- History of Sociology
- Famous Sociologists
- Social Groups
- Social Control
- Social Structure and Interaction
- Crime and Deviance
- Families and Relationships
By Matthew Espinoza
Karl Marx was born Trier, Germany in 1818. His father was Hirschel Marx, who changed his name from Hirshcel to Heinrich, he was also a lawyer. His mother Henrietta Marx was from the Netherlands, both being Jewish. But due to prosicution of the Jewish community at the time, they converted to prostentism after Karl’s birth. Unfortuently, there is very little known about Karl’s childhood. He attended Bonn University, to study law. While there, he seemed to have gained tremendous amounts of debt. After hearing about his son being injured in a duel, his father offered to pay off his son’s debts and had him transfer to Berlin University.
After moving to Berlin, he started to work hard at his studies, reading many books by authors such as Immanuel Kant and Voltaire. His professor Bruno Bauer, an aethiest who’s radical political opions often got into trouble with the authorties, introduced him to the writings of Hegal, who was also a professor at Berlin University until his death in 1831. He had earned a doctorate in1841 from the University of Jena, he had to submit his thesis, The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature, he had to because of his reputation as a Young Hegelian radical would reflect poorly in Berlin.
The Young Hegelian group was made up of radical thinkers who followed Fauerbach and Brauer. They opposed their teacher Hegel, they had used his dialectical method as a powerful tool for the analysis of the established politics and religion. All the while they critisizing Hegels metaphysical assumptions. One of the Hegelians broke apart from the others, Max Stirner, who called the rest of them “pious people”. This man had an impression on Marx. Karl Marx decided to abandon the following of Fauerbach and established what we now call an "epistemological break".
His father died in 1838, which meant he now had to support himself, but without the aid of his mentor and teacher Bruno Brauer, he had been fired for his many outspoken aethieist views, by the University. So Marx’s plans for becoming a professor where dashed. He tried his hand at Journalism, but due to his strong views on politics, most papers would not publish is articles. After he moved to Cologne he found that the city had a strong liberal opposition, it even had its own newspaper called The Rhenish Gazzette. The group known as the Cologne Circle, had published an article of his, and decided to make him the editor of the paper.
While living in Cologne as an editor he met Moses Hess, he was known as a radical, but he himself called himself a socialist. After he attended several meetings that Hess himself began, he wrote an article about poverty of the Mosel wine-farmers. This article was condensding of the government and soon after it was published, the paper itself was banned. Hearing that he might be arrested he hurridly married his girlfriend, Jenny von Westphalen and moved to France. Once in France, he accepted the offer to become the editor of the new political journal, Franco-German Annals.
Once in Paris, he became good friends with Friedrich Engels, who shared many if not all of his views on capitalism. After writing a couple of articles together, the Prussian government complained and applied pressure on the French authorities to deport Marx and it eventually worked, forcing Marx, his family and Engels to move to Belgium, where freedom of expression was greater. Marx decided on the city of Brussels where many political exiles, including Moses Hess, resided. After a short trip to London with Engels, they returned to Brussels where Marx worked furiously on what is perhaps his most famous work, The Communist Manifesto. (Published in Febuary 1848)
The root of Marx’s thinking is that human nature is the act of changing nature itself. As he puts it, the changing process, is termed “labour” and the aptitude to change is called “labour force”. His way of thinking on history depends on his view and distinction between the “means and forces of production for material goods” and the “relations of production”. Both of these form the “mode of production”, he saw historical eras in modes of production. As he was, he could not quite understand that groups could be just people who freely communicated with each other. He classified them in terms of if the way they had means of production.
People who follow both Marx and Engels work, studies, theories and philosophies, have come up with the idea of Marxism. But due to conflict between members, the term “Marxist” can be used in two ways:
- Those who rely on Marx’s terms usage, theoretical language, to understand capitalist and other societies.
- Those who believe that the only way to a communist society is through a workers revolution.
Karl and Jenny Marx had several children, most died, one, Elaneor, became a school teacher. She returned home to help take care of her ailing parents. Her mother Jenny, died on 2nd December, 1881. Karl’s oldest daughter died two years of cancer, he was heartbroken and died two months later, on March 14th, 1883.
By: Enrique Trejo
Harriet Martineau, also known as “The First Woman Sociologist” was born on June 12, 1802 in Norwich, England. Harriet was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Martineau and had seven other siblings. She was from a Unitarian family and thus believed that there should be unity in the government. Harriet had an industrious and intellectual upbringing and was very clever, but was plagued by health problems and thus was unhappy. She had no sense of taste or smell, and began to become deaf at an early age. By the time she was sixteen her condition had become so bad that she had to move in with her aunt who had a school in Bristol, England. Harriett was much happier there because she was surrounded by gracious talented people, like herself. By the time she was twenty she had gone completely deaf and in 1821 began to write for a Unitarian periodical called the Monthly Repository.
Harriet lost her father in 1826 her family saw a devastating economic decline and thus Harriet had to earn her living. It was a bittersweet time for her because she lost her father, but she could now have economic freedom. Although Harriet could not teach due to her disability, she scoured around for jobs in writing without much success, and even took up a job as a needle worker. She eventually found employment in the field and became a professional writer. She started out with religious themes in her writing, but in 1832 she moved to writing about social theory. Harriet moved to London that same year. When she completed her “Illustration of taxation” series in 1834 she visited the United States and supported the then very small and unpopular abolitionist party. While she was in America she wrote Theory and Practice of Society in America and a Retrospect of Western Travel. Upon her return to London she wrote a piece in the Westminster Review on the abolitionists, this helped her to introduce London to the difficulties of the abolitionist party.
In 1836 Charles Darwin found out that his brother Erasmus was spending his day with Ms. Martineau. Their father Robert was concerned if she would to be a potential daughter-in-law due to her extreme political stance. Charles thought “she was very ugly, but was overwhelmed by her own projects, her own thoughts and abilities.” Charles turned out to be struggling with his own writing and was astonished with a project she had been writing around the same time.
In 1839 Harriet’s health took a steep downfall due to an ovarian cyst, she visited her brother-in-law Thomas Michael Greenhow a doctor in Newcastle many times to try to find relief. Her last visit to him lasted about six months a later ended up moving to Tynemouth, just down the river and spent much time chronically ill remaining “invalid”. In 1844 Harriet regained her health and based one of her writings on her past experience with her illness. She left Tynemouth and moved to Ambleside and built a house she dubbed “The Knoll”. From 1846 to 1848 she toured Egypt, Palestine, and Syria with some friends. She published “Eastern Life, Present and Past” to show that the Deity and Divine Government became more and more indefinite. The book was rejected by the publisher for its “infidel tendency”.
In 1831 Harriet wrote about Political Economy to popularize and illustrate the principles of laissez faire capitalism. She published Society in America in 1837 in which she gave examples of sociological methods. In 1853 she translated Aguste Comte’s “Cours de Philosophie Positive” in two volumes as The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte. Comte recommended the volumes to his students rather than his own. Harriet was regarded as “the first female sociologist” by many writes, but others regard her as “a kindred spirit rather than a significant contributor”. Harriet Martineau died in her home in Ambleside in June 27, 1876
"Her original power was nothing more than was due to earnestness and intellectual clearness within a certain range. With small imaginative and suggestive powers, and therefore nothing approaching to genius, she could see clearly what she did see, and give a clear expression to what she had to say. In short, she could popularize while she could neither discover nor invent." – Harriet Martineau
Harriet Martineau was born and raised in Norwich, England, in 1802. Her father David Martineau, the earliest of who any record remains, was a French Protestant, who came over on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. He married a French lady, whose family emigrated in the same ship, and pursued his profession as a surgeon in Norwich, where a succession of surgeons of the name existed, till the death of the most eminent of them, Philip Meadows Martineau (the uncle of Harriet), in 1828. He was considered the most eminent provincial surgeon of his day. The eldest brother of Harriet a man of qualifications so high as to promise to sustain the honor of his name and profession in the old city died before the age of thirty, and only one member of the family now remains in the city where many generations grew up. Harriet was the third daughter, and the sixth of eight children of Thomas Martineau, who was a manufacturer of the Norwich staples, bombazine and camlet. His acquaintance with Dr. Parr was kept up and signalized by the gift of a black camlet study-gown every year or so, a piece of the right length being woven expressly for the doctor and dyed with due care. The progressive Unitarian Martineau’s saw to it that all their children, boys and girls alike, were equally and well educated. She was among the first sociologists, though not much recognized in standard histories of that discipline. Most of Harriet's education was done at home, although early on, she had some exposure to subjects that were taught only to males. But, at the time, university study was barred to women.
By the time she was sixteen, she was forced to face and deal with increasing deafness, which she described as ‘very noticeable, very inconvenient, and excessively painful.’ She taught herself how to manage her handicap so that she could take in what she needed in unobtrusive ways.
She felt free when she was faced with this challenge and did successfully support herself as an author. She wrote essays, novels, biographies, news columns, and more including many informed writings on sociology. Her first successes were her Illustrations of Political Economy (1832-1934). These consisted of twenty-four stories that illustrated for a popular audience the ideas of Thomas Malthus, James Mill, David Ricardo, and Adam Smith. Other important writings include, in addition to those already described, her Retrospect of Western Travel, another book about the United States (1838), a novel, Deerbrook (1839), and an account of the history and practice of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Eastern Life Present and Past (1848). Her journalism, always pointed, accessible, intelligent, and socially conscious, interpreted the politics and society of her time for a wide readership. In 1831 she disclaimed Unitarianism, liberal as it is, in favor of freethinking. In 1853 she published an abridged translation of Auguste Comte’s Cours de Philosophie Positive. She enthusiastically embraced positive science as the foundation of a new morality. Her own life exemplifies the feminism that infuses all her work, no matter its topic. Harriet Martineau was extraordinary both as a Victorian woman and influential abolitionist writer.
Between 1834 and 1836, Martineau travelled through the United States. She made lasting friends among the Transcendentalists and anti-slavery people in Boston. Admiration and controversy followed her everywhere. Society in America (1837), like Alexis DeToqueville¹s better-known work, described and interpreted many features of North American behavior, institutions, and daily life. Anticipating Max Weber, Martineau argued that moral values undergird social institutions. In the United States, the institution of slavery made ‘mockery’ of American stated ideals of freedom. In the chapter ‘Morals of Slavery’ she reiterated and destroyed, one by one, the pro-slavery arguments that were promoted in the United States, and questioned whether ‘social virtues are possible in a society of which injustice is the primary characteristic.’ Her critical mode was irony rather than outrage. On slaveholders, wrote: ‘I could not but marvel at their mild forbearance under the hourly provocations to which they are liable in their homes: their rooms dirty, their property wasted, their plans frustrated, their infants slighted, themselves deluded by artifices’. Their single virtue was forbearance, for ‘the inherent injustice of the system extinguishes all others, and nourishes a whole harvest of false morals toward the rest of society’. In plain, harsh language that was extraordinary for her time, she described the sexual degradation of women, both slave and free, the damage to all children, the warping of conscience and behavior, and a society running on hypocrisy, suspicion, and restriction of liberty. Not even New England escaped her explosive critique as she described what free people of color endured there.
