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Unit 5. Human Social Nature and Community

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Unit 5. Human Social Nature and Community

Unit 5. Human Social Nature and Community

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  • Ad 1: people grow up in family and make friends in the neighborhood or the village of their youth.they keep contact with F&F even if they relocateAd2. e.g this is the case for people who are socially isolated happen to meet each other and become friends, or in a neighbourhood without much communication between residents, one or a few organize a party in order to stimulate new relationships.
  • Think of traditional relationshipsNew online relationshipsHow does the Internet help to sustain existing relationships offline
  • Transcript

    • 1. 1
      Unit 5. Human Social Nature & Community
      Nadia Dresscher
    • 2. Objectives for Unit 5:
      2
      Explore the concept of community
      its properties
      its changing nature in time
      focus on conditions that favor communities
      Introduce 2 modes of human social behavior
      Refine the concept ofcommunity
      by relating community to the concepts of:
      reciprocity
      social capital
    • 3. Class Assignment: The meaning of community
      3
      Form groups of 4 or 5 students
      Brainstorm on the meaning of the concept community for you all, answer these questions:
      How would you describe a community in your own words?
      What are the properties of a community?
      What does the unique individual mean to the communities he/she belongs too
      To which communities you consider yourself belonging to?
      Each student in the group can belong to a different community
      Identify these communities
      Write this all down in order to share this with the whole class
    • 4. Approaching Community
      4
      As a value:
      Solidarity, commitment, mutuality, trust, fellowship, communal, communication
      As a descriptive category or set of variables :
      In terms of Place:  territorial, people have something in common, this shared element is geographically/ ‘locality’
    • 5. Approaching Community
      5
      In terms of interest:  ‘elective’ communities, people share a common characteristic other than place.
      They are ‘linked’ together by factors (share some common binding ground) such as religion, occupation, culture, socio-economic status, hobbies, ideologies, ethnic origin, cybergroups, sexual-orientation etc.
      We talk about Aruban community, religious community, neighborhood, childhood friends,etc.
      To study of identity/selfhood plays an important role for the understanding of the approach of non-place community
    • 6. Approaching Community
      6
      Communion: sense of attachment to a place, group or idea
      -----
      Communities have meaning to its members: how?
      It plays a important role in generating people’s sense of belonging
      A Community suggests that members of a group have something in common with each other and the thing held in common distinguishes them in a significant way from the members of other groups
    • 7. There is some kind of boundary
      7
    • 8. Similarity and difference
      8
      A question of boundary
      What marks the beginning and the end of a community?
      Some might suggest, boundaries may be marked
      On a map?
      In law?
      By physical features like a road, river, sea?
      Religion?
      Linguistic?
    • 9. 9
    • 10. However, not all boundaries are so obvious…
      10
      They may be thought; existing in the minds of the member (beholders of the thought) : meaning is given to a community in order of it to become a community
      As such they may be seen in in very different ways, not only by the people on either side, but also by people on the same side
      This symbolic aspect of community boundary is important if we want to understand how humans experience communities
      The defining of a boundary places some people within and some beyond the line (inclusion/exclusion)
    • 11. Community as network and local social system
      11
      The fact that people live close to each other does not necessarily mean that they have much to do with each other (e.g. they may be little interaction between neighbors)
      It is the nature of the relationships between people and the social networks of which they belong to are seen as one of the most important aspects of community 
    • 12. Community, norms and habits:
      12
      Whether individuals are disposed to engage with one another is dependent upon the norms of a particular society or community and to the extent to which individuals make these norms and habits as theirs
      Assignment: Identify these norms/habits for the communities you named in your class assignment
      to judge to quality of life within a particular community, we need to explore what shared expectations there are about the way people should behave and whether different individuals take these on!
    • 13. 3 types of qualities that are common when approaching communal life:
