Gaurav Gill (100265812)
Soci 2311, S10
This semester in Sociology 2311 has acted as an avenue for a myriad of new information to enter my mind as well as an insightful journey into a world other than mine. Sociology has taught me many great life lessons which I intend to use in my lifetime; two lessons had a greater impact on me than most: the notion of a “global village” and the concept of “bracketing”. I took this class less as an elective but more as a life skills class and these two important lessons are the reasons why.
The notion of a “global village” was introduced to me for the first time to me in this semester. I find it an intriguing and somehow obvious concept; by obvious I mean the basicness of it all. Although it is true that this is a basic concept, it is an important one. A global village is the impression that the world is a village and what happens in one corner of the village affects the rest of it. We are who we are because of the effects that people around the “village” have had on us, and to believe otherwise is ignorance. For example, we as Canadians are directly affected by the sweatshop workers in China. Chinese labour workers toil for many hours in a day to bring us much of our name brand clothing and/or everyday items. If it were not for those Chinese labourers, the price of goods would escalate beyond the spending budget of most Canadians. Even though we will most likely never get to meet the people who affect us in our routine lives, we should realize that we are not operating alone; we are dependent on the village as the village is dependent on us.
Another important concept to consider is the theory of “bracketing” which entitles someone’s ability to hold off all preconceived notions and putting these notions off to the side while allowing new information to enter our thought process with the subtraction of prejudice. Once the new information has breached your mind without interference, a person can then effectively synthesize the old information with the new material. In this class especially, we had to hold off any preconceived notions of racism which enabled my mind to embrace the new material.
For example, we learned that race is not biological and is in fact a social construct which has been established over the many years of human existence. The concept of race stems from certain individuals’ views on power, dictatorship and the need to control others. Race was just an excuse to enslave nations and oppress entire civilizations. As for biological reasoning, there is none. It is scientifically proven that the human genetic makeup, with the exception of external bodily features, is essentially the same for everyone. This proves that there is no difference which makes anybody better or worse. Furthermore, the color of our skin is a direct result of our predecessors’ adaptations to where we originated from. A lighter skinned individual probably originated from northern Europe where it is generally cold and dark, whereas a darker skinned person could have been adapting to a warm climate where the skin became tan. Nevertheless, these small esthetic differences are not justification for a concept of “race”, they are merely adaptations to our respective environments.
My mind has been opened immensely with this new information, and I intend to use these interpreting tools to guide me through my learning process. I have the full intention of applying the skills that I have learned in this class to my other classes as well as in my general lifespan. I believe that once an individual has opened their mind and become truly aware of their surroundings, that they can honestly view the world as a whole. Since time immemorial, humans have over interpreted the global society, viewing it as a complex system with many confusing patterns whilst giving underwhelming attention to the concept of a global community. In short, we should open our minds and realize that we are all connected; simple as that.
To me, social justice is the theory that society understands the value of human rights by applying principles of equality and the recognition of the dignity which every human being has within them. As Dr. Charles Quist-Adade pointed out, the existence of justice implies the lack of it. Often do we see injustices and oppressive ideals which are the building blocks of different ideological views that are taking over North America and around the world? Not to mention the oppression faced by the American Aborigines; they had to suffer for nearly a century or more under the cruel iron fist of oppression, losing their traditional lands to the European occupiers. Also, when speaking in international terms, Muslims and/or coloured people are being oppressed all over the world due to their ideological views or religious/ceremonial practices. Social justice is a right which everyone should receive at birth regardless of race, ethnicity, color or gender.
Darrick Brake – Paraphrastic Response
The central premise of this chapter was based on the atrocity that is human trafficking; it is introduced by Darrick Blake. Blake outlines the horrendous and cruel practice by showing us the hardships and sacrifices that people who are being trafficked regularly face. The images which are displayed are almost unbearable to look at but once seen cannot be unseen; this is the reality that we all face but are too narrow minded to notice. Capitalism is also to blame here. With a majority of the world’s income going only to the most successful countries, the poorer countries have less capital to stimulate their economy; this forces people to delve into the underworld. Human trafficking is a $60 Billion a year industry and the underworld is capitalising on this opportunity. Blake reminds us that “…traffickers mainly sell to countries that have weak laws or have more acceptable attitudes towards prostitution. By doing this, perpetrators know that legal reprisals will be limited or less likely. This is one of the reasons why human trafficking of forced sex laborers takes place in countries where they have weak central governments or the governments and/or officials within the governments are corrupt and condone or take part in the enterprise (Pg. 60).” This statement describes the corruption and weakness that some governments face as well as outlining some important political issues.
