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Society and Culture

Introduction to the Depth studies: Popular Culture, Belief Systems, Equality and Difference & Work and Leisure.
by

Shirley Gilbert

on 10 September 2014

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Transcript of Society and Culture

Popular Culture, Belief Systems, Equality and Difference & Work and Leisure Introduction to the Depth Studies Concepts
•The nature of popular culture
•Focus study of a popular culture
•The future issues of popular culture
•Social and cultural research methodologies Depth study: Popular Culture (20% of course time) Content
•Concepts
•The nature of belief systems
•Focus study of a belief system
•The future issues of a belief system
•Social and cultural research methodologies Depth study: Belief Systems
(20% of course time) Content
•Concepts
•The nature of equality and difference
•Focus study of equality and difference
•The future issues of equality and difference
•Social and cultural research methodologies Depth study: Equality and Difference Content
•Concepts
•The nature of work and leisure
•Focus study of work and leisure
•The future issues of work and leisure
•Social and cultural research methodologies
Depth study: Work and Leisure The key concepts to be integrated across Popular Culture are:

• access • consumption • influence
• ideology • globalisation • mythology
• socialisation • institutional power
• identity • conflict • continuity
• media • change • self
The most popular depth study.
Many teachers take on this one because of its obvious attraction of allowing the study of a broad range of very current aspects of students’ everyday lives.

In practice though, the topic requires a level of theoretical understanding that is often beyond many students (and teachers?).

Popular Culture is the one that most teachers seem to think will appeal to their students the most, but it is also a very challenging one in terms of the issues it raises and the theoretical perspectives that should probably be included. Popular Culture Taught in many Christian and Catholic schools, it appeals to many students, especially as you can choose to study two of any a number of religions or belief systems. Many teachers use

Feminism for example (any word with ‘ism’ on the end?). When I tried teaching it though I found it very difficult to get students to be objective about religious ideas and stay focused on the social implications. Belief Systems Children in the city

recalling Jane Jacobs

the unspecialized play offered by sidewalks.

Chris Alexander talks about a similar idea in his book A Pattern Language LEISURE

How is it different from work?

Intrinsic motivation - the degree to which a behaviour leads to personal satisfaction and enjoyment

Extrinsic motivation - external forces, such as money, salary, gifts or praise motivate action.

We perceive an activity more as leisure if we have freedom of choice. The activity is voluntary and rewards intrinsic EQUIPMENT
Computers and the internet can reduce the need for the office.

Health problems associated with computer terminals - eye strain, headaches, back pain, fatigue, carpal tunnel syndrome. ZONING


“The bourgeois city separates these facets of life and delivers them, one by one, to institutions, denuding the ego of the rich content of life. Work is removed from the home and assimilated by giant organizations in offices and industrial factories. It loses it comprehensibility to the individual not only as a result of the minute division of labor, but owing also to the scale of commercial and industrial operations. Play becomes organized and the imaginative faculties of the individual are pre-empted by mass media that define the very daydreams of the ego.”
-Murray Bookchin, The Limits of the City (p77-8) Issues
The EDF Office is simply an example to raise some basic issues about the work environment:

Zoning
Noise
Music
Lighting
Windows
furniture and layout
efficiency
equipment
safety Scientific Management
Frederick Taylor - the relationship of performance and tools - the development of ‘human factors’ psychology as a subdiscipline of industrial/organizational psychology
The interaction between humans and machines
- computers, aircraft, etc. “In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed:
The must be fit for it
They must not do too much of it
And they must have a sense of success in it.”

John Ruskin (1819-1900) Why do we make a distinction between work and leisure?


What is the distinction between work and leisure?


Does work create happiness or is it something we simply must do to survive?


The answers to these question will affect the way we work and the environment in which we work. Meeting Needs

The benefits of leisure:

Intellectual stimulation (crossword puzzles)
Catharsis (sports)
Expressive compensation (camping, hiking)
Hedonistic companionship (drinking)
Supportive companionship (visiting friends)
Secure solitude (collecting something)
Routine indulgence (playing cards)
Moderate Security (playing guitar, bowling)
Expressive aestheticism (painting)

The concerns over our management of the environment will expand in the next lecture. How do we deal with issues of light, ventilation and so on in the hostile environment of space? Beyond the planet LAYOUT

Do you place desk between yourself and the door?

Is your workspace messy?

Open plan vs closed?
Open - more efficient flow of information, costs less (lighting, ventilation, maintenance), more flexible, easier supervision.
BUT
increased noise, lack of privacy, more distraction WINDOWS

Natural light

-without windows there is evidence of fatigue, somatic distress (headaches) and negative feelings about the setting.

- an important source of information about the weather and time

- visual contact with the natural environment. LIGHTING

Along with McDonough, other architects and psychologists have talked about light, and particularly natural light, in the workplace.

