Obama’s Victory: Real Culture or Ideal Culture?

November 26, 2008


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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  1. I believe I am so grateful to be a young voter and got to experience Obama becoming president. Even though I didn’t vote for Obama, I still think he will do a great job as president and leader of our country.I will never forget November 4th when he won. Everyone on the FSU campus was outside Cumberland Hall screaming and cheering and holding up their signs they made. I live in Annapolis Hall and as soon as I heard everyone I ran over and joined the celebration. It was a once in a lifetime things because I don’t think everyone coming together in support of one candidate will ever happen again. We have a lot of issues in this country, but Obama brought people together in hopes we would solve them.

  2. The election of senator Barack Obama was indeed historical. I feel that it was real culture due to his race and ideal culture because of his beliefs. Yes, his elections has brought about change already for the United States a long awaited and deserved change for the “colored” people. I believe Dr. M.L. King Jr. said that he had dream of where his children would live in a nation where every one is equal not just a few “white” people. I feel that the election of Mr. Obama is a fullment of that dream and makes a nation that is closer to having everyone equal. I voted for Mr. Obama because what he believes in and I feel that this election is a shift in race relation and social trend both.

  3. The election of President Obama was absolutely one of the most historical events for black society, but also for america in general. I believe this election is a shift in race and social trends both. Mr. Obama election has not only brought change and a voice to African Americans, but hope to all ethnics. Hope for a better tomorrow and opportunites that were once viewed as limited due to race and gender. I feel that America has long awaited for a moment of change and victory, which Mr. Obama election alone has given. It’s easy to read about past inspirational leaders and there influences, but i feel that in today’s society we needed our own leader that can motivate and encourage us a people;but most importantly someone to guide us further into victory as a nation of one!

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