What Truly Brings Awareness

“Arguing the other side” is one of three ways to “counter” a text, presented by Harrison in Rewriting. “Countering” in this manner is “showing the usefulness of a term or idea that a writer has criticized or noting problems with one that she or her has argued for” (57 Harris). “Arguing the other side” is an efficient way to agree with the opposite of an argument, or a piece of an argument. Often times, “arguing the other side” can be used to emphasize a topic that someone dismissed because they felt it was unimportant and wrong. In my blog post, I hope to specifically “argue the other side” by “attaching a positive value to something another writer denigrates” (60).

Giddens believes, “Social movements provide glimpses of possible futures and are in some part vehicles for their realization. But it is essential to recognize that…they are not the necessary…”(162 Giddens). Although social movements are not the only action that can lead our world to become more humane, they are very much so necessary to experience change for the better within our society. Social movements are efforts to create change in society by trying to do something. They often shape “public opinion, the policies of business corporations and national governments, and the activities of international organizations”. Giddens argues that these influences “are fundamental to the achieving of basic reforms” (162). Yes, such influences are fundamental, but think about what drives the opinion of the public, businesses, and the government to make change: the gathering of passionate people in social movements.

A group of individuals that are passionate about making an issue at hand correct come together and create a new public opinion. This new public opinion is shared with the larger group (or population) in the form of a social movement. Successful population movements (Civil Rights Movement, Woman’s Rights Movement, Animals Rights Movement; popular today, the Environmental Movement) reshape the policies of business corporations, national governments, and the activities of international organizations. Business corporations want to continue to receive business from the public, so they will mold their policies to fit the likings of the public. National governments realize that their citizens hold much power, and want to keep them happy in order to remain in power. Furthermore, international organizations wish to keep peace and friendships between countries in tact, and hence want to keep everyone involved satisfied. Social movements are necessary for change because they call for a large group of people to get together and express their hopes for change to the larger population. Thus, social movements are fundamental in bringing awareness to the population at hand.

2 thoughts on “What Truly Brings Awareness

  1. “Although social movements are not the only action that can lead our world to become more humane, they are very much so necessary to experience change for the better within our society. Social movements are efforts to create change in society by trying to do something.” Brings in to mind older movements ,while the author and Giddens don’t bring up specific movements, their focus on today’s or five minute ago’s movements. Chartists in Britain who argued for universal suffrage, abolitionism of slavery. Religious missionaries as well can be seen as movement of change. Christianity wiped a lot of depraved classical practices, and ended slavery as a major economic force. Modernity has more focus and more of these movements, all for change in their own directions. Can these movements go backwards, in the terms of undoing changes?

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  2. Amanda,

    You share Giddens’s interest in how social movements reflect on modernity and seek to change its course: “Social movements are necessary for change because they call for a large group of people to get together and express their hopes for change to the larger population.” How do you see Giddens’s discussion of the four attitudes people hold, especially the cynical ones, intersecting with what you’ve said here?

    ~DM

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