Discussions 8 Questions HSM450
Community Development PMG 460
As a student, I have always anticipated getting an opportunity to engage my mind with matters and theories concerning sociology to enable me interpret various concepts. This course is wide, and it is through this that I hoped to get the relevant exposure so as to enhance my knowledge in this field. Being a thinker, I have always hoped to sharpen my skills throughout the coursework. Instead of focusing just on the coursework material, I have always desired to explore additional sources so as to diversify my knowledge.
I enrolled to Colorado State University due to the exemplary skills that it exposes one to. Colorado State University offers their students with a different experience. I hope to gain a lot from this course. I desire to be able to comprehensively interpret the various theories taught in this course. Further, I hope to get experience that will enable me handle issues around the course. Learning this course will propel me to get adequate experience to handle issues in the job market. Further, attending this course will enable me open my mind and encourage me to have an analytical perspective in trying to deal with many other subjects.
The following factors influence social interaction;
Power dynamics- People tend to act based on the power trends around them. Individuals often interact differently when an aspect of power is introduced in the setting. The level of authority between different people makes them have a tendency to modify their behavior towards each other ultimately influencing their social interaction CITATION Gid00 p 57 l 2057 (Giddens, Duneier, Appelbaum, & Carr, 2000, p. 57).
Institutions- The culture and trends in an institution often influence how people act towards each other. Different institutions have different cultures and norms of operation. This makes individuals in the institution to act in a way that conforms to the moral norms of such an institution CITATION Gid00 p 63 l 2057 (Giddens, Duneier, Appelbaum, & Carr, 2000, p. 63).The interaction therefore will heavily depend on the institution in question.
Social roles: Society defines roles based on different aspects. Often, various social groups are assigned roles with which they are supposed to conform. The social roles will have an impact with how people act towards each other.
Social status: People interact differently based on the social status they hold in the society. People at different levels in the social hierarchy will have a different way in which they interact. For instance, in the society, elderly people will command respect from the younger generation. Younger people will, therefore, act in a way that shows respect to their elderly.
B. The degree to which networks, groups and bureaucracy influence community development.
Community development is influenced by many factors that have a direct effect on how it is carried out. Social networks interact to shape the pace and nature of community development. Social networks affect the way people interact to bring about social change that is fundamental to community development. Laumann explores that societies that have comprehensive social networks tend to develop at swifter rates compared to those that are disintegrated CITATION Lau13 p 13 l 2057 (Laumann & Pappi, 2013, p. 13).
Bureaucracy affects how people propel their communities to development. Too much bureaucracy means it will be difficult to initiate development due to the many levels of authorities one has to pass through to initiate an idea CITATION Sob01 p 267 l 2057 (Sobels, Curtis, & Lockie, 2001, p. 267).
Crime potentially has negative impacts to the community. It is thought that crime makes areas prone to criminal activities isolated. The rest of the people will most likely begin to forge stereotypes against individuals from crime-prone areas. People are most likely to be treated differently because they hail from places that have rampant crime rates. This creates social problems and conflicts due to possible social discrimination. Further, crime creates a vicious cycle CITATION Sam86 p 273 l 2057 (Sampson, 1986, p. 273). Children raised in places that see many crimes potentially grow up to be criminals. The theory of nature versus nurture applies to this concept. Children raised in places that see violent crimes become violent later in life.
We are responsible for deterring crime as responsible citizens and community members. The society should act in unity to help reduce the crime rates because criminals live within us. Community policing is, therefore, a better way of reducing crime levels. Further, rehabilitation of people that are known to have committed the crime in the past helps prevent further crime in future. People that have gone through rehabilitation tend to conform to social norms and morals.
The American Society, just like any diverse society is faced with social inequality especially that inclining towards racial differences. For instance, the black population that lives in the suburbs have little access to services offered in the affluent areas inhabited by the predominantly white community CITATION Kaw97 p 1493 l 2057 (Kawachi, Kennedy, Lochner, & Prothrow-Stith, 1997, p. 1493). People from the so-called ghettos tend to face the worst form of discrimination with how the government has sought to address issues such as healthcare. This has caused a major divide in the social fronts. Minorities such as the Hispanics similarly face discrimination in various fronts CITATION Dan92 p 17 l 2057 (Danziger & Gottschalk, 1992, p. 17). Hispanics are more likely to be arrested due to minor crimes due to the stereotype that they enhance criminal activities in the United States. The differences and stereotypes between the minority and majority communities in the United States has shaped how these communities interact.