      13
      Tolerance:an openness to others, curiosity, perhaps even respect, a willingness to listen and learn
      Reciprocity:a definition for now: “I’ll do this for you now, without expecting anything immediately in return and perhaps without even knowing you, confident that down the road you or someone else will return the favor” (Putman 2000).
      Trust: the confident expectation that people, institutions and things will act in a consistent, honest and appropriate way (trustworthiness/reliability).social trust
    • 14. A brief history of communities 
      14
      Gather & Hunter period: Communities were much prevalent compared to now:
      Reason for this: humans did not produce food, but gathered on a day-to-day basis
      So it was important to have an effective division of tasks and sharing resources.
      Community then meant SURVIVAL
      Reciprocity relations, egalitarianism ( idea that everybody is equal), empathy, bonding, paternal care, ‘it takes a whole village to raise a child’, large group size etc.
    • 15. Gather & Hunter period
      15
    • 16. Humans start producing food (agriculture)
      16
      Humans started to produce their own food by means of domestication of plants and animals had effect on communal life
      Birth of (economic) markets: transactions (I give you 20 corns, you give me a fat cow)
      The communal structure disappeared
      Communities: at the level of kinship, family
      Impersonal relationships: scattered communities (small scale)
    • 17. Agrarian societies:Domestication of plants & animals
      17
    • 18. Industrial Revolution
      18
      Humans went from a traditional agriculture to urbanization (to work in the industry)
      Impersonal relationships, the introduction of the concept of time measured in labor hours….
      Can you visualize how this happened in Aruba?
    • 19.
    • 20. Industrial revolution
      20
    • 21. Contemporary communities
      21
      Nowadays people are born in a social environment that does not resemblance the communal life of the past:
      Urbanization (cities), strangers (we don’t always talk to our neighbors'):
      But: reciprocity is learned
      In general children’s potential to learn reciprocity behavior is realized step by step from early childhood to adolescence, within the confines of family and friends (nurture and nature debate: both nature (altruistic gene & socialization)
    • 22. Modes of interpersonal behavior (Vos, 2004)
      22
      Human social nature
      Social; implying in relation to others
      Human nature: biological genes (nature)
      You will see that nurture (socialization) is also important: human beings learn! Learn to be social, learn to compete
    • 23. 2 modes: Status Competition
      23
      Status Competition: refers to the selection for those motivations and abilities that help individuals in competing with other individuals for resources (food, territory, mates).
      It implies that there is a competition: there is a winner and a loser.
      Dominance, hierarchical relations: the winner acts dominating and the loser submissively
      Egoistic gene survival of the fittist
    • 24. 2 modes: Reciprocity
      24
      2. Reciprocity:
      the mechanism whereby the evolution of cooperative or altruistic behavior may be favored by the probability of future mutual interactions
      To help without the expectation of immediate help back. Purely based on the need of the other: feelings of care and attachment (biological).
      And when learned: moral obligation (artificial)
    • 25. The reciprocity relation is the building block of the social system of community
      25
      To help without the expectation of immediate help back. Purely based on the need of the other: feelings of care and attachment
      “I’ll do this for you now, without expecting anything immediately in return and perhaps without even knowing you, confident that down the road you or someone else will return the favor” (Putman 2000).
      Drawing courtesy of Stephanie Croes
    • 26. Movie Pay it Forward illustrates the concept of (generalized) reciprocity
      26
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEwRXCalF9g
      Reciprocity: I’ll do this for you now, without expecting anything immediately in return and perhaps without even knowing you, confident that down the road you or someone else will return the favor” (Putman 2000).
    • 27. Influence of the environment
      27
      Human social environments (contexts) (in terms of concentration of modes: number of humans behaving in a status competition or communal (reciprocity) mode) triggers a the switch in a particular mode:
      The more communal behavior, the more reciprocity relations between individuals or
      The more status-competition behavior , the more competing between individuals on multiple levels.
    • 28. Definition of Community !!!!!!(Vos, 2004)
      28
      This will be the one definition we will use for this course:
      “ A group of individuals with an internal structure of reciprocity relations.”
      This implies:
