Social Activities Helping to Solve Sociological Problems
Sociology studies problems connected with understanding and adaptation of people from other countries and of other races. The main challenge is language barrier. The studied populations cannot understand other people and express their thoughts completely. It can cause various conflicts between the representatives of different social groups. Conflict perspective examines how social institution can solve such conflicts and which activities could be done in order to help people of different cultures and countries to cope with the situation (Schaefer, 2016, Chapter 4). In my environment, there are many people, who have come from Central and South America and have challenges with language barrier. Their children go to the local school and face obstacles in communicating with other students and teachers. Moreover, these children are from incomplete families where parents are divorced or with a low income. Because of their social status, they risk to face discrimination from the side of other members of the society. Such a problem as not speaking English language makes them feel unequal in the society of local citizens.
According to social researches and perspectives, it was found that it is necessary to organize some kinds of activities with children from minority groups in order to accommodate them to the life in another social group and to give them a possibility to find friends and express themselves with the help of non-verbal communicative means. First of all, it is necessary to find a common hobby or common interest of such children (Schaefer, 2016, Chapter 5). Due to my research, most of them are fond of football. The activity can be connected with football games. There are two activities which are similar and based on sport games. The first one was set on October and had 18 participants and on November 10th, and it has 21 participants. The time of both activities was from 5 to 6 pm after classes. The place of the event was Horizonte-El Angel. The activities were connected with football including contests between two teams. Teenagers like to participate in such events and they feel more open with each other completing different tasks and puzzles. The atmosphere of competitions makes all members of teams equal even though they speak different languages or come from different social groups. First of all, it was necessary to prepare invitations cards for this event for every member with his/her name. It would be pleasant for them to feel special to be invited. After sending invitations, it was necessary to think about football decorations for this event. Such decorations would make the atmosphere friendly and special and would help to relax and to enjoy the party. It was a good idea to use the colors of the childrens favorite football teams to make balloons, team signs and posters. It was necessary to organize some food table with drinks and sandwiches with napkins in football style. Tables were covered with a table cloth in the shape of football fields. Food was served in plastic football bowls.
During these events, there were football party games such as football toss, football accuracy, and football puzzles. The first activity held in October began with football toss. It lasted for one hour in the hall. There were two teams which had the following task: to stand 20 feet from their partners and to toss the ball back and forth to their teammates. In this activity, players did not need language to communicate. Children felt energetic and active. They used the other non-verbal means of communication such as mimics and gestures. The effect of this game was the feeling of the teams common aim to win. Children were satisfied and happy, as all of them liked to play team games. The result was that they began to interact with each other. The given even was connected with playing games while the second event was connected with knowledge about sport an sport games.
Another activity was football accuracy, which can be played outdoors with a football. It is possible to use a hula hoop. Players had to try to throw the ball from 20 feet distance in this hoop. After the first level of game, players had to throw the ball for a longer distance. The team which threw the ball for the longest distance became the winner. The given game develops childrens sport skills. It made the atmosphere around kids positive and full of joy. Such active games warm up children and improve their mood. They began to negotiate with gestures and mimics expressing their emotions. The result of the given activity was that there was a warm and friendly atmosphere among diverse children which gave them an opportunity to socialize with each other. Additionally, one can also organize a show of cheerleaders. A group of girls can prepare some dance to cheer up the members of team between different activities. In such activity, girls can sow their dancing skills and promote themselves for future events. It will give them more confidence and they can get a high respect from the side of other children.
Another date for the activity was November 10. It was connected with different knowledge on football. In this activity, children could show their knowledge on football games players and other terms. The first task was to do some puzzles, based on names of different football players and teams. Even Spanish students were able to guess them as the sportsmen are famous around the world. They are international stars. Players were divided into 2 teams. Before the game started, a leader showed children different cards with football stars and other terms and participants of the event named them. Those words were also international and a lot of foreign students were familiar with them; that is why it was easy for them to take part in such a game. This activity raised a great interest among students to football, as they all were football fans and were happy to demonstrate their knowledge on football terms and names. Such an activity made them proud of themselves and feel better in the company of other students. They participated with enjoyment, because the game was connected with their interests. The result of this activity was that children felt relaxed, full of enthusiasm and self-confident.