It affects performance.

Consider:
amount
colour
location
reflectance from walls and ceiling
contrast
glare (particularly with VDTs) A recent study by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) found that 70% of office employees felt their productivity was reduced due to noise. Unfortunately, the same study found that 81% of executives were unaware that a noise problem existed. NOISE

Unwanted sound

- it may act as a dissatisfier; that is, job satisfaction goes down in noisy conditions, but a corresponding increase in job satisfaction does not necessarily follow noise reduction efforts.

Music can be an unwanted sound or wanted. It may well depend on the type of music.
- elevator music? The workplace of the future

William McDonough and the Environmental Defense Fund Offices (1985)

This was the first of the “green office” projects and initiated significant national research into indoor air quality and the issue of material toxicity. This twenty thousand square foot interior for a nonprofit advocacy group in New York City is envisioned as a miniature city, an Athens with Spartan means.

The central “agora” of black granite is inlaid with a brilliantly lit image of the earth, providing a common meeting space as well as an entrance to tree lined “boulevards” off of which each workspace is conceived as an individual building.

High ceilings and glass walls on the exterior office “facades” bring daylight deep into the space, magnifying natural light. It was one of the first uses of triphosphor lamps in the United States, providing glare-free brightness with a high color rendition index.

Maximum ventilation is provided, with 30 cubic feet of fresh air per minute per person, compared to a national standard at the time of construction of five.

Research and meticulous avoidance of toxic building materials also contribute to indoor air quality. Natural finishes are used wherever possible, and carpets are tacked down to avoid toxic glues. The design relates to ‘mapping’ - the relationship between the actions of an operator and those of the machine. A water tap? Your stereo volume? Night Refuge for children after a 16 hour day Power loom weaving, 1833
The ‘dark Satanic mills’ in Blake’s Jerusalem? The Industrial Revolution

- the rural – urban shift

- deterioration of conditions of the workplace as people moved from the farms to the factories.

- little thought was given to the relationship between conditions and worker health and productivity.

- new forms of building meeting the requirements of technology (machines) The Fall of Adam and the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden
Michelangelo
1508 – 12 Sistine Chapel WORK AS PUNISHMENT – (the wages of sin) This leisure is an experience rather than an activity, and often that experience acknowledges a spiritual need.
We make demands on the environment and must be concerned about carrying capacity. The Natural Environment

protecting ‘unspoiled nature’

For whom?

Future generations?
Other species? The adult in the city How do we enjoy ourselves then?

What activities are leisure activities?

We can bring nature into the city.

We can leave the city for nature.

But is nature the common factor? But what did this do to the relationship between humans and work? New Century, New Methods

The call for reform – health issues and production efficiency

The assembly line - Ford Motors October 1913.

“Some of Ford's greatest innovations came not in the cars themselves but in the processes for creating them, like his 1914 introduction of a moving conveyor belt at the Highland Park plant, which dramatically increased production. Starting construction on the Rouge plant in 1917 was the first step toward Ford's dream of an all-in-one manufacturing complex, where the processing of raw materials, parts, and final automobiles could happen efficiently in a single place.”

(http://www.ford.com/en/ourCompany/centennial/people/henryFord/businessMan/fordVision/default.htm) Still a favourite among some teachers as it is so straight forward and with most students having part time work now, relevant.

Each of the depth studies follows a similar approach. First there is some consideration of the nature of the topic, then application of that nature in a detailed focus study. But what is the ‘Nature ‘ of, say, Equality and Difference? There is nothing prescribed in the syllabus, so you will be required to have some knowledge of basic Sociology about the divisions in society.

That will require some theoretical understanding, and plenty of relevant case study material. Each topic has a different balance between the theoretical material and the focus study. Again, the most effective approach is to use case study material that engages students with issues they can empathise with, and then to relate that back to the concepts and syllabus dot points. Work and Leisure Students are required to have knowledge of ONE popular culture with a local, national and global perspective.
Students learn about the focus study by examining:
the creation of popular culture
 trace the origins of popular culture
outline its development locally, nationally and globally
consider the role of mythology in the creation and perpetuation of popular culture
 
the consumption of popular culture
 • identify the consumers of popular culture
• identify the processes involved in consumption and the nature of the product
• consider aspects of continuity and change in consumption
• examine the role of the media in consumption and interaction
• consider the roles of heroes and mythology
• identify the associated paraphernalia
• consider the role of technology in the interactive process
• examine the influence of business, marketing and/or advertising the control of popular culture
 • identify the stakeholders in the control of popular culture, including: media, groups, marketers, governments, family, peers
• consider the ownership of popular culture
• examine the issue of access, including: class, age, gender, location, ethnicity, sexuality
• consider the role of official and unofficial censorship
• relate the control of popular culture to issues of power and authority A Focus Study
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