People and Relationships Today

Topics: Sociology, Globalization, Social relation Pages: 9 (2878 words) Published: December 11, 2012
‘’In the last few decades people have become increasingly disconnected from one another’’. Discuss the arguments for and against this statement with particular reference to family relationships and friendships. * Brief Introduction (200 words)

As I speak with my family in Skype and chat with my best friend in America in facebook messenger simultaneously, both living in the other parts of the world with different time zones, the essay about being disconnected appears a little out of question. Globalisation said to have incorporated people into a single world global society (Albrow, 1990) as geographic distance become less a factor in the establishment and sustenance of bordercrossing, long distance economic, political and socio-cultural relation have invaded and changed societies in enormous amount. The texture of our experience and aspects of personal lifestyle, the way we connect, the values of ‘individualisation’ we hold and even sovereignty are very visible. As Giddens (1990) argue , with the advent of instantaneous electronic communication technologies, many aspects of our lives, from large global institutions to simply the way families function, have dramatically changed, and sometimes for the better while sometimes for worse. This, Bauman (2001) states that social life in general, and personal relationships as such family and friendships in particular, have become more fluid and less socially rooted (and for many s’ concern disconnected). And Harvey (1974) argues with the ‘compression’ of the world, time and space have lost significance as we manipulate and change what they mean ever since then, the increased mobility, internalisation of capitalism and instanteous global communication (atleast in principle) in which television and other technological advancement have widened the way we ‘connect’ and form ‘relationships’ as well as keep them. * Arguments For, i.e. people have become disconnected (600 – 700 words) According to a growing body of research, people are lonelier than ever before. All those "friends" we have on the giant social network may be part of the problem reports The Week Editorial Staff  in its April 16, 2012 issue. While globalisation is bringing us ever closer- especially for those who can afford new technologies and lifestyles, with ever increasing network society and age of information (Castells, 2000); this is the paradox of the Facebook age. We have an unmatched ability to connect with other people through social networks, yet we still suffer from unprecedented alienation argues Stephan Marche in The Atlantic (2012). The impact of globalisation have inevitably resulted in individualisation; the personal pole, as Reith (1999) clarifies how it does not mean selfishness, at least not intrinsically but being forced to live a more reflexive life towards an open future, the isolation of superficial connections with hundreds of Facebook "friends" he argues have plunged people to become lonelier (and more narcissistic) and disconnected than ever. This, as Giddens (1992:58) argues is further complimented by the dis-embedding of time and space commenting as ‘Social relation entered is continued only in so far as it is thought by both parties to deliver enough satisfaction for each individual to stay within it’. The evidence of Yvette Vickers, a formal playboy playmate and B-movie star’s death having found her body after only few years that the Los Angeles Times headlined as “Mummified Body” which quickly went viral is a good example of how our web of connections (and relationships) have grown broader but shallower. While, Vickers’s lonesome death was already the subject of 16,057 Facebook posts and 881 tweets; with no children, no religious group, and no immediate social circle of any kind, she had begun, as an elderly woman, to connect through social media networks. The Los Angeles Times deducted, how her perhaps exceptional grotesque death is a large representation of the way we live...
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