Sociology Several Research Papers Essay, Research Paper
A Counteracting Force on Campus
#5 pg. 84
Mass Society has brought all of America together. Wireless telephones can connect you to another person at any time, any place. You can talk to a person living in Africa and talk to someone in China at the same time with internet chat-rooms. Whether it’s sitting in rush hour, in the middle of the line at McDonald’s, or attending a baseball game, society seems to close in on us from all around. With all the faceless crowds surrounding you every day, where can one go to meet people with the same interests? College Fraternities, of course!
Students away from home for the first time are looking for a sense of community and belong. Being around a lot of people you don’t know might be lonely, but living with the same people day in and day out can create a pressure to belong. In the mid-sixties, college fraternities had a boom, averaging about 30% of college campuses. In the seventies, that number dropped to 19% due to the anti-war and people’s rights era. In the eighties, the number quickly rose back into prominence. Today fraternities can be found in great numbers on almost all college campuses.
Fraternities can be a great tool for scared, confused, and lonely freshman to meet one another. Fraternities are now seen as a haven for binge-drinking, hazing, and rape. Many campuses are now trying to abolish frats all together. As long as fraternities are run in a decent, respectable manner, bringing students together to form a sense of unity and friendship is an important part of the college experience.
The Appeal of Cults
#6 pg. 86
The term “Cult” is used by many people to refer to any group, organization, or church that they dislike. Cults are typically accused of brainwashing unsuspecting students, elders, adults, and children into following their beliefs or group. Cults received a bad rap from such leaders as Charles Manson and Jim Jones, who instructed their followers to kill or commit suicide.
The truth is that many people join a cult not because they are uneducated, evil, or crazy, but simply because they are lonely or lack companionship. Many cultists have left behind their family and loved ones for a chance at self-fulfillment. Many of these people feel that they have nowhere else to turn with their problems and feelings. Some cults look for these lost souls to assimilate into their group while others are simply looking for others like themselves who share the same visions and dreams. Should cults be registered with the government as a form of protection for potential enlistees? A government database with background information and history would be nice, but so many groups are underground, hidden, or too grassroots to be seen.
Cult disasters are always a tragedy, and the chances are good we haven’t yet seen the last mass-suicide. It is up to friends and families to provide support to loved ones who seem confused with the ways and direction of society.
Who’s Minding the Kids?
#1 pg. 104
High School teacher Pam Smart had inspired her 15-year-old student and two friends to murder her husband. The kids were caught after they shot Greg Smart in the head, killing him. Prosecuters pressed the point that the tragedy would have been avoided if the school kept a more careful eye on Smart. Police later found out that students knew about the forthcoming murder at least two months in advance, and knew who the culprits were a month before the police found out. It seems no one wanted to be the snitch. The students would rather look cool to their classmates instead of doing the right thing. No one would break their silence to prevent a murder.
The author of this article goes on to suggest that the fault doesn’t lie with MTV or movies but mainly with the schools. Schools have failed to create an acceptable replacement to peer groups. I disagree that schools are at fault. Teachers aren’t babysitters any more than bankers, lawyers, or doctors are. Such high demand is placed on teachers not only to teach, but to raise children. Too often it is left with the schools to supervise student’s moral and social education. Under-funded schools with underpaid teachers can not be the only haven for children. It is and always will be the responsibility of the parent to keep track of their children after school. Many towns have after school sports. Many parents are home in the afternoon but just don’t monitor their children. To place the blame mostly on the school is unacceptable. Parent’s need to be made more aware of their children’s activities and habits.
Let the System Do It!
#2 pg. 106
Centuries ago families lived together through thick and thin. Grandma is sick? Everyone would chip in and help care for her. Sonny boy got smacked on the head and is retarded now? Everyone pick up the slack while momma finishes takes care of him. William has a drinking problem? Everyone help him kick it.
Nowadays if there is a problem with a family member, people hide the gruesome reminder. The sick and elderly are shipped off to nursing homes. The mentally and physically retarded are sent to special schools or camps. Drug abusers are sent to rehab for ‘advanced’ treatment. Many people wish not to associate with disabled people because it can be to harsh of a reminder that it can happen to anyone.
