Archive for November, 2008

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Obama’s Victory: Real Culture or Ideal Culture?

November 26, 2008

obama

Posted by Wes Abercrombie

Real culture refers to how social institutions actually function, for better or for worse. Ideal culture refers to how social institutions are meant to function and the resulting idyllic lifestyles. Some sociologists argue that ideal culture identifies the social goals we strive for and real culture indicates our actual situation.

Many social scientists are interpreting the election of Senator Obama as an “historical event”—that Senator Barack Obama’s election identifies a shift in social conscious. Specifically, it demonstrates that race isn’t as important as individual character in our society. Some sociologists might interpret this as a narrowing between ideal and real culture. Other sociologists could argue this realization is passé, sighting the public careers of Edward William Brooke, Harold Washington, Hazel Reid O’Leary, Douglas Wilder, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Ron Brown, or Alan Keyes.

What do you think? Does the election of Senator Obama as President of the United States indicate a new shift in race relations or a social trend that has been building for some time?

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