Friday, February 10, 2012

Social Movement Research Paper

Research Paper on Social Movement (Cyclic Theory)

Every Society has been going through consecutive cycles of development in different fields. Every following cycle is determined by the previous one and is considered to be an irreversible process of changes which gradually bring us to present. Thus the whole historical progress depends on the social ability to realize, define, and control the course. Moreover it is very important to know various factors affecting social processes and regulate the impact on them.


Each cycle, which may be identified with special features in political, economical and social situation within certain period, presumably consists of 4 stages such as:
 1. Innovative Stage (Rise of the new ideas, conceptions, hope)
 2. Calamity Stage (Crush of the system, depression. Revolution, period of rebirth)
 3. Exploitive Stage (Ideologies, present orientation, social changes provided by the organized movements, restructure)
 4. Reactive Stage (Past Orientation)

I would like to analyze three historical cycles of the United States of America through the mentioned stages.

I. 1929-1960. Although after the First World War United States, inspired by the victory obtained the political hegemony in the world. There were social and economical exhaustion, caused concentration on the internal stabilization and improvement, what resulted global isolation of the country. 

Therefore a new orientation called Prosperity or the Gold Standard took place. Quick unbelievable success of the “Prosperity” was obvious. And No less unbelievable was the big economical crush of 1929, known as Big Depression, which deeply shocked the nation. It was a complete disaster with millions of unemployed, starving families and rapidly increasing crime. Completely incapable to deal with the situation, Republicans lost their positions on the next elections. The “New Deal” of President Roosevelt – campaign for the economical recovery I think might be considered as the first Innovative Stage, when society in the crisis conditions is looking for the ways of escape building up an absolutely different ideology basics. Still Roosevelt had no concrete prescription and just gathered experienced and influential representatives of the economical, social and political fields and made a brainstorming, which occurred to be the setting up of a new well-coordinated of all these fields  development course. The first steps of the new government (Establishing the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, 1933 - increasing farm income by controlling production, The National Recovery Administration - restoring employment and regenerating industry, etc.) definitely determined economical recovery process, which turned out to be a stable progress in future.

The second Stage of Calamity came to the USA with Second World War,(exactly 1942-1944 – Pearl Harbour assault), at the same time I think the reason of being not prepared for the obvious war was in the internal split in the congress. Roosevelt’s request for the Judiciary reorganization in 1937 was not approved and resulted republican’s victory on the Congress elections in 1938. In addition, maintaining its policy of neutrality, refusal to alliance against raising impact of Germany and Japanese power brought USA to the deeper isolation and made it weaker. However, in spite of the rapid involvement in the war the USA managed to start Exploitive Stage “in charge” of the world, because when the smoke cleared from the battlefield only two great powers remained in the world; The USA and the Soviet Union.

After Roosevelt’s death Truman succeeded in USA. A set of complicated rearrangement global political changes took place. A basement for the cold war was preparing, therefore USA was more worried about global political issues than about taking care of its domestic affairs. He financed an after-war Europe in order to create counterbalance and support against Union Soviet Still Truman managed to launch a new Fair Deal, defined by the stable improvement of the economical life. In this Deal he extended the policies of his predecessor, and paid more attention to the social programs. This period is considered to be a beginning of American realizing themselves as one of the greatest nations claiming to the world supremacy. Fourth stage I thing is applying for the Eisenhower’s presidential term, his orientation about foreign policy and very little “domestic” activity resulted national unsatisfactory about social issues and created the ground for the new changes.

II. 1960-1992. John Kennedy started his term with new ideology claiming- “Do not ask, what your country can do for you, ask yourself what you can do for your country“, which became a symbol of the new era (Innovative Stage). It was a time of the teenage and young adults cultural revolution. After the conservative fifties this new movement eventually resulted in the revolutionary way of thinking, student rebellion, and deep changes in a social structure, lifestyle, values, laws etc were rather difficult for the population to adjust to. Difficult situation was in foreign politics (Vietnam War) as well (Calamity Stage). That is why the program of defending traditional values, and the examination of the changes was highly approved. At this time the cold war was about its end and Nixon’s doctrine contributed to that much (Exploitive Stage – restructure). I think that this cycle has the fourth stage to be longer than in the previous one. The consequences of the sixties tendency brought USA to the drugs and AIDS, in addition traditional society (with its structure, values, principles) started transforming into the way we see it today.

III.1992 - up to date. Ideology basics of the nineties appeared with the new election - the victory of Bill Clinton and the final placing of the strength and impact in the world politics (crush of the Soviet Union). In the technical, cultural and social fields began an era of the internet, which meant total change in principles of communication – increasing of their modularity. The stage of crisis might be defined as the conflicts with Iraq – and the great relief after the negotiation prevented the world from the war (Third stage). One of the famous sociologists of our times adduced an idea that we are incapable to analyze and estimate nowadays processes clearly and impartially because of our presence in this epoch. That is why the last cycle, I think, is rather difficult to be applied to the four stages. Still I believe that this theory works. And besides the analysis I made, we can prove it on the history of different societies in different periods.  
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