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Germany: Social Institutions and Social Change in a Modern Western Society - Research Paper Example

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Germany: Social Institutions and Social Change in a Modern Western Society

Mok (2006) observes that the phenomenon of globalization has been extensively used in the world, specifically in admired discourses and policy issues. For him, globalization is a term that describes ways in which the world is progressively interrelated, organized, and interdependent through a set of socially reinforced processes. These processes include among others, integration of markets, states and technologies to a scale that is aiding individuals, corporations and distinct governments to access and navigate the world much more rapidly, deeply and through less costly methodologies (Mok, 2006). Schneider and Silverman (2009) provide an economic, social as well as a political angle of the term globalization as that which entails “commoditification and commercialization of cultural products”. They profoundly examine it as a powerful period of time-space firmness that has had a disorientating and disturbing brunt on political-economic and social practices. Giddens (2000) on other hand, observes that globalization balances stratified power as well as exerting pressure upon cultural and social aspects of human life. Social change on the other hand has also been explained by Schneider and Silverman (2009) as “an alteration in the social order of a society. It may refer to the notion of social progress or socio-cultural evolution, the philosophical idea that society moves forward by dialectical or evolutionary means”. Social change has also been conceptualized as the paradigmatic change in the socio-economic structure. An example is a shift away from feudalism and towards capitalism. In this, social change seems to be conceptualized as a social revolution. Examples of such revolutions include Communist Revolution as postulated by Marxism and women agitation for economic and political representation, civil rights and institutional changes to cope with trends such as globalization. This paper zeroes on social change in Germany as having arguably been brought by globalization while focusing broadly on the institution of labor and consumer society. Change in the Institution of Labor: Focus on Parental Leave and the Scandinavian Model It is worth noting that both maternal and parental leave policy interventions have gone through a number of historical epochs since the 20th century. While there are distinguishable differences among the Scandinavian countries, they seem to converge at particular major features. One such major feature of the Scandinavian model, with the exception of Denmark today, is that of “a leave period of about one year and a father quota” (Katharina & Katharina, 2006). The father quota is designated as a period for male parents to remain with their children at home. Depending on which Scandinavian country under scrutiny, the sanctioning rate in terms of compensation ranges from 66% to a maximum of 80% particularly in Sweden, Iceland and Norway. The other major feature of this model is the fact that the leave schemes are designed to be fairly flexible which gives room for one to take part-time leave instead of taking a full one with Sweden being the most flexible of the Scandinavian countries (Katharina & Katharina, 2006). Obviously, the German leave policy of parental leave seems be adopting or has ...Show more
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Summary

Running Head: SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND CHANGE Germany: Social Institutions and Social Change in a Modern Western Society Name Institution Introduction Social change continues to be witnessed in many parts of the world and Germany is not an exception. Some of the changes seen in Germany in recent times have authoritatively been brought about by globalization just like in other parts of the world…
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