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OLD EARN 10-20 POINTS: Answer a (Non-US) Country Survey

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:01 am
by kingbv
The Rules: All answers must be in English. The survey can be filled out for a single country or for a larger region (e.g. "Eastern Europe" "Central America")

You cannot submit about the United States. You can only submit about a country/region that you have lived in or have an advanced degree in the study of. You can submit the answers of another qualified person for points. This is worth 10 points, or 20 if the person answering has an advanced degree in the study of the country/region in question (e.g. a degree in sociology, politics, history, development or another related field).

Then post here with the following:
-Name of Country or Region.
-Name and Credentials of Answerer:
-What major trends will distinguish the country/region from the rest of the world in the near future?
-In times of political crisis, what are the major resources (cultural, structural, physical or otherwise) that the country/region can draw on to help survive?
-If the country/region were to see warfare with another country/region in the near future, who would it be with and what would be the reason?
-If the country/region were to see internal violence (rebellion, mass rioting, coups or civil war) what would be the cause of it?
-What is the most admirable tendency of the people in the country/region?
-What is the most inadmirable tendency of the people in the country/region?
-Are there any aspects of fringe cultures (e.g. youth culture, criminal culture, culture of ethnic minorities, culture of fringe political groups, etc.) in the country/region that you think will still be important in 50 years (in other words, not just a passing fad).
-What city in the country/region would be worst hit by an economic/political crisis in the country/region and why?
-If the major government(s) of the country region were to suddenly cease functioning, who would take over and what would their agenda be?
-What unique elements of the culture of your country/region do you think could withstand extreme changes in government, economy, climate, technology and exposure to global mono-culture?
-What unique elements of the country/region's culture might spread to the rest of the world in the near future?

It is okay to post on this thread to comment about submissions.

Re: EARN 10-20 POINTS: Answer a (Non-US) Country Survey

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:19 pm
by Arabascan
-Name of Country or Region: Germany, particulary Northrhine-Westphalia

-Name and Credentials of Answerer: Arabascan (durr), fourth-semester-student of Sociology

-What major trends will distinguish the country/region from the rest of the world in the near future? The whole region will experience significant economical growth; the national and particular regional university system attracts hordes of foreign students and encourages close ties to German businesses, which will thus expand and grow, cooperating with Chinese, Korean and Indian companies.

-In times of political crisis, what are the major resources (cultural, structural, physical or otherwise) that the country/region can draw on to help survive? Northrhine Westphalia is fortunate enough to sit on large amounts of brown coal; the land is covered with deep pits where it is dug out, and those might be used by the people in the future too. The brown coal was one of the reasons why this became a densely populated industrial area, with lots of the nationals steel being produced near the Rhine; the river also made national trade possible and allows a steady supply of iron ore.

-If the country/region were to see warfare with another country/region in the near future, who would it be with and what would be the reason? It is possible that recent political developments might spiral out of control, in which case Germany would find itself in the position it feared to be in until 1989: being the battleground for a war between the US and Russia. It is most likely that German would either fight on the side of the US, or try to stay with the EU as an independant force.

-If the country/region were to see internal violence (rebellion, mass rioting, coups or civil war) what would be the cause of it? There are two major reasons for internal violence: Racial tensions, particulary between the Turkish minority (about one out of twenty Germans is of Turkish origin, most of those living in cities, of which there are many in Northrhine Westphalia) and far-right groups, such as Nationalists or Hooligans. Which brings me to the second reason - football. Football becomes more and more politicized recently, and football riots could quickly grow into bigger social problems.

-What is the most admirable tendency of the people in the country/region? Optimism and humor. During carnival days, nothing is holy to the people here, and the humorous carnival speeches talk about political developments and people in high position, while at the same time demanding change and improvement.

-What is the most inadmirable tendency of the people in the country/region? This is a question I, as a member of the in-group, cannot really answer.

