Posts Tagged ‘elections’

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Democratic Crisis in Iran?

July 17, 2009

An Iranian protestor's hand, painted the country's colors, signs for peace.

An Iranian protestor's hand, painted with the country's colors, signs for peace.

Iran recently held elections. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ran for re-election against three other candidates and was declared the victor. However, many Iranians hold the election wasn’t fair—some believe Ahmadinejad wasn’t really elected in a true count.

Many Iranians have taken to the street in protest. During this time, 24 reporters have been arrested and at least 10 people have been killed. Some worry this grassroots revolt might spread and destabilize Iran, which could endanger the stability of the entire region. Others hope that resistance to President Ahmadinejad continues.

Would you like to respond to this posting? If so, select a topic below and share your reply:

1. President Obama has been criticized by some for not taking a more forceful stance on this issue. Other people say America cannot be seen in the global community as meddling in Iran’s domestic affairs. Do you think the United States should become involved in this issue? Why or why not?

2. Some sociologists would suggest social and political intervention—not only for Iran, but for any country in a similar situation—from a coalition of neighboring nations or the United Nations. Other sociologists would strongly object to outside interference in any society’s political affairs. Based upon their basic sociological perspectives, who do you think would support an outside authority supplying political or social guidance to Iran in this situation: Auguste Comte (the “father of sociology”) or Herbert Spencer (the original “social-Darwinist”)? Why? Remember, I am asking you to apply their basic sociological tenants—to think like them.

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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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