Population, Social Movements, And Social Change Writing Sample

The types of actions engaged in by large but loosely structured individuals or groups are referred to as collective behavior. Collective behavior occurrences are generally spontaneous, stemming from a common experience among the group members. A social movement is a broadly based attempt by a large number of people to attain a certain objective, usually one of social significance. Social change is the process through which human interactions and connections affect cultural and social values over time, resulting in societal change. As a consequence, social transformation entails a shift in the social order. Shifts in social institutions, social behaviors, and social relationships are all possible.

In various ways, the worldwide spread of social media is already influencing how individuals pursue and define social change. The number of people who use social media sites, including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, is increasing due to technological development and the reduction of the digital divide problem. Numerous local social movement initiatives have reached a wider audience due to advancements in digital communication tools (Xiong et al., 2019). Individual users can organize groups around certain issues and events via hashtag activism, a type of participatory culture (Xiong et al., 2019).

During the #MeToo campaign, social movement groups played an important role in online engagement by enticing hashtags (Xiong et al., 2019). As an example of analyzing social movements, social change, and the media, Hashtag activism provides an opportunity to establish virtual communities that would strive for real beneficial transformations. To my mind, this type of social movement in the media sphere can be both positive and negative. Hashtag activism, for instance, provokes collaboration and communication, but at the same time, some misunderstandings can occur, resulting in disinformation and fake initiatives.

Reference

Xiong, Y., Cho, M., & Boatwright, B. (2019). Hashtag activism and message frames among social movement organizations: Semantic network analysis and thematic analysis of Twitter during the# MeToo movement. Public Relations Review, 45(1), 10-23. Web.

Challenges For Enslaved Women In The Southern States

Introduction

In 1981, under the pseudonym Linda Brent, Harriet Jacobs wrote a book addressing the living in the Northern States people’s indifference towards slavery in the Southern ones. Her stories focus on the life of enslaved girls, women, and mothers, who were facing various challenges on a permanent basis. This writing was used as an abolitionist tool, as Jacobs constantly refers to free women of the North who did not want to somehow change the established slavery systems in other states. Therefore, the thesis of this essay is that women living in the South had very tough specifics of their lives as slaves, whereas the Northern girls were free and did now feel the burden to change the establishments.

The Slaves’ New Year’s Day

In the story regarding Christmas Eve and New Year itself, the author describes the life of slaves during this (some may define as a “holly”) period of time. According to Jacobs, it is January 1, when the hiring day is usually taking place. Hiring day stands for the time when masters are choosing and buying slaves for the works on farms, fields, and in houses. As a rule, on January 2, slaves are already expected to go to new places and meet new masters. As Jacobs (III) puts it: “to the slave mother New Year’s day comes laden with peculiar sorrows.” These women always know that during January 1, her children will be sold to one or several masters and taken away from her. Jacobs (III) cites the words of such a mother: “Gone! All gone! Why don’t God kill me?”. Thus, the story shows the endless sorrow and grief that enslaved women were meant to face during the holiest time of the year, and therefore, supports the central thesis of the paper.

Moreover, in her story, Jacobs emphasizes the contrast between the women living in the South and North. Jacobs (III) speaks to the former: “O, you happy free women, contrast your New Year’s day with that of the poor bondwoman!”. Throughout the whole story, one can trace the message to the free women, who, from the author’s perspective, need to act to change the treatment of their sisters. Jacobs describes the happiness that free mothers share with their children during Christmas Eve, how they give presents to them, and emphasizes that nothing and no one are able to take their children away. Thus, this constant contrast provided by the author explains why this book, including the story regarding the New Year for enslaved, was used as an abolitionist tool.

The Trials Of Girlhood

In another story of the book, the author shows the challenges of enslaved young girls. Jacobs (V) highlights: that turning into the “fifteenth year — a sad epoch in the life of a slave girl,” especially a beautiful one, because of sexual harassment that she starts to meet. It is a dreadful story in which a teenage girl cannot even share her concerns with her own grandmother because of the strict punishment that they both can face. Sexual abuse from the master is a common practice that young slaves experience in the Southern States, and no one can help them to cope with this. Moreover, it is not also about the physical abuse, but also about the psychological one: “a man forty years my senior daily violating the most sacred commandments of nature,” telling a girl that she was his “property” (Jacobs, V). Thus, the author emphasizes another crucial challenge of being enslaved women. Mothers are being taken away from their own children, girls are being harassed without an opportunity to speak, and they all were treated as inanimated objects without any natural rights.

