الأحد، 14 فبراير 2010

Summary for Literature Role in Social change

.Today, I am going to give a summary for my graduation project at Sana'a University in order to obtain a B.A in English Language and Literature.

With Regards,

Fathi al-Dhafri

I started thinking to write about this topic “Literature role in social change” three years ago, when I participated in many workshops and trainings about gender equality and human rights. I discover how Yemeni woman are aggrieved and not empowered. I also discover how it is so hard to feel that you are aggrieved as a result for inequality in social levels, or for your faith, belief, religion, kind, sex, color, or nationality. I started looking for answers to understand the real reason and what is supposed to be the solution for this social problem. One of the answers which I got it was the religion. This thesis was untrue, because all religious thoughts called to the same principle which is the dignity for all the humanity. I have been in USA in the beginning of 2009 to participate in “Faith and Community: A Dialogue” (an exchange program jointly organized by NPF and ISNA, and sponsored by State Department.) I visited many churches, cathedrals, synagogue, and mosques, and I talked with people of different faiths. I discussed with many religious leaders. All of them agreed that God instructed us to respect humanity. The answer which I felt touch my inside was the value and the society thoughts. But this answer led me to another question which is “from where did we had those value and thoughts which not respect the human?” In this topic, I will introduce Literature and social change, and then we will explore the Literature role in social change. 

After reading lots of definitions, I think that I can defined the literature as: “all the expression works which deal with humanity and reflect the human beings’ feeling, ideas, opinion, and/or experiences in order to provide entertainment, enlightenment, or instruction to the reader/hearer/observer.” Literature major forms can be divided into five forms. 1) Poetry which written in verse. 2) Prose consists of writing that does not adhere to any particular formal structures, and it can be divided into three parts as Essays (consists of a discussion of a topic from an author's personal point of view), Fiction, and other prose literature (can be Philosophy, history, journalism, and legal).3) Drama which generally comprises chiefly dialogue between characters, and usually aims at dramatic / theatrical performance. 4) Oral literature which exists in every society, whether literate or not as folktales, ballads, legends, jokes, sermons… etc. 5) The last form we can say the other narrative forms which consisting of work which originate in digital environments as films, broadcast, or graphic novels…etc. 

Social change is a general term used in the study of history, sociology, economies, and politics, and includes topics such as the failure or success of different political systems, democratization, globalization, economic growth and development. It can imply concepts as broad as revolution and paradigm shift, to narrow changes such as a particular cause within small town government. The concept of social change imply measurement of some characteristics of this group of individuals. While the term is usually applied to changes that are beneficial to society, it may result in negative side-effects or consequences that undermine or eliminate existing ways of life that are considered positive. 

The effect of literature in social change can be immediate, and/or the more important is the continuance effect of the best of that work even after the death of the author. A good example is the continuance effect of Shakespeare plays. Literature can play an effective role through reflecting the thinking of the times, and force acting upon that thinking. 

Literature reflects the thinking through empowering us to experience the issues. When you read, hear, or observe a pace of literature we experience the feeling of the characters. We understand the challenges, and what are the ups and downs. This method get us test the feeling and evolve social reality which will lead and drive to an action. Any pace of literature leads to evaluate the situation, and that drive to think about solutions for problems and use the best practices. Those solutions will force people acting upon that thinking. For example, one of the main factors that moved the conservative English governments towards reform was the writings of political commentators and novelists like Dickens which had a profound effect on the minds of the people (Background to Hard Times: p. viii - ix). Literature can advocate the issues through raising the awareness of people about such issues. This act get people understand the situation and drive people to advocate the issue. Through different type of advocacy work which lead to make difference in the decision making. 

There are some complex challenges which faced the change of Literature as: Illiteracy, Limitations on freedom of expression, Economic situation. It seems that we can Handel with them one by one. Maybe it is sometimes true, but sometimes I feel that they are tied to each other, so I called them complex. 

Illiteracy: consider one of the urgent challenges that faced the humanity. There are about 115 million children are not in school - 56 percent of them are girls and 94 percent of them live in developing countries. Only 37 of 155 developing countries have achieved universal primary school completion (MDG Youth Action Guide). Even that illiteracy affect the audience of literature, but we can solve that problem by creating oral literature works or narrative forms which originate in digital environments as films, broadcast, or graphic novels…etc. whom contact with eyes and ears of common people and those who cannot read, and this suggestion will also help to reach out people who do not like reading. 

Limitations on freedom of expression: The right to freedom of expression or freedom of speech is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The ICCPR recognizes the right to freedom of speech as "the right to hold opinions without interference. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression". There are many limits which make it uneasy to talk or write about an issue as system, politics, culture, religious radical conservative speech, values, interests, and/or economic. Those factors get people fear from change as a result for conflict on interests, conflict on values, conflict on ideologies, no respect of the diversity, and/or no acceptance of the other. 

Those limitations affect the literature role, but from my experience, I believe that New Media or social web (Web 2.0) can provide peaceful places and tools for expression and dialogue with no fear. It implies new technological tools and uses them to engage people, spread knowledge, and offer opportunities for individuals to improve the way they work, communicate their messages, and collaborate with others. It can include source as blogs, chats, videos, websites, SMS, Message board, online articles, games and software, wikis, podcasts, mashups, and uploaded photography. 

Economic situation: poverty is another urgent challenge for humanity. At the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000, 189 heads of states and governments signed the Millennium Declaration, promising to “free men, women, and children from the dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty.” There are about1.4 billion live on less than $1,25 a day (World Bank: 2005). Every day, 28,000 children die from poverty-related causes (MDG Youth Action Guide). We can notice that rich communities are more supportive for literature production, unlike poor communities whom looking for another priority as foods and safety. This challenge affects the written literature, but drive to think about change through oral literature. 

I hope that I could present the role of literature in creating the social change, and help to raise the awareness about the literature and its role in making difference. I am still having some suggestions and recommendations which I think will help to empower literature to play an effective role in social change. They are: 1) Documentation the oral literature and promote it for a huge number of people; 2) Establishing studies and observation for literary works and contains; 3) Promote and support the peace literature work which called for dialogue and acceptance the others, and encouraging the moderate religious speech; 4) Re-produce the written literature into narrative forms which originate in digital environments as films, broadcast, or graphic novels…etc. to reach out many people; 5) Exploitation the web 2,0 (New Media) to empower people of expressing and inspiring through their literary works; 6) Increasing the translation for literary works which will lead to understanding the others and take advantage of best practices; 7) promotion democracy and human rights which will enable people to express and accepting the others; 8) Putting pressure or stress on dictator governments to force them reform the conditions of human rights and freedom of expression; and finally 9) Forcing states and governments to fulfill their commitment in achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which will free people from poverty and reform the education situation.

ليست هناك تعليقات:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...