Sunday, April 29, 2007

Essay outline

6. Modern Technology has not always improved the quality of people’s lives.
Could we do without any modern technology for a day?
Background Information/ Definition
Technology is a broad concept that deals with a species' usage and knowledge of tools and crafts, and how it affects a species' ability to control and adapt to its environment
Thesis Statement
Modern technology has improved people's way of lives, however, not the quality of people’s lives.
Modern technology brings about,
- modern technology has brought about a social gap between people
- over reliance
- caused a lack of sincerity
First Para

Modern technology has brought about a gap between people.
- we use msn for conversations; not face to face
- play computer games instead of face to face interactive games
- use sms as a form of communication
With modern technology, we have less face to face conversations and hence, leads to ineffective communication.

Second Para
We are overly reliant and dependent on technology.
- can’t remember contacts of friends as they are all kept in our handphone
- we have to depend on cars to bring us to one place
Our daily lives would be greatly affected as we depend too much on technology and so if there were to be a breakdown in technology, we would not be able to proceed with are life so comfortably.

Third Para
Modern technology has caused a lack of sincerity in what we do.
- emails and e-cards versus a personalized card or letter
- a bought present or a hand made gift
Hence, it is much more thoughtful and genuine to do something personally for someone instead of using technology as a tool that would bring more convenience to us.

Fourth Para (Rebuttal)
Technology has brought us more efficiency.
- Saves time to travel from one place to another. (eg. Planes and cars)
- Quicker transmission of information (eg. Mobile phones and computers)
Therefore, technology allows us quicker access to information and reduces traveling time, these brings more convenience in our lives. However, though it does bring about added convenience, our quality of life is not improved holistically.

Though it may be argued that modern technology has brought to us much more convenience and has saved precious time for us, it has not improved our quality of life as it brings about a social gap between people, makes us rely too much on technology and caused a lack of warmth in what we do.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Research on Ogburn’s Theory of Social Change

Social Change:
A general term which refers to:
change in the nature, the social institutions, the social behaviour or the social relations of a society, community of people, or other social structures.
any event or action that affects a group of individuals that have share values or characteristics.
acts of advocacy for the cause of changing society in a normative way (subjective).
Social change could be:
slow, gradual, incremental, and evolutionary; in this it might be barely noticeable
fast, radical, sudden and revolutionary; it might even take people by surprise.
wide in scope, affecting almost all people in a society
limited in scope, affecting only a small number of people.
William Fielding Ogburn: (June 29, 1886April 27, 1959)

- A US sociologist
- He served as the president of American Sociological Society in 1929.
- Also known for his idea of "culture lag" in society's adjustment to technological and other changes.
- He played a pivotal role in producing the groundbreaking Recent Social Trends during his research directorship of President Herbert Hoover's Committee on Social Trends from 1930 to 1933.

Ogburn’s Theory of Social Change:
Ogburn first described the theory of cultural lag in 1915, although he began developing the theory as early as 1912. Ogburn’s definition of cultural lag is:
“A cultural lag occurs when one of two parts of culture which are correlated changes before or in greater degree than the other part does, thereby causing less adjustment between the two parts that existed previously (Ogburn 1957).”
When Ogburn described socio-cultural change and culture in terms of "parts" he relied on a very common model of the day that compared society and culture to an organic model in which the various "parts" were analogous to the organs of the human body. Later Ogburn used the term to indicate a more mechanical model that likened society to machinery that ran either well or poorly depending on the state of the various “parts”. While neither of these models remains in great favor, they do provide ways of looking at society.
Ogburn described societies in which changes are occurring rapidly and contrasts this to societies in which change is occurring slowly (Ogburn 1950). Generally, according to the theory of cultural lag, more examples of cultural lag can be found in societies in which change occurs rapidly than in societies where changes occur slowly.
According to Ogburn, four critical factors drive cultural change. These four factors are: invention, accumulation, diffusion, and adjustment (Ogburn 1950). Ogburn believed that as new inventions were introduced into existing society, maladjustment would occur and a period of adjustment would be required. This underlying idea forms the basis for the theory of cultural lag. Inventions can be formed in a society from within the society by awareness of new possibilities. The accumulation of inventions over time also results in new inventions as two or more ideas are combined.

Information from:

Monday, April 9, 2007

1. “The family has suffered at the expense of career in Singapore society.” Is this a fair comment?

