Sociological Analysis

The social news that I will analyse is from BBC News, posted on March 18th. The story concerns the Australian parliament, where cases of rape have been reported to increase. In response to this, Australian women are protesting and demanding change, saying they have had enough. From the BBC news, several women, such as Brittany Higgins, have upheld rape allegations against male colleagues in the parliament (Khalil, 2021). However, the central angle of the story is how the prime minister approached the issue. In his statement, he says that he got advice from his wife to assume the problems of rape are happening to their daughters (Khalil, 2021). According to him, after the statement from the wife, he became more conscious of the issue. His approach led to mixed reactions, one of the sexual assault survivors claiming the prime minister does not need to have children to have a conscience.

One of the theories that perfectly explains the situation is the Realistic Group Conflict Theory. The theory posits that society is structured into groups, threatening one another or heightening prejudices against one another. It is imperative to note that conflicts are natural – inevitable and are socially constructed. As such, constructive solutions to conflicts can be approached through various social perspectives. The Realistic Group Conflict Theory illustrates the role of realism in society, revealed in the Australian case. Historically, men have had power over women in many societies. The Realistic Group Conflict Theory posits then that the power of their counterpart gender has threatened women. Arguably, this conflict has been solved through accommodation in the past. However, women are currently more or less empowered like men. It follows that women can no longer accommodate assault from men, prompting a sociological conflict.

Another theory is the Collective Behaviour Theory learned in class 10. The theory holds that people come together in a noninstitutionalized activity to cause a social movement. Notably, a healthy society does not have social movements. They become relevant in Collective behavior theory because movements are fuelled by a group of people who have the same interests and thus behave collectively to achieve those interests. Besides having a shared social interest, groups of people can be mobilized by one – a leader, to create a movement. The goal for such collective behavioral movements is to redeem, reform, or revolve tricky society issues. For instance, the protest by Australian women is meant to end sexual assault in the parliament.

Both the Realistic Group Conflict Theory and the Collective Behaviour Theory are relevant for the Australian case. The Realistic Group Conflict Theory explains why the conflict has developed. For instance, Australian women have been empowered and can no longer conform to the masculine threats, which go as far as to rape women. It is the ideal time for both men and women to become realistic about the place of each gender in society. The Collective Behaviour Theory explains how the conflict has been approached. Women gather in a social movement to make their grievances relevant. As such, leaders such as the prime minister have joined in fostering constructive conflict resolution. The outcome from both approaches is constructive conflict resolution, which ideally through compromising and accommodation. Compromise can be viewed as “sharing a pie,” where men have to shed their toxic masculine powers and accommodate feminine powers in society. I notice this from past experiences that in society, where men are viewed to be higher than women, and women are expected to respect men. Thus, raping a woman may still be viewed as a minor issue that does not deserve much attention. However, when men change their perspective and view women as important members of society, they will compromise their masculinity and accommodate women as their equal peers.

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Khalil, S. (2021). Why Australian women are saying ‘enough is enough. BBC News. Retrieved March 19th, 2021, from