Carrie Buist and Andrew Verheek
In the second chapter of the Tridico textbook, Issues in Social Justice, the attention is focused on the hardships faced by the Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual Transgendered (LGBT) community on a daily basis. However it is clear that our society does not yet full accept homosexuality, or any other sexuality which isn’t heterosexuality. This chapter focuses on the hate crimes and variations of discrimination that the LGBT community face. There is a constant lack of the reporting of these incidents and these crimes go virtually unnoticed. In my opinion, we as a society need to stop looking at the external qualities that some people don’t agree with, and start looking at others as human beings. As human beings everyone should have equal rights and liberties, privileges and freedoms because that is how God intended it to be. A sentence that should be taken notice of in the text is where it shows the Bible definition of homosexuality and how it is wrong and a threat to traditional beliefs. This statement reveals the passionate hate that a lot of people have towards a person’s sexual preference. However many significant changes the world goes through in the next 10-50 years, I still don’t believe that homosexuality will be accepted by all.
Frank Tridico, Jacob Armstrong & David Barry.
The first chapter in the Frank Tridico textbook speaks on religions and their apparent resistance to homosexuality. Religions tend to all agree upon the idea that homosexuality is wrong and heterosexuality is the way that God wanted it to be. A majority of the world’s religions believe this; they believe that it is sin. This obvious oppression of gay men and women make it near impossible for them to come forth and announce their sexuality openly. Without the ability to comfortably come out, these gay men and women often suffer from inner turmoil out of fear that they will not be accepted by their families or their peers who are closely associated with a religion.
Although religions denounce homosexuality and accuse it of being sin, the only judgement maker that anyone can really take seriously is God; ultimately he does not care what the sexuality of any human is. Homosexuality is considered by many to be a “sexual impurity” and that it has shattered families and relationships. In my opinion, a person’s sexuality should not interfere with their relationships with their families because their sexuality is a part of their personality. In recent years many people have opened up to the idea of homosexuality and understand it more. But due to the old fashioned religious thinking, the new modern way of thinking is not gaining any steam. This chapter speaks on a very controversial and interesting issue.
3 Central Premises: In the Jean Somers article “Debt: The New Colonialism” presents examples of how people around the world are facing social injustices. This particular article discusses the effect of debt on developing countries. The article contains three central premises on which upon this article is based, these include: poor countries have debt subduing them and withhold their abilities to develop, debts have the biggest effect on the poorest citizens and finally, these poor countries are being manipulated into producing genetically modified goods.
3 Key Concepts: The first key concept to understand is that the people who are affected the most from a country’s debt are the poor due to food subsidies which cause food prices to go up thus disabling the poor from affording the food which results is them consuming less food ultimately leading to malnutrition. Another concept is that countries choose to export the maximum amount of goods at the maximum price therefore the farmers who own the best land, yielding the best crop, are given the most benefits; the problem with this is that the poorer farmers are left out due to their inferior crop. The third concept addressed in the article discusses how the military dictators, banks and the industrialized countries are to blame. An unfortunate outcome of this is that without those who are to blame are not accepting the responsibilities resulting in countries paying more for debt relief as opposed to health care. In whole, the three concepts are: social injustice because of the poor citizens being nearly enslaved by other countries, global sociological imagination due to the fact that most of our food comes from around the world and lastly, hegemony because these poor people are being controlled through the production of food.
I am a second year Kwantlen student doing an associates degree in Criminology. In 2 years I hope to be in boot camp for the Royal Canadian Military. After fulfilling my 3 year mandatory contract with the army I am going to start completing the requirements needed in order to be accepted by CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service), requirements include working in the field as a police officer for a year or so. Working with CSIS will give me the unique opportunity to work across the country around the world with the highest level of security clearance in Canada. I’m taking Sociology 2311 because I find it interesting to look at society from multiple perspectives. What was especially intriguing to me personally, was the prospect of working with individuals in Ghana, something I wouldn’t even have thought of doing on my own. I am a motivated young adult who aspires to make a real impact on the world, whether it be peacekeeping missions in Iraq or covert anti-terrorism surveillance based in Ottawa. I have always been fascinated with war and especially the military ever since I was a toddler. I hope that the lessons that I learn in Sociology will aide me with the understanding of the Global community and how much of an impact one person can really have.