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Topics in Social Change

1. What are the implications of more active middle class participation in social change efforts?
2. How was this demonstrated and exemplified in the US Occupy Movement?
3. How was this demonstrated and exemplified in the Iranian Revolution?
4. How are different sociological perspectives related to such examples, such as Institutionalism and the Marxist perspective?

I am using the following readings to understand this subject so any examples and evidence you can use from them would be greatly appreciated!

1. Putnam, Robert D. 1995. "Bowling Alone: America's Declining Social Capital," Journal of Democracy 6/1:
2. Skocpol, Theda. 1999. "Advocates without Members: The Recent Transformation of American Civic Life"
3. Piven, Frances Fox and Richard A. Cloward. 2000. Why Americans still don't Vote.
4. de Leon, Cedric. 2008. "'No Bourgeois Mass Party, No Democracy': The Missing Link
5. Kurzman, Charles. 2004. The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran.

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1. What are the implications of more active middle class participation in social change efforts?

- In his 1995 work, "Bowling Alone: America's Declining Social Capital," he looked into the how recent American society has created individuals who refuse to, or are disinterested in being social. He talks about the importance of social intercourse - when people talk, engaged and become part of a community that come together to discuss important topics or issues that affect them and their world. In so doing, he was able to create a foundation of his argument that the present American society is weak in the ability to enrich their social lives. He argues that the social foundation of America is the one that has allowed for it to progress, to develop. It's the central ideas of freedom, of unity, of political involvement in the shaping of a nation. But with the reduction of social capital - when people are involved in such activities, democracy is undermined, weakened. People are no engaged anymore so that power, opportunities and the say as to where the country is going is left to those who have fortified positions in such social arenas. Empowerment of women, empowerment of minority groups - they do not erode social capital but are not currently utilized to enrich it too.

The middle class are America's backbone - enriching the economy, keeping the country afloat and with a chance at development. But if this middle class do not become part of the social capital politically - their needs, their views and their lives will not reflect on current policies so that the changes of government and of social standards will not be beneficial and even not be apt to the needs of society. It can be detrimental. A more active middle class will be able to shape social standards and society as a whole to the views, needs and context-fit governance and policies necessary to support middle-ground development so that balance of power and opportunities for all is kept in the middle, and kept moving. If we follow the definition of class by Pierre Bourdieu (1986) who defines capitalism as a society that is based on the accumulation of economic (money capital, ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides a Q&A narrative that provides information, assistance and advise to students in tackling the listed questions based on academic resources and available literature from a sociological and historical perspective. resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.