Archives du mot-clé social progress

How have the media influenced protest movements ?

The Civil Rights Movement and Television  –  E-Notes  Website – 

During the 1950s the struggle for civil rights came to a head at the same time television began to appear in most Americans’ homes.  At the beginning of the decade, television was a novelty owned by very few people. By 1960 ninety percent of American homes had television. Television became a catalyst for change on a massive scale. People in the northern states could see what was happening in Selma, Birmingham, and Memphis and vice versa. In addition, television helped Southern blacks unify, for while local Southern media rarely covered news involving racial issues, they now had access to national newscasts that were witnessing and documenting this revolution.

THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT AND TELEVISION  – CBS Reports: Who Speaks for Birmingham

Who Speaks for Birmingham, broadcast during the tumultuous rise in visibility of the civil rights movement in the media, reported on the racial divide between the white and black communities of Birmingham, Alabama. Residents testify to their conflicted feelings about how racial integration will affect their lives, with very differing portraits offered from both the white and black community. Although Howard K. Smith reports for this program, an uncredited Edward R. Murrow developed the topic and got it approved by CBS management. (1961; 55 minutes)

Mrs. George Bridges, a cultural leader in the highly segregated South, discusses her feelings about the role prejudice plays in the lives of the white Birmingham elite.

Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, civil rights activist, describes the 1957 attempt on his life by a mob of Klansmen, which occurred when he and his wife attempted to enroll their children in a previously all-white public school in Birmingham.

How did the media influence the civil rights movement?  

Television gave a lot of coverage to the Civil Rights Movement. For example, the media covered events ranging from the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott to the 1964 Democratic National Convention. When 15 year Emmitt Till was murdered there was also a lot of media coverage. All of these events were occurring while the number of American families that had television sets jumped from 56% to 92%. Television gave Americans a visual of what was occurring in our country.

Here are some other events that television covered:

1955-shots of numerous boycotted buses driving down deserted Alabama streets; 1957-angry white mobs of segregationists squaring-off against black students escorted by a phalanx of Federal Troops in front of Ole Miss, the University of Mississippi; 1965-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., leads a mass of black protesters across a bridge in Selma, Alabama; 1963 attack on young civil rights protesters by the Birmingham, Alabama, police and their dogs, and the fire department’s decision to turn on fire hydrants to disperse the young black demonstrators, most of whom were children.

The media influenced the civil rights movement in key ways, and it is important to understand that the leaders of the movement understood this fact very clearly. First, the media tended to anoint leaders of the movement, particularly Martin Luther King. This had the effect of portraying King’s vision of the movement, which was non-violent and essentially political (the media for a time tended to efface his statements about economic equality) as if it represented a consensus.

The other influence the media had on the movement was to televise its key events to a nationwide, and even worldwide audience. The entire nation was shocked by the shocking scenes from places like Birmingham and Selma. Not only did this lead to popular support for civil rights legislation everywhere but the South, but in a Cold War context, it created a major propaganda opportunity for the Soviet Union to portray US rhetoric about freedom as hollow and meaningless.

The media played a vital role in being able to galvanize more Americans into witnessing for themselves the atrocious violations of individual rights that were taking place in the South. The media showing the horrendous conditions, or the pain that protesters had to endure from others helped to bring more people into the movement.  This galvanizing of emotion into action was facilitated by the media.  Individuals in the North who might not have been moved to action were done so through the media.  When Dr. King gives his « I have a dream » speech, the broadcasts of this moment helps to give voice to the movement.  It was the media that would have preempted its own programming to show the atrocities happening in America.  For example, interrupting its own broadcast of « Judgment at Nuremberg, » ABC News showed protesters being beaten in the South.

Without the media, the civil rights movement would not have been possible in my opinion.  The whole strategy of the movement was based on getting media coverage.

The movement was really trying to persuade whites outside the South to support the cause of civil rights.  These whites would not have been able to hear much about the movement without the media.

In addition, they would have been less likely to support blacks even if they had heard about it.  The media coverage made support more likely because it showed things like protestors getting attacked by police dogs.  This made the Southern whites look bad and got a lot of support for the movement.