In Singapore, it is common to find both parents working in order to raise the family and due to this the family is sometimes neglected and is caused to suffer. However, some families could not just depend on a sole breadwinner to ‘bring home the bacon’, as it is sometimes not sufficient to raise a family with only one source of income. Hence, the comment that families have suffered due to the expense of career of parents is not fair to a large extent.
The comment is not fair because over the years we could see that parents are now more career-oriented in Singapore. Since the 1980s-1990s, there has been a 93% increase in the numbers of working mothers and fathers. If there is an increase in such a trend of dual working parents, then it signifies that families are not suffering as more families are going towards and keeping such a trend. Moreover, it is unfair to say that due to career being a priority in the family, the family suffers because with two sources of income coming from both parents, the family is able to live a better and much more comfortable life. The family is given much more financial stability and the children will be able to live a more luxurious life. For example, they are not forced to work at such young age like in certain third world countries so as to help raise the family. Children also get the chance to go on holidays and have the opportunity to take up an enrichment course like ballet or art. In the past, men were the sole breadwinner and if he got retrenched, then the family’s livelihood would start disintegrating and fall into serious financial crisis. However, with dual working parents, the family is more stabilized and the probability that the family would fall into a crisis when the father loses his job is lessened. Therefore, the statement is unfair, as with greater emphasis on career in a family, the family will be more stable and will not suffer financially.
In addition, families are not suffering at the expense of career in Singapore because there are policies made in Singapore to ensure that the family can spend quality time together. For instance, the five day work week is catered for families to spend time together. This illustrates that though career is placed as a priority in Singapore, time is still given for the family to bond together and be able to communicate with one another. Thus, it is not fair to say that the family suffers at the expense of career because the family is not neglected as there is time allocated for families to engage in activities to spend time together. Furthermore, the government arranges family days to ensure and encourage that the family spends time together. Maternity leave is also given to a mother so that she has time to spend with her baby. Thus, it is unfair to say that the family suffers at the expense of career as there are many avenues for the family to spend time together. It is only dependent on the willingness of each member of the family to take the spare time they have to relate with one another to prevent the family from suffering.
On the other hand, the statement is fair because due to the over emphasis on career in Singapore, children do not get to spend their most important periods of their lives with their parents. Due to parents working, it is necessary for them to seek external help to care for their children. Their children are either sent to day care centers, or are being cared by their grandparents or neighbours or even maids. Many children are placed at day care centers and this causes the child to receive little love and minimal attention. Such treatment is not beneficial for the child’s growth as the child may grow up thinking that no one loves him and may turn to bad influences when he is older. Moreover, when the child is placed at the day care center, his parents will miss the child’s most important growing up stages like learning how to walk and write. By being cared by maids, the child may not be well taken care of as the maid will not treat the child as her own and may not give the child proper care. When parents are out at work, they sometimes come back home only at the wee hours of the morning. This would definitely lead to a lack of communication between parents and their children and eventually lead the family to suffer as the family is not bonded. Communication enhances and keeps a family together, thus, with no communication the family forms a weak relationship with one another. Values that the parents want to impart to his child could not be imparted and the child may not know where to find emotional and moral support with the lack of communication. Therefore, we could see that if the family pays to much attention on career, the family suffers as the family may lack in communication and spending quality time together, leading the family bonds to be weak.
I conclude that, the statement is unfair to a large extent. Though the family may suffer at the expense of career, as parents may be too busy at their work and overlook their families, this problem could be overcame. As long as the family works together and puts in effort to spend time together, the family could stay strong. Furthermore, the statement is unfair as the family would not suffer if it was financially stable and if parents knew how to balance their work time and family time.

External Sources:

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Ok,my first post for GP and the lucky topic i shall do is...*drum rolls*...6.

"Women will never enjoy the same rights as men."Do you agree?

I agree to a large extent.

In the past, women never had the chance to enjoy and experience the rights men had. They couldn't vote in political issues, have a proper education, raise their opinions on certain issues and they had to be the subservient wives. The role of women in the past was to just be the silent figure in the family, whereby she had little say in any decision makings (which were mostly decided by the man of the house). Women were only suppose to bear children, do chores and take care of the 'kids' while the sole bread winner, the husband, goes out to make the 'big bucks' and when he returns home, he expects his wife to serve him dinner by seven. (According to some notes given to me in my previous GP class) It is said that a wife's goal was to 'try to make sure [her husband's] home is a place of peace, order and tranquilitywhere your husband can renew himself in body and spirit' and that '[wives] have no right to question [as]a good wife always knows her place'.This extract cleary illustrates that women were only the tools of men and that they aren't treated with equal rights as they are always second compared to their husbands.

Although, through the women's rights movements, women started to gain more rights and had more liberation in what they were allowed to do, they are still not till today given equivalent rights in comparison to men.Men are still considered as the greater sex who could perform better and are more profficient in certain areas.For example,it is commonly thought that men are much more incline in physics, than women.In addition, though it is seen that women can express their opinions much more freely now,in some countries,women playing a larger role in society is still not widely accepted. According to the site given below, it is shown that 'over one hundred countries have no women in their government' and this fact is appalling with the great emphasis of women's right given nowadays. Not only in government services, but also in some working sectors could we see that the sector is much more dominated by males.

However, I do agree that women of today do have more rights than what they did in the past. Women have the opportunity to voice out their opinions and believes and are allowed to take part in political issues and even hold political positions. One such example would be the past Indonesian President, Megawati. According to the site listed below, since the 1990s there have been more women enrolled into colleges. In addition, the classic roles of women working at home to serve their families are being reversed in our society now. There is a greater number of house husbands who do the household chores and take care of the children, while their wife brings home the bacon. Now, doesn't this show that females are given the chance to work and mark a career?Efforts are also being made to ensure that women enjoy equivalent rights as men as we can see an organisation known as N.O.W being set up with aims 'to achieve equality between men and woman'.

Related sites:Õs_rights_today.htm

Hope this post is an insightful one:DAnd if i've offended anyone,please don't be offended.This is just what i think.No hard feelings ok?heehee.