In 1839 Martineau became ill and, by 1855, she was housebound. British slavery and apprenticeship had ended, but Martineau did not allow invalidism to hinder her fight to end slavery in the United States. In 1857, she wrote that despite ‘many bodily troubles, I earn lots of money for the American abolitionists’. Harriet’s ‘last piece of embroidery fetched 100 dollars for “the cause” in America’.
She kept up her anti-slavery writing until the American Civil War as English correspondent for the American Anti-Slavery Standard. She continued her social and economic research, the basis for a continuous flow of anti-slavery articles. As always, her moral principles infused her writing, which reveals an acute observer and critic of the politics of slavery and anti-slavery in the United States. Like her contemporary, Joseph Sturge, she saw the connections between slavery in the colonies and working-class oppression at home, even though she had objections against as well as agreements with the British Chartists. She too, favored immediate rather than gradual emancipation. She rejected her youthful laissez-faire economic philosophy and strongly urged governmental action to end chattel slavery, wage slavery, and class.
And died in the summer sunset of her home amid the West Moreland mountains, on the 27th of June, 1876, after twenty-one more diligent, devoted, suffering, joyful years,—attended by the family friends she most loved, and in possession of all her mental powers up to the last expiring day; aged seventy-four years.
Harriett Martineau is now remembered as the first woman sociologist.
Famous Sociologist Emile Durkheim
Culture of African Tribes: Ashanti
By: Morgan McNeal
Our culture that we have in the United States is actually comparable to what the Ashanti have. They live near the coast of western Africa. Family is very important to the Ashanti, especially the mothers’ side of the family. When a child is born they feel that the child receives the fathers soul but receives the mothers own flesh and blood. Families live in an extended family situation. But rather than having all members live in one house, they live in separate houses that form a circle around a center courtyard. Usually the oldest brother is the head of these houses but has to be chosen by the elders, once chosen, he has to be obeyed by all.
Ashanti religion is very unique. They believe in spiritual and even the supernatural. They believe that all plants and animals have souls. Fairies witches and forest monsters are also commonly found in their beliefs.
Once boys become of age, usually eight or nine, they are taught by their fathers a skill which is chosen by the father. The father also takes care of school costs. Similar to our society girls are taught cooking and housekeeping skills by their mothers, but also can work in gathering crops and retrieving water.
Marriage is a very important part of Ashanti culture. They commonly practice polygamy; this shows that the man is very generous and willing support a very large family. Women however cannot marry without consent from the family and usually don’t even meet their parents until marriage. Divorce is a very rare, and both sides of the family work very hard to keep it from happening.
The Ashanti government is very comparable to ours. In how our government controls the state governments, who control the control the counties who controls the towns. They have many levels of government. Though ruled by a king who leads the Ashanti Confederacy Council. This is made up of paramount chiefs. These paramount chiefs head over the district chiefs, district chiefs head over the Council of Elders, which then has sub chiefs. The sub chiefs control the villages.
Art is also an important part of the Ashanti culture. Before weaving was discovered, the Ashanti would use bark cloth for their clothing. Now with weaving cotton and silk is commonly used. Women will take care of picking the cotton and spinning the material into thread. But strangely men are the weavers. There are different types of weaves, all of which have names, and usually stand for something, such as social status, a clan, a saying, or the sex of the one wearing whatever was made. Pottery is also another art. It is a skill that the women learn and then pass on to the girls. The use of wood is also used as an art. Wood carving is divided into many different sectors; each has its own specialists. A fertility god is very commonly found and is made of wood. This is given to the women of the village to bring them closer to the spirit of the Fertility Gods.
Ashanti also play games; the most commonly known one is Kikogo. This is where players move markers around a wooden board that looks similar to an egg carton.
They are also known as “fierce fighters”. They had a slogan, “If I go forward I die, if I go backward I die, better go forward and die.” When faced with war, drums are used to signal the upcoming battle. The Ashanti also have a special handshake; this is where the left hand is held out to shake hands. In Ashanti culture the left hand is used to hold the shield and the right the spear, so when extending your left hand you have put down your shield which shows your trust with the other person.
The Council for Exceptional Children
by Dayna Mannebach
On the fourth weekend of April, my parents and I traveled for the first time to Nashville, Tennessee on behalf of the Council for Exceptional Children Convention. What is the CEC, you might ask? Well, it’s: “The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides professional development, advocates for individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice.” (About CEC)
Earlier in the year, I’ve been nominated in the state of Kansas for the Yes I Can! Award in the art division. I am now the second individual from Kansas who has won on the international-national level. I didn’t imagine how big a deal the whole event really was. Awardees and their families were treated like royalty. After receiving my award and walking around, people I did not know, but who recognized the award I was carrying congratulated me.
I’m happy there’s a program for people like me with a disability to earn an award because of who we are. There were some moments when I’m not sure how to visit with people since they’re either are deaf, autistic, or have cerebral palsy, amputees, and Tourette syndrome. I know a little sign language, but not enough to carry on a conversation. They had interpreters to help us communicate and I enjoyed talking with them. I met other teens who have vision impairments, learning disabilities, and seizure disorders and they’re very much human as we are. It was remarkable to have met them. The families who these young adolescents spend their life with went through the challenges of the diseases, cognitive, and physical limitations and have come to accept it as a gift.
The families we visited with appeared to have the same philosophy as my parents do – treat the child as if they have a disability – and that becomes their disability. For individuals with disabilities, new, creative methods have to be researched in order for a task or concept to be accomplished. Takes some real dedication to find the productive method. It is not HOW we get there just so we GET there.
There has been discrimination towards us on whether or not we have the ability to do anything due to our slow minds and no body parts. If we are truly disabled, how is it that we are alive, breathing the same oxygen in the air, our hearts beating as one, and feeling our emotions rummaging in our souls? Over time, we’ve been able to prove with our actions and words to show that we have as much of right to work in the same office, learn from the same school, and play in the same playground. I believe that everyone has their own level of disability – whether it be weight, prejudice, close-mindedness, routine reliance, etc.
The CEC include ethics on the goals in social justice, inclusiveness, and diversity; present meaningful participation in the community for each and every person with exceptionalities. The services they provide are professional development opportunities and resources, journals and newsletters with information on new research findings, classroom practices that work, federal legislation, and policies, conventions and conferences, and special education publications. This includes everyone: teachers, administrators, students, parents, paraprofessionals, and related support service providers. (About CEC)
The Yes I Can! Award was established to honor children and youth with disabilities who have excelled. Hundreds of children and youth have been recognized since the program’s inception in 1982. Each year, CEC selects approximately 27 winners for their outstanding achievements in one of nine categories:
• Community Service
• Extracurricular Activities
• Independent Living Skills
• Technology (Yes I Can)
There have been people who’ve used their talents to make the disability issue more noteworthy, artists created an art project, authors who write what is seen and known, movie directors who film the characters that made a difference, and those who are in the possession of compassion. People with or without disabilities can make a difference no matter what shape or form they’re in.
In 1989, a blind sculptor named Michael Naranjo made a statue for apiece of the awardees, called “Youth Victorious.” This statue is a symbolization of the stupendous accomplishments by youth with disabilities.
(Yes I Can)
People who received this statue won’t just signify the successes, but the meaning behind it. It doesn’t matter how many awards, you’ve won, but by what you achieve in life.
Danny O’Flaherty is a notable Irish balladeer that compiled a song to seize the award winners’ ambition and dedication to thrive. Here is a lyrical part from the song “Yes I Can,” “you can reach your neighbor with the love of ‘yes I can.’” I was lucky to have him and he was a charming fellow.
(Yes I Can)
I am fascinated with the people I know and hope to keep in contact on facebook. I am grateful that this award brought me to these wonderful inspiring individuals. They’re smart, funny, kind, and well-achieved successors. I may not know their feelings about their disability, but I can imagine and know that they are not alone, just as am I. There are ways for the public to view the disabled people positively, greet them as you would to any stranger on the sidewalk, don’t stare at their deformity, and never assume that they’re not in average of living normally. Also watch how you say things around them, they could misinterpret what you’re trying to say. Stereotyping is one of the topics in discrimination and you can easily label disable looking as if they’re all the same. Not all of them are. Young and old individuals tend to use the word “retard” to name call a person who appears to be different from others because they do not understand how he or she is going through. I personally don’t approve the word. So please respect them the way you want to be respected.
Socialization Process in Child Care
Socialization is the life long process of social interaction through which individuals acquire a self-identity and the physical, mental and social skills needed for survival in society. Socialization is one of the most important basic everyday essentials of life. It benefits in many various ways to the child as they grow. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, an estimated 13 million children younger than six spend some, or all of their day, being cared for by someone other than their guardians or parents. Child care is particularly critical for the well being of children and youth. It’s not only important to check out the day care provider but to also observe the ages and behaviors of the children there as well. Socialization is essential for a child’s development, its central in helping them establish their own identities. During the first three years of a child’s life they develop their identity, the ability to manipulate things, like their parents, and the ability to walk. They also aquire tools for thinking analyzing and learning effective communicational skills. This begins the long socialization process that will integrate them into our social and cultural system. Socialization for children is important for the child’s survival and instability in society. The child’s socialization process is most effective when they conform to the norms of their daycare structure.
Each child has unique experiences with not only their family but their friendship groupings at daycare. The kind of adult that a child becomes will depend on the social groups that surround them from birth to their early childhood years. Infants and children have the potential to develop human characteristics when they are exposed to an appropriate socialization process. Children are a product of environment and biology for nature and nurture. What they learn about themselves, society, and the world are things they learn from interactions with others. Many people thing that are providing children are comes naturally, although teaching and caring for children in groups takes special skills. The child care providers have education and training about children. Licensed caregivers are required to commit to 12 hours of child care training every year. The caregivers learn how to plan the day, provide nutritious foods and fun activities that children will take. Nature versus Nurture is a common argument between sociologist and sociobiologists. How much of a child development is explained by socialization or genetics? How important is social influence on a child’s development? Most children’s actions except for basic human reflexes are social either by cause or consequence. For example, laughing, crying, eating, hugging etc. I believe that their social environment has a greater affect on how children develop and behave than heredity does. Heredity however provides the basics to mold a child’s identity and characteristics.
Infants and children who are in daycares that show affection warmth and closeness feel safe and happy and develop trusting relationships. Compared to infants and children that receive poor care or who are rejected or abused are often hostile and fearful. Proper social environment is indeed a crucial part of an infant’s or child’s socialization process.
The quality of day care a child receives is substantially important on the child’s outcome. Many variables of quality have a direct impact on a child’s socialization and development. For example, the understanding and sensitivity of the daycare provider. Structural variables also have an impact on infants and children’s development. Examples of this would be ratio of child to staff and amount of education and training the daycare provider has. Consequently infants and children who attend “high quality daycares” are more than likely under the care of educated and sensitive providers with a small care giver to child ratio. Daycare also effects infants emotional development, emotions allow children to think understand and act appropriately. The mother child bond also seems to have an effect on whether daycare is a positive or negative experience on the child. Infants and children with secure attachments to their mothers seem to experience some negative effects from daycare. While insecure children benefit from daycare. High quality daycare provides a stable consistent and safe environment for insecurely attached infants. In general there is no solid proof that daycare attendance in infancy and child hood produces negative emotional effects or negative effects on the bond children have with their mothers. Social development can be a product of cultural and behavioral ideals that are taught in the daycare setting. Daycare centers tend to encourage more social interaction than the environment of a stay at home child. There tends to be more stimulation and communication in daycare settings. This enhances the child’s ability to communicate and share. Daycare centers that are school oriented also help with a child cognitive skills and communicational skills. Certain children benefit from daycares more than other types of children.
