Blog 6- Are Relationships and Interactions Changing?


The BC noticed that many of the previous blog posts revolved around questions relating to social norms and the cultural changes that are affecting the world today.
This reminded Matt of a video, “The Japanese Love Industry” he had seen on the news magazine, Vice, which tries to be an edgy journalistic enterprise across many platforms and which challenges staid news conventions.   Some of the posts from week 5 indicated a general concern that normal relationships, be they collegial, familial, friendship, or romantic, are withering.  Is Japan offering us a glimpse of a possible future America?  Please watch it.
WARNING: at minute 12, as the reporter meets with an organized-crime-sponsored sex worker, the content is graphic and about fetishes.  You can stop there.  Jordi was unsure whether to use the video for this reason, but its overall point is interesting about how a declining birth rate is perhaps linked to the commodification of interaction and intimacy.

In general, we think the video prompts this question:
Are human interactions and relationships changing for better or for worse?
If you are struggling with a topic of discussion…
  • Would Americans, or people in other cultures, pay for the Japanese services seen in the video?
  • What influences have caused the development of Japan’s modern-day culture?
  • Do you think technology has an influence on the break-down of close relationships?
  • Do American social/gender norms match with those of Japan?
  • Do you think Japan’s population will continue to decrease as drastically as the video suggests?  If the US did not have immigration, what would our growth rate be?
  • Are phenomenon like booty calls, or apps like Tindr, Tingle, and so on the beginning of a similar pattern in the US or other cultures and societies?
  • Are people simply being very utilitarian about their time and emotions?
  • Is this a topic simply of behavior?  Or are we back to socially prescribed values?  In other words, what should relationships be like?
  • Are people, as some posts described last week, increasingly hyper-connected and yet very lonely?
  • Are changes in gender roles and norms responsible also?
  • Do generational factors matter (above and beyond technological)?

Notes:
-Ratings were much better, but keep it up!

-Read others blogs before writing your own to avoid repetition of topics.
-Stay on focus thoughout your post- write a post that is internally coherent andnot simply three random paragraphs.
-Try searching through blogs outside of ours. Comments or links to our blog may increase our exposure and add to the blog dynamic.
Featured image is cover of Sherry Turkle’s book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
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