I am having a hard time really understanding the meaning of social forces. How would the social forces of the Holocaust or the Depression affect me? 

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the analysis of social forces in history can have quite easy recognition to the modern setting.  Individuals must possess a sense of empathy, or widening of their own sensitivity, to fully see how an event in the past can connect to them.  I think it requires a level of openness of thought.  Yet, if undertaken it can be quite meaningful.  For example, the Depression's economic and social impact is something that has relevance to today.  The notion of unemployment and economic challenge, as well as the incapicated nature of institutions to help people, does have relevancy to today.  At the same time, the Holocaust represents the essence to which we, as nations and people, should not move.  The relevancy is there, so long as individuals are wiling to see how links can be forged between then and now.

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The current economic situation in the world is roughly comparable to the Great Depression. You might interview an elderly person who lived through the Depression to find out how s/he was affected by those social forces. For example, there was widespread unemployment and hunger. Many people scrimped and saved and developed habits that continue to stay with them, even though the Depression ended long ago. For example, my grandmother always used to save and reuse tin foil that she covered food with. It puzzled me that she would do this until I got older and studied American history.

dkgarran eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A social force refers to something that society or a group does which affects an individual's behavior. For example, the Holocaust was a social force in that people had to choose whether to take a stand and resist what the Nazis were doing or whether they chose to simply be a bystander and remain safe. While the Nazis were spouting antisemitic rhetoric, individuals believed them and chose to discriminate against Jews when they might not have had they not heard what the government said about the Jews.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Social forces refers to the influence of the society as a whole has on the behavior of individuals. The nature of the individuals in terms of beliefs, attitudes, values, habits and other similar characteristics are shaped to a large extent to he culture of the society in which the individual grows and lives. Similarly the society restricts on individual freedom to act by exerting pressure on individuals to conform to the norms and values of the society. For example, a lady living in a traditional Muslim society would feel very uncomfortable to appear in public in modern western attire. Similarly, a teenage girl in USA will perhaps be very uncomfortable with the kind of life her great grandmother would have led.

The social pressure also include the impression and feelings left in the mind of people by the overall happenings in the society as a whole. The holocaust perhaps made roused the Jews from their cautious and quite ways become very aggressive and active people to develop Israel. People who suffered during depression became cautious for life. The events that happened long ago do not directly affect the current generation directly. However, some of the effects of major events may affect the culture, and in this way continue to effect people for a long time.

frizzyperm | Student

In 50 years time, an american student like yourself will say, "I'm having a hard time understanding how the events of the 9th of September, 2001 affect me."

What would you say to them?

elfgirl | Student

The Holocaust was the Nazi attempt to genocidally eradicate the Jews from 1941 -1945. Does it affect you?...

During World War II, the Nazis murdered 6,000,000 European Jews. This unimaginable inhuman slaughter is called The Holocaust. 

After the Holocaust, America's shock and horror at such mass killing made it easier for Zionist Jews to create a homeland called 'Israel' on the land that was previously called 'Palestine'.

This Jewish 'Israel' displaced Muslim Palestinians. They were driven from their homes. And Muslim Arabs, felt extremely upset and abused because they believed the land called 'Israel' should belong to Palestinians, not Jews. The Palestinians and Arabs thought it was America who had been responsible for the creation of Israel.

After many wars and lots of tragic deaths and millions of crying mothers; on 9/11 an extremist Arab muslim destroyed the World Trade Centre Towers and pushed/dragged America into a global confrontation with Islam because of the creation of Israel, which was because of The Holocaust.

You may think it doesn't affect you. But that is because you are young and don't know how actions in the past echo down the years. And you feel completely safe when you are not.

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