Children from disadvantaged homes that go to high quality daycare are able to enhance their development in ways that are inaccessible to them at home. High quality daycares provide these children with good examples of behavior skills as well as encouraging development. It’s reasonable to see that high quality daycare has positive effects on infants and children’s social, developmental and emotional well being. It is important to know that if it a low quality daycare there could sever negative effects.
Interesting facts about socialization and childcare, Full time childcare can cost anywhere 4,000 and 10,000 dollars per child per year. Childcare outside the home can be a financial burden for families with an income of less than 25000 a year. Nearly seven million school children are home alone after school each week while their parents work. The average salary for a child care provider is only 15,000 to 20,000 per year. There are only 11 states that require childcare providers to have any kind of training.
Put here, Neil
How far will a person go just to conform and to be part of the group? How far will a person go just to obey rules from a person he thinks is the boss or the expert? Groups have a powerful impact on the way we think, our values, attitudes, and behaviors. There are many reasons why people conform so much. It may be because they are afraid of being ridiculed or ostracized and to look weird. It may also be because they don’t want to feel like the odd man. Which really makes you think: would a person jump off a bridge if everyone else jumped off?
“Conformity is the process of maintaining or changing behavior to comply with the norms established by a society, subculture, or other group (154).” Usually we feel pressured to conform when other people in the group are all thinking the same way. We feel like we may look strange or even stupid to speak up. We have a feeling of insecurity and incompetence. There were several studies done to support this thinking of group conformity.
Solomon Asch executed series of experiment to show that group pressure was so strong that it affected a person’s thinking and even opposed their own judgment. In one of the experiments, he had groups of undergraduate men, seven of them in each group, for a study of visual perception. There were two cards: the first card had one line, while the second had three lines. One of the lines on the second card was the same length as the line on the first card. They were all asked to pick which one was the matching line on the second card. Six of the seven men knew what to do. They were to answer the first two sets correctly, but after that, they were to answer all of them wrong. This was to see if the person that was the experimented subject would counter their judgment just because everyone else was saying the same answer, whether or not the answer was correct. When it was the third set, when the other six all said the incorrect answer, the experimented subject felt uncomfortable. It was apparent that the “standard line” matched one of the “comparison line,” yet about one third of all subjects chose to conform to the group. Some subjects didn’t cave in and kept saying the right answer even though the other six didn’t. After the experiment, the subjects that conformed were asked why they answered it incorrectly even though they knew it was the wrong answer. All of the subjects answered that they decided to go along with the majority of the group to avoid ridicule, criticism, and disapproval of the group. Ash concluded that the likeness of the group and the size influences a person conforming.
Another person to experiment conforming is Stanley Milgram. His experiment was on obedience. “Obedience is a form of compliance in which people follow direct orders from someone in a position of authority (156).” In this experiment, volunteers were told that the study was to see the effects of punishment on learning. A second volunteer, which was actually an assistant of Milgram’s, came to also be in this experiment. The actual test was to see if the experimented subject, the first volunteer, would still obey the person with the authority no matter what the repercussions would be. The two men were told to draw slips of paper from a hat. They would either have a “teacher” slip or a “learner” slip. Of course this was manipulated so the tested subject would get the “teacher” slip. The learner was strapped to a chair that looked like an electric chair while the teacher was put in an adjoining room with a nonoperating shock generator that looked realistic. The generator had a control panel that had levels. It had 15 volts on the left, which said “Slight Shocker,” 255 volts in the middle, which said “Intense Shock,” and “DANGER: SEVERE SHOCK,” 375 volts, and “XXX,” which was the worst on the right with 450 volts. The “teacher,” the volunteer was told to read a pair of words out loud and then to repeat the first word. The “learner,” the assistant, was to repeat the second word. If the learner could not repeat the second word, the teacher was told to pull the lever on the shock generator. The learner was being punished for forgetting the word. The teacher was also instructed to increase the level by fifteen if the learner kept on getting it wrong. The alleged purpose was to determine if punishment improves a person’s memory. The teacher was also told that he can leave whenever they wanted to.
As the experiment went on, the learner was instructed to beat on the wall between him and the teacher to indicate pain, which was told to the learner in advance. Before the experiment, the teacher was told that these shocks might be “extremely painful” but would not cause permanent damage. At 300 volts, the learner would stop responding at all to the questions. At this, the teacher would turn to the experimenter unsure wondering what he should do next. The experimenter implied that the teacher should increase painful shocks. 65% of the teachers went all the way to “XXX,” the 450 volt, but was sweating, stuttering, or biting on their lip. Milgram concluded that the teachers kept on going with the experiment because the person that was in a position of authority with a white coat told him to. If the shock generator was real, these shocks could have killed the learner. None of the teachers stopped or questioned the experiment before the teacher got to 300 volts.
Although this was all voluntary and the shocks were not real, it raised an ethic issue. Many found that this experiment was stressful. Many of these subjects may have had long term emotional scars and today, this type of experimentation cannot be done.
Obviously groups and authority has a major impact on people no matter how much we like to think we are individuals with individual thinking. Groups affect our thinking and beliefs. We don’t like to feel singled out while others are in groups amongst each other. Therefore, conforming to a group and society that we are already similar to is important to us, but how far are we willing to conform?
The Power of Conformity
Kendall, Diana. Sociology in our Times: The Essentials, 7th Edition. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. Belmont, CA. 2010, 2007. Print
A social movement is an organized group that acts consciously to promote or resist change through collective action.
Types of social movements
Reform-seeks to improve society by changing some specific aspect of the social structure; works within the system, includes labor movements, animal rights movements, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and disability rights movements.
“Lori Britt(1993) suggested that some movements arise specifically to alter social responses to and definitions of stigmatized attributes.”
Revolutionary- seeks to bring total change in society
o Doesn’t attempt to work within the existing system; rather they aim to remake the system by replacing it
o Rages from utopian groups seeking ideal society to radical terrorist
Alternative movements- seeks limited change in some aspects of people’s behavior
Early 20th century, AA created to stop people from drinking alcohol
Religious Movements- produce radical change in individuals, typically based on spiritual or supernatural beliefs
Concerned with renewing people through ‘inner change’
Resistance movements- seek to prevent change or undo change
o Pro-Life advocates
o Domestic partnerships
Stages in social movements
o Preliminary- wide spread unrest as people become aware of a problem
o Coalescence- people begin to organize and publicize problem
o Institutionalization- organizational structure develops and paid staff leads groups
o Initial zeal and idealism may diminish as management is taken over by larger people
Social Movement Theories
Relative deprivation –people who suffer are more likely to fee change is needed
Value-Added- based on assumption that certain conditions are necessary for the development of a movement
• Structural conduciveness-people must become aware of a problem and have the opportunity to change it
• Structural strain- when society is unable to meet expectations of what should be done about a problem
• Spread of generalized belief- clear statement of problems shared views of its causes, effects and possible solutions.
• Precipitating factors- reinforce specific beliefs by a dramatic event
• Mobilization for action
• Social control factors- high levels of law enforcement, political leaders make it difficult
Resource mobilization- focuses on the ability of members of a social moment to acquire resource
• Resources can include money, people’s time and skills, access to the media, property and equipment
Social constructionist- symbolic integrationist perspective focuses on the importance of the symbolic presentation of a problem to both participants and general public
New social movement theories- collective actions and the manner in which those actions are based on politics, ideology, and culture; factors identity, such as race class gender and sexuality
Source: Sociology in our times, the essentials; 7th edition©2010, 2007 Wadsworth, Cengage Learning
By: Jazmin Small
Teen depression is one of the main leader to teens starting drugs or suicide. Depression is hard enough for adults to deal with. Adults can feel so far into depression that they leave their lives. Teens fall into depression and just change their lives.
Statistics show that part of the reason why teens have depression is because it is genetic. Statistics also show that teen depression does not last for more than eight months, and that about five percent of teens actually suffer from major depression. According to an article on teen depression, “Teen depression can affect a teen regardless of gender, social background, income level, race, or school or other achievements, though teenage girls report suffering from depression more often than teenage boys.” The reason teenage girls express their depression more than the teenage males, is because they are taught to be more expressive than boys. The risk factors that can or will increase depression are: Experiencing trauma, abuse, and long-term illness or disability. But, between twenty to fifty percent of teens who suffer from depression have a family member with depression or mental disorder. Statistics show that untreated depression can cause the teens do things they normally would not do. For example, the teenage kids that have depression and are not being treated for it are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, leading to high risk of having a transmitted disease or being pregnant. Leaving depression untreated is the third leading cause of death of teenagers.
What really causes depression other than genetic relations? According to the Focus Adolescent Services, the two main causes of depression are: unresolved grief and emotional detachment. Unresolved grief is due to death or loss of a relationship, loss of hopes and dreams, abandonment, or traumatic events. Emotional detachment is from fear or inability to connect with another or others. Teenage children who have depression are most likely to drop out of clubs or sports they used to love and do. For some teenagers that have depression are also most likely to be alone for the majority of their day rather than spending it with kids their age or even their own friends they have had for ever. One of my really good college friends who would like to remain autonomous, states that when she was being teased profusely in junior high she went into a depression mode. She did not want to talk to her mom for a while, did not want to go out to ride horses which was her favorite thing to do, and had sat in a tub and wondered how she could fix the problem. Some of the teachers thought I was handling being teased that they did not do anything. So to make her feel better, her mom snapped her out of it by taking her for a ride on horseback and relaxing and having fun with her horse friends again. But after she got out of the environment she was in she was fine. Most people that are in depression have different ways to get rid of the depression. Some people will shot guns or relax by them self and going to a place that is their favortive.
While like other illness, not all medications work but if people take them they could get better. When taking medication you should be careful and watch for the citafect. When taking an antidepressant be sure parents to watch your children. Because antidepressant medicine could increase the risk of suicide thinking or behavior in some teens. After taking an antidepressant, according to the FDA the teenager needs to see his or her doctor at least once a week for a month, every two weeks for the month after that, at the end of the twelfth week of actually taking the drug, and more if there are problems.
Teen are the main area we look for depression first. As people that are the one doing drugs and are drinking are in depression, but they are not the one you need to be looking at. The ones that you need to look at are the ones that are changing they mood, but they need to watch the people that are being different. I can remember one girl out of my school that went in to depression, I was the one that caught her cutting herself. I may not have handled it in the best way when u caught her but she stop and listened to what I had to say. She is now one of the people that I can say that I can look at and say I knew her. She turn her life back around and went to college and then got in to the army.
I am inpressed to say that I did have friends go througth the depression, and made it through. Says that a lot of people can make it, I am still inpressed with her. She got to the place she always wanted to be. So if you got a person that is in depression, have them look at what is ahead of them and not what is behind. So I just tell you if you think your friend or yourself is felling in to a depression, step back and look at your life because you can hurt more people then just yourself..
