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Journal for Thursday, November 9, 2006

This week we looked at social change and how it relates to people on a political and personal level.  For example, we used Robby’s desire to have a large all-terrain vehicle that has notoriously poor gas mileage as an instance of his ‘personal’ world.  Robby, being a world-wise and savvy guy, also sees global warming and other environmental ills as some of the most pressing geo-political problems of the 21st century; so, we attributed this awareness to Robby’s ‘political’ world.  When we compare the two, we see that Robby’s ‘social’ and ‘political’ spheres are in conflict with one another.  We also determined that the concepts of ‘learned helplessness’ and personal sacrifice were directly related to people’s hesitance to act for social change.

In this Journal Discussion, I’d like you to consider the reasons why you have chosen not to participate in social change.  Was there too much personal sacrifice involved or did you just feel like the issue was much too large for you to REALLY make a difference.  If you feel as though you have worked for social change, tell us a little bit about how it felt to make those personal sacrifices and also explain how you were able to overcome the feeling of "learned helplessness."  This is a rather large topic, so please provide comprehensive answers.


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7 Responses to “Journal for Thursday, November 9, 2006”

  1. stephen

    I have never really considered it. Now I am interested and curious because of this class. I mean can we this small group of people actually do something that will make a change that others will benfit from. I think the reason I have never contributed or tried to is because, at the time, I didn’t really care nor did I know what there was to do.

    Yes, I’ve experienced learned helplessness because I also thought that me as an individual cannot really do anything to help. I am aware that I am sometimes a part of the problem; for example, sometimes I’ll litter and think about it. To some degree I have contributed to stopping that but I just dont see the extra that I could be doing. I will soon find out.

  2. carlton

    Well I cant say I’ve been an extreme activist, but on many occasions I have gone out of my way to adress or act agianst an issue that faces our world. I’m ususally the one in my family who doesnt want us to turn on the conditioner when we are in the car (globle warming ….and green house gases) and I’m the one who is trying to convert my family into vegitartians and I’m the one who sorts the recycling. Really It’s become second nature and I dont cosider it self sacrific. But, when I first started I thought of it as me doing my part and that if I continued everyone would fallow in my footsteps …but now that I’m older and I understand what I’m dealing with I kind of realize that I have learned helplessness.

  3. Nathan

    There are a few reasons why I have never participated in social change. My time is consumed by school, homework, and friends. I think that I would like to be involved with making a difference in the community, but for me to be committed something I think I have to really be interested in the topic. Not only that I would want to feel like I was really making a difference and not just wasting my time.

  4. Anonymous

    I do not feel that perticipating in social change is a self-sacrifice, at least for myself. I feel that is more an issue of learned helplessness, among other factors that hinder me from becoming more involved in social change and the world in general. It gets back to the fact I feel so small when it comes to issues such as saving the rainforrest, conserving energy, ect. I acknowledge that one person in additon to those thousands of other single individuals builds up and in putting in effort you really are contributing, so I do my best to do small things that I hope can make a difference, like carpooling, turning lights off after I leave a room and recycling.

  5. cass

    Yes! I do think personal sacrifice is the biggest reason a lot of people don’t really care much to do something about big global issues! It’s giving up your convenience in transportation and living that presses people to not do much at all! But thats only one reason! Another is no one is educated about these issues! They do not believe it is going to happen soon and if it doesn’t happen soon they don’t think they have to worry about it but there kids will.

  6. robert the great

    I believe that there are countless reasons why today’s youth is not especially engaged to revolutionize our society. First of all we are a bunch of pubescent adolescence that are trying to find a place to grow in this crazy world. We need to formulate decisions that assist our needs first before we can change the world. But don’t get me wrong, there are individuals in today’s youth that can have a mammoth impact in society. Speaking personally, I feel a large amount of learned helplessness, because the world feels too big for me. As I said before I think we need to know our self’s and think inwardly (to a certain extent) before we are able to think outwardly.

  7. Zak Maytum

    I experience learned helplessness often. It seems almost every major issue is too big for me to make a difference. As a result, I have tended to not participate in social change activities. I also have a small moral problem with hipocracy within social change. On one hand I think hipocracy cheepens the value of a movement. On the other, I think that social change will never be without such hipocracy and we should just be glad that people participate. It’s a complicated thing that I think we just need to deal with on a personal level.


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