I feel many people who send their elderly parents to homes do so simply because they cannot afford the 24-hour a day requirement. It’s a difficult decision to send a loved one away, but sometimes it’s for the better. Unfortunately, many centers provide a less than ideal environment. Rehab programs are also commonly misused. Many people don’t want to be reminded of the awful tragedies that can overcome a person, but most of the time it is for the best.
Animal Cruelty and Human Violence
#12 pg. 135
Research suggests that understanding the causes and consequences of violence towards animals may be important in the effort to fight crime against humans. A 3-year study recently conducted by the MSPCA suggests that people who abused animals were five times as more likely to commit violent crimes against people than those who do not mistreat animals. Animal abuse was also fund to be linked to such non-violent crimes such as property infringement, drug abuse, and disorderly conduct. But fines are minimal for offenders, and jail time is extremely rare, even thought 70% of the public would like to see stronger penalties against animal abuse.
Animal rights are a serious subject. All living things deserve equal respect. Cruelty against animals should be treated the same as crimes against people. I don’t mean stepping on an ant equals a 25-to-life sentence, but the example of tying up a dog, setting it on fire, and drowning it in a lake is a good place to start the justice system rolling. People with these types of disorders should be dealt with accordingly. One notable exception is hunting. Hunting is an important form of population control concerning deer, rabbits, birds, etc.
America’s Youngsters Are Responsible for Church Burnings
#13 pg. 137
Scapegoating minorities puts a human face on an enemy that people are unable to pin blame on. Problems such as global competition, automation, and education are faceless dilemmas, un-personal blockades that keep us from achieving our goals. But to pin blame on an ethnic group relieves the stress and tension of helplessness.
Black Americans have made effective scapegoats for America’s problems since the first slave ships arrived long ago. Held down by society until the recent civil rights movements, blacks were easy targets because the were always unable to fight back. Church burnings, lynch mobs, cross burnings, and other hate crimes were common up until recently.
Unfortunately, violent hate crimes still occur, not by society or organized groups, but by America’s youth. Almost two-thirds of arsons will be thrill hate-crimes, where the youth generally can’t understand the seriousness of their crimes, but are just looking to get a cheap thrill at someone else’s expense. These teens can’t tell the difference between the Aryan Nation or the KKK. All they know is that they are inflicting pain against others in order to gain a sense of control and superiority over their victims. Americans must teach their children that bigotry and intolerance is unacceptable in any form. It is good that young children’s shows always feature a racial mixture of characters to show children that other races are just like themselves, and in fact they do have a face.
Fat Chance in a Slim World
#9 pg. 125
Overweight frequently receive contempt rather than compassion. They are seen by the public as having caused their own problem. They are regarded as having no self control or discipline, willpower, or shame. Women are especially subject to ridicule over their weight. Overweight people are often viewed as undesirable mates, dates, and companions. They have trouble receiving loans from the bank, being promoted, or getting into college.
Many people are upset with thin models in advertisements and are looking for fashion designers to abolish the practice altogether and advertise for average to overweight people. I think there is enough problems with advertising unhealthy lifestyles like smoking and drinking, and obesity shouldn’t be included. Anorexia effects only a slight percentage of teens, the majority of which are sport and weight class issues. It is proven that America has the most overweight percentage of children in the world and the rate is increasing. Advertisers know that America is the wealthiest nation in the world. So why do they not target obese people in their ads? Designers know that their clothing is different than the K-mart jumpsuit your Aunt Bertha wears; they use thin models so your not reminded of your obese Aunt, Uncle, friend, etc. Their clothes seem extravagant, the settings: rich, the models: thin, young, pretty. Something out of the ordinary you don’t see everyday. Thin models are used because the clothing falls right, looks good, and moves. Major fashion designers know that America is wealthy and overweight, but they choose not to compromise their art for an overweight clothing line of stretch suits. Yes, some models are too thin; yes, overweight people should be looked at for their inner personality, but it’s human nature to look for an acceptable, healthy mate, which is why most people can’t help but feel disgusted at the 300-lb. lady in the aisle of CVS who can’t walk 2 feet without running out of breath. Is it her fault? Maybe. Should we publicly humiliate her? No. But it’s the price that’s paid for living in a judgmental society. Whether it’s obese people’s fault or not, they must accept the fact that they will be judged by human nature throughout their entire life.
1989 Fuso McGee ltd.