Term paper Chapter Questions

1. Can you see any evidence that the social system you are thinking about changed in order to survive in the environment of other such systems? Were there changes in functional requirements (requisites), like having enough people to keep going, getting economic resources, struggling to maintain orderly relationships between people or “factions”¯ or struggling with enough agreement about what the system is for? How did the group or organization get people to conform and participate, even when sometimes they didn’t want to?

The community I live in is represented by members belonging to the ethnic minority mainly. They need to adapt to their environment and to the mainstream culture. However, some people face considerable difficulties while integrating in the mainstream culture, especially representatives of the older generation. Instead, the younger generation tends to the fast integration and assimilation to the mainstream culture. The assimilation occurs through the regular interaction with representatives of the mainstream culture and the work or learning in the mainstream environment accelerates the integration of representatives of the minority group into the mainstream culture.

2. Thinking about the same social setting, what people or factions instigated those changes? Were they explained to people as being necessary, or were they simply changes instigated by the power or authority of those persons? Which people or kinds of people benefited most directly from the changes? Did other people or factions resist those suggestions and make contrary arguments? Did people or factions grumble and comply without voicing any opinions? Why? Did anyone argue against making changes? Whose ideas were ignored or given less weight? What kinds of skills, resources, or interpersonal connections did the people whose ideas were implemented have? What do your answers illustrate to you about power, conflict, and social change?

The younger generation is the major driver of the change in the community, although the younger generation, in its turn, is under the impact of the mainstream culture. In fact, the integration in the majority community helps them to find better employment opportunities and to make a successful career. Therefore, socioeconomic factors are often the major drivers that lead to changes in the community. In response to socioeconomic drivers, community members change their life.

3. Thinking about the same social setting, how do the ideas about reality, definitions of things, and values about what is desirable affect what they decided to do or what was “imposed”¯ on them? How did they modify these ideas as they struggled with changes, either the ones they wanted, or the ones imposed on them? How did such efforts illustrate how people negotiate the meanings of change in everyday life and larger realms? How did these changing ideas and definitions of the situation themselves shape what people did from there on?

Community members modify their ideas under the impact of their native culture and the mainstream culture. Often, they have apprehensions in regard to changes imposed on them by the mainstream culture. Instead, they attempt to preserve their traditions and avoid taking risky decisions. In fact, the youth is bolder to take new decisions and to change their lifestyle but young people are under the greater impact of the mainstream culture compared to old ones.

4. Can you see changes deriving from or emerging from existing and historical circumstances? What circumstances? Was change happening because of circumstances beyond the control of the group or organization in your example? But wait. Were some changes instigated by forceful personalities or by persons with special experience or insight? How do the things they did relate to circumstances? What do your answers illustrate about the interplay of structure and human agency as causes of change?

The mainstream culture historically had a significant impact on minorities. The community I live in also failed to resist to the overwhelming impact of the mainstream culture, since the younger generation grows assimilated to the mainstream culture. In such a situation, community leaders attempt to preserve old traditions of our community and the community manages to preserve some of its traditions due to the community leaders.

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