Principle of Sociology
Famine and hunger are caused by both natural and social forces. What are some of the social forces that cause hunger, malnutrition, and starvation?
Famine is death, hunger and starvation that people experience as a result of several issues in the society. Drought can be one of the causes, but the reason as to why drought does not necessarily lead to famine in most countries is due to the social norms, beliefs and the culture of the people. Some of these social factors include:
- Food culture – the belief that some plants or animals should not be eaten can make people die of hunger. For instance, in most of the nomadic pastoralists in Africa, they will die of hunger but cannot slaughter their animals for food as it is against their beliefs.
- Lifestyle – the belief that people were meant to live in a particular way. This makes people not change in an effort to adapt to change in climatic conditions. Also increase in population means that resources are rapidly depleted and food becomes scarce.
- Political control and lack of democracy – in order to easily control people, some leaders believe in hoarding the basic needs and making the general population weak and they give in to the leader not by choice but because of desperation.
Using the! Kung of the Kalahari Desert, the Bacha posh in Afghanistan, and the Nádleehí in Navajo culture as support, discuss how gender can be seen as a social construction
The social construction of gender means that the roles assigned to the different sexes are attributed to the social beliefs of the individuals of the different sexes. Gender is a relative term and is subject to the social environment of the participants.
Gender roles are predetermined in the above-mentioned cultures. The women are expected to have a lower social status as compared to men however women are expected to be sexually active than men upon reaching puberty. Men are assigned roles that are physically more demanding while women are expected to be more subtle and submissive. Marriage is expected to be made to last by the women. In a nutshell, gender roles are dependent on the social-cultural believes and activities of the people.
What is the difference between prejudice and discrimination? Is discrimination always preceded by prejudice?
Prejudice is basically when an individual has a wrong attitude and impression about something or someone else based on some preset believes or ideologies. It is based on the affiliation of the other person to a certain social group in society. Discrimination, on the other hand, is the negative actions that are deliberately directed towards another person due to their association with a social group in society.
Prejudice does not have to be negative at all times, but discrimination is negative at all times but both mean that there is no equal view on the issues at hand. Prejudice has to precede discrimination: the thought always precedes the action. In order for a person to discriminate against another person on the basis of association to certain social groups, there must be some negative thoughts that they have against the person.
Discuss the differences in family patterns between white and black families. Discuss the research of Carol Stack in your answer.
According to Carol Stack research entitled All Our Kin: she determined the differences between the family structure and functioning in the different races more so between the Black and White. Prior to her study, there was the belief that the only reason that black families are poor is that they are caught up in a vicious cycle of poverty that they have no motivation of breaking. But according to Stack the only difference between the white and black families is not the structure and the relationships, it is the external conditions that the families face and their strain on the families.
There is an economic need to ensure that the urban areas have a low-income population so that they can offer the required manual labour. For these reasons, external forces circumscribe the economic conditions of black families. This makes for there to be more single-parent families, less family time, more responsibility and sacrifice by the children and less attention from the parents. As compared to the white families, that have a lot of time and resources that can afford them holidays and attention to each other. The structures of the black and white families are the same, however, the dynamics of the family are influenced by the external factors that limit opportunities for the black families and have the opposite effect on the white families.
How is religion connected to both violence and social change?
Religion is based on faith, which is a strong belief in an omnipresent being that controls the universe. Faith most of the times is unchangeable and can make people be easily offended. It promises a better life after the current life and for this people will fight because they believe in it. Looking back at history, the first crusade was based on an army of Christians who wanted to kill non-Christian believer because they were believed to be sinners and against the teachings of the gospel.
Religion dictates the culture of a community, at the heart of any community is religion. When religion changes, there are definite social changes. For instance during the 19th C before the colonization of Africa by the Portuguese who were the first to introduce Christianity. The religion of the African people comprised of worshipping under trees. Making sacrifices of livestock and even worshipping different gods like the rain god and fertility goddess. When Christianity was introduced the African societies changed. They believed in one God and in Jesus, some cultures were eradicated like female circumcision, early marriages, polygamy and slave trade. Religion was able to change society because it changed the beliefs of the people as to what is acceptable and what is not.
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