Emily Worthington

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"Everyone's a winner" The importance of teaching the value of equality in the process of socialisation (the upbringing of children)

Egalitarianism is defined as the “belief in human equality especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs”.

I am a HSC student doing Society and Culture and as part of the course completing a Personal Interest Project, it would be really helpful if i could have as much feedback as possible with comments on the issue, ideas, direction, and opinions.

My investigation explores the socialisation of egalitarianism in Australia, and the social idea of the need to teach children the value of equality.
My hypothesis is that over time as Australian society has adjusted to the social change process of modernisation; societal values and norms have changed along with it. This change has had a direct impact on elements of socialisation, in particular within the family. I believe the family unit is the driving the promotion of the value of ‘egalitarianism’ within Australian society at present.
Over time I feel there has been less egalitarianism between genders and I would like to explore the concept of equality through gender. The changing attitudes and perspectives of equality surrounding gender have undergone many social changes in the last 60 years. I hope to determine the socialisation of different genders through the idea that each should have equal opportunity.
I believe that the synthesis of primary and secondary research methodologies, will produce data that will show that over time, the value of egalitarianism has become greatly accepted as a positive norm in the macro world. From this, I believe that elements of the macro world such as media and social movements have caused the encouragement of egalitarianism in the micro world. Peers, family, media, education and gender have shifted greatly over time to compliment the functioning of Australian society and thereby, have incorporated ‘egalitarianism’ in the socialisation process as a well-accepted norm.

Thank you for taking the time to read and please comment!

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    Jan 23 2013: Not everyone is a winner. Winners are made, not born. Egalitarianism does not say all people must be considered winners. Children should be taught that their choices have consequences. They should be taught to be responsible for their actions. Children should be taught about the way they should go, when they are old they will not depart from it [Proverbs 22:6].
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    Jan 23 2013: the problem is indeed big and hard if we look at it as something society has to solve. just like all other problems, like education. but what if we approach it from another angle? namely, what if we treat it as a personal freedom deficiency? what if the ultimate problem is that people want to control other people way too much. what if we handle gender issues in a larger framework of individual liberty? what if we stop referring to women as women, blacks as blacks, immigrants as immigrants, and start treating them as they are: individual human beings with desires, preferences, beliefs, dreams, habits, knowledge and all. what if we stop prescribing "normal" behavior for others, and accept them as the masters of their own lives. of course, as long as they don't harm other people.

    and yes, this would include freedom for being sexist, racist and xenophobic. let us consider a muslim immigrant man in the US, faithful to sharia, having a small shop of some sort. for example he will not let women without accompaniment to enter his store, and will never talk to stranger women at all. who does he harm? nobody, but himself. it is his shop, he can close it if he so desires, nobody is entitled to shop there. he can exclude anyone based on arbitrary rules, based on first name, eye color, flip of a coin. so why not gender? the only one hurt is himself. he eliminated half of his customer base. it is not a smart thing to do. if there is another shop two corners away, he will quickly go bankrupt, and the problem solves itself. but even if not, as i stated, no rights are violated, and we should not care.

    the real problem is lack of freedom. what if i can not open a shop that serves women, because some taliban mob beats me up? that is the problem that we should focus on. the beating up part, more precisely how to prevent that.
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    Jan 25 2013: Education has a way of leading societies away from certain practices that tends to keep in bounds; but education is only the beginning. Freedom is first won, and then sustained by wisdom.
    Families are a starting point for teaching children values of mutual respect, tolerance and sharing; but families are currently under attack due to the increasing divorce rates.

    That is why I said freedom is a beginning, and it only continues to be what it is for as long as it is sustained by wisdom.
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    W. Ying

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    Jan 24 2013: .
    Biologically, there is no question of equality or inequality for genders.

    A male and a female compose an inseparable CO-BODY (couple) integrated spiritually.
    Otherwise, humans can not survive.