Adolescent Stress and Depression
Pennhurst State School
By Trinda Quint
Opened in 1908 just outside of Pottstown, Pennsylvania for the mentally and physically disabled, Pennhurst State School and Hospital had high hopes of helping, teaching, and bettering disabled youths in a secluded environment. This “model institution” was originally called the Eastern Pennsylvania Institution for the Feeble Minded and Epileptic. Sadly, when rumors of neglect and abuse began to spread, Pennhurst’s “beneficial treatment” of its wards began to come into question.
In the beginning, Pennhurst was the ideal place to send a disabled child. The school included a 300-bed hospital with a full nursing staff and two surgeons (on call at all times) and also employed a board of trustees, dental staff, and specialists in psychology, social services, accounting, and other fields of education. Also included in the staff were farming experts, as Pennhurst grew the majority of their food. Pennhurst could be considered a small community, as the 1,400 acre school contained a firehouse, grocery store, barber shop, greenhouse, an on-site power plant, baseball and recreational fields, and a cemetery.
What had seemed like a perfect place to turn disabled children into functioning members of society turned out to be a nightmare for those same children. Pennhurst had long been accused of abusing its patients, but it was not until 1968 that the horrors of Pennhurst were really brought to light. Bill Baldini, a reporter working for CBS in Philadelphia, was responsible for creating a groundbreaking expose showing just how bad the conditions were at Pennhurst. “Suffer the Little Children” showed that the school was understaffed, overcrowded, and providing no help to its patients.
Staff at Pennhurst believed that those residing within its gates would not be able to function on their own in the outside world. Unfortunately for Pennhurst, they were wrong. Many of the patients who were released from Pennhurst (those who were strong enough to hold onto their dignity while being “helped” by the school) went on to lead normal and successful lives. One of the most noteworthy of those successes was Terry Lee Halderman. Upon release from the institution she filed a law suit in the district court on behalf of herself and her fellow residents at Pennhurst. Some of the complaints involved in the suit included: No psychologists were on duty at night or over the weekend, restraints (physical and chemical) were used as control measures in lieu of adequate staffing, seclusion rooms have been used to punish aggressive behavior, psychotropic drugs were used as control rather than treatment, the physical environment was hazardous to the residents (both physically and psychologically), the environment is not only not conducive to learning new skills, but is so poor that it contributes to losing already learned skills, injuries to residents by other residents and through self-abuse are too common, there is staff abuse, and many residents had suffered physical deterioration and intellectual and behavioral regression during their residency. Halderman herself had a medical record containing a list of over forty reported injuries. The overworked but dedicated staff was the only reason any humanity was shown in the institution.
Pennhurst State School was closed on July 1, 1986 after a number of allegations of abuse. The remaining patients were discharged or transferred to other facilities. Treatments for patients were discussed with patients’ families in an attempt to help as much as possible. Though the Pennhurst State School and Hospital is closed, an active preservation effort exists to avoid the demolition of the buildings.
Bill Baldini’s 1968 Expose: Suffer the Little Children
Crime and Delinquency
By: Veronica Thornburg
There are 3 main major sociological theories of crime and delinquency. They are strain, social learning, and control theories. These theories are described as crime in terms of the social environment. They include the family, the school, peer groups, workplace, community, and society. However these theories, also differ from one another in several ways. They focus on some different features of the social environment, they offer different accounts of why the social environment causes crime, and some focus on explaining individual differences in crime while others attempt to explain group differences in crime.
Most people experience strain or stress, they become upset, and sometimes they do crimes as a result. They may engage in criminal behavior to reduce or escape from some of the strain that they are experiencing. Some people may also engage in crime to seek revenge against those who have wronged them. They may also engage in the crime of illegal drugs to make themselves feel better. There are 2 major types of strain, they are: others prevent you from achieving your goals and others take things that are valuable to you.
Some people engage in crime according to the social learning theory. They learn about crime, mostly through their peers or some family members. They learn beliefs that are favorable to crime. They are also exposed to criminals. As a consequence, they view crime as something that is desirable or justified in certain situations. According to the social learning theory juveniles learn to engage in crime in the same way they learn to engage in bad behavior; through association to other bad influences. Primary groups like the family and peer group have a large impact on what we learn and what is right from wrong. There are three mechanisms by which individuals learn to engage in crime from others. They are differential reinforcement, beliefs, and modeling. Crime is more likely to occur when it is frequently reinforced and infrequently punished. It results in large amounts of reinforcement like money or they are approved from peers and receive little to no punishment. Last, they are more likely to be reinforced than alternative behaviors.
During the early twentieth century crime grew in popularity. Some people wanted to understand the environment and social interaction of criminals, such as causal factors in the study of crime and delinquency. Society in the United States was changing. People left the rural farms for urban cities. The cities population grew rapidly throughout the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. It became a disorganized environment, and it was characterized by social instability and crime. Most minority neighborhoods experienced social disorganization. They also experienced increases in crime.
Chris Harris – Cyber Bullying
Just a few years ago you could easily spot a bully at your school. Usually the more popular kids tend to pick on, or exclude the less popular kids. Whether it was the football captain shoving a nerd in the trash can or a loner beating up prep. It’s still bullying no matter which way you look at it. Sending unwanted texts and IMs is also borderline stalking.
With old school bullying, it’s not always easy to catch the culprits but at least it isn’t impossible. There have been many victims but I am only going to talk about Megan Meier from Dardenne Prairie. Cyberbullies can be an ex, a former friend, or even a parent. As is with the case of Megan Meier, she thought she found a new friend. Lori Drew was convicted but it was then overturned. Which isn’t justice at all if you ask me.
Since then sites like Facebook, MySpace, Tagged and blogging became popular and times are changing. People can add you as a friend connect and keep in touch. Sometimes people like to abuse the sites and stalk and harass people. Leaving bad comments on pictures and totally trashing the victims. The most common form of cyber bullying on Facebook are the “hate groups” made to bash an individual or group. Most are usually jokes, but what if it’s for real? What doesn’t help is due to the anonyminity of the internet they can do it and get away with it.
Many victims of cyber bully tend to keep it to themselves and try deal with it alone. Parents usually don’t find out unless it’s too late, after they have done something rash: i.e. running away, or worse committing suicide. This is terrible because the perpetrator tend to get away with what they did unless there is hardcore proof or they slip up and get busted in the act. So what should be done? We need to spread awareness of this growing problem.
by Kory Slaughter
When was the last time you were able to turn on the news and not hear about some sort of violent act? Crimes are a continually growing concern amongst most major cities, and street gangs are behind most of the concern. Street gangs have overwhelmed the streets for centuries and there is no stopping the urge to commit such shocking crimes. Gangs grow from recruiting kids at a young age, but what makes a kid decide to join a crime filled lifestyle? Majority of these kids see glory as they join a gang. For instance, all the money, female, drugs and the feeling of being invincible and to always have brothers looking out for you like a family, a sense of belonging. What they fail to realize is that gangs are incredibly dangerous. It seems as though members of the gangs are dying every day. There are smart ones out there who realize that gang life isn’t what it seems to be and go their own way. Then there are others who don’t have a care in the world and is ride or die for his boys, his colors, and his hood.
There are three types of gangs in today’s society. Criminal gangs are gangs that use illegal means to secure income. Conflict gangs who are all about their turf. Retreatist gangs are unable to gain success through legitimate means and are unwilling to do so through illegitimate means, which is saying if they want it they are going to do whatever it takes to take it. I personally think that these three gangs all share the common interests of: killing, stealing and protecting they turf till the day they die.
Today there is approximately over a million gang members in about 200,000 gangs. Gangs generally have a leader or group of leaders who issue orders and obtain the treasures of the gang's activities. A gang may also wear their "gang colors", certain types of clothing, tattoos, brands, or l imprint their gang's name, logo, or other identifying marks on their bodies. Many gangs also communicate through the use of hand signals and graffiti on walls, streets, and school property. It is not illegal to be in a gang, but these violent and law breaking crimes gangs commit are.
Gang mentality is based on the three ‘R’s’, Reputation, Respect and Retaliation. Reputation does not only extend to the individual but also to the gang. Gang members have no problem admitting to the crimes they commit to impress people. The more you express to people the crimes you commit, the more tough you are and the less people will mess with you. Respect is very important and gang members go to the extreme for it. No gang member wants to feel disrespected by anyone. When other gangs come around you immediately should throw your gang sign up stare them down because if you don’t, your gang might feel like you disrespected them. Last but not least, Retaliation. Every gang wants others to know that every violent or criminal act against them will not go unanswered. That’s why there is drive by shootings or other violent acts committed against gangs.
Graffiti is a common way gangs communicate. Organized graffiti shows signs of what gangs are in the area or what gang members are in the area. Graffiti serves many purposes and is somewhat to be said like a newspaper. It gives warnings, challenges, or knowledge of deeds that took place.
Although there are many gangs today, most of them are sub divisions of the major gangs. There is one gang that stood through the test of time and it was the Crips. The Crips was founded by Raymond Washington in 1969 when he was just 15 years old. He got a group of his friends together and they started calling themselves the Baby Avenues. The name came about because of a gang named the Avenue Boys, who were older youths and did minor crimes for the Black Panther Party. Raymond was so fascinated with the Black Panther Party that they took the Baby Avenues and made it a larger gang. One member was Stanley ‘’Tookie’’ Williams and he became the face of the Crips, after the death of Raymond Washington, now calling themselves the Avenue Cribs because all members lived on Central Ave. Crib members would wear blue bandannas around there heads or necks, blue became their representative color. It wasn’t till 1971 that the word ‘’Crips’’ was starting to get popular. It was the more common name used by the gang and became an acceptable name for the Avenue Cribs. Washington and his gang members influenced other youths in other gangs to join his gang so then the formation of ‘’Crip Sets’’ started. Some of these sets included Avalon Garden Crips, Eastside Crips, Inglewood Crips and Westside Crips. The Crips were so violent and aggressive that other gangs started combining together making up another well known gang called the Bloods. They adopted the color red and a fierce rivalry would last well into the 1980’s. Raymond Lee Washington was killed on August 9, 1979, four months after Tookie Williams was arrested for quadruple murder. No one was ever arrested in Washington's murder. Stanley ‘’Tookie’’ Williams was sentenced to the Death Penalty and after spending 24 years on death row, he was finally put to death on December 13th, 2005.
Gangs have been before our time and will live long after our time. Gang members know what they are doing is wrong but for the thrill, they will always continue to do what, in their minds, believe is right. Respect is something a lot of youths lack in their lives today, and by being in a gang completes what they have always wanted the most in their life.
Samuel Mwago and Joshua Mwangi
Violent crime consist of actions murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault involving force or threat of force against others. it can also be defined as occurring when one person illegally and intentionally physically injures, or threatens to physically injure, another. Violent crime is unevenly distributed not only among but also within societies. Large regional differences are common in many countries. For example, rates of violent crime are higher in southern Italy, the southwestern and southern United States, and the western provinces of Canada.it tends to be concentrated in urban areas, especially within developed countries. For the most serious of these crimes, offenders are predominantly young adult males, and members of disadvantaged racial and ethnic minority groups tend to be overrepresented among offenders.