      A community consists of communals, that is, of individuals who act in the communal mode. BUT:
      At the same time it should be realized that a precondition for people enacting this mode is the existence of the community
    • 29. The egg – chicken dilemma:
      29
      The community needs the communal individual and the individual needs the community in order to be communal
    • 30. ‘Social Capital’
      30
      We will explore the concept of Social Capital in order to understand the internal structures of the communities
      relationships matter: social networks are a valuable asset
      Interaction is important:
      COMMUNICATION IS THE BINDING GLUE IN A COMMUNITY:
      it enables people to build communities, to commit themselves to each other and to knit the social fabric
    • 31. Relationship between concepts:Modes of interpersonal behavior, social environment, community & social capital
      31
      Drawing courtesy of Stephanie Croes
    • 32. Community (Vos, 2004)
      A community is a group of individuals with an internal structure of reciprocity relations
    • 33. Contemporary Society
      People in contemporary societies have 2 non-exclusive (niet elkaar uitsluitend) options for contributing to communal living:
      They can try to maintain and enrich the remains of community life that are transmitted from the past or that are based on existing long-term relationships
      There may be occasions for building community more or less from scratch
      In the second option the expectation of a long-term relationship is intentionally generated
    • 34. Which conditions favor the existing of communities?
      The interdependency condition
      The condition of expected long-term relationships
      The multiplexity condition
      The accessibility condition
    • 35. Conditions favoring communities (Vos, 2004)
      The more people are interdependent, the more they have and/or expect to have long-term relationships, the more they have multiplex relationships and the easier they are mutually accessible, the more they will develop mutual reciprocity relations
      Which means: the more they are a community
    • 36. Social Capital
      36
    • 37. Social Capital: “Relationship matters”
      Relationships are a valuable asset
      Humans are social being: we have relationships with others
      Society is composed of multiple communities (formal and informal) that are connected to each other. Internal structure
      Interaction (communication) is the binding glue of society and of communities and between communities
    • 38. Social Capital
      What is capital?
      SC has a lot of different definitions:
      SC is the aggregate of the actual potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition (Bourdieu)
      SC consists of social connections, who you know and who you are friendly with, who you can call on for help or favors
    • 39. Putman:
      39
      “Whereas physical capital refers to psychical objects and human capital refers to the properties of individuals, social capital refers to connections among individuals, the social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them”.
    • 40. 40
    • 41. SC
      Refers to the connections between people
      When approaching SC we look at the nature of these connections
      E.g. of types of assets:
      Trust
      Norms
      Reciprocity
      Information
      Cooperation
      Mobilization
      identification
    • 42. Types of SC
      Bonding: ties between people in similar situations (are alike) , such as immediate family, close friends, neighbors
      Bridging: more distant ties of persons: workmates, loose friendships and workmates
      Linking: reaches out to unlike people in dissimilar situations, such as those who are entirely outside of the community.
    • 43. Social Capital visualized in terms of social networks
      • What value do I give the relationships I have with others?
      • 44. If I could indentify this value, and break it down in concrete ‘things’, what would these be? In other words: What are the social assets I get from these relationships?
    • Positive Outcomes linked to SC
      Individual level:
      Well-being
      Self-esteem
      Satisfaction with life
      Useful information
      Community level:
      Mobilize community efforts: e.g. public health, schools
      Low crime rates
      More efficiency on level of organizations
    • 45. Negative outcomes linked to SC
      Exclusion of others not in the social network
      Benefits to the ones in a social network alone. E.g. Nepotism
      Can you think of other negative outcomes?
    • 46. Decline SC (Putman) due to
      Changes in family structure
      Suburban sprawl (travel a lot to work, leisure etc): less time available to connect with each other
      Electronic entertainment (tv, internet)
      The last one will be the topic of our next meeting: the influence of internet on SC, communities: emerging of new types of communities?
    • 47. Assignment:
      How does the Internet affect the formation, development and maintenance of relationships?

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