1 The Development of Social Term Paper

  • Length: 10 pages
  • Sources: 1
  • Subject: Family and Marriage
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #70896716

Excerpt from Term Paper :

trade also has contributed to the economic exploitation of women, as the
textile industry for example, which is predominantly women has seen jobs
lost and wages cut. Women are often forced to be teachers or work in day-
care centres, but not on equal footing with men. Women are victims as are
ethnic minorities, and they are forced into hourly jobs with low salaries,
high unemployment, and little unionization or official organization.
Furthermore, women are dependent on household duties, and through
mechanical technological improvements in household work, women have been
able to work more. This means that women are in fact tied to the family,
and that the family dictates that women's economic needs are of secondary
concern. As the household labourer, traditional duties are a priority, and
this notion of women contributing to the workforce as secondary to
household duties has contributed to women being treated as secondary within
the workforce.
Women are integral economic parts of the Canadian workforce, as
families depend on two incomes. However, the family that women work to
support has led to economic exploitation. Women's value has not translated
into economic improvement, and although more women have entered the
workforce, they are entering in the same occupation fields without as much
opportunity as men. They are paid less, given fewer benefits all because
they are seen as the child bearers and child raisers and not as equal
partners in the economic job market. Women are looked down upon as
secondary in the home to men, as economic exploitation of women has been
reinforced by the family ideology. These conditions, known as "for the
sake of the family," mean that women are first family members before
becoming contributors to the workforce. This ideology has carried over to
contribute to the economic exploitation of all women.
Social change is the transformation of cultural and social
institutions overtime and has taken place in Canada over the past hundreds
of years. From a society of Native people, to a modern nation, Canada has
undergone incredible social change touching on all aspects on Canadian
life. This change has become known as modernization, and there are
numerous theories as to why society has modernized, the most fitting being
Karl Marx's theory of capitalism.
Canada's earliest change, and its most drastic lie within capitalist
endeavors. According to Marx's theory, the industrial revolution brought
about capitalism which weakened traditional norms as capitalism would "sow
the seeds" that would lead to revolutionary change. Capitalism did impact
such change, not only in Europe, but in Canada. Stepping outside of the
socialist aspects of Marx's theory, one can see that the drive for capital
has changed Canada from its earliest days of traditional Native existence.
French and English desire for commerce, immigrants seeking better lives,
financial investments, and free trade are all part of the capitalist quest
to expand and acquire more capital. The market has influenced Canada's
economy, which has influenced its society without becoming socialist. Thus
not only has Marxist's theory influenced the world through his inception of
socialism, but also through his praise of the inevitable step of capitalism
which has accounted for drastic changes in Canadian society.
Other explanations for change in Canada and throughout the world are
not as fitting as Marx's. Ferdinand Tonnies' theories on modernization
which have held up well over time, accounts for the fact that
industrialization in Europe and North America has led to impersonal
interaction which has transformed traditional society. However, I do not
see it as fitting as Marx's theory as the roots of the modernization as
impersonal social interaction did not cause change, but rather the desire
to accumulate money in the open market led to activities that were
impersonal. Ultimately, this means that impersonal activities did not
cause the change, but are a result of capitalism, which points towards
Marxist theory. Canada was a vast land, and still is, but the social
change in the land was not because of the breakdowns of traditional life,
but rather the need to expand markets led to Canada's change. Canada was a
source of raw materials for Europe, and people were exploited to gather
such resources. This is capitalist motivation behind the activities that
ultimately changed Canadian society.
Likewise, Durkeheim's work that modern society will become too
egotistical has proved not to be the case, at least not yet. The values of
modern society have not degenerated so significantly, and change in society
is not the result of changing values, but rather the result of the drive
for capital. A critic of modern society, Weber does not believe the
changes brought through the breakdown of traditional society are
necessarily positive, but rather too rational and will ruin people's lives.
However, history has not shown this to be the case as modernization has
led to social change that is positive. For example, racism in Canada and
throughout the Western world has gone from incredibly blatant to much more
subdued in only the last one hundred years, and that is certainly a
positive change.
Marx's theory is thus the most accurate, and although he
overemphasizes the dehumanizing aspects of capitalism, as perhaps
capitalism is not as doomed he maintained, it is incredibly influential.
Capitalist desires have led to great change that has broken traditional
society and led to modernization. Impersonal interaction, for example, is
a product of capitalism and not vise versa.
The Canadian labour movement is incredibly fragmented according to
Craig Heron according to differences of "ethnicity, industry, sex, and
region." This fragmentation, in which unions have a history of
differences, is perhaps changing in the future of the 'new worker' in
Canada with perhaps one union.
Tracing the historical development of unions in Canada can show the
fragmentation. The origins of working class organizations are in the 18th
century, but more so in the 19th. Skilled workers organized in the 1850s
and company towns emerged with their own unions. The Knights of Labour in
the 1880s are influential as they organized across trade, but still
excluded ethnicities like the Chinese for example. These early days of
unions saw attempts at unionization as a national organization. However,
fragmentation would arise as, for example, in 1910 certain labour
organizations were excluded from the national Trade & Labour Congress
because of being too radically socialist. In 1927 the ACCL was founded
creating more fragmentation as they were opposed to international unions.
A split in 1938 divided unionism along the lines of craft vs. industrial
unionism. This trend towards fragmentation continued throughout the
century as to this day as, "The Canadian labour movement remains fragmented
by unions that organizational run north-south (International) and east-west
(Canadian unions)," which means unions are limited in their effectiveness.
Heron outlines this fragmentation along four cleavages, the two that
were previously mentioned, as well as reformist vs. radical and resource
vs. manufacturing. All of these cleavages reflect cleavages in Canada.
For instance the radical unionist believe that the working class to be
extremely marginalized and thus support radical changes. This reflects the
lack of social mobility within Canadian society. Also Canada's union
cleavage between industry and craft in which one is a collection of skilled
workers and the other unskilled labourers sheds light on divisions within
Canadian society as workers are often on the outside looking inward.
Samuel Gompers, a craft unionist in the late 19th century actually opposed
legislation that would be better for the worker because he believed in the
success of craft unions such as the American Federation of Labor. Such
union action surely does not benefit labour as a whole. Nevertheless, both
craft and industrial unions have been historically influential in Canada
and are an indication of the fragmentation in the Canadian labour movement.
Furthermore, international trade unions which are based in the United
States illustrate Canada's reliance on the United States, and often perhaps
America's detriment to Canadian labor if cheaper jobs are to the countries
south of Canada's border. International unions appear be less effective
for Canadians than national unions.
The future role of unions in Canada is that they may become more
significant, and are leaning towards less fragmentation. The Free Trade
agreement has hurt Canadian workers, thus leading to an increased "social
unionism" in Canada. Globalization means a steep challenge to Canadian
labor which can go elsewhere for cheaper, and Canada must respond. The
results will lead to social change and changes in Canada's unions. The
blue collar worker of the past will be a dead notion, as technology and the
skilled worker will become more significant. Women have begun to challenge
patriarchal stereotypes and will become more influential in a male
dominated economic landscape. Additionally, there are ideas being thrown
around for a universal union so people can freely change jobs. This
reflects the growing need to become competitive in the world market and
with declining state intervention, unions must overcome their fragmentation
to become more effective. This means moving away from the international
unions which are prevalent in…

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