Sociology Essay Sample: Alternatives to Dominant Discourses

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Boston College
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Dominant discourses exist in many societies around the world. They get dictated by the government, culture, beliefs that exist in the society thus making them seem like normal and accepted norms. Overall they contribute to the disempowerment of certain people in the society through the deconstruction of important values that play a large role in shaping their lives (Rheingans & Hollands, 2013). From the above view, it is clear that a dominant discourse represents an expression founded by media critic, and originated from the founders of different communication theories in the world. A discourse stands for the particular representation of a specific subject and gets shaped and defined by the culture it exists in. You can only understand its meaning if you are familiar with the given culture (Rampton, 2014). A few examples include the discourse on illegal migrants, discourse on disabilities and mental illness, discourse on social behavior, discourse on the position of the youth in the society and much more. Its evident that discourse is the compilation of particular ideologies and beliefs concerning a certain bracket in the society. Dominant discourses dictate the behavioral, written and spoken expectations people have in a cultural grouping (Burr & Dick, 2017). This makes such awareness biased thus causing the rise of many assumptions, and most of them have a negative impact on the affected grouping.

Dominant discourse represents the collection of things we take for granted in the society. The people focus on following the rules spoken and unspoken rules of those in power thus decision making gets based on their views. These rules get accepted everywhere thus a dominant discourse arises and is seen through the lack of consideration of the perspectives provided by those not in power (Hassan, 2014). The people in power mostly use the media to give open propaganda and employ other negative tactics to scare the target population thus maintaining the dominance they want over the society (Coppock & McGovern, 2014). Most crimes and wars arise from such dominant discourses as the unsatisfied people tend to retaliate in ways which at times become violent in nature. Although most dominant discourses lead to negative impacts, a few of them provide positive results. An example is where the affected grouping gains a sense of togetherness and thus the people in it attain this feeling of normalcy in such a way they do not retaliate of fight back. They gain a sense of belonging as they see that they are not the only ones affected by the problem as they interact with others who share the same language, beliefs, and behaviors they have.

In this paper, we view the dominant discourses that exist the British 21st-century youth and also come up with alternatives to these discourses. Before doing that, a few questions helps provide a wider scope of the problem. They include;

Do scenarios exist where a dominant discourse is in conflict with the actual beliefs of the people and what steps should be taken to eradicate this?

Are there cases when the society works hard on eradicating discourses that have different agendas with the dominant ones?

As a member of the society, have you ever been forced to accept a certain discourse thus having no room for your perspectives?

Is it right to try and change or challenge a specific dominant discourse of is upholding its presence in the society the honorable thing to do?

What are the methods used in creating awareness of an existing or arising dominant discourse in the society? Does postmodernism and critical theories help in such situations?

In the Britain society, dominant discourses on the young people have become so much ingrained in that society such that no one challenges the set of norms and beliefs that arise from it. As a result, the society ends up stagnating and fails in progression as only a few new ideas get accepted in the mainstream activities of the country. The people who try challenging these discourses fail mostly because they dont have enough power to do so. This calls for a buildup of resources, connections, reputation and expectations in regard of a large compartment of the society so as to be able to push for change and have support. Dominant discourses in the British society varies in various ways (Wemyss, 2016). They are not the same thus solving them requires a number of alternatives as one alternative does not apply to all the present discourses. The biggest drive that makes people fail to provide alternatives of discourses of the youth is fear. People want to maintain their positions, remain in power and remain superior but they fear the youth is a great force to reckon thus avoiding any solutions provided for implementation by various sectors of the society.

This article seeks to provide an understanding of different discourses thus providing alternatives. One of the most prevalent dominant discourse is the understanding about the heterosexual masculine identities of the young people existing in the country. Beliefs have been set categorizing the young people as a lost generation with bad behaviors that get deemed morally incorrect by the society (Easthope, 2013). Youth currently engage in sexual many sexual behaviors thus its good to understand what sex means to them before making judgments. Its possible to do that through research and use of masculinity literature thus creating a framework for showing the discussion context and available alternatives for the discourse. It is good to understand the relationship between sex, masculinity, and heterosexuality so as to get a scope of what drives the identities, beliefs and the behavior of the youth in that bracket. Qualitative and quantitative studies together with other methods assist in the collection of data.