Explaining Violent Crime
There are three levels of analysis that frame sociological explanations of violent crime: the individual, the situational, and the structural-cultural. Individual-level analyses typically look for characteristics of offenders that either predispose them to violence or fail to discourage them from it. Situational approaches focus on the more immediate factors and processes surrounding violent crime. The interaction of participants, the nature of the conflict, the presence of alcohol, drugs, or weapons, all are examined to understand how conflicts escalate to violence. Situational analyses also emphasize the subjective, symbolic aspects of violent crime. Structural-cultural approaches tend to emphasize broader social forces, processes, and value systems that affect the motivations, controls, or opportunities for violent crime. Both structural and cultural analyses attempt to explain variations in rates of violent crime among population aggregates: cities, states, regions, and nations. These two approaches differ, however, in the importance placed on individual cognitions and propensities toward violence. Cultural accounts typically see these as crucial for explaining the distribution of violent crime among different groups, whereas structural accounts do not. Instead, structural analyses examine how social conditions either promote violence or distribute opportunities for victimization in a population. Structural analyses have found that the potential for violent conflicts and, hence rates of violent crime are greater where the distribution of economic resources is more unequal, ethnic or racial heterogeneity and inequality are greater, and divorce rates are higher. The best-known example of a cultural approach to explaining violent crime begins with the observation that certain groups in a population (e.g., African-Americans in the United States, aborigines in Canada), certain geographic regions of nations (e.g., Sardinia in Italy, southern states in the United States), or certain nations (e.g., Colombia, Mexico) have especially high rates of violent crime.
Impact on teens
One of the most alarming impacts of crime on teens is the strong relationship between being a victim of crime and committing criminal offenses. Being a victim of crime has been identified as the strongest predictor of violent offending among our nation's youth. The impact of violent crime is far-reaching. We can picture the immediate hospitalization and treatment of an assault victim or battered spouse who has been beaten, burned, or slashed. But after discharge, what about the scars? We hear heartbreaking cases of permanent disfigurement, with victims unable to obtain the expensive reconstructive or cosmetic surgery that would give them the confidence to go out in public, to resume employment, or to date again.
Controlling Violent Crime
Each type of explanation has implications for crime-control policies. Incapacitation through long prison sentences or capital punishment, deterrence through increased certainty and severity of punishment, and rehabilitation through individually designed treatment programs are individual-level approaches to controlling violent crime.
Leary, Mary Lou. "Violent Crime Is a Serious Problem." Opposing Viewpoints: Violence. Ed. Louise Gerdes. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Web. 4 May 2010.
Gartner, Rosemary. "Violent Crime." Macmillan Compendium: Social Issues. Ed. Robert D. Benford. New York: Macmillan Library Reference USA, 1998. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Web. 4 May 2010
In the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. The property crime category includes arson because the offense involves the destruction of property; however, arson victims may be subjected to force. Because of limited participation and varying collection procedures by local agencies, only limited data are available for arson. Arson statistics are included in trend, clearance, and arrest tables throughout Crime in the United States, but they are not included in any estimated volume data. The arson section in this report provides more information on that offense.
CAUSES OF PROPERTY CRIME
Crime in the United States is much higher than that reported to police but has probably not increased over the past 20 years. Crime rates are strongly affected by economic conditions. For example, an increase in per capita income appears to reduce both violent and property crime rates by a roughly proportionate amount. Crime rates are also affected by demographic and cultural conditions. For example, the violent crime rate increases with the share of births to single mothers. An estimated 10,328,255 property crimes were committed in the Nation in 2004, representing a 1.1-percent decrease from the 2003 estimate, a.4-percent increase compared with the 2000 estimate, and a 14.4 percent decrease from the 1995 estimate. With the recession not having yet "bottomed out", cities like Columbia,S.C. are seeing an increase in crime, but especially in property crime. Columbia has the second highest unemployment rate in the nation, reports the New York Times. Not that Columbia is alone in this surge of property crime, statistics show the unemployment rate is directly affecting this increase. Property crime will include credit card fraud and identity theft which makes any home computer extramural valuable to a thief. a lot of these thefts include pawning the computer, and then another thief purchasing it from a pawn shop just to retrieve information.
Substance abuse, commonly involving alcohol, triggers "stranger violence," a crime in which the victim has no relationship whatsoever with his or her attacker. Such an occurrence could involve a confrontation in a bar or some other public place where the attacker and victim happen to be at the same time. Criminologists estimate that alcohol or drug use by the attacker is behind 30 to 50 percent of violent crime, such as murder, sexual assault, and robbery. In addition drugs or alcohol may make the victim a more vulnerable target for a criminal by being less attentive to activities around and perhaps visiting a poorly lighted or secluded area not normally frequented perhaps to purchase drugs.
A person's peer group strongly influences a decision to commit crime. For example, young boys and girls who do not fit into expected standards of academic achievement or participate in sports or social programs can sometimes become lost in the competition. Children of families who cannot afford adequate clothing or school supplies can also fall into the same trap. Researchers believe these youth may abandon schoolmates in favor of criminal gangs, since membership in a gang earns respect and status in a different manner. In gangs, antisocial behavior and criminal activity earns respect and street credibility. Like society in general, criminal gangs are usually focused on material gain. Gangs, however, resort to extortion, fraud, and theft as a means of achieving it.
Conforming to Merton's earlier sociological theories, a survey of inmates in state prisons in the late 1990s showed very low education levels. Many could not read or write above elementary school levels, if at all. The most common crimes committed by these inmates were robbery, burglary, automobile theft, drug trafficking, and shoplifting. Because of their poor educational backgrounds, their employment histories consisted of mostly low wage jobs with frequent periods of unemployment.
Employment at minimum wage or below living wage does not help deter criminal activity. Even with government social services, such as public housing, food stamps, and medical care, the income of a minimum wage household still falls short of providing basic needs. People must make a choice between continued long-term low income and the prospect of profitable crime. Gaining further education, of course, is another option, but classes can be expensive and time consuming. While education can provide the chance to get a better job, it does not always overcome the effects of abuse, poverty, or other limiting factors.
By: Marcel Lewis
What do Jeffrey Dahmer, the Son of Sam and the BTK killer have in common?
Besides all being serial killers, noted an official with the Humane Society of the United States, each had a history of torturing animals.
"People who abuse animals often don't stop there," Peter Wood, deputy manager of animal cruelty issues said recently.
The connection between the two types of abuse has long been documented, but with a handful of recent animal cruelty cases across the region, the concerning link has re-entered officials' consciousness.
In Northbridge, a cat was set on fire this spring.
In Walpole, a woman has been accused of slaughtering her Great Dane. Police in Blackstone suspect a group of teens beat a great blue heron to death a few week ago.
Those incidents appear to be the most egregious of recently publicized accounts. Attracting just as much attention, however, are examples of animal neglect: dozens of miniature horses that were found emaciated and sickly on an Upton couple's farm; a handful of puppies, one of them badly hurt, abandoned in Milford; three St. Bernards Natick officials seized after finding them kept in small cages with little to no food, living in their own urine and feces. "There's something underlying there," Milford Police Chief Thomas O'Loughlin said of people who abuse animals.
O'Loughlin drew a distinction between the more blatant cases of abuse, such as the burned cat case, and examples of animal neglect, like the one he saw this month when five puppies were abandoned in Milford.
"Usually, you find that there are financial issues with people abandoning dogs," O'Loughlin said. "Sometimes, there are mental health issues. They're taking just as good care of their animals as they are of themselves.
"That's much different from a person that pours gasoline on a living thing and sets it on fire. That's depraved; that's sociopathic behavior."
Northbridge resident Allan Bessette, 42, pleaded not guilty this month in Worcester Superior Court to an animal cruelty charge alleging he and his 15-year-old son set a stray cat on fire in May.
Legislation approved last November elevated cruelty to animals to a felony charge, and required the Department of Social Services to be notified when youths abuse animals.
State Sen. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, sponsored the bill.
"There are enough studies that show us someone who abuses animals is more likely to abuse humans," Moore said.
Patricia and Karl Chapin of Uxbridge adopted the abused cat, whom they named Phoenix, and have nursed him back to health with financial help from the public.
"Seeing Phoenix up close and personal has just deepened my belief that abuse laws have to have more substance, more meaning to the criminal," Patricia Chapin said. "I don't think abusers make distinctions (between humans and animals); they operate for the moment."
Virginia-Marie Beckett manages the Humane Society of the United States' "First Strike" campaign, a program launched in 1997 to raise awareness about the connection between violence against animals and humans.
"We focus on animal cruelty connected to family violence," Beckett said. "In homes where children or spouses are being abused, quite often, pets are being abused, or threatened as ways of controlling abuse victims in the home."
First Strike monitors abuse cases and studies exploring the violence link, Beckett said. In 1983, New Jersey's Department of Social Services found that animals were abused in 88 percent of the homes where there was documented child abuse.
In the mid 1990s, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals worked with Northeastern University on a study of 150 prosecuted animal abuse cases. Convicted animal abusers' criminal records showed they were seven times more likely than the general population to abuse people.
"It really showed there is a connection, and in a lot of cases, there is a progression," Beckett said. "Children and adults who are abusing animals are also often committing other crimes at the same time."
MSPCA spokesman Scott Giacoppo said animal abuse is not necessarily a stepping stone for violence against people.
Rather, "an act of animal cruelty can fall anywhere on the line, before or after humans," he said.
Victim Is Crime
Victimless crime is a term used to refer to behavior that is illegal but does not violate or threaten the rights of anyone. It can in clude situations where a individual act alone as well as thel acts in which two or more people agree to commit a criminal offence where no other person is involved. The issue in situations of victimless crime is the same. Society has created a formal framework of laws to prohibit types of conduct thought to be against the public interest. Laws proscribing homicide, assaults and rape are common to most cultures. Though when the supposed victim freely consents to be the victim in one of these crimes, the question is whether the state should make an exception from the law for this situation. Take assisted suicide as an example. If one person intentionally takes the life of another, this is usually murder. If the motive for this is to collect the inheritance, society has no difficulty in ignoring the motive and convicting the killer. But if the motive is to relieve the suffering of the victim by providing a clean death that would otherwise be denied, can society so quickly reject the motive. It is a case of balancing the harms. On the one hand, society could impose pain and suffering on the victim by forcing him or her to endure a long decline into death. Or society could permit a system for terminating life under controlled circumstances so that the victim's wishes could be respected without exposing others to the criminal system for assisting in realising those wishes. But victimless crimes are not always so weighty. Some examples of low level victimless activities that may be criminalized by include: Riding a motorcycle or bicycle without a helmet, base jumping from city buildings, Individual purchase and consumption of recreational drugs, Driving a motor vehicle without a seatbelt, Prostitution and soliciting for prostitution, Public nudity and fornication, The consumption of pornography not involving children or coercion. Victimless crimes that are usually more serious include: Abortion, Unlicensed prizefights and similar activities of a sporting nature where the players consent and the audience actively approves of what they see, assisting someone to die at his or her request. This includes the elderly and seriously ill as well as less obvious scenarios. For example, helping someone such as a celebrity facing exposure for socially unacceptable behavior who seeks a gun or other means to end life; a driver trapped in a burning tanker full of gasoline who begs a passing armed police officer to shoot him rather than let him burn to death; a person who suffers traumatic injury in a road accident and wishes to avoid the humiliation and pain of a lingering slow death. These situations are distinguishable from soliciting the cessation of life-sustaining treatment so that an injured or ill person may die a natural death, or leaving instructions not to resuscitate in the event of death. Consideration of victimless crime involving more than one participant needs to take account of whether all the participants are capable of giving genuine consent. This may not be the case if one or more of the participants are: Animals, Children (normally measured as being under the legal age of consent, severely mentally ill, Not fully informed about the issues involved, Suffering from mood swings, Acting under duress, Addicted, Intoxicated. Libertarianism focuses on the autonomy of the individual, asserting each person's right to live their lives with the least possible interference from the law. Libertarians do not necessarily approve, sanction or endorse the victimless action that is criminalised. Indeed, they may strongly disapprove. Where they differ from non-libertarians is their belief that the government should be exceedingly reluctant to intervene. People are entitled to live their lives and make their own choices whether or not those choices are wise or the same as others would make, provided they do so voluntarily and without infringing the rights of others.
