new culture (Holt & Cameron, 2010).  In the meantime, archeological and mythological records of early civilizations typically focused their energy on pleasing their Gods to attain favorable conditions.  This major component is a commonality that shaped earlier cultures.

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Invasions and War

Social change is also incurred from the hostilities that arise in groups due to: (a) sorrows and grievances; (b) the incompetence of leaders to manage challenges; (c) the difficulties in adapting to change; or (d) a shift or circulation of new radical concepts and ideologies.  These components offer a fertile breeding ground for conflict that can lead to revolution and battle. Social change scientists look at the interconnectedness of a culture with a scientific approach to the components that drive them on a macro level.  Bauer’s (2007) research concludes that the interconnectedness of governments, religion, the urban environment, social structure, and the economy of earlier civilizations, extends for millenia (Bauer, 2007). To illustrate these constructs we will examine man’s earliest civilization to better comprehend ours in our next post.

 To Be Continued … Part III – An Ancient World View

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References

Bauer, S. (2007). The history of the ancient world. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, LLC.

Cels, S., & de Jong, J. (2012). Agents of change: Strategy and tactics for social innovation. Harrisonburg, VA: R. R. Donnelley Publishing.

Chase-Dunn, C., & Babones, S. (2006). Global social change. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press.

Dicken, P. (2011). Global shift: Mapping the changing contours of the world economy. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Holt, D., & Cameron, D. (2010). Cultural strategy: Using innovative ideologies to build breakthroughs. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

McNall, S. (2011). Rapid climate change: Causes, consequences, and solutions. New York, NY: Routledge Publishing.

Weinstein, J. (2010). Social change. Pymouth, UK: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Social Change Analysis – Part I

Published February 18, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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ABSTRACT

This extensive research is broken into three parts and takes an in-depth look at the constructs and implications of social movements that emerge from various conflicts and cycles. This analysis includes: (a) the theories behind the conditions, the trends, the political processes, and the environmental factors that act as locomotives of change; (b) the functioning structures and innovations; (c) strategies that civilizations incorporate to adjust to climate change, migration, famine, and war; (d) influences from changes in ideology and social status; and (e) the effects on resources by population growth.  To illustrate this our research looks at the beginning of the human agency to the land of Mesopotamia and the cradle of civilization. In doing so, we can learn from their struggles, their strains, their cycles and patterns, and their conflict management methodologies to help us determine more effective ways of application in the modern era. Our conclusions deduce that in studying the past and the elements that facilitated the rise of the human genus, we can learn from the components of change to avert a similar demise in the modern era.

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Social Change in the Ancient World

INTRODUCTION

The pervasive feeling is that something fundamental is occurring worldwide with the current explosion of interest in globalization and feelings of uncertainty has intensified. There is an increased awareness of what is transpiring in one part of the world that has a deep affect (sometimes immediate) by events unfolding in other parts of the world (Dicken, 2011). In analyzing how we arrived at this juncture, studying the ancient world can give us clues.

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Many individuals in the meantime, often become confused by the mythological depictions and cultural belief systems of ancient civilizations. The quest of the modern seeker is to establish an erudition of our ancestors and the components that incurred social change by examining the momentous shifts that transpired in the human condition (Free, 2011). This research examines the major causes and underlying conditions that prompted social change in the ancient past, as well as the main choices, innovations, and factors that ancient cultures faced in their attempts to shape their individual and collective futures.  We will also examine humanity’s comprehension of the ancient world on macro and micro levels as well as the various patterns and cycles that shaped it. By scrutinizing earlier civilizations of the human agency, we can learn from the management of their successes and failures.  Learning from the demise of past civilizations helps us comprehend and avert analogous conditions in the modern era that can decelerate the upgrade and reconfiguration process of human destiny.

 To Be Continued … Part II – An Overview and Analysis of Social Change

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REFERENCES:

Dicken, P. (2011). Global shift: Mapping the changing contours of the world economy. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Free, J. (2011). Sumerian religion: Secrets of the Anunnaki. New York, NY: CreateSpace Independent Publishing.

