This paper is a research proposal that aims at determining the how the continental Europe and its influence over the entire world could be described using sociology symbols. These are the factors which have shaped the history and the current Europe, ranging from civilization, the traditional empires, political, social and economic revolutions, and social and economic theories. The paper explains the thesis, research questions, the hypothesis and the methodology to be utilized in the study, as well as the methods for representing the information.
The European continent can be described as the cradle of modern world civilization, governments, technology and innovations. Several theories have been developed over the past fifty years which try to describe Europe and the Europeans based on the culture, religions and social welfare, and taking into account the influence that Europe has and have had over the last millennium. It is arguable that Europe can be described with a variety of symbols relating to social, religion, political, cultural and scientific theories.
The notion that Europe began the modern type of civilization has taken root among most people in the world, with both history and archeology providing evidences that it is Europe that the modern civilization can be rooted and based on. Civilization, therefore, can be perceived as one of the symbols that have been used to describe the entire continent. Beginning with the Greeks, Europe has undergone various transformations in it systems towards developing what one can now say is European civilization. The Greeks were the first people to develop some kind of social systems, breaking away from the traditional Europeans during the Zenith of Asiatic civilization throughout the continental Europe. Greece brought in the eminence in various fields, ranging from education and learning, arms and military technology, literature, law and arts. The Romans came in and tried to advance these achievements, which they attained and not only developed their empire, but spread the civilization to the other parts of Europe through their influence on trade and ideologies. The Visigoths in Spain, the Lombards of Italy, the Saxons of Germany and the Anglo-Saxons of the Great Britain were some of the symbolic groups of people who adopted roman type of civilization and expanded it further into what can be seen as the modern European civilization.
Religion has been a part and parcel of Europe, and each and every nation, region and society in Europe has for a long time been attached to some form of religion or existing as a religious group. Catholicism, Protestantism and Judaism are the main religious entities which have had the greatest impact on not only the social life of Europeans, but also on the economic, art, knowledge, education and political fields in almost all nations in the continent for quite along time. The search for imperialism through militarism, nationalism, colonization and war has been a leading factor that could define the history of the modern Europe, with various revolutions leading to what can be said to be modern nations and their boundaries.
In addition to these aspects, the social, economic and political theories have been affecting most nations, groups of people and religious groups throughout Europe. For instance, Marxism, capitalism, socialism and nihilism are some theories in this category. Of importance are the theories of Marxism and capitalism, which have lead to various economic and political revolutions which Europeans have used to influence not only their continent, but also other nations which they have had long-term relationships with.
Purpose of the Study
This study aims at determining the factors that have had the effect on shaping the systems in the modern Europe, and the factors that currently exist in the continent. These factors could be used as symbols to classify European nations, and derive a conclusion that could aid learners in various studies. The ultimate aim is to use these symbols to give a clear impression of the social, political, and economic systems that has lead to what Europe is today.
1. Are there any symbols that could be used to describe Europe and European people based on the social, economic, political religious and historical backgrounds?
2. What effects do the symbols have on the people, culture and the social systems in the continent?
3. Have these factors had influence on the world platform other than on the European continent?
There are no symbols that could be used to describe Europe and European people based on the social, economic, political religious and historical backgrounds.
There exists a range of symbols which could be used to describe Europe and European people based on the social, economic, political religious and historical backgrounds. In addition these symbols have various effects on the people, culture and the social systems in the continent, and on other areas beyond Europe.
Research materials to be used
Various concerns have been raised over the methods that European national have used over the past centuries to influence other areas. According both critics and proponents of Europeanism theories, it is quite evident that Europeans have had the largest effect on other people in the world than any other group of people. According to Wesseling (1997), the dire need to gain more power, territories and gain economically has been the leading factor which has made Europe a leading economical block for many centuries (Wesseling 34). The research describes imperialism as the mother of colonization, given the in the search for more territories for economical and political gains, Europeans have had to occupy other areas, specifically in the Americas and the entire Africa, resulting into massive colonization of these lands. This article is quite relevant to this topic as it reveals imperialism and colonization as two factors which can be used as symbols of defining European culture (Wesseling 69).
In an attempt to describe Europe, Dussel (2000) proposes that Eurocentrism, in addition to a long history of militarisms, nationalism and religion, has been a factor that most European nations utilized to have an effect on each nation and society they come into contact with (Dussel 97). The long history of Europe, with the religion and political revolutions, have all determined the fate of Europe. In addition, Dussel defines that modernity, as it stands, could be a tool that Europeans have utilized, especially during colonialism, to defend their interest and presence in foreign worlds (Dussel 108). Modernity, as per the Europeans, is the western way of life, and which they strived fro a long time to spread across the world.
On her part, Elizabeth Brown describes feudalism, in relation to economic, political and social history of the continental Europe, as a major symbol of development that brought in various changes and issues in Europe and other parts of the world, particularly where Europeans have had an interest (Brown 1064). She reveals several factors which as per the discussion, could be utilized as a symbol to describe the Europe. Apart from feudalism, brown describes the effect of Marxism, imperialism and nationalism as other factors which developed Europeanism thoughts through a number of centuries, and contributed much to modernism and civilization (Brown 1065).
An example of a physical symbol that defines Europe and its people is the Eifel tower in Paris, France. The tower, one the worlds largest of its kind, was built in 1889 after the French revolution, purposely to recognize the revolution and its effects. Today, it has various functions. This tower can be said to signify the events in France, and the entire Europe in general. Consider the time when this tower was build. In around late 1880s and early 1900s, European nations were busy scrambling for colonies, in what can be described as the battle for colonialism, imperialism and which were based on social theories described above. Consider also the persons behind this tower, and those who have famously visited it. Adolf Hitler visited this tower in 1930s, in what can be described as the infamous European meeting the famous Europe (symbol).
Wesseling, H. L. Imperialism and Colonialism. Essays on the History of European Expansion. London, UK: Greenwood Press. 1997. Web. March 7, 2011.
Dussel, Enrique. Europe, modernity, and eurocentrism. Position papers. London: Nepalta, 2000. Web. March 7, 2011.
Brown, Elizabeth. The tyranny of a construct: feudalism and historians of medieval Europe. The American historical review, 2000. Web. March 7, 2011.