Whither?

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Kris Hasson-Jones

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Apr 23, 2001, 1:30:36 PM4/23/01
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What does it mean to you when you read the name of this newsgroup?

Is there a social group in Portland, Oregon? There are many.
But there is no group that currently subscribes to this newsgroup,
contributes to it, and makes it an interesting place to read.

There has been some discussion over the last decade about the
fall-off in individual participation in group or team activites.
Bowling league membership is falling, although plenty of people are
bowling; community associations and clubs like Rotary and Lions
have overall falling memberships, although plenty of people put in
the odd hour here or there doing volunteer work. The point is
most people don't seem to be doing these things as part of a
community, as a coordinated effort.

What happened to the concept of social duty? (Many people would
respond that it's still around. I was certainly taught that I
owed my community a duty, and I was brought up by a hippie in the
60's.) What are the consequences right now of choosing to make
individual efforts over working as a team?

At least part of this change may be attributable to the increasing
presence of women in the (not-home) workplace. It's conceivable
that the work that was done by women when they didn't work at
non-home jobs made it possible for those women, and the men
(husbands) they supported, to join those teams and clubs and leagues,
because families weren't trying to squeeze housework, dinner,
shopping, laundry, and parenting into only those hours left after
a 40-or-more-hours per week job. But I don't really think that's
the only, or even most important, reason.

--
Kris Hasson-Jones sni...@pacifier.com

Basaltrock

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Apr 24, 2001, 12:31:28 AM4/24/01
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"Kris Hasson-Jones" <sni...@pacifier.com> wrote in message
news:3AE466BC...@pacifier.com...

> What does it mean to you when you read the name of this newsgroup?
>
> Is there a social group in Portland, Oregon? There are many.
> But there is no group that currently subscribes to this newsgroup,
> contributes to it, and makes it an interesting place to read.

Kris, I have seen this group and the pdx.singles group change quite a
bit in the last few years. The amount of posters and quality of
conversations has dropped dramatically. There was core group that seemed to
make the largest quantity of posts and the rest (like myself) added a small
amount. I saw what I thought was a drop in postings after one of the big
flame wars. It seemed to make a slow but steady decline after that. I come
here now to revel in it's whiteout like beauty and serene silence. Every
once in a while there's the sound of a wayward spammer drifting through, but
they find it too harsh here to live. Which is a good thing. Any spammer
controlled group should be discontinued on the basis of good taste or the
lack of it.

But know Kris, I will lurk here and wait in abeyance for true activity.

Don't be scared of the white

> There has been some discussion over the last decade about the
> fall-off in individual participation in group or team activites.
> Bowling league membership is falling, although plenty of people are
> bowling; community associations and clubs like Rotary and Lions
> have overall falling memberships, although plenty of people put in
> the odd hour here or there doing volunteer work. The point is
> most people don't seem to be doing these things as part of a
> community, as a coordinated effort.

I have heard this explained as a rise in the amount of hours worked and the
fact many households *have to* be two income families to keep themselves in
the now required lifestyle. The new homes are designed to keep the owners
as *cocooned* as possible. Small, low maintainence yards (with windows that
look over to the neighbors bedroom windows 20 ft. away) tucked away in no
exit streets and Cul de Sacs inside gated "communties". Our privacy is
under seige and we are digging in socially, rather than electronically.
It's easier to ignore others anyway. People almost always tend to do the
easiest thing and getting more hermit-like is easy. At least that's my
theory.

> What happened to the concept of social duty? (Many people would
> respond that it's still around. I was certainly taught that I
> owed my community a duty, and I was brought up by a hippie in the
> 60's.) What are the consequences right now of choosing to make
> individual efforts over working as a team?

<SNIP>
> Kris Hasson-Jones sni...@pacifier.com

I have always enjoyed going to vote my local school and have the voluteers
struggle to look up my name and going to the booth and makin' chads. I walk
around my neighborhood and smile at people I encounter. I live in an
apartment and know most of the other tenets by name and apartment number.
The mail man (he is) knows me and if I am by the mailboxes will ask me about
my car. He knows by the car magazines I get.
I don't think alot of folks really have the time to go and get involved in
their neighborhood. Not a good thing, but perhaps a reality.
Take care and be well,
ESF
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed- and
hence clamorous to be led to safety - by menacing it with an endless series
of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary"
H.L. Mencken

Andrew

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Apr 24, 2001, 6:57:38 PM4/24/01
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Kris Hasson-Jones <sni...@pacifier.com> wrote:
: What does it mean to you when you read the name of this newsgroup?

: Is there a social group in Portland, Oregon? There are many.
: But there is no group that currently subscribes to this newsgroup,
: contributes to it, and makes it an interesting place to read.

It takes momentum. Interesting people who drift through see nothing
interesting and move on. You know, no one likes to eat in an empty
restaurant...

: There has been some discussion over the last decade about the


: fall-off in individual participation in group or team activites.
: Bowling league membership is falling, although plenty of people are
: bowling; community associations and clubs like Rotary and Lions
: have overall falling memberships, although plenty of people put in
: the odd hour here or there doing volunteer work. The point is
: most people don't seem to be doing these things as part of a
: community, as a coordinated effort.

Society has definitely become more individualistic (is that a word?).
Plus, I'd guess also that most of the organizations you mention have
been associated more with small-town life than with cities. So it
could also reflect a decline in the Small Town in America. Satellite
TV and the Net show the younger generation that there is more out
there beyond their little town. I'm not sure if anyone has stats on
this (probably), but I'm guessing that people are simply moving out of
small towns more. And when people haven't lived in a place their
whole life, they might not be drawn into the Lions or a bowling
league.

I know all of this is speculation on my part; I might dig up some
statistics if I wasn't so lazy. :-)

: What happened to the concept of social duty? (Many people would


: respond that it's still around. I was certainly taught that I
: owed my community a duty, and I was brought up by a hippie in the
: 60's.) What are the consequences right now of choosing to make
: individual efforts over working as a team?

I notice you don't say "*negative* consequences", but if that's what
you mean, I guess I don't quite see it that way. Society changes over
time. I don't know if that's bad. Just different.

: At least part of this change may be attributable to the increasing


: presence of women in the (not-home) workplace. It's conceivable
: that the work that was done by women when they didn't work at
: non-home jobs made it possible for those women, and the men
: (husbands) they supported, to join those teams and clubs and leagues,
: because families weren't trying to squeeze housework, dinner,
: shopping, laundry, and parenting into only those hours left after
: a 40-or-more-hours per week job. But I don't really think that's
: the only, or even most important, reason.

As said above, technology is also part of it, and as I said I think
that has caused more movement within the country, so that people
aren't as grounded in one place. I think membership in some of the
organizations you mention is rooted in tradition and family. Maybe
Jane joined the bowling league because her mother bowled and so did
her grandmother, and Jane just grew up assuming she'd join, too,
without necessarily thinking much about it. But if Sally moves across
the country, maybe she won't automatically join a bowling league just
because her family did. Maybe she'll bowl with friends instead.
mm

Andrew
--
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
andr...@bizave.com ** Portland, Oregon Web Site: http://www.bizave.com
The Movie Pundit - http://www.moviepundit.com


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