On protest movements

There are many types of demonstrations, including a variety of elements. These may include:

  • Marches, in which a paradedemonstrate while moving along a set route.
  • Rallies, in which people gather to listen to speakers or musicians.
  • Picketing, in which people surround an area (normally an employer).
  • Sit-ins, in which demonstrators occupy an area, sometimes for a stated period but sometimes indefinitely, until they feel their issue has been addressed, or they are otherwise convinced or forced to leave.
  • Nudity, in which they protest naked – here the antagonist may give in before the demonstration happens to avoid embarrassment.

The protest movements, inspired by the so-called Arab Spring and the initial protests in Spain earlier in 2011, have spread globally. Many have been nicknamed as “Occupy” movements such as Occupy Wall Street, in reference to how Egyptians occupied the famous Tahrir Square during their uprising.

QUESTIONS:

How have the media contributed to empower people ?

Would the Civil Rights movement have been possible without the media?

(see my previous post ¨Power and Counter Power¨ to find more documents to illustrate the role of the media in shaping public opinion ie: Greenpeace, Wikileaks, We are the 99 percent)

 

 

Publicités

Spaces and Exchanges – Topic: Immigration to the US

Why is immigration to the USA relevant regarding the topic of spaces and exchanges?

Across the centuries, immigrants from all over the world came to the United States, seeking a better life, and each one of them bringing their own contribution to what defines the USA today. In addition, the idea of melting pot originated in the USA as a metaphor to describe the assimilation of immigrants to the United States So, both spaces and exchanges are deeply involved in the constitution of the country as we know it today.

DOCUMENTS TO ILLUSTRATE THE TOPIC OF IMMIGRATION TO THE USA

immigrating_to_america_timeline – document on US immigration timeline (Pilgrim Fathers, slaves, Europeans, West Indies and Asia, Latin American countries)

A Virtual Voyage to Ellis Island

Mexican Police Find 500 Hiding During Immigration Bust

Irish immigration

KEY QUESTIONS

  • What drives people to live their country?
  • Is the US dream still alive? (also can apply for Myths and Heroes – US dream as a myth)
  • What attracts immigrants to live in the USA?
  • How has immigration shaped US society?

 

 

A press article and a video to illustrate the notion of Spaces and Exchanges

  1. Black Britons

2.  Multicultural Britain

Notion: Spaces and exchanges

Theme : Human exchanges

Key concept: Immigration to the UK – Multicultural Britain – Britishness

Questions :

What effect has immigration had on UK´s society?

How strong is the link that keeps the British together?

To what extent can Britain be considered as a multicultural country?

After having introduced the notion and the question you want to deal with, you need to present the documents that will illustrate your point.

If you choose to raise the question of Britain as a multicultural country, you should define multiculturalism first. (the preservation of different cultures or cultural identities within unified society, as a state or nation).

Both documents help us understand how Britain has evolved towards a multicultural society since the post-war years. Doc 1 deals with the different  waves of Caribbean migrants to Britain while doc 2 focuses on 2 generations, father and son from Kenya.

If the first generation of migrants felt more black than British, it is clearly explained that there is no contradiction for the younger generation (born in the 70´s) between ethnicity and identity as can be seen in the title ¨black Britons¨.

As for doc 2, to the question ¨what’s the best thing about living here, Sunny?¨, the young man answers : ¨The food, the different cultures that come in and bring their spices, their experiences and even their rituals, so you get a taste of the world within this small community¨. 

After presenting the documents, make a personal conclusion by giving your opinion on the documents and if you can by opening up onto another notion or future prospects.

These two documents could also be linked to the idea of progress because the younger generation of black Britons live a better life than their fathers. They feel part of a community, they feel proud to be British but also proud of their origins and this can indeed be considered as great progress for society.

A third document to add to your presentation …….

5b56b398043e67273034e83d93184ff2

 And two other quotes 

Tony Blair (UK Prime Minister 1997 – 2007- Labour Party)

¨A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in, and how many want out¨.

JFK : ¨Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of US life¨.

 

 

 

 

Happiness

3 documents to illustrate the theme of social progress

An article, a video, and a radio programme on the topic of happiness  and how it can be related to social progress.

QUESTIONS THAT COULD BE DISCUSSED ALONG WITH THE DOCUMENTS:

  1. What makes progress possible?
  2. To what extent is Social Progress Index (SPI) a better tool to measure social progress?
  3. The United States, the world’s wealthiest country in GDP terms, ranks 16thin “social progress.”  Can the wealth of a country (GDP) be representative of its social progress?
  4. Money cannot buy happiness – To what extent is this proverb true or false?