Moreover, as in all stories, there is a message to the Northern women, who are free and live without the constant fear of punishments and death because of natural actions. Jacobs (V) asks: “in view of these things, why are ye silent, ye free men and women of the north?”. She also praises those people who are trying to establish justice and working on the fair future of humanity, probably, meaning the abolitionist movement. In this regard, the citations driven from Jacob’s stories truly justify the thesis of this essay. The book about enslaved women is targeted at the changing establishments and was supposed to use abolitionists to show the discriminatory nature of the ideological division between the North and the South.

Conclusion

The collection of stories “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” written by Harriet Jacobs was hard to be treated as just a narrative about the experience the author got during the enslaved past. Jacobs wanted to change the lives of numerous women who were still lacking the freedom and natural rights, harassed and abused by their masters. The author did not elaborate much on the specific works that they were doing in the farms and fields; instead, she mostly focuses on the psychological side of this burden to be a slave. Jacobs’s stories were meant to be used by the abolitionists, as they described the difference between the North and the South.

Work Cited

Jacobs, Harriet. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Boston, 1861. The Project Gutenberg.

The Veteran Homelessness Issue Analysis

Introduction

I am speaking on behalf of United Way Worldwide on the problem of veteran homelessness in America. For many, after a long day at work or school, being able to go home, whether that be a house, condo, or apartment, and relax is a daily activity. Shelter and security are the third most important human needs, right behind water and food.

Does anyone in the audience have friends or relatives in the military? Do you know that people in the military are at higher risk of becoming homeless, regardless of their age? Many American veterans are living on the streets of the very country they once risked their lives for. While the official statistics on homeless veterans are relatively low, the statistics do not include veterans who experience financial struggles. Therefore, in the case of the country’s financial instability, the number of homeless veterans will increase dramatically. The time to put the resources and effort of every American into stopping homelessness is now.

Problem Argument

Despite multiple measures performed in the last decade to combat veteran homelessness, it still is a large problem in American society today. It is expected that the financial consequences of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will negatively affect the problem, and the number of homeless veterans will increase in further data (Moses, 2020).

Several risk factors contribute to the problem of veteran homelessness. According to a study by Ackerman et al.(2020), the risk of homelessness gradually increases with the veterans’ combat experience and injuries (2020). The other significant risk factor is mental illnesses and their consequences. Because of PTSD, veterans have troubles communicating with other people, which results in social isolation and substance abuse. Many veterans do not have families because of their communication struggles. The combination of mental health problems, substance abuse and injuries explains the veterans’ unemployment rates and financial troubles in rent payments.

Solution Argument

The primary concern for improving the state of the problem of veterans’ homelessness is affordable housing. Civilians’ support is an essential component of the solution; therefore, I encourage the audience to show support for the people who contributed a significant part of their lives to protecting the country and its interests.

Veteran homelessness is a widespread issue across the country, and with the magnitude of this problem comes a large variety of solutions from hundreds of nonprofit organizations. Specifically in New York, the nonprofit organization Friends of Veterans New York works to support struggling veterans within New York. I urge my audience to donate to Friends of Veterans New York, either financially or in from of time for service. I recommend the audience connect with veterans daily, whether they are homeless or not.

Barriers Argument

Society, in general, is not familiar with the composition of the homeless population, which means that most people express biased negativity towards homeless people. I encourage you to educate yourself and your surrounding people on different categories of people within the homeless population. Understanding that the homeless population includes military veterans and survivors of domestic violence is important for building the foundation of support. If you experience troubles with a financial commitment to the issue, you may try alternative methods to support homeless people, such as volunteering.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while it seems that the issue of veteran homelessness does not present a significant threat to society, the situation could be worsened at any moment. To prevent the worst outcomes, the conscious members of society should work together to help with the improvements of the situation. There are not as many homeless veterans as it used to be, meaning that the issue could be eliminated with due effort. Spreading awareness about the issue and convincing others to donate to non-profit organizations that help veterans will help substantially increase the quality of life for people willing to give up their lives for the country’s protection.

References

Ackerman, A., Porter, B., & Sullivan, R. (2020). The effect of combat exposure on veteran homelessness. Journal of Housing Economics, 49,1-14. Web.

Amadeo, K. (2020). US military budget, its components, challenges, and growth. The balance. Web. 

Chinchilla, M., Gabrielian, S., Glasmeier, A., & Green, M. F. (2020). Exploring community integration among formerly homeless veterans in project-based versus tenant-based supportive housing. Community Mental Health Journal, 56, 303–312. Web.

Dam, A. V. (2019). The surprising holes in our knowledge of America’s homeless population. The Washington Post. Web.

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