-Are there any aspects of fringe cultures (e.g. youth culture, criminal culture, culture of ethnic minorities, culture of fringe political groups, etc.) in the country/region that you think will still be important in 50 years (in other words, not just a passing fad). First, the Turkish Minority, which holds a lot of power and is torn between loyalty to Turkey (and Turkish political goals, such as the growing Islamization driven by Erdogan) and adapting to their German homeland. Second, the Nationalists, who are an austracized group and often violent and uneducated, yet start to gain more and more influence amongst all socioeconomic classes. Finally, the politically far-left - particulary Punks - who are mainly driven by Antifascism. Those three groups work all against each other, since their ideals make cooperation impossible.

-What city in the country/region would be worst hit by an economic/political crisis in the country/region and why? Cologne, simply because it is the biggest city, and home to the most minorities. It is also a city which was just recently troubled most by riots between far-right football hools and fundamentalist Salafists (a muslim sub-group).

-If the major government(s) of the country region were to suddenly cease functioning, who would take over and what would their agenda be? After a longer time of chaos (the entire region is heavily dependant on government and lacks militias like, for example, the US), small, local clubs (football clubs, carnival clubs, sports shooters, youth clubs like the boyscouts and Turkish cultural clubs, for examples) would organize themselves to provide some basic infrastructure; the Church would, without a doubt, be the biggest and most influential aid and would work closely together with the cultural clubs already established. Political parties might try to do the same; quickly, those groups would weave a strong infrastructural net, establishing almost government-like systems, only being opposed by anarchist groups like Punks, or those who try to use the situation for their own gain, like the Nationalists.

-What unique elements of the culture of your country/region do you think could withstand extreme changes in government, economy, climate, technology and exposure to global mono-culture? The carnival tradition, which is a particular thing of this region and managed to survive all kinds of events, including the Nazi government (which was opposed to the carnivalists, due to their political humor and liberalism). Football, which was always a social thing and important part of German identity. Student sororities, which are, unlike American sororities, much more politicized and traditional (most sororities here are moderately right-wing oriented, religious and focus on traditional clothes and worldviews).

-What unique elements of the country/region's culture might spread to the rest of the world in the near future? Asides from the Beer and football, probably none. The region absorbs much more cultural elements than it spreads; the carnival tradition, for example, takes Brazilian carnival elements and adapts them, putting them in German traditional context.

Re: EARN 10-20 POINTS: Answer a (Non-US) Country Survey

PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:29 am
by kingbv
Very interesting, Arabascan.

I didn't know that there were so many people of Turkish ethnicity in Germany. It seems like, given demographic trends in Europe, that the Turkish population will only grow. In the FWTD setting Turkey has been divided into two countries (West and East Turkey) and West Turkey has joined the EU. I wonder how that would affect the situation in Germany.

I've been interested in Carnival since I read Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster by Rebecca Solnit, which has a section talking about Carnival as a time when the normal social hierarchies are bypassed. Is Carnival popular throughout Germany? Is it popular among Catholics only, or is it something that (like Christmas in America) is celebrated by most people of every religion.

I've given you 10 points, but once you get your sociology degree, if you'd like to give an update I'd be happy to give you the other 10 points as an expert.

Re: EARN 10-20 POINTS: Answer a (Non-US) Country Survey

PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:47 am
by Arabascan
I will do my best to give an update then, and not just regarding the points. There's some things going on in Germany which might cause some change, especially regarding the situation of Turkish migrants. Should Turkey be parted, that will, without a doubt, cause a lot of problems for Germany too - to the point where there might be open ralleys of West-Turks against East-Turks. I could fill out a Survey for Turkey too, or rather 'Turkey from the point of an assimilated Turkish German', if that helps. :)

The carnival has no religious background whatsoever, however, there are regional differences. In the south, it's celebrated a lot with traditional wooden masks, hinting back at the pagan roots; in the mid-west, it has a rather political tradition. Sweets, dress-ups and alcohol are strongly involved and you might partially compare it to Halloween. It is also a strong mocking of military and discipline, with carnival 'parades'.