Getting Involved with Social Movements

Published February 6, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Introduction

There are many different kinds of movements to motivate individuals that become involved in them.  According to statistics the rise of the new middle class for instance, is one of the primary driving forces of social movements that seek reform to help tackle the challenges they face in a new global economy.  The intrinsic distrust in politics provides the impetus to advocate their democratic rights.  The key factors that rally enthusiasm in individuals for enlistment are: (a) the formal and informal methods of organization available to protestors for initial mobilization; (b) political opportunities and restrictions that confront the insurgents; and (c) the ability of interpreting the collective processes, ascription, and social composition that arbitrate between opportunities and action (McAdam, 1982).  This research takes a look at the political and social arenas that lure individuals to become involved in social movements and how conflicts are addressed by applying the resource mobilization and the political process theories.

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A Call to Arms

Even though change poses a threat to the status quo, it takes passion, determination and commitment for people to become involved with social movements that effect social change.  The resource mobilization theory posits that success for a social movement is contingent on the timing of its genesis and the atmosphere of the culture.  It is a movement whose motives are relevant to the current events in which the masses can emphasize and relate to.  In other words, the manner in which a movement affects the hearts and souls from the supporters recruited, plays an integral role.  In addition, it must have a unique quality that is unlike any other.  This element can be the incentive that others respond to from the emotions that are invoked.  Effective organizers use this aspect to their advantage and even look to trends of a specific social class to help with their cause.

The inclusion of the political process theory in social movements outlines emphasis and focus on the group’s ongoing process and evolution, rather than the discontent of the majority.  The political process broadens the efforts of the resource mobilization process by enlisting the aid of the elite and the political system.  Organizations work to disband the upper echelon in key positions of the political and corporate arenas by enlisting the aid of likeminded elite to support their cause and provide further resources in the process.

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A single mother for example, as a result of the many infractions and frustrations she endures from numerous failed attempts to collect support from an absentee father, may resort to becoming an active contributor to a social movement to help make new laws that will change a failing system.  The individual’s sense of abandonment and defeat; coupled by the failure to act from the proper authorities and government channels, out of desperation and as a last resort, instead turns to seek comfort and advice in forums and support groups.  In an attempt to acquire more knowledge and information, friendships emerge and discussions begin among these women with a common cause.  As more individuals gather, the realization of a collective emerges and they begin to organize, motivate each other and gather momentum.  This is the juncture where the group begins to unify their efforts.  Their level of success is contingent upon the organizational efforts, leadership, and their ability to create a cohesive group.

Mobilization and Action

Next focus is put on their functional requisites and as the resource mobilization theory posits, to marshal further support for their activities by formulating a concept that states the importance of their role.  Consequently, they look for solutions that address any power struggles they may face from their efforts to rally forces for collective action and taking into consideration the atmosphere of the current social conditions.  In this case, namely that gender development has grown exponentially, particularly in the last thirty years.  This awareness can help them address the challenges they may face in their attempt to create gender-sensitive policies in public and private organizations that continue to occur regardless of the diversity of an organization and notwithstanding the influence of the group’s elders and other non-related sympathizers.  Efforts to address women’s issues and the ostracism they confront from bureaucratic resistance can intensify and sometimes in extreme cases are demonstrated in a culture of violence (Jaquette & Summerfield, 2006).

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The next level of the movement’s development is to define their parameters and the components required to organize a coherent structure.  They can focus their intent to open an avenue that will attract political opportunity.  Their subsequent agenda is to propose new legislation that will eventually lead to the reforms they seek.  It is at this stage, their organization follows the path outlined by the political process theory, and in companionship to the mobilization theory, that their pursuit begins to mobilize the resources of the major social systems.  This includes the recruitment and support of influential individuals on a state level, to local leaders, and the media, in addition to corporate sponsors and politicians.  The movement closely scrutinizes both the support and opposition they will face, emphasizing their labor on the political aspects and opportunities available to break the unity of the elite in key positions, in accordance to the political process theory.

Individuals that are discontent yearn for improvement and reforms.  Incorporating the methodologies presented here as outlined by both the resource mobilization and political process theories is one example of how an individual or a social group can become motivated and assist in the development of a social movement.  They can also elicit the support of a popular personality as other established organizations of social movements have with celebrities like Robert Redford or Jane Fonda.  Other tactics include the implementation of methods similar to organizations like The Wildlife Foundation and the Humane Society whose recruiting efforts to solicit new membership entail the use of mailers and incentives that include complimentary return address stickers and desk note cards with their logo which we continue to receive in the post.

