It’s amazing how a class like ours learned so many things about society in a semester. To me, I find it a journey of understanding the ways of the people through every concept of sociology. In the very beginning of the class we learned that society exists because we humans create society which then later on can have an affect on us and eventually without notice, creates us. This is what I love about sociology because we learn things that we think is ‘obvious’ or branch out how we perceive situations from assumptions, all from a giraffe’s eye point of view. What I’m going to take from this class which I think stood out to me the most and is very important is the concept of debunking, bracketing, and racism.
When devoting to the study of sociology, one must start off with a sociological perspective. Because having a sociological perspective is so important, it enables us to debunk various preconceived notions about the people who surrounds us and also the cultures that we hold and identify ourselves with. I chose this concept because it challenges taken for granted assumptions. It is what I call an unselfish concept as well because it looks at both obvious and surface-level AND the less obvious and beyond deep explanations for social behavior. For example non-Christians or atheists (those of no sense of belief in culture) might argue that Christians do not debunk. However, is this completely true in some cases? Arguments could flourish from “Christians defend and rely on God too much” to “Christians do defend God, however that doesn’t mean they show less care for the people of the world.” The aim for debunking is to challenge conventional truths, to see the familiar in the unfamiliar and the unfamiliar in the familiar.
Another concept I thought that was important is bracketing. When I was first introduced to this, I actually had a mental image in my head that there were invisible brackets on both sides of my head. When we bracket, it is like we are holding back and putting what we have off to the side. Bracketing is healthy in our lives because it allows new and different ideas to enter through inquiry. I think without bracketing there wouldn’t be such thing as ‘moving on’ or learning from your mistakes or even learning how to deal with new issues because you haven’t allowed yourself to open up. Taught in class, the easy way to put this is playing the stranger. For example, when meeting someone new, and you want to allow yourself to open up to that person, you’d have to pretend like you don’t know much about experiences of relationships in order for you to do more in the future. You take whatever you have and you fortify it with the new information that you will be introduced. We release the brackets when we know the course is over so that we allow synthesis to happen. If not, we simply “attack and defend” and “abandon and replace.” Through bracketing, we strengthen ourselves with what we face in our day-to-day lives.
I absolutely LOVED the racism concept because even though that racism isn’t exaggerated as much as it was in the past, it is still there and yes it truly does exist. It wasn’t just the topic itself that engaged me to taking a closer look at it, but by the way our professor explained what racism really is. Reading his original articles, and listening to his own personal experiences of racism made an imprint in my mind about racism that I will never forget. He wrote about HOW racism is judged because of skin tone when really, skin tone is only affect by where we originated from. It doesn’t differentiate us from being the normal human beings that we are. We also learned the different forms of racism. Racism as biology (it is destiny), and racism as culture (what they do). Further we learned color-blindness which means that a person does not make a big deal about skin color because it really doesn’t matter. This brings a good example of Michael Jackson’s famous song, “Black or White” which does not only emphasize on debunking the idea of race, but rather that race shouldn’t get in the way of liking someone. Racism shouldn’t exist in the world for it makes people the nastiest creatures alive. Humanity would always have such tension of division and discrimination that slows down learning processes. Everyone wants to be happy without being judged of what they do in their culture and what their color is. Let us no longer create racism as a form of power.
I chose three of the very important concepts we learned in this class and there are so much more. Writing them all down in this essay would’ve been a good idea to study because I am recalling everything I learned that is important to my life and for the final exam. However, it would’ve taken me a very long time to write. This class, although quiet, I thought is very smart and hardworking as we all did our best performance. I’m thankful for having such a smart and kind professor who is so dedicated in his field of study. I’m excited to further continue on with sociology next semester to excel my knowledge. This has been a well-taught course!
Brief Summary of video:
This video discusses how reality is shaped by shared social constructions by talking about how language, symbols, color, food, gestures, and people are socially constructed. It covers the importance of social construction and how social constructions change.
“subject, but the generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. The reason is that pink being more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy; while blue, which is more delicate and dainty is prettier for the girl. Now over time of course these gender rules have been reversed and today everybody in the US knows that pink is for girls and blue is for boys. And if you doubt this, try giving your friend’s infant son a pink color shirt and see how it goes.”
