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But it goes beyond that. We face a combination of too many people and the increased demands these numbers make on the earth. As a population, we have brought water tables to dangerously low levels, built up fragile shorelines to increase development, and irrigated massive crop fields with water brought in from several states away. How can we be surprised when homes along coastlines are battered and droughts threaten whole towns? The year 2011 holds the unwelcome distinction of being a record year for billion-dollar weather disasters, with about a dozen falling into that category. From twisters and floods to snowstorms and droughts, the planet is making our problems abundantly clear (CBS News 2011). These events have birthed social movements and are bringing about social change as the public becomes educated about these issues.

Our dystopian future: from A Brave New World To The Hunger Games

Two of the books in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy are shown here.
Is the glass half-empty or half-full when it comes to social change? Fiction writers explore both sides of the issue through fantasy futuristic novels like the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. (Photo courtesy of Carissa Rogers/flickr)

Humans have long been interested in science fiction and space travel, and many of us are eager to see the invention of jet packs and flying cars. But part of this futuristic fiction trend is much darker and less optimistic. In 1932, when Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World was published, there was a cultural trend towards seeing the future as golden and full of opportunity. In his novel set in 2540, there is a more frightening future. Since then, there has been an ongoing stream of dystopian novels, or books set in the future after some kind of apocalypse has occurred and when a totalitarian and restrictive government has taken over. These books have been gaining in popularity recently, especially among young adult readers. And while the adult versions of these books often have a grim or dismal ending, the youth-geared versions usually end with some promise of hope.

So what is it about our modern times that makes looking forward so fearsome? Take the example of author Suzanne Collins’s hugely popular Hunger Games trilogy for young adults. The futuristic setting isn’t given a date, and the locale is Panem, a transformed version of North America with 12 districts ruled by a cruel and dictatorial capitol. The capitol punishes the districts for their long-ago attempt at rebellion by forcing an annual Hunger Game, where two children from each district are thrown into a created world where they must fight to the death. Connotations of gladiator games and video games come together in this world, where the government can kill people for their amusement, and the technological wonders never cease. From meals that appear at the touch of a button to mutated government-built creatures that track and kill, the future world of Hunger Games is a mix of modernization fantasy and nightmare.

When thinking about modernization theory and how it is viewed today by both functionalists and conflict theorists, it is interesting to look at this world of fiction that is so popular. When you think of the future, do you view it as a wonderful place, full of opportunity? Or as a horrifying dictatorship sublimating the individual to the good of the state? Do you view modernization as something to look forward to or something to avoid? And which media has influenced your view?

Questions & Answers

Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
hi
Loga
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Good
What is called research problem and how we narrow down a research question and why it is needed
Karamat Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology. OpenStax CNX. Jun 12, 2012 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11407/1.7
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