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Social Structural Changes: Living Standards Essay

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Updated: Jun 19th, 2020

Introduction

Generally, the social, economic, and political morphology of a society sets the context for an individual’s behaviour. Normally, these sets of behaviour seek to provide individuals with the means and ways to survive in these dynamic societies. Emotional confidence and social justice are exceptionally instrumental in ensuring that these social constructs bring the most in satisfying the basic human needs (Maiese 2003). The preserve of a society’s ideologies is traceable in what the society and it members cherish.

Gender and adulthood, for example, are concepts that denote social and cultural constructs. A society usually assigns to every individual a tag on the expected behaviours individuals must pose in line with the values and physiognomies that are attributable to both males and females separately. How these perceptions reinforce the society as an institution depends on the values, laws and the aspirations shared by society and its members collectively. The popular perception that all people living in developed nations have higher living standards than those in developing countries is a total fallacy. The discourse expounds on the existence of people living ordinary lives even in these high-end regions.

Structural realignments

In most cases, political exclusion, exploitation, marginalisation and inequity between men and women, or among different members in a society characterise these relationships. These structural forces give rise to a system of winners and losers where individuals are defined within a particular social setting (Plumwood 2009). Structural realignment usually results in power struggles, contentions, and movements that aim to bring humanity to their expectations.

The metamorphosis of gender relations in Australia, for example, has been rapid, yet profound, especially in bringing socio-economic and political changes in the history of humanity. Early in the 20th century, both the genders practically took different roles in the society. For instance, the place of a woman in the society was viewed generally to be somewhere at home, while a man occupied a vocational place in the public sphere (Gibson 2002, p. 51). Noticeably, the inequality aspect begins out rightly at the family unit.

Moral concepts

The ethics of every society though, is embedded in the ideology of what is wrong or right, what is bad or good, especially with regard to individual’s character (Gibson 2002, p. 48). Societal ethics as explored in the traditions of old parochial societies embedded in the origins of the agreeable social relations and attitudes cherished by the society. Additionally, these relationships were expressed in the patterns or forms of behaviour that the society considers to bring about ethical interaction between members of different sex in the society.

The essence of which was tied to social harmony in especially in light of what favours men (Hogg 2001, p. 349). The beliefs and ideas about moral and social constructs were the prototype of the ancient Australian society, and were stipulated in the decorum of the unwritten laws of the day, analysed and inferred upon the people by the moral thinking of the time. Relationships, especially marriage have been sacred duties not only in the Australian context, but also in other civilised societies across the world today (Lieberman 2012, p. 23). Gender interactions seen under these lenses are the foundation stone that bond relationships that enrich communities by bringing forth new life into the world and new hope for the society

Gender roles

While the differences, especially in the gender roles offers that many women in the society are confined in the domestic net, the tussle against gender equality represents the many men in the society who are adept at their masculinity and would always want the status quo unchallenged (Mayberry, Nicewander, Qin, and Ballard 2006, p. 113).

This is so because the common rule that informs these unbiased structures favours them. Unbiased legislation of the position of women in the society in general is a perpetuation of how this society loathes gender equality. Expressly, the much of the agitation for gender equality has been upped in Australia to explore the general concerns of women in the society, singling out the role of women against their male counterparts.

Knowing that the family unit is a mirror presentation of the society, Hogg (2001, p. 355) opines that the core of the society is equality of purpose, and sums it up within the scope of marriage, parenting, and domesticity. Women’s symbolic confinement at homesteads, being victimised and dominated by men highlights the numerous inequality instances all over Australia (Mayberry et al. 2006, p. 115). The Australian gender equality factor has been thought provoking; it has been filled with the richness that explores feminine determination despite their fate. This quest has often been used to castigate the status of men in the society as being strategic to the extinction of the feminine situation.

The populists’ movements

In the American politics, both the populists and the progressive movements shared several similarities within their body politic, although they had differences that spring from ideological variances (Wacquant 2002, p. 43). The populists’ movements developed from the Agrarian spirit informed by the fear that Communism was rapidly gaining excessive influence and control over the political rivals in America. Eventually, the Democratic Party was later consummated by populism while the Republican Party absorbed the progressive’s mainstream.

Over time, the progressive adherents have skipped ship abandoning the Republican Party, as it perceived seizure by religious groups and other right wing factions affected its image. Of significant mention is that both of the movements emerged in America in the late 19th and 20th centuries, and it was during this time that these realignments took shape (Stromquist 2005, p. 145). However, it must not escape mention that there still exist deeply basest differences that informs the foundation of the two movements. The basis of the progressivism opinion sprung from scientific innovation, as well as the thirst to advance urban settlements.

Populism mirrored progressives opinions for the better part of the 21st century though it was a movement for a popular course characterised by the advancement of the masses determined to scale up the ladder of class system. Essentially, it was from this movement that inspired the Grange and Farmer’s Alliance, which eventually gave birth to the modern day labour movement (Johnston 2003, p. 31). These developments show how determination even in the face of adversity can empower humanity in very special ways.

Progressive movements

Progressive movements had much of the success due to their focus on reforming the American political landscape rather than rooting entirely for economic dispensation (Stromquist 2005, 155). According to Johnston (2003, p. 32) the progressive think tank saw the wickedness of the state and was disgruntled by the unchecked corruption which was almost, all pervasive — the business sector was rotten. Moreover, the legal system had no moral authority to check the deprivation of man and the exploitation of women and children as farm and domestic labourers became a major concern (Wacquant 2002, p. 47).

