The author of this post has kindly mapped out the thinking process: http://h1-gp-words-words.blogspot.sg/2010/01/family-and-gender-essay-outline_03.html
Does tradition still have a role to play in modern societies?
Tradition: set of (cultural) beliefs, customs, practices, values long-established and passed down from generation to generation
Still: It is assumed that it had a role to play in the past. Consider the changes in society that might have led to the above viewpoint.
Role to play: Consider if it still serves a purpose, or if it is of value.
Modern society: Identify the distinguishing features of modern society and explain how they might have diminished or enhanced the roles played by tradition.
Yes, but (acknowledge the effect globalisation has on attempts to maintain a unique culture/traditions)
(Yes) Prove that tradition still has strong value (for whom? In what ways?) even in our modern society (don’t merely list benefits and disadvantages)
Argument: Even as societies develop, they do not completely abandon their sense of right and wrong. Traditional value-systems are an important tool for government systems to keep people in check and a vehicle for passing on certain moral values
Reason: Pure reliance on a legal system to police a state is not always effective The use of value systems and the emphasis of traditions can become an educational tool that helps to breed pro-social behaviour in society, aiding the government in maintaining order.
Explanation: Asian, Confucian values ensure a disciplined, orderly and stable society and inculcates a healthy respect for authority and the state.
Evaluation: Furthermore, such traditions can keeps peace in society especially when sexual depravity, child abuse, theft, murder and other disruptive issues are reaching very worrying levels in more liberal societies.
Conclusion: If traditions are not harmful nor do they strip away any fundamental rights, if maintained and abided by, tradition helps to maintain proper social conduct in society.
Other possible arguments (agree)
Tradition makes us unique (provides us an identity) and adds variety to a world that celebrates diversity.
+ An economic argument: maintaining tradition adds to uniqueness tourism.
Traditional values and practices help us to better appreciate our ethnic cultures and understand the workings of our own societies
Traditional value-systems have been present in societies for centuries, keeping people in check and passing values on to the young. E.g. Asian, Confucian values ensure a disciplined, orderly and stable society. If maintained and abided by, tradition helps to maintain proper social conduct in society.
Show that unique traditions tied to a country may not hold much value/purpose in a rapidly changing, borderless /globalised world
In a globalised world, tradition continues to put in place differences that are barriers that impede development and global co-operation (economic, social, even educational reforms)
An over-dependence on traditional values may inhibit the growth and dynamism inherent in national cultures – especially in younger, still changing nations.
Traditional values can continue to discriminate women in a patriarchal society. (or lead to other forms of intolerances and disapproval)
The strict maintenance/laws/censorship to “protect” conservative traditional beliefs may preserve the integrity and good behaviour of the people but may restrict expression and growth in some of the arts.