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What Lies Ahead…. Canadian Society: Emerging Issues. Factors that Affect Our Lives. The economy Politics The media Health and beauty How do the four factors above influence who we are and who we become?. The Economy. Affects our lives in the following ways: What we do after high school

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factors that affect our lives
Factors that Affect Our Lives
  • The economy
  • Politics
  • The media
  • Health and beauty
  • How do the four factors above influence who we are and who we become?
the economy
The Economy
  • Affects our lives in the following ways:
    • What we do after high school
    • How we work
    • Where we work
    • Why we work
    • What we do with our earnings
    • How we behave in society
    • How we react when changes in the economy occur
teens and work
Teens and Work
  • Work helps us to define who we are, as well as our social status
  • Customer service and/or sales: entry-level, low pay, but a great learning experience
  • Working 15+ hours/week lowers academic performance: confirmed by studies
  • Many teens unaware of their rights as outlined in the Employment Standards Act: easily exploited
  • Why do teens work?
working teens around the world
Working Teens around the World

Source: Challenge and Change: Patterns, Trends, and Shifts in Society

the economy and higher ed
The Economy and Higher Ed
  • The current state of the economy is a factor in what you do after high school
  • Recent economic trends also affect the way we think about post-secondary educational financing: debt is okay
  • Economic trends can also affect your successful completion of post-secondary education: no loan, no job = no school
  • A good job might make you leave school
economic challenges and you
Economic Challenges and You
  • February 2012: unemployment rate for the 15-24 demographic is 14.7%; overall Canadian unemployment rate is 7.4%
  • Last in, first out: when a recession comes…
  • You will compete with each other, as well as adults with more experience, for jobs
your job your self
Your Job, Your Self
  • Charles Cooley (sociologist) and the looking-glass self:
    • “I am not what I think I am and I am not what you think I am; I am what I think that you think I am.”
  • Your job helps to define you (no matter how much Tyler Durden protests otherwise)
  • What happens when you can’t find a job?
  • Affects people’s minds, egos, and souls, as well as their wallets
  • Social stigma comes with unemployment
  • High unemployment also affects those who have jobs
  • Trend: corporate downsizing
  • Effects: same amount of work, fewer people to do the work, increased stress, reluctance to complain due to potential unemployment, increased resentment of job and circumstances
solutions to economic challenges
Solutions to Economic Challenges
  • Delay transition to adulthood
  • Unpaid internships to gain industry experience (and maybe a full-time job)
  • More school: Master’s program; post-graduate certificate from college; additional qualifications
  • Move to another province or country: less competition, more opportunity
    • Some provinces offer student loan forgiveness in exchange for time “served”
  • Start your own business
money matters
Money Matters
  • Canadian household debt levels rising
  • Current debt-to-income ratio is 1.59:1
  • Young people tend to owe money for student loans and credit cards
  • Older people tend to owe money for mortgages and lines of credit
  • Peak debt: early 30s – why is that?
  • Many people have no handle on personal finances
case study
Case Study
  • How would you deal with this scenario? Assume an annual income of $34,500 ($15/hr, 44 hrs/wk, 52 wks/yr)
the media
The Media
  • Canadians spend 19 hours/week on the net
  • 16 hours/week watching TV
    • 35 hours/week = work week!
  • The more you see something, the more normal the thing seems
  • Violence, death, sex, drugs
the impact of tv on reality
The Impact of TV on “Reality”
  • George Gerbner (1994): TV has become our means of transmitting culture
  • TV programming is determined by corporations that want to sell things
  • Increased TV consumption might mean that we are allowing corporations to tell us who we are
  • Danger: TV programming is driven by demand, but history isn’t  implications?
reality tv
“Reality” TV
  • Albert Bandura (psychologist): people learn by observing and then modelling other people’s behaviour
  • What impact does the flood of American programming have on Canadian culture?
  • What impact does reality TV have on our expectations regarding appropriate behaviour in real life?
  • What impact do celebrities and their behaviour and attitudes have on our own behaviour and attitudes?
violence and the media
Violence and the Media
  • Does the media reflect the increased violence of our society? Or does the media desensitize us to violence, thereby making society more violent?
  • How do games like Grand Theft Auto, Assassin’s Creed, or Call of Duty influence adolescent development? Think about the kinds of tasks each game presents its players
  • Fewer and fewer young people vote with each passing election
  • Senior voter turnout is high; there also happens to be a 2:1 ratio of seniors to youth
  • The more education a Canadian has, the more likely they are to participate in the political process
  • Complaining about what’s wrong with Canada won’t solve the problems
  • Once you turn 18, VOTE!
health and beauty
Health and Beauty
  • The way we define health and beauty affects our behaviour and attitudes
  • The value we place on specific types of health and beauty also affects our behaviour and attitudes
  • What does it mean to be healthy?
  • What does it mean to be beautiful?
  • How important is it to be “healthy” and “beautiful” according to our definitions?
  • In the past, health defined as the absence of disease
  • Today, take broader approach, focus is on preventative care and health promotion (must adopt healthy lifestyle to reduce likelihood of becoming sick
    • 25% adults obese
    • Child obesity tripled in last 25 years)
reducing harmful behaviours
Reducing Harmful Behaviours

Governments have:

  • Media campaigns
  • Public awareness
  • Programs promoting healthy behaviour

To change beliefs and perceptions need to increase knowledge and awareness of risks


Big focus on reducing smoking rates

  • Huge media campaigns
  • Stricter laws
canadian health care universal
Canadian Health Care: Universal?
  • Staying healthy costs money
  • Health is directly related to income: the more you make, the easier it is to stay healthy, and vice versa
  • Health is also connected to geography: urban dwellers tend to be healthier than rural folk
50 shades of beauty
50 Shades of Beauty
  • Time and culture affect the definition of beauty
  • CMHA (2011): 70% of women and 35% of men are currently dieters
  • Study (2000): 76% of post-pubescent girls are unhappy with their body shape
  • Growing number of males (young and not-so-young) with eating disorders
culturally defined beauty
Culturally-defined Beauty
  • The types of toys and clothes that are widely available reveal society’s definitions of beauty
  • Go to the drugstore and examine the products for sale: what types of beauty “problems” or “defects” do they “treat”?
  • What is the connection between land usage and the definition of beauty?
  • What is the connection between the looking-glass self and the need to physically conform?
solomon asch conformity
  • Please read Challenge and Change: Patterns, Trends, and Shifts in Society, p. 138
  • Answer Questions 1 & 3 at the bottom of the page
  • Answer the following question:
    • Explain how a salesperson might use the results of Asch’s experiment to help increase sales