Process of Divorce
The first thing I’m going to tell you about divorce is the process steps that you will have to go through when getting a divorce. Some states do not have laws that allow a couple can participate in a legal separation, which you are married until a court decides otherwise. If the states laws allow couples to separate legally when one or the other spouse leaves the family residence your attorney will petition the courts for a separation agreement. This agreement protects the interests of both spouses and any children of the marriage by making sure that both parties meet their legal responsibilities to each other. If your state doesn’t have laws that allow a legal separation your next step would be to contact your attorney or file a petition with the courts yourself requesting a hearing so that a temporary separation agreement can be ordered. This is done after filing a petition for divorce in states with no legal separation laws on the books.
To begin the process, a document called the “Original Petition for Divorce” is filed with your local court clerk. In some states, this is referred to as a “Letter of Complaint.” Both of these documents are requested that the court grant a divorce and list any relief that party filing for divorce feels they are due. The original petition will identify the parties to the divorce and any children they may have. The party filing for the divorce will have a state a reason why they are filing a divorce as part of the petition or letter. In most states, this will be ‘irreconcilable differences” or “incompatibility.” The person filing for the divorce will be named the “petitioner” by the courts while the other one will is referred to as the “respondent” or in some states the “defendant.” The original petition or letter of complaint is then served on the respondent. Normally a member of the local sheriff’s office serves the petition. Once the respondent has been served he or she has thirty days to hire an attorney and respond to the original petition for divorce. It is at this time that either party may ask for restraining orders, protection orders or temporary orders pertaining to child support and maintenance.
The court at anytime can issue temporary orders that outline specific actions that must take place immediately orders are child support, spousal support and child custody. These orders are legally binding and not following them will mean finding yourself in court for contempt. If you found in contempt, you can be jailed or fined according to the discretion of the judge.
“Discovery” is a legal mechanism designed for gathering information about either party to the divorce. There is a legal mechanism designed for gathering information about either party to the divorce. There are five steps the discovery process. Although states and their laws may vary during the discovery process, the five steps below are common and will probably become a part of your divorce. First one is disclosure, every state has rules of civil procedures and the way disclosure is conducted is determined by those rules. Attorneys for both parties request certain items from the other party. The list of items is sent to the other side and they must respond within thirty days. The second one is interrogatories, this is a list of questions that the attorneys send to the opposing side. Most states set limits on how many questions and the response time is thirty days. The third step is admissions of fact; this is a written list of facts that is directed at the other party to the divorce. The party receiving the list of facts is asked to either admit to or deny each listed fact. The fourth one is request for production, this is a legal mechanism used to obtain documents such as bank statements, statements of income or any documents that attorney feels will benefit his client. The party receiving a request for production is supposed to respond with the document within thirty days. This part of the process can become a major obstacle to a swift divorce. It seems to be human nature to not want to turn over personal information and many times delay tactics are used at this part of the process. The last step of discovery is depositions. During the deposition attorneys will take sworn testimony from the opposing party and any witnesses involved. Anything said during a deposition can be used in court should an agreement not be met and you end up in divorce court.
If you are lucky, this is as far as you will get in a process. During mediation, both parties to the divorce and their attorney’s meet to discuss any conflicts they may have and try to come to an agreement that meets the needs of both. The “mediator” is a court appointed attorney, normally and is there to negotiate a settlement between the parties. If mediation didn’t work and there are unresolved issues a trial date will be set. If mediation didn’t work and there are unresolved issues a trial date will be set. During the trial, both parties have the chance to argue their case before a judge. The judge will then examine all the evidence and make a decision based on what he feels would be a proper settlement and outcome. Once a judge has made a decision the parties to the divorce will sign the final decree of divorce. The final decree states who gets what , any orders pertaining to custody of the children, child support amounts and any spousal maintenance that is ordered and any spousal maintenance that is ordered and any other issues pertinent to the dissolution of the marriage.
If you feel that the court orders are unfair you may then file a motion to appeal the order and request a new hearing. This motion is filed with the same judge that put in place the orders and not many judges are going to set aside their own orders. You should not be surprised when the courts deny your motion. When the court denies your motion, you file an appeal with the state appellate court. Marriages of short duration where there are no children or marital assets to split will see their way through the process rather quickly. If you have children and have accumulated assets during your marriage you should not be surprised when the divorce seems to turn into a long, drawn out and at times, frustrating process. Be patient because the Family Court system is hard at work trying to protect the interest of all parties involved in a divorce action.
By: Susan Brinkmeyer
A legal dissolution of a marriage contract by a court or other body having competent authority defines divorce. Divorce has increased in the past two decades. Static’s show a twenty percent increase after five years, a thirty-three percent increase after ten years and a forty-three percent increase after fifteen years. With numbers like that who in the right mind would want to get married in the first place.
Professionals say that divorce happens a long time before the “legal” divorce takes place. Some of the factors that bring on divorce are unraveling, estrangement, emotional separation, trust issues, lack of commitment to the marriage, lack of communication between spouses, lack of maturity and inability to deal with each others petty idiosyncrasies. Out of all the reasons that bring on divorce, professionals say it is the lack of communication between spouses, but it is a decision based on individual circumstances.
Divorce effects men and women differently. Research has shown women quality of life drops forty-five percent; while men quality of life improves forty-two percent. Some of the reasons for this are because of money and living standards. Men are usually higher paid then women therefore without having to pay to support a wife has more money; while women take on more responsibilities such as bills and have less money. However women do better emotionally then men. The reason for this is because women typically have a stronger support system then men do.
There is no doubt that divorce is the most stressful life event that a person can face. The feelings and roles each person experiences are very similar; even though the emotions are higher for the un-expecting person. Even the person seeking the divorce usually feels mourning and a sense of loss. The emotions commonly seen are denial, anger, depression, stress, bargaining and acceptance. Although a person may experience all these emotions, they are not in any kind of pattern. Both individuals’ roles change in life; such as husband and wife. If the individual enjoys playing those roles grief is felt.
Although most couples going through a divorce want to just get it over with, there is no clear beginning or ending. Divorce is more like a process. There are six steps to a divorce: legal, emotional, economic, co-parental, community and psychological. The legal step is the ending of a marriage by the courts. Second, emotional step is the feelings and events of an individual separating from their spouse. The third step is economic which involves all the paper work and tells the government you’re no longer finically together and to divide material things. In an uncontested divorce both individuals agree and a lawyer may not be hired. On the other hand, contested divorce the husband and wife don’t agree and a lawyer is hired. Co-parental is the forth step, which is the decision of parenting if children are involved. Fifth is the community step, which is the change in relationships with friends and living standards. Finally the psychological step is ones self developing autonomy. Divorce is along and drawn out process; which the effects can last for a life time. Not to mention what you put your children through.
Family, what is family? The book defines a family as relationships, in which people live together with commitment, from an economic unit and care for any young, and consider their identity to be significantly attached to the group. In my life my family is very important to me. These are the people that love you for who you are and don’t judge you. Families differ widely around the world, and that’s what makes each individual family so unique.
Even though every person in each family can be so different, every generation is the same. Each generation of a family carries down the traditions and history of each family. I learned a lot from my great grandmother and my grandpa. Next thing to do is pass it on the next generation of my kids, and my nieces and nephews. In my opinion, family is the most important thing in life. It hard to see some families fall apart, it makes me really appreciate what/who I have in my family.
The video I made is all about my family and what paths we want or wanted to take in life, mostly with our careers. I have two older brothers and a mom and a dad. I’m so happy to be in the family I am. I wouldn’t change it for anything. I talk about how we all, sometime in our life, wanted to become some sort of teacher and coach. Having grown up with two teachers in your life influences you to do the same. I have decided to get a degree in Elementary Education like my mother, but I want to coach like my dad has for the past 25 years. My parents were and still are a great influence on what I want to do in life. I am so grateful to have the family I do.
By Candee VonLehe
There are some people that think that homosexuals should have the right to adopt children in need. Yes it would be nice to have every child in the country to have a permanent place to live with a home filled with love, but I am not sure that placing them with homosexuals is a good idea. How would you feel if something happened to you and your child had to be adopted? Would you like them placed in the home of a homosexual couple? I know I don’t. I’m not saying homosexuals are bad people I am simply saying that it would be detrimental to the children to be subjected to the ridicule they will receive because of their “parents” sexual preferences.
Placing orphaned children in married couples’ homes is the best for the children. Doesn’t every child deserve a first-class adoption, rather than becoming the object of a politically-driven social experiment? In one study published in the Children Australia journal revealed “Overall, the study has shown that children of married couples are more likely to do well at school, in academic and social terms, than children of cohabiting heterosexual and homosexual couples.” For the sake of the children such adoptions should not be allowed to take place. By allowing these adoptions the needs of the child are ignored and set aside because the “rights” of the homosexual couples are more important in politics than the child’s. The welfare of the children that have already had a rocky start should be placed in a stable environment with a mother and father so that the child may have the best life possible.
There are pro-homosexual adoption researchers that feel they have sufficient evidence that shows that same-sex couples are actually a good option for orphaned children. Most of these studies are of children in lesbian households, single mother households, and heterosexual households. And even this study found that the children did better in school and in social situations when they were in a setting with married, heterosexual couples. So this shows that there is sufficient evidence against homosexual adoption, but still there are those that have “evidence” that placing children in a homosexual household is actually advantageous to the children.
Adoption by homosexuals harms the children psychologically. Interviews of such children, at different ages, reveal that they have seen a difference in the way they feel about themselves and their parents. In this study by Paul and Kirk Cameron that was published in Psychological Reports in 2002 shows that in their study of 57 life-stories of children in homosexual households, 92% of the stories mentions one or more “problems”. There were 213 problems taken into consideration, including: hyper-sexuality, instability, molestation, and domestic violence; in 94% of these cases the children felt their parents’ homosexuality was the cause.
The consensus of the Child Welfare League of America, an organization founded in 1920, is that, “children are not adversely affected by their parents’ lesbian or gay orientation”; adding the statement that “all of the mainstream professional organizations in the fields of child health and welfare agree that there is no basis to exclude gay men and lesbians from adopting children.” Adam Pertman, executive director of the Donaldson Institute (an adoption policy-research organization) and author of Adoption Nation states, “The evidence on the ground, based on the markers that we have, is that these are good families,” and “The social workers I talk to are asking how they can recruit more [gay parents], because they’re working. That’s the best validation I can think of, unless you think all these child welfare professionals are out to harm kids.”