    (For CO-BODY, see the 1st article, point 6, at https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=D24D89AE8B1E2E0D&id=D24D89AE8B1E2E0D%21283&sc=documents)
  • Feb 5 2013: First let me qualify that I know next to nothing about the machinations of Antipodean society, past or present...That said, I used to believe, somewhat idealistically, that we are all born with an innate sense of fairness. Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that an individual's sense of what is fair or unfair is essentially a product of their upbringing. Given that we are social creatures by nature, it follows then, that like-minded individuals tend to form assosciations. As these assosciations grow into larger communities, and provided the tenets and principles upon which they are based continue to generate benefits such as security, prosperity etc., then these precepts become the accepted norm in society at large. However, assuming basic human needs have been met, and opportunities for individual growth arise, new, more specialised assosciations will form within the larger society. These assosciations may give rise to new ways of interpreting the original rules and laws (a by-product of societal development), which challenge the fundamental precepts. I believe that this is where we are as a species. Elements of the macro world such as media and social movements have indeed encouraged egaliitarianism in some societies, but have had the opposite affect in say Isreal, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, to name three topical examples, whereby exposure to the macro world has encouraged the development of less egalitarian constructs. These will affect the individual and hence the family, and by dint of procreativity, give rise to similarly-imbued offspring. A recent photograph in my local newspaper depicted a group of Muslim women, in Burqas, holding placards demanding Sharia Law in the UK...in some regions, in which Sharia is incumbent, women are positively discouraged from learning to write, let alone demonstrate. Who is to question what is fair, when your notion of fairness is a product of your own limited experience?
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    Jan 24 2013: I see socialism is alive and well south of the equator.

    What Krisztian said...
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    Jan 23 2013: Sorry, Emily, I'm kind of lazy, and your question seems too dense to read easily.
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    Jan 23 2013: What is your support for this claim: "Over time there has been less egalitarianism between genders?"

    And how does this fit with your further expectation to find that "the value of egalitarianism has become greatly accepted as a positive norm in the macro world" and your later claim that this has moved into the micro world?

    You asked for feedback on your ideas, but this is hard to give if you do not support your ideas with evidence.
  • Jan 23 2013: What if "everyone's born?"
    What are they entitled to?
    Equal rights to the resources of the world that are needed in order to live in peace, safety, harmony, with privacy, education, medical, housing, transportation, food, water, and so on, including the elimination of crime.
    That is the condition in which we begin life. Immediately in unequal terms that are exceedingly difficult to get out of if one is born unlucky.

    There is where all the inequality initially started, with money, leading to greed, crime, inequality, poverty, slavery, and eventually war and death - two lucrative, private businesses.

    You yourself, must benefit from this inequality in Australia every day, just like those in America and other wealthy countries, even to the continued detriment of the natives of your land, America, South America, Africa and other countries.

    My point I guess is this: You can't "teach it". It has to be made and those who are adults today have to begin the making of it which also means giving up a lot of the benefits they have if they really want to create and leave a better world.

    This world just cannot continue to have inequalities by default.

    We are not equal. We are not equal. We are not equal.
    But, we all should have equal rights to our fair share of what is needed to live, grow and so on.
    This can never be as long as we have the continued mismanagement of the worlds resources (what we all work for in order to purchase ( thus, inequality). There is enough for everyone, i.e. equality if we begin by the truth that they belong to all life on earth, and not one country, one corporation or a few individuals.

    As long as this persists, forget teaching something that they won't achieve because it won't be prudent, wise or healthy to seek if they want to survive.
    Why do we continue the story we are such a higher, more lofty and spiritual animal, and persist in the belief and action that we must live like wild animals to simply survive? No chance with that belief/system
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    Gail .

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    Jan 23 2013: You said, "I feel there has been less egalitarianism between genders"

    I disagree. I am 61 and though I am still not fully human in my culture (considered an equal), I am far more human than I once was. I can't speak for Australian history, but in the US, it really wasn't that long ago that wives were chattel, as were children. Women couldn't vote, sit on juries, testify as a witness, hold jobs reserved for men, take courses in compulsory school that were meant for boys, couldn't get into many colleges, and the list goes on.

    I remember looking for my first job. There were three categories in the help wanted ads. Girl Wanted (which meant a low-paying job for the inexperienced but it included house-cleaners, laundry girls, and the like.) Female Wanted (experienced and included female professions like elementary school teacher and nurse), and Men wanted (covered the gamut of men's jobs). There was no "boy wanted" category. My first job was that as an "Office Girl". I was called by my first name, but I had to call my boss Mr. XXX. I was not allowed to hold a management position though I was required to do all the work that an assistant manager did for a small fraction of the pay.

    There is a way to go before women are considered fully human. That is certain. But IMO you are not seeing a decrease in egalitarianism. You are seeing the divide in more contrast. It sounds like you are probably coming to terms with being a second-class citizen in your culture. It's not a pretty place to be in.

    There is a call for reversal of egalitarianism in the USA, where Christianity has a strong foothold in government, and is passing laws that take away women's equality (and other groups) and force them into subjugation to the superior white male christian human. But I was under the impression that it's different in your country where you are evolved enough to have a woman prime minister.