Different alternatives to this kind of discourse are available if the society understands the young people. What pushes them to the involvement in such activities is the need for social acceptance and approval mostly from their peers. Counselling and making them feel acceptable no matter their nature helps a lot in making them be socially upright. It is advisable to give attention to the youth as they get exposed to many things, and without guidance, they lack the consciousness of choosing the correct behavior. Young people find themselves compelled to behave in certain ways that they do not like and also there exists no platforms for them to speak out their experiences. The construction of country wide peer group networks help a lot as these young people find that they alone are not the ones facing the specific problems thus do not feel neglected or secluded from the society.

Another discourse identified concerns youth participation in the country building capacity. There is lack of participation especially in the political context among youth in Britain. This decline in the participation of the youth causes a moral panic among people and thus led to researchers examining its causes and providing probable solutions (Apthorpe & Gasper, 2014). The youth get accused of mostly refraining from involvement in political, social and community-based activities in the society thus leading to them being accused of apathy and also deficient in civil activities. The most correct method used to measure this is the number of youths that participate in elections (Moss, 2015). The above is because it can be analyzed both theoretically and statistically. A few studies which involve direct interactions with the young people show they lack knowledge in most participatory fields in the society i.e. the civil and political fields.

The first question people should ask themselves is what is the cause of the above problem? Though social analysts have tried investigating the issue, they are yet to come up with alternatives for the discourse. However, a number of policymakers and researchers have provided implementable suggestions that will see the change in the dynamism of the discourse. First, the important step is to study and analyze the disconnection of the youth from such activities. Interviews with a number of young people show that the youth have this mindset that their input is not needed. The society views them as people without enough knowledge and experience thus their suggestions never get put into consideration. Others do not want to accept that the world is changing and thus leaving no positions for the youth in the government and other institutions. This kind of marginalization leads to the emergence of a non-concerned society that views the government and those in power as of no help to them. When you research on the Britain youth, you will find that employment is one of the biggest challenge these young people face.

A deeper research also shows that various job opportunities exist, but they only apply to the older people who are viewed as well mannered, idealistic and experienced. The discourse is so much embedded into the society that its hard to eradicate it. An alternative is the formation of interaction platforms between those in power, the youth, their mentors and also the society in whole to enable sharing of ideas. This approach helps in shedding light on the youth and also showing the older generation that the young people have a place in the society so as to encourage their acceptance. The feeling that when a person votes he or she will impact greatly on the government helps driving change in the perceptions of the society. By ending marginalization and disempowerment of the young people, this will result to then rethinking of their decisions, and thus the society trusts them again in different activities and forums. Also, avoidance of bad governance which mostly results in apathy and bad attitude helps a lot in solving the issues associated with the dominant discourse. Involvement in riots, rebellions, and strikes represent a society that guides its children badly and also a negative attitude on the side of the youths.

Different discourses create wrong truths on the youth. In Britain, the truths and personalizations existing get viewed as healthy and even democratic in nature thus putting the young person in a lot of dangers. Such beliefs tend to portray the youth as uncaring, disturbed, and even criminal identifications. Such discourses thus become dominant in such a way that they get accepted as morally correct (Parker, 2014). Such contributes a lot to the framing power of the discourse as it showcases it as an accepted set of terms that no one cares about changing of finding alternatives for. Provisions made by normative concepts play a role in providing different avenues in the understanding of the above discourse. As a result, the inclusion of young people voices is paramount as it enhances participation thus deconstructing the discourse. The society needs to be dynamic in nature for such actions to prove fruitful in the long term. As said by many scholars, lack of adaptation to change acts as an enemy of progress.

The youth in Britain face various problems which arise mostly from being stereotyped by the society. Some of this difficulties are not visible, but different researchers indicate that they exist. According to different reports provided by the government, schools and other firms, different phenomena describe the views the society has on young people, and these get mostly shown through fear of dealing with them (Ochoa, 2013). A society that fears the youth present in it shows this by being negative and extremely judgmental. Such views get characterized mostly by different treatments young people get subjected to and also by the media representation on issues concerning them. As seen in the media outlets, crimes, abuses, and other societal wrongs are tied to young people in a way that even the ones not connected to...

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