Lack of community exposure and government support has been blamed for the cause of the growing gap between the rich and the poor. The government has failed to establish start-up projects for the poor in low-income areas to propel them into making economic strides. Further, the policy of capitalism has in part acted to encourage the rich to exploit the poor causing a situation whereby the rich keep getting rich while the poor grapple with poverty.
What issues, might you have regarding a multi-national community in which we might live (now or in the future)? Thoughts? Experiences you would like to share?
Multinational communities are known to be diverse. Such communities are often likely to fuel social differences because they are drawn from different backgrounds. However, such communities have the advantage of encouraging diversity through social interaction. Social interactions enrich culture and improve the way people interact with each other to possibly bring about social change. Despite the few challenges that face a multinational community, the advantages are unmatched.
2. Gay rights
The issue of gay rights is contentious. People often change the way they interact with the revelation of sexual orientation. People are more likely to act differently towards people that declare that they are attracted to the same sex. Despite the fact that society has for a long time denounced gay activities, it is unfair to treat gay people differently CITATION Whi10 p 64 l 2057 (Whitehead, 2010, p. 64). Human rights entitle everyone to be treated equally CITATION Sch10 p 748 l 2057 (Schwartz, 2010, p. 748). Similarly if gay people do not interfere with one’s peace, it is only prudent that they be regarded as equal beings despite their sexual orientation that may not be readily accepted by some. Gay people deserve to be treated with dignity just as it is fundamental to all humans
Religious intolerance has been the focus of major debate especially in the U.S after the 9/11 attack. People perceived to be Muslims have often been treated differently due to the stereotypes held after the terrorist attack. However, this has largely created social tension.
Societies that fail to observe religious tolerance end up being torn apart due to war and major conflicts CITATION Hob11 p 360 l 2057 (Hobolt, Van der Brug, De Vreese, Boomgaarden, & Hinrichsen, 2011, p. 360). Many countries have been torn down to their foundations due to the opposing religions which ultimately fuel armed conflict. Any society that is religiously tolerant tends to be compact in the long run CITATION Gri10 p 124 l 2057 (Grim & Wike, 2010, p. 124). This is because; religious animosity is rare in such societies since people live in harmony. However, it is difficult to eliminate religious intolerance to zero levels due to the diverse nature of religion. However, even the most basic tolerance in the religious aspect servers to instill peace in society CITATION Nus12 p 4 l 2057 (Nussbaum, 2012, p. 4).
Due to the amazing connectivity we experience today, globalization has come to cause the ‘ripple effect’. In this concept, when a decision is made at community or state level, it seems to affect other countries and potentially continents CITATION Bry12 p 91 l 2057 (Brym & Lie, 2012, p. 91). What may seem to be a minor decision may have a major impact in a different country and how the two interact. For instance, an environmental disaster in one locality can affect neighboring states.
With globalization, it is not a guarantee as to whether economic investment in the local community will benefit the locals. Globalization makes resources from such investment pooled to all beneficiaries thereby denying the locals the opportunity to grow economically at the expense of the larger global community CITATION Gid00 p 157 l 2057 (Giddens, Duneier, Appelbaum, & Carr, 2000, p. 157). This is because globalization seems to benefit the richest of countries and powerful investors. Further, globalization poses a threat to cultural diversity. Many people fear that this concept may drown local languages and culture as people move swiftly to conform to global cultures and standard languages. For instance, a movie made in Hollywood is more likely to make sales compared to that made in India.
Attending sociology classes has offered me great experience because I have had to interact with various sources of information to enhance my knowledge. The assignments offered in the class have enabled me culture the spirit of research. I have gained a lot especially from topics I have had to research about. The adequately long deadlines have meant that I have had enough times to research on topics and gain optimum knowledge.
Critical thinking papers have served to expand my skills of exploration CITATION Bry12 p 48 l 2057 (Brym & Lie, 2012, p. 48). Such papers offer the opportunity to interpret a topic and understand it better basing on numerous primary sources that one is expected to research from. One gets exposed to the right kind of environment enabling them to develop an interest in the subject. I have always desired to be enrolled in such a center. The level of experience of staff of this college gives one the confidence that they will get more than enough knowledge in the field.
Discussions in the relevant fields have acted as a guide in shaping the way we deal with knowledge in class. Various discussions help to make us be open minded in the topics that are covered in class. Discussions offer a sort of collective learning experience since they provide a platform on which people share their views in ways they understand them better.
This course has offered me with a learning experience of a kind. The great exposure means that it is relevant to both my educational skills and relevance in shaping me to face the career world.
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