The spark behind the American population dalliance with the progressive party was its formidable stand against unfair electoral system, which had practically poisoned the American political fabric. The composition of the progressive movement, as Stromquist (2005, p. 156) notes, was mainly made up of the middle class, bringing together both men and women who partook of the interests of both the rich and the poor whose aspirations might have been left out of the populism vendetta (Johnston 2003, p. 35). The big brains behind the progressive movement saw and utilised the large corporate interests of the greater American population who feared their displacements considering the influx of a huge number of immigrants who were there to offer various services.

During this time, the labour unions were increasingly losing momentum, with majority of the American workers turning to the progressive movement as a substitute for their course. In addition, much of the American population viewed the progressive movement as a formidable force to block the spreading wave of socialistic aggression. According to Stromquist (2005, p. 175), the progressives viewed their principal objective in terms of transforming the lives of ordinary American citizens by virtually reforming every institution that affect the American public life.

Limitations of the movements

According to Johnston (2003, p. 30), the main limitation of the populist movement was that the individuals who were championing its course were neither part of the working class nor from the socialist movement. This unbecoming stand, according to Johnston (2003, p. 33), never allowed the populist movement an opportunity to have much influence on the already established capitalistic society. Secondly, the movement had its own internal wrangles emanating from leadership concerns and the control of its resources (Johnston 2003, p. 35).

These persistent internal wrangles never augured well with the smooth running of its affairs, making most of its adherents to shift allegiance to the Progressive movement, which seemed well organised and composed. Given its strong inclination to the ruling class, its opponents, especially the democrats took this advantage to demean their standing on various reform agenda (Johnston 2003, p. 37). In an attempt to build a popular movement, the populist movement also engaged in radical activism that did not endear it to the right thinking American public who viewed change as a legal process that must be pursued through the laws of the land.

Discussion

Despite the tremendous expansion of the society to open up opportunities for all, women not only in Australia, but also in various parts of the world continue to receive compromised attention including schooling and access to other facilities. This scenario seems to propel the ideologies of most societies, yet there is promising evidence that opportunities for women can promote the well-being of the society as a whole. A case situation is the sturdy link between the education of a girl, her subsequent employment, and income (Signorelli, Taft, and Pereira 2012, p. 12). Records have it that women with better education bear few children with higher probabilities of surviving infancy. This reflects on their healthy later life, hence their likelihood to attain better education, acquire better jobs with better pay. Therefore, whenever the society denies women these opportunities, children, families, and communities suffer altogether.

Conclusion

Therefore, it is true that a society develops within social constructs. The foundation of these social constructs revolves around the notion that they are ordinary in essence or that they are intrinsic within a society and for that matter, unalterable. On the other hand, gender constructs as well as the conceptualisation of adulthood are shaped primarily by ideological, socio-economic, and interpersonal relationships. Under these lenses, adult human females rightly qualify to be as women while grown-up boys would be called men.

This no doubt is the preserve of every society’s ideology. However, it is important to understand that the social constructs that the society uses to evaluate and assess individuals are based in the lenses of the right-thinking members of the society, which sometimes may not be right. The world is characterised by different social, economic, and political affairs that cause huge stratification in the society. The social aspect is a broad subject that analyses displacements and social changes. Forceful displacement of the low class is a negative effect of gentrification, which can lead to homelessness; these people are forcefully displaced from their historical habitats.

Those who decide to remain experience a high increase in the prices of basic services, which is a viewed as exploitation of the local inhabitants. Additionally, gentrified people lack political and economic power to demand their rights, as they are unable to meet the new targets. Again, there is loss social diversity with the coming of the middle and upper income earners. These groups of people are always reserved; therefore, little engagement in societal issues that bring people of different races, religions and ethnic groups together. With the constant changes in the socio-economic and political systems, ordinary lives are evident across the world.

References

Gibson, R2002, Seven Versions of an Australian Badland, University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, Queensland.

Hogg, R 2001, “Penalty and Modes of Regulating Indigenous Peoples in Australia”, Punishment & Society-international Journal of Penology, vol. 3, pp. 359-377.

Johnston, R 2003, The radical middle class: Populist democracy and the question of capitalism in progressive era: Oregon politics and society in twentieth-century America, Princeton University Press, New Jersey.

Lieberman, F 2012, Society, and culture. A focus study: gender, Web.

Maiese, M 2003, , Web.

Mayberry, R, Nicewander, D., Qin, H., and Ballard, D 2006, “Improving quality and reducing inequities: a challenge in achieving best care”, Baylor University of Medical Centre, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 103–118.

Plumwood, V 2009, “Shadow Places & the Politics of Dwelling”, Australian Humanities Review, vol. 4, n.pag.

Signorelli, M. C. Taft, A. and Pereira, P 2012, “Intimate partner violence against women and healthcare in Australia”, Charting the Scene, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 4-23.

Stromquist, S 2005, Reinventing the people: the progressive movement, the class problem, and the origins of modern liberalism: The working class in American history, University of Illinois Press, Chicago.

Wacquant, L 2002, “From slavery to mass incarceration: Rethinking the “race question” in the US”, New Left Review, vol. 13, pp. 41-60.

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