Sociology is complex, there are so many different aspects that must be considered. First and foremost what is sociology? Sociology is the study of different groups of people and their interactions. I have learned so much in just one semester. I couldn’t begin to describe the affect it has had on me. The things I learned are incredible, little things I never thought about before but think about constantly now. The most important thing I learned in this class was the danger of a single a story.
A single story is something most of us are so used to it seems weird to think that there is another side to everything we hear. A great example of a single story that everyone hears over and over again, is Africa. Africa is a continent full of countries, some prosperous and some not, but what to we hear about Africa. We hear that all Africans are poor starving people lacking education and medicine. We learn that Africa refers to an entire people who are in reality very different from one anther with different cultures and languages. The media is the main source of the single story problem, they shoot commercial after commercial of the poor children and families in Africa, but where in Africa are these children? We are never shown the happy children growing up happy and educated. The single story of Africa is everyone is poor and dying. I just wish that more people would look into this problem, I’ll be the first to admit that I never looked further but after learning the importance of finding the whole story I will never again believe what I’m told just because I’m told to, I will dig for the whole truth.
The importance of learning the full story is that without it we are destined to be naive and ethnocentric, thinking we are so much better than the developing world. We need to put a stop to the single story, we need to keep ourselves informed. Unfortunately, it won’t be easy, and it won’t happen over night but if I tell two people the danger of a single story and they tell two people eventually everyone will know and understand and hopefully then we can begin to make a change in the world. Maybe then we can explain the importance of the global village and how everything we do and say can make a difference. I hope to one day live in a world where everyone can find themselves looking to understand things from a new perspective in hopes of learning some very important lessons. I am happy I took sociology and I won’t forget what I learned and I will share it with my friends and family.
The United State of America claims that their occupation of Iraq is to liberate them from Saddam Hussein, that they must help the people of Iraq to do something for them that they desperately need. But why is the U.S.A. so focused on liberating Iraq but when mention that they liberate Liberia they suggest that it is something that Liberia but do for themselves? It is a contradiction, and the reason behind America in Iraq is the oil, they want the oil so they will take it. Liberia offers the U.S.A. nothing, so they will not involve themselves in their affairs. The U.S.A. always has ulterior motives and that is something that will never change, unfortunately the intense capitalism in America will never allow the change to occur to create a better happier, less vengeful society.
Race, something people focus on so much and categorize people due to their skin colour and country of origin, does not exist. It is a social construct made up years ago to satisfy the need for power. Race may not be real, no person is genetically different as to be better than another, but due to the thought of this racism is powerful and sadly the reality many people face. Neither should be a part of society but yet both are so active in our everyday lives. It is sad to think that even in a multicultural society there is really only racism because some people have the view that they are better than the man beside them just because of their skin colour, for all they know the man beside them is the smartest man in the world, but they’d never know because they would never even give him a chance. Racism and race are dependent upon one another and unless every person can collectively rid society of race then racism will always linger.
The September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States of America have left a deep fear throughout the entire western world. Everyone is scared that terrorists are taking over and plotting to kill everyone, people are afraid to forgive and forget, instead everyone is on high alert for the next attack. During the speeches given by George W. Bush not once was the word “forgiveness” spoken or even mentioned, instead the words were full of revenge and distaste. The U.S.A. could learn a lesson from from the countries in Africa about forgiveness, as they believe and preach that they must forgive and forget about what happened years ago between themselves and other European countries and I think that is something incredible and we can learn from them. Unfortunately, due to the ethnocentrism in America that will most likely never happen. And although the people mourn the deaths of those who were victims of the events of September 11th, 2002, they will never forgive the innocent people whom their government has killed in revenge and sadly their revenge will never be good enough because nothing can bring back a life.
This week I chose the Conflict Theory which is basically the idea that inequality is the way of life and that power dictates everything. I think this is interesting because without even knowing it we understand that this is how the world is run, we complain about how the U.S. dictates what other countries are doing but they only control the countries that they feel superior to. I found that this was true when reading a news article on BBC about how the United States government has increased sanctions on Iran. Without going into any details yet you can see that a powerful, well-established country is controlling a less powerful, less-established country. The article says and I quote that “Washington had “a very good estimate” of when Iran could complete a nuclear weapon,” but it’s just an estimate so the way I see it the United States government is just puffing out its figurative chest to prove that they are more powerful than Iran and therefore Iran shouldn’t be allowed to have nuclear weapons even though the U.S. has them. I feel that the inequality and double standards within the world are stupid, why should some countries be allowed nuclear weapons and others be denied? No matter who owns them they are destructive.
Chapter 6: Public Space and Criminal Justice
What was the reading about?
- It was about public space and it being regulated by the criminal justice system. It explains what many people view as public space and definitions of the words “public” and “space” which then can give meaning to what is being discussed. The text also explains how public space is used and the usage of this space is what brings in the criminal justice system. Homeless people and their usage of public space is discussed. They put into perspective just how many people in the United States are homeless and they explain how homelessness is basically being made illegal in many cities and states due to unrealistic laws being made and enforced.
How did I feel about the reading?
- I felt really bad for the homeless people because in many cases they are children who don’t have a choice. In the cases where substance abuse is a problem I feel less compassionate but at the same time everyone deserves somewhere to live so the laws that are being made and enforced are quite unnecessary. The reading made me feel happy that I have a roof over my head and thankful that I have somewhere to sleep tonight, and every night.
What do I think about the reading?
- I think that it is really informative and that more people should be aware of homelessness becoming an issue. Not only should people be aware of homelessness but also of laws that are being created to restrict homeless people. I think that the governments implementing these laws are being unfair and closed-minded. They are not taking into account the thousands of people who are homeless because of reasons they couldn’t control, instead they are generalizing and making every homeless person a criminal and in many cases this is not the truth.
What do I believe about the reading?
- I believe that homeless people need a voice, and that not all of them are the horrible substance abusing people everyone makes them out to be. Sure, many of them are but there are other reasons people are homeless as well such as mental illness. I believe that cities should be making more of an effort to help the homeless without questioning them. Help them fix their lives and get them off the streets, I also believe this will never happen.
What do I know about the reading?
- I know that it is factual and that these laws are unfortunate. I know that there is nothing a single person can do to help these people but if one person were to pass on the message and create a mission that they themselves could try to accomplish more would follow. I know that homeless isn’t going to stop over night but that shouldn’t mean governments should basically make it illegal to be homeless because for all I know maybe they lots their homes due to the increase in taxes and low paying jobs.
Chapter 12: The Myth of Race and the Reality of Racism
|What question did the chapter raise?
|How did the text answer these questions?
|How does the answer match our own ideas and experiences?