Chosen topic: Some people think that convention in our society obstruct progress while others think that taboos help maintain social harmony. Choose one position and support it with evidence and examples. As a result of globalization, the world is getting smaller and smaller. Some people have even said that the world has become a ‘Global Village’. With the integration of people coming from different financial, ethnic and social background, there are conflicts between interest groups.
For example, the huge income disparity, large amount of new immigrants and the different point of views towards social issues may lead to a less harmious society. Apart from these, convention in a society may also be one of the factors affecting social harmony. “Social harmony is a more complex social psychological phenomenon which is determined by the interactions among social values, people, and society. People achieve social harmony when they feel their values and desires are attainable in society. “(Ai Han, 2008, Building a Harmonious Society and Achieving Individual Harmony, para 1)
Traditions might lead to unfairness to the public. Take Hong Kong as an example, Hong Kong is a superstitious city and people care a lot about taboos and traditional practices. The pronunciation of the number, four, in Cantonese is similar to the pronunciation of death in Cantonese. Therefore Hong Kong people avoid saying ‘four’ in happy or critical occasions. There is also a tradition of omitting certain (4th, 14th and 24th etc. ) levels in building in Hong Kong. At the same time, the pronunciation of ‘eight’ is similar to the word of getting rich in Chinese. Many luxury buildings were built in Hong Kong in recent years.
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Property agencies make use of Chinese’s mindsets to increase revenue. We can easily find that the 8th floor, the 18th or the 28th floor are always being sold at a more expensive price. This phenomenon has aroused public resentment. The general public believes that price should not only be determined by the number of floors but also many other impacts that many property agencies did not take into account. Such kinds of arguments do not only happen in Hong Kong but globally. From Asian to Western countries, there are always conflicts between conventions and the new enlightenment.
The progress of might be hindered if we cannot balance the interests of different stakeholders in an issue. Homosexuality was said to be a taboo. However, as reported by Bohan (1996), in reality, homosexual individuals wish to enjoy freedom of love and belong to social groups that support them. In aspects of religion, a number of religions (e. g. Christianity and Catholic) said that homosexuality was not acceptable because it violated the original meaning of God’s creations. In traditional Asians’ eyes, they might even think homosexuality is an insult to their family and reputations.
This topic is a shock for many of the older people in society or followers of religions. Both parties stand strong and do not appear to accept each other’s points of view. It is a topic that society had to deal with before achieving social harmony. Tragedies might occur when the convention clashes with the law or the value of society at that time. Chinese believe that having at least a son is essential for a family to continue their family lineage and to glorify their family. In Chinese history, people thought families that have no children or have daughters only was disrespectful to their ancestors.
Since 1978, the Chinese Government has implemented the one-child-policy to control the soaring birth rate in China. Such kind of unfair law made many Chinese eager to have a male child directly. Barrett & Li (1999) pointed out that the problem of female infanticide and sex-selective abortion became more common after One Child Policy was established. When they found that their child was a female, some of them may even abandon them, resulting in the increasing number of tragedies. At the same time, it has caused moral problem. Conventions sometimes hinder the balance of society and limit the development of society.
Bengtson, Biblarz and Roberts (2002) reported that the family has traditionally been one of the most important sources of influence on children’s aspiration. Parents always have a thought that children would be more likely to success if they were professionals, in tradition’s thought, for example, doctors, lawyers, businessmen and accountants. They spent much effort and money on equipping their children. In reality, society does not only need these types of people but a diversity of skills. This kind of mindset has resulted in a bad social phenomenon so that many of the other industries (e. g. ulture, music and arts) cannot develop well and the social lacks a balance of strengths. With the aid of the above examples, it is shown that conventions will obstruct the progress of society. Conventions and traditions would hinder people’s creativities and impose limitations on society. We need a breakthrough. Try to analyse from a slight different perspective and we might find new inspirations that is beneficial to ourselves or even our society. At the end, social harmony can finally be attained. Reference list: Ai, H. (2008). Building a Harmonious Society and Achieving Individual Harmony. Journal of Chinese Political Science, Vol. 3 Issue 2, p143-164. Retrieved on 23rd, October, 2012 from http://ehis. ebscohost. com/eds/detail? sid=2f313359-d4a8-40f3-80e2-aaeb1112a54e%40sessionmgr114&vid=1&hid=101&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#db=aph&AN=35567271 Barrett. R. E. , & Li, F. (1999) Modern China (pp. 65). United States of America: R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company. Bengtson, V. L. , Biblarz, T. K. , Robert R. E. L. , (2002). How Families Still Matter (pp. 60). United States of America: Cambridge University Press. Bohan, J. S. (1996) Psychology and Sexual Orientation (pp. 205). Great Britian: Routledge.
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