For those that are still on the fence about allowing homosexuals adopt children, take this scenario into consideration, maybe it will put things into perspective. For those married couples this will more than likely sway you vote to that of anti-homosexual adoption. If something happened to you and your spouse, would you feel comfortable having your child placed in the home of a homosexual couple? If this would disturb you about your own children, why is it any different with other children? All children disserve the best life possible and placing children in the homes of homosexual couples is will not accomplish this for them. Therefore; adoption by homosexual couples must be stopped! Help the children of tomorrow have the fulfilled life you have had.
What will you do to preserve the lives of the children of the future? For the sake of the children, help stop homosexual adoption NOW!
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). "Gays and Lesbians Should Be Allowed to Adopt." At Issue: Are Adoption Policies Fair?. Ed. Amanda Hiber. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008.
Cameron, Paul. "Gay Adoption Puts Children at Risk." Contemporary Issues Companion: Gays and Lesbians. Ed. Kate Burns. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005.
Cushman, Candi. "Adoption Workers Are Wrongly Biased in Favor of Gays and Lesbians." Current Controversies: Issues in Adoption. Ed. William Dudley. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2004.
Gary Glenn. "Gays and Lesbians Should Not Be Allowed to Adopt." At Issue: Are Adoption Policies Fair?. Ed. Amanda Hiber. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008.
Knight, Robert H. "Homosexuals Should Not Have the Right to Adopt." Opposing Viewpoints: Adoption. Ed. Mary Williams. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2006.
Sanchez, Julian. “Adoption by Gay Men and Lesbians Is a Good Option for Orphaned Children.” Current Controversies: Issues in Adoption. Ed. Christina Fisanick. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2009.
Child abuse is more than bruises and broken bones. While physical abuse might be the most visible sign, other types of abuse, such as emotional abuse or child neglect, also leave deep, long lasting scars. Some signs of child abuse are subtler than others. However, by learning common types of abuse and what you can do, you can make a huge difference in a child’s life. The earlier abused children get help, the greater chance they have to heal from their abuse and not perpetuate the cycle. Learn the signs and symptoms of child abuse and help break the cycle, finding out where to get help for the children and their caregivers.
There are several types of child abuse, but the core element that ties them together is the emotional effect on the child. Children need predictability, structure, clear boundaries, and the knowledge that their parents are looking out for their safety. Abused children cannot predict how their parents will act. Their world is an unpredictable, frightening place with no rules. Whether the abuse is a slap, a harsh comment, stony silence, or not knowing if there will be dinner on the table tonight, the end result is a child that feel unsafe, uncared for, and alone.
Child neglect—a very common type of child abuse—is a pattern of failing to provide for a child's basic needs, whether it be adequate food, clothing, hygiene, or supervision. Child neglect is not always easy to spot. Sometimes, a parent might become physically or mentally unable to care for a child, such as with a serious injury, untreated depression, or anxiety. Other times, alcohol or drug abuse may seriously impair judgment and the ability to keep a child safe. Older children might not show outward signs of neglect, becoming used to presenting a competent face to the outside world, and even taking on the role of the parent. But at the end of the day, neglected children are not getting their physical and emotional needs met.
Physical abuse involves physical harm or injury to the child. It may be the result of a deliberate attempt to hurt the child, but not always. It can also result from severe discipline, such as using a belt on a child, or physical punishment that is inappropriate to the child’s age or physical condition. Many physically abusive parents and caregivers insist that their actions are simply forms of discipline—ways to make children learn to behave. But there is a big difference between using physical punishment to discipline and physical abuse. The point of disciplining children is to teach them right from wrong, not to make them live in fear.
Child sexual abuse is an especially complicated form of abuse because of its layers of guilt and shame. It's important to recognize that sexual abuse doesn't always involve body contact. Exposing a child to sexual situations or material is sexually abusive, whether or not touching is involved. While news stories of sexual predators are scary, what is even more frightening is that sexual abuse usually occurs at the hands of someone the child knows and should be able to trust—most often close relatives. And contrary to what many believe, it’s not just girls who are at risk. Boys and girls both suffer from sexual abuse. In fact, sexual abuse of boys may be underreported due to shame and stigma. Aside from the physical damage that sexual abuse can cause, the emotional component is powerful and far-reaching. Sexually abused children are tormented by shame and guilt. They may feel that they are responsible for the abuse or somehow brought it upon themselves. This can lead to self-loathing and sexual problems as they grow older—often either excessive promiscuity or an inability to have intimate relations. The shame of sexual abuse makes it very difficult for children to come forward. They may worry that others won’t believe them, will be angry with them, or that it will split their family apart. Because of these difficulties, false accusations of sexual abuse are not common, so if a child confides Of course, just because you see a warning sign doesn’t automatically mean a child is being abused. It’s important to dig deeper, looking for a pattern of abusive behavior and warning signs, if you notice something off. you, take him or her seriously.
Don’t turn a blind eye! The earlier child abuse is caught, the better the chance of recovery and appropriate treatment for the child. Child abuse is not always obvious. By learning some of the common warning signs of child abuse and neglect, you can catch the problem as early as possible and get both the child and the abuser the help that they need. While child abuse and neglect occurs in all types of families—even in those that look happy from the outside—children are at a much greater risk in certain situations.
Divorce on Children
For many kids, their parents' getting a divorce marks a turning point in their lives, no matter if the divorce happened many years ago or is taking place right now. As of now about half the marriages in the United States today end in divorce, leaving many children that have divorce parents feeling they are alone but there not. When it comes to telling your kids about your divorce, many parents don’t know how to go about doing so, or think about how it affects the kids more than themselves. Difficult as it may be to make the conversation easier for both the kids and yourself as a parent, try to have a empathetic tone and address the most important points first. Some points that will help the kids understand is: to be completely honest with them, tell them why you are getting a divorce, but leave it small so you don’t confuse them in the long run. Tell them that you love them, even though saying something just as a simple “I Love You” doesn’t seem like much, it really helps them by you letting them know that you both still care about them and you’ll be there to help them in every way possible. The last thing is letting them be aware about the changes that will happen and that some things wont be the same. For children, dealing with their parents getting a divorce can have many feeling such as, stress, anger, sadness, and confusion. If things get worse rather than better after several days or months, it may be a sign that your child is stuck in depression, anxiety or anger and could use some additional support such as seeing a therapist. Some of the warning signs of divorce-related depression or anxiety is:
trouble at school
drug or alcohol abuse
frequent angry or violent outbursts
withdrawal from loved ones
refusal of loved activities
At this point as parents you need to put your differences aside and help support your child on how to express his or her emotions such as, listening to them, helping them find words for the feeling that they are feeling, let them be honest with you and give them a chance to tell you how they feel, and also take the time to acknowledge their feelings, never use negative words or tone. Let them keep a journal on their emotions and action, and have them go back and look at how far they have came from day one to now. Remember that your goal is to avoid lasting stress and pain for your children. Never fight in front of the kids take it somewhere else or do it at a later time, no matter if its in person or on the phone. Be respectful and don’t talk about the other spouses behavior or action in front of the kids as well, just keep in mind that if you can’t say anything nice then don’t say it at all. Try to look on the bright side of things, and keep the family together by having a good relationship with each other as parents so it will leave the stress off of the kids, by trying to keep the family together or by picking sides. Don’t let them think that they are the reason for you getting a divorced, or let them wonder if they did something wrong, or have them thinking that you are both leaving them and making them feel not wanted. According to Larry Bilotta some of the most recent rising statistics of divorce and children are:
Half of all American children will witness the breakup of a parent’s marriage. Of these, close to half will also see the breakup of a parent’s second marriage
(Furstenberg, Peterson, Nord, and Zill, Life Course)
Among the millions of children who have seen their parents divorce, one of every 10 will also live through three or more parental marriage breakups.
(The Abolition of Marriage, Gallagher)
Forty percent of children growing up in America today are being raised without their fathers. (Wade, Horn and Busy, Fathers, Marriage and Welfare Reform Hudson Institute Executive Briefing, 1997)
Of all children born to married parents this year, fifty percent will experience the divorce of their parents before they reach their 18th birthday.
(Fagan, Fitzgerald, Rector, The Effects of Divorce On America)
The EMOTIONALLY Damaging Effect – Statistics of divorce and children
Studies in the early 1980’s showed that children in repeat divorces earned lower grades and their peers rated them as less pleasant to be around.
(Andrew J. Cherlin, Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage Harvard University Press 1981)
Teenagers in single-parent families and in blended families are three times more likely to need psychological help within a given year.
(Peter Hill Recent Advances in Selected Aspects of Adolescent Development Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 1993)
Compared to children from homes disrupted by death, children from divorced homes have more psychological problems.
(Robert E. Emery, Marriage, Divorce and Children’s Adjustment Sage Publications, 1988)
These statistics about children and divorce are pretty shockingaren’t they? The DEATH of a parent is LESS devastating to a child than a DIVORCE. (Even I wouldn’t believe this if I didn’t see the statistic myself.)
The PHYSICALLY Damaging Effects – Statistics of divorce and children
Children of divorce are at a greater risk to experience injury, asthma, headaches and speech defects than children whose parents have remained married.
(Dawson, Family Structure and Children’s Health and Well Being National Health Interview Survey on Child Health, Journal of Marriage and the Family)
Following divorce, children are fifty percent more likely to develop health problems than two parent families.
(Angel, Worobey, Single Motherhood and Children’s Health)
Children living with both biological parents are 20 to 35 percent more physically healthy than children from broken homes.
(Dawson, Family Structure and Children’s Health and Well-being Journal of Marriage and the Family)
It hurts to know how many parents out there don’t sit down and think about how important it is to know all the facts before getting a divorce. You would think that your child’s life is more important as well as it being in your hands. If you’re seriously considering divorce and you haven’t attempted to save your marriage. Just think of all the reason that I’ve shared with you and at least give it a try, not only for you but for your child or children.
By: April Scott and Mandee Sundquist
The BIG question here is should gay and lesbian families be excluded from the adoption system? Homosexual adoption is the biggest gay rights problem. The most important issue that develops if we allow same-sex marriages is not the insurance benefits, the right to keep material goods after the death of a partner or even performing marriages in churches, but the right of the couple to adopt children.
First, adoption is a selfish act. While it may be the most loving act one can do for a child, it is purely self-motivated. For instance, you must want the responsibility of raising a child before you commit to adopting one for the rest of its natural life. It is in the interest of the couple to adopt, even if the idea is to love another human being and provide a good life for that child. Those against gay adoption argue that same-sex couples cannot produce children naturally so therefore, it is wrong for them to even be together, much less adopt children.
But, if this is your argument, why do you allow heterosexuals that cannot reproduce naturally the right to adopt also? Another argument is that gays cannot distinguish gender to their children.
For example, a mother is nurturing by nature. She provides the child with the love and emotional support that we do not assign to men. Men provide strength, courage and leadership roles.
This is the idea of a traditional family. But, in fact, men and women don't always assume these traditional roles. The United States has many children waiting to be adopted. Older children and those with special needs are especially hard to place. Children who fit this category are in foster homes right now with gay and lesbian parents who want to adopt them. It is unfair to the children to deny them permanent secure homes. Most children in the United States do not live with two married parents. In fact, according to the 2000 census, only 24% of homes were composed of married mother and father with children living at home. The Florida court argues that children are better off raised in a two-parent heterosexual household. In fact, scientific studies have shown that children who grow up in one or two-parent gay or lesbian households fare just as well emotionally and socially as children whose parents are heterosexual. Studies have shown that children are more influenced by their interactions with their parents, than by their sexual orientation. There is no legal reason why gays and lesbians should be denied the right to adopt children. The law only hurts children waiting to be adopted and deprives loving parents who would care for these children. If a couple has a child through artificial insemination, only the birth parent is recognized as the legal guardian. Through second-parent adoption, both parents can obtain legal custody of the child. In the states that do not allow second-parent adoption, if something happens to the custodial parent, the remaining parent, even if they have been raising the child for years, can be seen as a stranger in the eyes of the law. The child may not be eligible for the non-custodial parent’s health insurance, social security or other insurance if that parent becomes incapacitated. There is no way this can be in the best interest of the child.