RADIO PROGRAMME http://www.podcastsinenglish.com/pages/level3.shtml

ARTICLE

Happiness Is an Important Indicator of Societal Progress

Bina Agarwal, a professor of development economics and environment at the University of Manchester, is the author, most recently, of « Gender and Green Governance: The Political Economy of Women’s Presence Within and Beyond Community Forestry. »

UPDATED JULY 2, 2015, 1:30 PM  NY Times

If happiness is defined by an individual’s freedom to choose, and lead, a life he or she has reason to value, it is worth tracking it as a sign of national progress.

There was a time when most economists believed that income was a fair measure of personal well-being, and G.D.P. per capita could adequately reflect a country’s progress.

Today, few would disagree that quality-of-life assessments should be multidimensional. The United Nations Development Programme, for example, ranks countries by an annual human development index that aggregates income, life expectancy and education. But are even these factors fully adequate for measuring social well-being?

Quality-of-life assessments that account for happiness and life satisfaction go beyond what G.D.P. can show.

In 2008, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France designated a commission led by Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, both Nobel laureates, to identify which indicators best measure the economic performance and social progress of nations “beyond G.D.P.” I was a member of that commission, and we identified many factors in addition to income and wealth that determine quality of life, including health, education, environmental conditions, social connections, political voice and security.

Yet these are still objective indicators. They tell us little about a person’s own assessment of his or her well-being.

Subjective indicators, like happiness and life satisfaction, capture an important dimension of well-being that is missed by objective measures. Self-reporting also shows the importance people place on having dignity and a voice, as well as access to democratic institutions.

But there are limits to self-reporting when it comes to public policy. Poor women in India, for instance, are much more likely than men to say they are well, even when a doctor’s examination suggests otherwise. Perhaps they cannot afford to take time off work when they are ill, or they are socialized into discounting personal well-being. Reliance on subjective measures could also make governments complacent about social injustice, using the “she is poor but happy” defense.

Ultimately, we need both objective and subjective measures to accurately reflect quality of life on a global scale. And especially when it comes to framing policy, measurement and quantification, even when it comes to happiness, is important.

What’s more, if enough people feel that their happiness depends on living in an environmentally sustainable and equal world, the pursuit of happiness could even be good for the planet.

VIDEO

Social progress index

 

 

 

Happiness and social progress

Happiness Is an Important Indicator of Societal Progress

Bina Agarwal, a professor of development economics and environment at the University of Manchester, is the author, most recently, of « Gender and Green Governance: The Political Economy of Women’s Presence Within and Beyond Community Forestry. »

UPDATED JULY 2, 2015, 1:30 PM  NY Times

If happiness is defined by an individual’s freedom to choose, and lead, a life he or she has reason to value, it is worth tracking it as a sign of national progress.

There was a time when most economists believed that income was a fair measure of personal well-being, and G.D.P. per capita could adequately reflect a country’s progress.

Today, few would disagree that quality-of-life assessments should be multidimensional. The United Nations Development Programme, for example, ranks countries by an annual human development index that aggregates income, life expectancy and education. But are even these factors fully adequate for measuring social well-being?

Quality-of-life assessments that account for happiness and life satisfaction go beyond what G.D.P. can show.

In 2008, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France designated a commission led by Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, both Nobel laureates, to identify which indicators best measure the economic performance and social progress of nations “beyond G.D.P.” I was a member of that commission, and we identified many factors in addition to income and wealth that determine quality of life, including health, education, environmental conditions, social connections, political voice and security.

Yet these are still objective indicators. They tell us little about a person’s own assessment of his or her well-being.

Subjective indicators, like happiness and life satisfaction, capture an important dimension of well-being that is missed by objective measures. Self-reporting also shows the importance people place on having dignity and a voice, as well as access to democratic institutions.

But there are limits to self-reporting when it comes to public policy. Poor women in India, for instance, are much more likely than men to say they are well, even when a doctor’s examination suggests otherwise. Perhaps they cannot afford to take time off work when they are ill, or they are socialized into discounting personal well-being. Reliance on subjective measures could also make governments complacent about social injustice, using the “she is poor but happy” defense.

Ultimately, we need both objective and subjective measures to accurately reflect quality of life on a global scale. And especially when it comes to framing policy, measurement and quantification, even when it comes to happiness, is important.

What’s more, if enough people feel that their happiness depends on living in an environmentally sustainable and equal world, the pursuit of happiness could even be good for the planet.