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Conclusion

It takes great passion and determination for people to become involved with social movements, especially from individuals that face issues of injustice and equality.  Social movements that reach the “petitioning” stage will discern whether their movement can continue to move forward by the momentum and size of the forces that have gathered or whether they disband due to the lack of support, reflected by the number of signatures acquired.  One can determine the amount of populace dissatisfaction by visiting the official government website, “We the People”, where petitions are submitted.  Some of the recent petitions logged there include noteworthy causes from worthwhile movements like: the taxation of religious organizations and churches; a requirement that all genetically modified foods should be labeled as such; and the re-evaluation of the federal minimum wage for tipped employees.

Other petitions submitted are of an inane nature, like the deportation of British Citizen and CNN TV host, Piers Morgan, for his recent rants on gun control.  The most humorous petition we encountered, requested the US Government to build a Death Star.  In fact, they received so many signatures that White House Chief of Science and Space, Paul Shawcross, had to respond.  One of the reasons cited for its rejection: “The Administration does not support blowing up planets” (Dothan, 2013).

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In conclusion, social change is brought about by recurring economic crises that have not been sufficiently addressed.  Changing institutions, the control of resources and the mobilization of power are key components that motivate individuals to become involved in social movements as contributors, elders and sympathizers.  It is passion and a profound desire to make a difference that is deeply embedded into the human agency.  As long as those passions exist, people will continue to get involved making social change inevitable.

References:

Dothan, A. (2013, January 14). White House ups the ante for peition website: 100,000 signatures. Retrieved January 18, 2013, from Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-white-house-raises-signature-limit-for-petition-responses-20130116,0,973194.story

Jaquette, J., & Summerfield, G. (2006). Women and gender equity in development theory. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

McAdam, D. (1982). Political process and development of black insurgency. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Social Change

Published January 21, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Most experts agree that we tend to think about social change in three ways: (a) as a result of significant events such as a war or a terrorist attack like that of 911, (b) in a macroscopic level suggesting that wide-scale trends enable us to view patterns, and (c) in social institutions that affect the lives of the population as individuals, groups, families, in various situations, and in work settings (Harper & Leicht, 2011). So what drives these changes? Journalist David Bornstein (2007) simply states it is the barriers that were once impeding that is disappearing and at a staggering rate (p. 6).

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One of the three areas of social change that continues to have significant impact is that of education.  According the article Social Change (n.d.), experts agree that education is a powerful platform for bringing about changes in society.  Although changes appear to come slow, they are constant and tend to have an enormous impact than those brought on by revolution, incursions, or any other unforeseen events.  French sociologist David Emile Durkheim purports that social change in education is important for the younger generation (Social Change, n.d.).  In the 1960s, President Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson shared these sentiments and asked the federal government to shift their focus toward education when they lobbied Congress for more federal aid and the creation of new programs.

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Studies reveal that the majority of the middle class have received higher levels of education following high school.  A trend toward greater tolerance of religions, cultures and politics is widespread partly explained by the increasing levels of education in America.  Individuals for instance, that continue to expand their levels of knowledge, tend to be less fearful of others with different views.  We can illustrate this by observing sects of devout Christians who believe persons outside their religious faith are condemned to an afterlife of misery, cruelty and suffering.  This information is very confusing to Christian youngsters educated in the traditional brick and mortar school systems where they are exposed to multiculturalism and the variety of belief systems apart from their own as they bond with fellow classmates.  The classroom is where young learners are exposed to a hodge-podge of input that can be very confusing from what their church teaches or is viewed as the norm in their family environment.  It is up to each individual to discern between that of what they are taught in their spiritual practices to the experiences in the classroom intermingling with peers of different faiths.  These experiences in an educational environment can encourage children to expand their views as they begin to comprehend each other more and ponder the new information.   With higher levels of education, friendships that are built and the sharing of views with others from various spiritual belief systems can encourage more tolerance and understanding.

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Religions greatly differ from one society to the next; each one is sacred and beautiful, with their own set of moral rules.  Social change is ushered when the structural properties of a social system evolve that determine the degree of inequality and power (Noble, 2000). Education is one avenue that can tear down the walls of prejudice and misinformation. The more individuals are educated and empowered on specific topics like religion, government, and history, the more understanding and tolerance we can hope to expect and experience as a society.  Social change is a redeeming feature in human society and education is one key component that continues to help shape and steer mankind’s ever evolving world.

