Social Action

Context:

 Social action means taking steps to change the things that we believe are wrong in our society.  Part of our responsibility as creative professionals is how we can contribute to this as a global citizen.  We live in a world of immediate connection with others through social media and your generation and your voice can be louder than ever.  With this comes the responsibility to understand, digest and interpret what is happening around you and introduce new ideas and processes for positive change.

 

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What Social Action is according to Max Weber

Max Weber founded the social action theory (also known as interpretative or micro perspectives); one of the two main types of sociological theories (the other being structural/macro theory, founded by Durkheim). While believing that social actions should be the main focus in sociology, Weber actually advocated the combination of structuralist and interpretative approaches when researching.

Social action examines smaller groups within society, and sees society as a whole as a product of human activity. Weber believed a “social action” to be an action carried out by a person, to which the person attached a meaning. Therefore, something accidental occurring can’t be a social action as it wasn’t the result of a conscious thought process made by the person. Conversely, somebody doing their job (e.g. a window cleaner, cleaning windows) has a motive and conscious though process behind it, and is thus a “social action”.


Project Research: Google 4 Doodle

“Students in grades K-12 (the sum of primary and secondary education in America) are invited to take part in the 2016 Doodle 4 Google contest, and create a doodle that tells the world “What I see for the future.” From crayons to clay, graphic design, or even food, young artists can utilize any materials to bring their creation to life. Like all Google Doodles, each doodle must incorporate the letters G-o-o-g-l-e. One national winner will also receive a $30,000 college scholarship.”

“In 1998, before the company was even incorporated, the concept of the doodle was born when Google founders Larry and Sergey played with the corporate logo to indicate their attendance at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert. They placed a stick figure drawing behind the 2nd “o” in the word, Google, and the revised logo was intended as a comical message to Google users that the founders were “out of office.”. While the first doodle was relatively simple, the idea of decorating the company logo to celebrate notable events was born.”
                                                                                                                                — Google 4 Doodle website

The doodles are created for major world events, such as birthdays and death days of historical icons, the beginning and end of world wars, and iconic historical events ranging through a whole plethora of subjects. This means that everybody who uses google on that historical day gets to interact with it, and they have the option to educate themselves on the person or event as they please. It is easily accessible to all ages because the artwork will draw in people of any age, and as it the most popular search engine in the world meaning it will gain a lot of interest and clicks.

Doodle 4 Google is a competition for students in grades K-12, where this year they will have to design a piece of work based around the theme ‘what I see for the future’. The topic of what the future looks like is controversial and unknown to adults, so it giving children this opportunity could be refreshing and uplifting.

This competition relates to our theme of social actions in different ways, for example both look at situation which may or may not happen in the future. Both our topic and the competition are encouraging art to change the world and give others a different view on what we feel passionate about.

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(This task was done in collaboration with Ethan Parfitt; the shared text document for which can be found here. We had to condense, refine and present our findings to the rest of the Illustration pathway via a  single powerpoint presentation slide, which can be found here.)
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