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This is related to John's post about violence

Posted by Dorothy on 7/21/03 at 14:59 (124913)

One other point, John.
You wrote: There has to be a lot more to this than violence on TV. I think a lot of it begins with unsupervised children and a changing moral and ethical fibre in our society. What is acctepted today in many cases was totally unacceptable a half century ago.

Yes, but from whence came the 'changing moral and ethical fiber' in our society? Even granting the gradual swing from a more permissive to a less permissive society that might be occurring, what drives that? Where does it come from? Why do so many people seem to find the violent and hypersexualized society that exists now to be the society they want?
That is not my way, but it seems to be the prevailing way. It is truly baffling to me and it, increasingly, makes me feel less 'at home' in the world - and I am beginning to wonder if this is part of the process of aging...

I heard an author interviewed this past weekend and he talked about, in his view, there being two categories of people: the chaos-tolerant and the chaos-intolerant and this affects their religious views (or not) and other world views. I think I am chaos-intolerant and that makes it harder to find peace of mind and ease of spirit in the contemporary world - whether it is TV or current 'music' or wars or you-name-it.

Re: This is related to John's post about violence

Rick R on 7/21/03 at 17:50 (124924)

Like wow, groovy man when could this hip change have taken place? Oh yea it's the 60's thing. A couple of major factors to try on for size;The baby boom had the numbers, still do, and the money follows. When we were radical kids society became tolerant of radical kids because so much of the population was made up of young people. We also had a sence of betrayal by the 'establishment' that sent many off, to what was percieved by a large portion of society, to be an unjust war.

You opened up the can of worms I was hesitant to bring up; the unsupervised children. This in my opinion is the byproduct of a shift in our economy where we decided we needed to have two workers provide the standard of living it used to take one to provide. Now that's an over simplification and overstatement of course, but I believe to a large extent true.

We are still teaching in economics classes that we are on a long term trend toward ever increasing leisure time. This is a load of you know what. The reported weekly hours of workers have declined, and this is the basis of the implied increasing leisure time. This misses out on two major variables. We still live in families for the most part. Going from one bread winner putting in a 56 hour week to two putting in two 45 hour weeks will make the work week statistic look as though we have more time on our hands, on a per worker basis. When I did the analysis in grad school I had the real numbers but I think these are close. Now take that guy that only has to work 45 hours. When he comes home does June Cleaver hand him his cigar and drink? Heck no, she's not home from work yet, so Ward makes dinner, God knows what trouble the Beave's getting into and we haven't seen Wally since he moved in with his girlfriend (or was it Lumpy), well you get the picture. Just because we aren't reporting hours at work, doesn't mean we have real lesiure time on our hands. How about side jobs many of us have to make ends meet?

As a father of two daughters I can tell you that I didn't raise them to be prepared only to be June Cleaver. I am thrilled that they were raised in a time that provides them with opportunities they wouldn't have had even in my generation. I do not intend to state, in this argument the balance in the relative merits of the changes we made in our society resulting from the impetus of the tumultuous 60's.

The other major factor that skews the statistics is the ever increasing proportion of workers in exempt positions. To the best of my knowledge there is no accounting for this in the statistics. I have not researched this topic so this arguement is based on other sources I don't even remember. I guess not all the brain cells made it through the 60's!


Re: This is related to John's post about violence

Kathy G on 7/22/03 at 09:20 (124953)


Man, have you opened up an area for discussion! I'm 54 and I chose to stay at home with my children and only went back to work part time when my youngest was in first grade. You'll note that I said, 'chose', as our generation had that right. While my mother and her contemporaries were expected to stay at home with the children, our generation had the right to choose. Occasionally working women would demean the mother who 'stayed at home and did nothing' but I never lowered myself to respond. Likewise, I never criticized women who worked every day. It was all about choice and what worked for one's family.

Nowadays, both parents are expected to work. I look at my future daughter-in-law and my daughter and think that they won't have the options that I had. Women worked so hard to have the right to decide for themselves but now our economy demands that they work. But is it really our economy or what people think they should have?

Do they really need two SUV's in the two-stall garage? Do they need that four bedroom house? Do they need to go to Disneyworld on vacation? Do they need to eat out a few times a week? Do they need all the material goods they seem to think they need?

I don't think so. I think that we've become a much more materialistic society and that because of that, most families require two incomes. Mothers or fathers no longer have the luxury of staying home with their children. They don't have the leisure time they once had and yes, the growing cost of healthcare, taxes, etc. plays a part in it. But so does their belief that bigger is better.

Our family didn't have that 'disposable income' (what an idiot term!) that families with two careers have today but we didn't do without any basics. We didn't go out to dinner as much as other people and our lifestyle wasn't as exciting but it didn't seem to hurt any of us. I always realized that I was fortunate that my husband's income afforded me the luxury of staying at home but I also lived frugally.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think that this new trend has had all kinds of negative effects on society, including the increase in violence. I find it very troubling and I worry about the longterm effects it will have on our country over the next few decades.

This discussion could get really involved if we went into all the variables - the loss of the nuclear family, the fact that organized religion has become less important, the prevalence of drugs, the different moral standard we now espouse...... we could go on and on! I could get my daughter, a Sociology major, involved and then we could start our own website dedicated to just this kind of discussion! :D

Re: This is related to John's post about violence

Rick R on 7/22/03 at 10:43 (124962)


Thanks for your reply. I was a bit afraid I would be taken for the proverbial male chauvinist pig for even attempting to consider this as a factor. I do believe significant good has come for women's choices, and men's for that matter. Women have far more options in the working world, and I do believe there is still a way to go on several fronts. Yet as you indicated, we have made the choice to be a stay at home parent difficult in the process. One of my best friends is a stay at home Dad and he is very intelligent educated, competent and could make a fine living. His wife simply achieved more, they placed a priority on a stay at home parent, so he stayed at home. How wonderful it is our society can accept that without a negative stigma on either of them. But they had the choice financially. There is no doubt that many that could have a parent at home choose not to so they can have luxury items. I also think many dual worker families wouldn't be as well off as their parents without both working, yet with both working they can afford some neat toys. So how much is materialism v.s. need? Hard to sort out, no doubt some of both exist.


Re: This is related to John's post about violence

Suzanne D on 7/22/03 at 23:23 (125011)

Many good points in this thread...I see it everyday in school: children of hurried and harried parents shuffled off to activities and sitters and centers. The children just seem to want some time with someone who cares. They have more 'stuff' than they really need. And, increasingly, parents seem to be too tired or busy to take the time to help their children with homework or even read a newsletter which tells what their child has been doing at school.

Of course I worked when my children were young, too. But, as a teacher, I felt I at least was off when they were out of school, and they were with me every afternoon as soon as school was out. I still remember how I felt, though, when I took them to the babysitter before they were old enough to go to school. It was hard, but I knew I needed to work. However, I didn't leave them at night or on weekends. Now I sound like I am trying to make myself feel better!

The world HAS changed a great deal, and children often bear the brunt of change.

Suzanne :)