Will children be teased if they have homosexual parents? Most children experience teasing. It's almost a rite of passage. If a child can't tease another child based on their name, than it's the choice of clothing, glasses, braces, or a child's parents. Many wonder if it is in the best interest of a child to be raised by homosexual parents, based on a variety of reasons - personal, religious, or social. Child Welfare Information Gateway quotes the following therapist, "It can be too hard a transition for some children, especially those who are older and have already formed preconceived notions about homosexuality," explains therapist Ruder. "Younger children usually have an easier time adjusting to a gay and lesbian parented home. They haven't learned the societal biases against gays and lesbians yet." This is another issue for gays and lesbians to consider before deciding to adopt or foster a child. Not only will adoption need to be openly discussed, but also sexual orientation. There is a lot to think about before adding to your family. When considering adoption for a gay family, there seems to be even more decisions to make and options to keep in mind. A gay prospective adoptive parent must not only work through the adoption process, but also know what choices are available in their state or country regarding gay adoption.
What are the arguments for gay couples? Many gay couples - certainly those offering themselves as adoptive parents - form relationships that are more stable than many heterosexual marriages, thus giving adopted children a secure emotional home. In an era when many children are raised by single parents - with proven disadvantages such as lower educational achievements and poor behavior - gay couples offer adopted children two full-time parents. Lesbian couples are permitted to have children through artificial insemination. The record is that such couples provide loving homes and raise well-balanced children. Barring gay men and lesbians from becoming 'parents' is discrimination, based on sexual orientation, which would not be acceptable in other contexts such as employment. There is a shortage of adoptive parents. The 'family', whether gay or straight, is better than the foster-care system.
What are the arguments against gay couples? To grow up to be well-balanced adults, children need role models of both sexes. Boys without fathers under-achieve, especially since there are now fewer male teachers in primary schools. We are a 'Christian' country - even if few go to church, our values remain based on Christian teaching. Two parents are axiomatic - 'Honor thy father and mother', invokes the Fifth Commandment. Children raised by gay parents are offered only one partnership model and are therefore (some argue) more likely to be gay. If Roman Catholic adoption agencies close rather than allow gay couples to adopt, the number of adopted children will decline, leaving more in the unsatisfactory care system. Some areas of life cannot be legislated for and must be left to individual conscience. A sufficiently large minority simply find gay parenting 'wrong'; the practice therefore should not be enforced on all.
Committed gay couples are already giving birth to, adopting and fostering children. Whether or not same-sex marriage becomes widely legal in America, same-sex parenting is a done deal. Around the country, courts are increasingly recognizing that reality, with more generous notions of what "parenting" and "family" mean. Critics are launching the predictable counterattack: deriding gay parenting with the same claims they use to attack gay marriage and dismissing any judge who recognizes such relationships as an unprincipled liberal activist. But there's a crucial legal difference between claims that liberal judges are inventing a right to same-sex marriage and inventing a right to same-sex parents: Judges who do the latter are adhering to a bedrock principle of family law. The Delaware Supreme Court found last week that a gay woman could retain joint custody of triplets she co-parented with their biological mother. That makes Delaware one of a growing number of jurisdictions unwilling to reflexively downgrade involved gay parents to third-party interlopers. According to the 2000 Census, 34 percent of female same-sex households and 22 percent of male ones include children. The Lambda Legal Defense Fund estimates 6 million to 10 million gay parents are caring for 6 million to 14 million children. Adoption laws vary widely by state. Most states allow adoption by single parents, including gay parents. Only Florida categorically prohibits gay parents from adopting, although Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah and North Dakota do so as a matter of practice. Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Missouri are now considering constitutional amendments or laws banning gay adoption. Three states (Arkansas, Nebraska and Utah) prohibit gay people from even serving as foster parents.
These legislative bans fly in the face of both necessity and truth. There are 119,000 children waiting to be adopted in this country, about half of them racial and ethnic minorities. There are about 588,000 children in foster care. Legislators — like a clutch of Ohio Republicans — pushing bans on gay adoption and fostering must argue that it's better for these children to languish in state custody, or bounce from foster home to foster home, than be raised by gay parents. Just as there is no data to support the claim that children raised by married gay parents fare worse than those raised by heterosexual ones, there is no data to suggest that foster care is preferable to gay parenting. That's why almost every serious child welfare entity, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Child Welfare League of America and the American Psychological Association, recognizes that gay parents are no worse than heterosexual ones. Efforts to prevent gay parents from obtaining joint custody over their children crash against the same practical realities. The majority of states, by denying gay partners the right to "second-parent" adoptions or joint custody with a gay partner, effectively enshrine a legal regime in which millions of children have one legal parent and one legal stranger. That means that millions of children lack the security of two parents for purposes of health insurance, life insurance, inheritance, child support payments, emergency medical authorizations or parental leave, particularly in the event that their parents separate or their primary parent dies. In order to defend the current adoption and custody regimes, therefore, you need to subordinate the practical and emotional interests of children to the moral preferences of lawmakers. That is precisely what family law prohibits. The arguments for locking gay parents out of formal parenting arrangements include the familiar litany of complaints about health, morals and the sanctity of traditional marriage. But when real family court judges face real children in real family relationships, those arguments are quickly blunted by real concerns. The best-interest test reinforces the legal proposition that children are not their parents' chattel; the state has an obligation to privilege their needs, sometimes even over the needs of their own parents and other adults. The test is a not a fixed rule, precisely because judges must figure out what's best for kids on a fact-specific basis. And while judges can and should be able to make subjective decisions about whether two-parent adoptive homes are better than single-parent homes, they also need to be free to decide that it's preferable for little Joey to have a gay adoptive father than none, or to have two legal mommies rather than one. Rules rooted in sweeping moral judgments don't generally work in family law for the same reason they don't work for families: Kids love and need the parents they have, not necessarily the parents we love.
The push against gay, lesbian, and same-sex couple’s adoption is more about gay discrimination than child welfare. So, before you buy into the myths and rhetoric that gay adoption poses an unsafe environment for children or that a gay household is a "recruitment center" for young adults, the facts those against same-sex adoption aren't telling you: There are already thousands of children living in gay couple households. The 2000 U. S. Census reports 33% of female same-sex couple’s households and 22% of male same-sex couple’s households already have at least one child under the age of 18 living at home. There is no conclusive evidence that homosexuality is linked to one's environment. In other words, growing up in a gay couple household will not "make" a child gay.
Living Together Before Marriage
Here comes the golden question, “should you live with somebody before you get married?” My response is yes, how else will you really get to find out what they are like. Living together is a lot easier to get out of then a divorce if you are married.
Many people bring up the point that is a sin to live with somebody before you’re married. That may be but there are plenty of worse things to go to hell for, might as well have fun while you are alive. Obviously I’m giving this from my own point of view because I am a person that lives with a boyfriend.
Living together before you get married is not a big deal these days. It is just a way for you go to get to know somebody and learn all of their special little quirks. For all you know you could be marrying somebody that is a pig any day of the week except when you are coming to visit. Could you live with somebody that lives in a pigsty? What happens if they do something that absolutely drives you nuts and you can’t stand it?
Now, I know everybody thinks this is so wrong, but really it is not. I also realize that marriage is a sacred union, but why not enter it knowing what you are getting into. I have always believed that you should do what you think is right. You should go with how you feel and you should never ever worry about how other people are going to react. If you are happy that nothing else should matter to you.
By Laura Schmid
Family is a very strong thing that should not be taken lightly. Family is a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not according to dictionary.com. To me family is anyone that loves you, takes care of you, supports you, and is there for you when ever you need them.There are many types of families. There are the nuclear, extended, single, and childless families.
Nuclear families are families that have a dad, mom, and children, whether they be biological, step, or adopted. These families are not seen as much these days. Family Ties says that only 53.7% of families are nuclear or traditional families. It also says that these families were mostly seen in the 1950s and 60s. It was really the only type of family that was recognized at that time.
Then we have extended families. Extended families that more then just the parents live in one household. They may be aunts, grandparents, cousins, and even foster children. They all share in taking care of and running the household. Family Ties informs us that 21% of all Americans live in an extended family household.
Next we have single families. This is where there are children and only one parent for one reason or another. This is becoming more and more common every day. This is usually mom with the children but it could be dad, grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, or many more different people. From what I can tell there is only one parent in the home because mom and dad are no longer together, dad just lost his job and /or dad does not want to he part of their life.
I grew up in a nuclear home. My mom and dad are both living in my houseand have been married for 25 years together they have 4 children that just happened to all be girls. My dad works on a oil rig and is home only once a month for about a week. My mom works at a drop in shelter for mentally challenged people and in the speech department in the elementary school. I have three Sisters. My oldest sister Hope does not have here degree and she works at Red River Commodities. She is 8 months pregnant and is expecting a boy; his name will be Blain Memphis Wagoner. Next is Christina. She has just recently graduated for Fort Hays with a degree in communications. She works in the Thomas County Foundations building in Colby. She is engaged and will be married next year in May…the weekend after I graduate. Then comes Robyn. She graduated from CCC and then joined Amricorp. She did not enjoy that so she came home. She now has a three month old little boy named Lynk Lynnix Reed. He is the love of my life. That brings us to me. I am going to school right now to get my teaching degree so I can hopefully be a teacher in a preschool classroom. I work at Village Inn and will probably work there until I get done going to school in Colby. I am the least exciting out of my sisters. I am not getting married or have/having any children. I am going to be the loving supportive sister, sister-in-law, and aunt.
Now for my extended family. I have around 10 non-related dads and about 3 non-related moms. To most
people they would be there fake aunts and uncles but they are so close to me that they are my dads. My dads are long haired hippies that are a part of a biker gang. They are the nicest guy in the word until you hurt them or one of their family members. They are here for me when my real dad can’t. It doesn’t matter day or night I can call them and they will be on my door step. Now my moms are the greatest I tell them everything. They probably know more about me at this point then I do. I know I can tell them anything and they wont judge me. They helped my mom raise us girls when my dad was gone when we were little and still doing a great job at it. I don’t care what anyone says these are my parents and I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.
We are a strange family. We all love each other and at the same time we love to hate each other. We are always going to another for help and advice, we usually don’t like the response but we ask anyway. We fight and bicker worse then a lot of families that I have met…that’s ok, I know we all still love each other and will always be there.
Families come in all shapes and sizes. Now days there is no normal family structure. Everyone’s life experiences are different. This is what my family looks and I would change it if I was paid all the money in the world. We have our problems, but who doesn’t. All that matters is that they love me for who I am and I know that they are going to back me up 100% my whole life, even if they don’t agree with what I did. To me this is a family. People that are there for you unconditionally and will love you forever just the way you are.