Social Movement: A Ticking Time Bomb or a Timeless Tradition

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Throughout history, discontent has been felt by various groups of people. This discontent could be generated by modernization or undesirable conditions. As a result, social movements are put into effect to bring similar peoples together to fight for a common cause. Traditional Chinese foot binding and the controversial Lost Boys of Sudan demonstrate this exact situation, reinforcing the idea that the concept of the social movement can be considered a cross-cultural phenomenon.
Written by Feng Jicai, The Three-Inch Golden Lotus centers around a woman named Fragrant Lotus, and the influence foot binding has on her life. At the beginning of the story, Fragrant Lotus is introduced as a young child who is raised by her grandmother, whom she affectionately calls Granny. As her sole caregiver, Fragrant Lotus places a great amount of trust in her Granny, but when the time came for her to have her feet bound, she is utterly terrified. Dating back to 961, foot binding was a practice deeply ingrained in Chinese culture, until its abolishment in the early 20th century. A very painful and tedious procedure, foot binding involved repeated breaking of the fine, unmatured bones of a young girl’s feet. The feet were then bound extremely tight with cloth strips until it was able to fit a three inch shoe. A custom passed from generation to generation, foot binding was viewed as the rite of passage from girl to woman. In addition, bound feet, also referred to as “lotus”, were viewed as a measure of a woman’s beauty and was a heavy determinant of her marriage capability. Granny, a wise woman, knew of the good fortune a perfect pair of lotus would bring, and painstakingly invested in her granddaughter’s future. What followed for Fragrant Lotus ...

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... new and brighter future for the Sudanese boys arriving to America. Due to the difficulty of getting accustomed to American traditions, job seeking, though prevalent, is not an easy journey. Operation Prosperity, or OP, proposes a new funding system to develop jobs specifically for the Sudanese. Through this program, the Lost Boys can establish lasting friendships and relationships with others enduring similar struggles, along with placing their footprints on the soil of America. The OP industries would contribute various jobs in designated areas, like Atlanta, that would be specifically for the Lost Boys, instead of them competing with others who are masters of the American culture. Through Operation Prosperity, the Lost Boys would experience less stress associated with coming to America, all the while learning the ways of the average American in the workforce.

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