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References:

Bornstein, D. (2007). How to change the world: Social entrepreneurs and the power of new ideas. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Harper, C., & Leicht, K. (2011). Exploring social change American and the world (6th ed.). Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Social Change. (n.d.). Retrieved January 6, 2012, from Questia.com: http://www.questia.com/library/sociology-and-anthropology/social-organization-and-community/social-change

Noble, T. (2000). Social theory and social change. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.

Social Change in the Workplace

Published January 18, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Precipitous change, both peaceful and vehement, is a fact of life that practically everyone on planet earth has come to envisage, if not unconditionally accept.  According to sociology professor and author Jay Weinstein (2010) from Eastern Michigan University, “a great social cultural revolution is sweeping the world” (p. 3).  A historical juncture has been attained at which the former ways of conducting human affairs from the interpersonal to the international levels are becoming less effective.  This year for example, because of the technological sophistication of electronic communication, for the first time in television history, a prime time television show drama on the CBS network’s hit series, Hawaii Five-O allowed viewers to choose the ending of an episode in real time with the aid of electronic devices like smartphones, tablets and computers.

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Just as the modern era deposed feudalism, globalization is reformatting contemporary society.  This research is focused on my personal experience of social change in the workplace and the impact it produced from the functionalist, conflict, and interpretative perspectives when the board members at Capitol Records (a former place of employment) restructured the organization.  This significant event involved substantial personnel cuts and the shutting down of an organizational branch.  These changes created conflict and confusion for both contractual and non-contractual employees as the functional requisites were shifting in the way of personnel and economic resources.  In addition, panic ensued within the organization as workers attempted to interpret the action and parameters of the social change.

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The music industry is constantly in a state of flux.  A musician can enjoy great success or can meet artistic doom through the efforts of their record company.  Executives are always searching for the next megastar.  There is no one way to success and no one can predict what the public will embrace as a hit, or scoff at as a flop.  As a result, the board of directors is, at times, forced to make changes when the executives miss the mark on what constitutes a successful music star and what is considered wasted energy.  When a company does not reflect significant profits, while the books reveal extreme expenditures for artists that are not attracting substantial returns, or worse, lose their popularity, adjustments are calculated to navigate the organization towards profit and success.

Revenue at Capitol Records was in decline and the organization was exhibiting signs of struggle.  The functional requisites were shifting with respect to the minimum number of personnel required to keep the company operational within the frame of the economic resources available.  As a solution, the organization faced a restructuring situation.  In their concerted effort to downsize, an outside agency was employed to provide the hatchet man duties.  The institution in this instance did not require the main body of personnel to conform or participate in the decision to remodel the organization.  Staff members were unsure of job security until they were summoned by the hatchet man for verification.

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The organizational change that was implemented created panic within the structure as workers were attempting to comprehend the action and parameters of this new paradigm shift.  The organizational edifice affected was comprised of two floors.  The main body of personnel was located on the ground level, while the upper floor housed two divisions – the offices of the President and the offices of the Vice President of Business Affairs (the author’s supervisor).  Our department was advised of the organizational changes and I was asked to participate as the assistant to the hatchet man in the downsizing process.

On the one hand I was relieved that, for me, a firm position within the organization still existed.  On the other hand, it was an emotionally difficult task to call each individual employee to their final exit meeting.  That call was something people I had worked with for years were dreading.  A situation-insensitive brother made remarks how proud he was that I was chosen to assist in the organization’s blood bath.  On the contrary, in my view, it was equated to the position of a modern day accomplice to the staff executioner.  Although the hatchet man was a very kind individual with a soft spoken demeanor, his task was not an easy one and it affected me deeply because of my empathy for the people that had been my colleagues and friends – some for many years.  The power of the event and my involuntary participation of this social change presented personal conflict because of my espoused values within the organization and my sympathy towards the people that were being asked to leave.

The new social setting created a reality that redefined the organizational structure implemented by the stranger cast as the terminator.  The idea of job stability was modified as each individual struggled with the change imposed on them.  When individuals heard the phone ring, a disposition of low self-esteem emerged as the withdrawal papers were delegated one by one.  The facility shut down shortly after the event concluded.  Employees that were not dismissed were assimilated in other areas of the organization.