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Relation with the Course Content
Sociology studies different problems within the society. During many centuries, people from different minorities and society groups have been fighting for equal rights and freedoms. Unfortunately, such problems as inequality still exist, and it is necessary to use different ways to eliminate them. Sociology studies social features of humans and the ways they interact and change (Schaefer, 2016, Chapter 1). The society influences peoples behavior to a great extent. Every individual cannot exist beyond the society. That is why it is very important what relations he/she has inside of it. The great problem of every society is racial relations. Racial discrimination influences the atmosphere in the community significantly. There are different theories why people behave themselves in some definite way, but each of these theories has to be proved and tested. Sociology deals with testing and investigation of different grounds and reasons of humans conduct, their interaction with each other. There are three main theoretical perspectives of sociology: functionalist, conflict, and interactionism perspectives (Schaefer, 2016, Chapter 2). According to Parsons, every person is responsible for keeping the society as a whole one (Schaefer, 2016, Chapter 2). It is the work of all people together to create a diverse and safe society.
The given activity among Spanish teenagers is linked with the topic of racial inequality and the usage of different perspectives in order to solve the problems within the society. Sociological studies prove that it is possible to use non-verbal communicative means to interact with each other even without understanding each other well. Foreign students who come from poorer countries to live in the highly-developed ones feel miserable and unequal in comparison with native citizens. Their behavior depends on the sociological factors such as an attitude of the society to them, the communication with their peers, the support from the side of teachers and social workers. Many sociologists claim that sport activities and competitions play a very important role in the social interaction. Competition means a conflict between competitive groups. Competitive spirit helps to overcome other social differences as every person can be a winner in competitions if he or she is fair and honest (Schaefer, 2016, Chapter 9). Due to Marxist views, conflict is a part of everyday life of the society, and it is necessary to find out how different institutions can maintain advantages of some social groups and make other group subservient to them (Schaefer, 2016, Chapter 6). It is possible to understand the behavior of some individuals or social groups in conditions of conflict or tension between each other or groups. The participants of the given activities are Spanish teenagers from low class of the society because of their economic situation in the family. With the help of sport competitions and activities, the given children can show their talents and understand that they have the same opportunities to compete and to win as their peers who are from upper class and who are native speakers (Schaefer, 2016, Chapter 1). They can find more friends among their social groups and other teenagers. They can understand that the new society accepts them friendly and they have the same rights as other children who study at their school. All of them are football fans so they have common interests. On the basis of this interest, the football activities and competitions were organized and held.
Proposal of Improvement
a) It is possible to admit that I am going to work on further development of such activities among foreign students who need support and help in order to accommodate to new social conditions, to make friends and to improve their English language skills. Sport activities create conflicts between people who compete. Such conflicts help to show inner worlds and talents and to feel free. To improve the given activities, it is necessary to examine different articles on psychology to understand which events and games make foreign children socialize with other kids. One of the improvements can include the discussion of the event. It has to be in the form of a round table where all participants have to express their emotions with the help of cards. Every member of the event gets cards with different emotions, and he/she has to show the one which reflects his/her attitude to the activity. If most of activities get positive emotions, the event is successful. In our case, such kinds of activities help to make the group of foreign children, who have come from another country, not speaking English and from the families with a low income or divorced parents, feel better and more open in the new society. Social inequality influences people greatly, especially teenagers, who are weaker and cannot defend themselves enough.
b) Another interesting activity, which will help to make foreign students feel themselves more confident in their new society, is a favorite game of many people and families. It is called Monkey in the Middle. It can be played with different number of people, and it does not need high language skills. The rules of the game are the following: players choose the monkey and put him or her in the middle of the circle. Then, they stand around the monkey and throw the ball to each other. They have to catch it from each other not to let the monkey to catch it. If the monkey catches the ball, he or she chooses another person to be the monkey. In this activity, teenagers have fun, as they interact with each other without using English language. This activity can be held after classes for relaxing and interacting with each other. It can continue for 30 minutes few days a week. It will help to make foreign students more friendly and positive. Every sport activity warms up and awakes positive emotions. After such an activity, foreign students will become more involved in the social life of their school.
Self-Reflection on the Activity
As for me, the participation in organization of the given activity had positive sides for me. I think that my idea of football activities among Spanish teenagers had a positive impact on their behavior and further study at school. Children showed a high interest in such an event and were satisfied with all activities. They understand that not only language, but also gestures and other non-verbal means of communication could help to be involved into a new society. Their social status is worse than the status of other native students, but this activity gave them more self-confidence and desire to go to school. This activity had also a positive impact on my life, as I helped foreign teenagers to relax and to feel themselves equal members of my society. The atmosphere was friendly and energetic. I felt positive and satisfied. I got deep knowledge on sociology and psychology. Before organizing the given event, I had read a lot of scientific literature on social problems and methods on how to solve them. It became clear to me that behavior and success of people depend greatly on their place in the society. The attitude of other people can break a person. I am going to continue my experience with such activities and to organize more events on other topics. This activity showed to me that social institutions have to maintain personal qualities of students even though they are from different social groups with different social status and language skills. The society has to influence peoples behavior positively, without breaking their rights and freedoms.