Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Remaining Silent

Here's an issue* that's gotten my blood pressure up for this week, this time at noids' site Filipinowriter. Using the parallel of the Da Vinci Code, let's re-imagine it going this way:

Writer: I wrote a story about a religious figure getting it on with someone!
Some people: Oh noes! He wrote it so it must be true! Take it out! TAKE IT OUT!!!
Me: WTF?
Here's the actual text of the story. But that's not what got me all het up. The real issue is something called the spiral of silence by Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann. Here's the gist:
The theory asserts that a person is less likely to voice an opinion on a topic if one feels that one is in the minority for fear of reprisal or isolation from the majority (Anderson 1996: 214; Miller 2005: 277).
More interesting is this on "overcoming the silence":
The theory explains a 'vocal minority' by stating that people who are highly educated, or who have greater affluence, and the few other cavalier individuals who do not fear isolation, are likely to speak out regardless of public opinion (Miller 2005: 279). It further states that this minority is a necessary factor of change while the compliant majority is a necessary factor of stability, with both being a product of evolution.
What a crazy world we live in. But as I've said, why so serious?

(issue pointed out by kyu)


*Basically someone wrote an online story using a venerable religious school/institution as backdrop and some people disagreed with it because the story was about a priest and a woman having a relationship. Because of the criticism, the writer took down the story but put it back up with the title (which was the institution's) name changed.

Personally, I haven't read the story yet but I like the idea of using the backdrop to give flavor to the story. Of course such execution may vary.

5 comments:

adam! said...

It further states that this minority is a necessary factor of change while the compliant majority is a necessary factor of stability, with both being a product of evolution.

paano though kung yung rebellious minority ay naging yung mismong compliant majority?

oi, banzai cat: ang word verification ko ay "whyprr"!

Dominique said...

Just like "Desperate Housewives", eh?

banzai cat said...

adam: Haha was wondering when you'd show up here.

Good question. Actually I don't think the rebellious minority will completely be subsumed into the compliant majority. I think there will always be a vocal minority even if different generations. It could be that 15 years from, we've all become members of the authority/majority while a new (read: younger) group or individuals become the vocal minority. As they say, "the (r)evolution eats its young."

dom: Ey? Why, what happened in DH? Or are you talking about the hullabaloo about the Filipino doctors issue? If that, yeah and even the BBC comedy issue.

Pipe said...

Well, I think there are two ways that the minority become part of the majority - they either join the majority, or they convert the majority.

Most rebels succumb to the first - very few succeed at the second. Barring instances like the French Revolution, most revolutions don't last long enough I think to begin nibbling on its offspring - very few true revolutions have actually succeeded I think.

Personally I'd be more than happy if I became part of the majority through the second means ^_^

banzai cat said...

pipe: Halloo, welcome aboard. True that. Though I do think there are some who would rather die as a part of the minority rather than as part of the majority, despite wanting to be accepted in our hearts of hearts.

For example, who here is usually pissed when a good song you like is overplayed on the radio? Who here dislikes reading certain books because everyone is reading it?