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The world faces a long list of threats that include: (a) hunger, (b) disease, (c) poverty, (d) despair, (e) pandemics, (f) global climate change, and (g) aging economies.  Breakthroughs in society occur when the demand for an end to deprivation, marginalization, and equality ultimately overwhelms the resistance (Light & Reynolds, 2011). Breakthroughs in companies incur change with episodes of restructuring that often include considerable downsizing of personnel as part of the process.  These are the tools of agitation that disrupt and replace the status quo.  The changes that transpired at Capitol Records were instigated by a variety of circumstances which included (a) the completion of the President’s contract; (b) the sale and shutting down of the building; and (c) the financial climate of the corporation.  Individuals who initially challenged the reforms eventually learned to create a new normal.

In conclusion, social change continues to evolve with globalization having a significant impact on contemporary society.  Two fundamental principles drive change: (1) power, and (2) love.  Love is defined as the drive towards unity and power towards separation (Kahane, 2010).  To create lasting change, individuals should learn to work fluidly towards unity and must uncover a means to balance these two forces.  When we learn to shift between power and love, we can begin a new order that will assist to move society forward.

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References

Kahane, A. (2010). Power and love: A theory and practice of social change. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Light, P., & Reynolds, C. (2011). Driving social change: How to solve the world’s toughest problems. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Weinstein, J. (2010). Social change. (p. 3). Pymouth, UK: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Managing in Social Change

Published January 14, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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We reside in a wondrous and complicated world and a great number of individuals consider it impossible to make sense of.  It is simpler for people to give up, unplug and concede their uniqueness to the tramlines of programmed convention (Icke, 2012).  In fact, it is a considerably different place from the world we came to recognize as children, or even of ten years ago for that matter.  There are many reasons for these changes, one of which includes the significant events that occur which continue to help shape our evolution.

It is important to differentiate between the causes and consequences of an event to better comprehend the impact it may have.  In the social sciences, causes are implications, not things that are self-evident from a given set of observations (Harper & Leicht, 2011).  This can make analysis and documentation of significant events a difficult task, whether arbitrarily treated as a cause or consequence.  In addition, a biographer may view and describe a noteworthy event from a different perspective than that of a social scientist.  For example, a social scientist would be interested in how a momentous event would impact the culture’s values, problems, fears, as well as hopes and dreams that people share; whereas a biographer tends to focus on investigating the story without the conjecture of outcomes.  A historian on the other hand, may implement a bit of both as they may wish to reveal the process, progress, evolution and development of an event.

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One such recent significant event that had great impact on the country was the mortgage and loan crisis.  The US economy entered a mortgage crisis in 2007 that caused panic and financial turmoil worldwide.  It was a result of too much borrowing and severely flawed financial modeling, largely based on greed and fraudulent practices as well as the assumption that home prices would only continue to increase.  One noteworthy consequence of the mortgage crisis is that a shocked public discovered how leveraged the world is.  Bankers, lawmakers, consumers and business people all continue to work diligently to reduce the paramount effects of that crisis.

A reverence for homeownership has been a central theme of the American experience, which was the mindset behind making home loans more available to everyone.  In their book Reckless Endangerment Morgenson and Rosner (2011) purport:

The Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act actually encouraged unsafe and unsound activities at both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by assigning them a new affordable housing mission.  Under the law, the companies had to use their mortgage purchases to help provide housing to those across the nation who had previously been unable to afford a home (p. 25).

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The mortgage crisis affected many cities and communities severely.  Many local mortgage and loan organizations suffered bankruptcy leaving many individuals unemployed and destitute.  Additionally thousands of families became homeless, losing their places of residence to foreclosure. Can an event like this ever happen again?  Morgenson and Rosner (2011) seem to think so. In fact, they contend, “Most certainly, because Congress decided against fixing the problem of too big to fail institutions when it had its chance” (p. 304).  Only time will tell.

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References

Harper, C., & Leicht, K. (2011). Exploring social change American and the world (6th ed.). Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Icke, D. (2012). Remember who you are: Remember where you are and where you come from. Isle of Wight, UK: David Icke Books.

Morgenson, G., & Rosner, J. (2011). Reckless endangerment (1st ed.). New York, NY: Times Books.