I chose this segment because it provides me with the fact about how we were raised and what we were raised to believe affect how we present ourselves, how we perceive others and how others perceive us. As mentioned in the video, color is socially constructed when certain colors are associated with certain ideas, things, or groups of people and this explains the segment above. We even choose which color is suitable for young infants and that affects the young infants to believing which color is right for them. If a young boy received a pink shirt for Christmas, he will then most likely give an unsatisfying look when really, there’s nothing wrong with wearing pink if you’re a guy. However, gladly, color these days are not so much of a concern anymore. Any color a man or a lady wears does not matter, and the only thing that matters is how they dress themselves if it looks good on them or not. For example, I have seen a guy wear the latest pink nike shoes at our campus and I thought it looked great. I like how people nowadays love different colors, not just one color that supposedly defines their sexuality.
Face the Rear
What was the video about?
This is a video which a group of people try perform the same actions in an elevator that would make one person in the elevator do the same thing. Because of group pressure, the individual is conflicted about what he should do, copy them so he won’t be the odd one? Or do whatever he wants? The actions the individual was pressured to do is face the rear of the elevator, facing each side of the wall, and taking off his hat.
How do I feel about the video I just finished?
I feel that this man who was pressured into copying the rest of the confederates in the elevator was too easily pressured and is most likely that say, if he saw a group of people doing the wrong things he knows is not right, he would probably do it too but for what? The sake of being in the same group? This video was also very humorous, however, this scene is the first evidence to people that this is how easily we are pressured to do the same actions as people just to comfort our positions. The question here is that is it really necessary to copy people just because you don’t do the same thing as they do?
What do I think about the video I just finished?
I think that this video is portraying the theme of personal control. It also has a hint of psychology relation and I know because I’ve seen this in my psychology class. Psychology-wise, it depends on our inner and external locus of control. How we are affected by our own decisions, beliefs, or how we are greatly affected by what is in front of us, in belief that others have control over us. I think if I were put into the individual’s position in the elevator, I wouldn’t have had copied the confederates. In a situation that like that, I know there is nothing to be doubtful of my actions. So what if I don’t take my hat off? Will the rest of the people in the elevator kill me? No. However, I think I would give in to personal control for instance, if I was put in a different situation such as if I were being interviewed in a large room with others and seeing the rest of the interviewers relaxing like it’s no big deal, then I would most likely do the same.
What do I believe about the video I just finished?
I believe that many people in society fall into group pressure because they don’t want to be seen as different or odd from the rest. We tend to do whatever we can to compare our actions and mirror whatever we don’t have. As proven in today’s society, people often follow group norms. The power of group pressure is strong to the point where it can make a person believing or choosing the wrong decisions. When we do this, we lose ourselves in the world and we are damaging our own self.
What do I know about the video I just finished?
I know that in today’s society people try to be different. Look different, act different, etc., just to be more unique out of the ordinary. People idolize celebrities, what they see on sites such as facebook and other sources without realizing it. Not that there’s anything wrong about idolizing someone or copying a style of trend but what is scary is the wrong actions performed in reality. Media, for the longest time has influenced people and these people are pressured whether they see it or not.
What was the video about?
“Race, The Power of Illusion,” the title itself gives a clear literary understanding of what the video is all about. An illusion is something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality and this is applied to race. Our eyes see others different, but what does that really mean? This video involves a group of students in a lab who are testing and comparing their DNA to other DNA samples. The students had to guess who their results would match with and they did this by choosing similar skin tone and simply guessing if they’re of similar ethnicity. As a result, they were surprised that their guesses turned out to be different as they thought it would be. They were related to the ones they thought to be way opposite from their ethnicity. This goes to show that there is less and more to race than meets the eye. In class we learned that race is a social concept and that there are ten things we need to know.
How do I feel about the video I just finished?
I feel glad watching this video because usually race isn’t paid attention to in today’s society. Race is always assumed, judged, and can lead people to believing in the wrong things about each other when really, we are all connected in one way or another. Therefore, there shouldn’t be a reason for someone to feel hurt or neglected by the way they look or their ethnicity. I feel amazed how greatly we are similar to someone else possibly from the other side of the planet. The world indeed proposed a deeper meaning only we can all work together to see that we are similar.
What do I think about the video I just finished?
Since race gives people the authority to ASSUME that they’ve got a lot of power and higher status, I think they should may be perhaps look closer and deeper into past research about race or watch this video our class has seen. What I think so ridiculous is that people actually waste their time, dividing themselves from others because of how racist they are. An Indian would walk into a restaurant owned by a white person and wouldn’t get hired because of his/her race. This gives a good example that the owner of the restaurant just lost a valuable person who is willing to try enhance the management of the company. I also think that the ten things we need to know about race should be taught not only in university, but also in high school or at least be understood by elementary school that, “your classmate of a different race is not so different.” Because the thought of race grows as you are introduced to it at a younger age, I think parents should teach their children that skin color is only skin deep.
What do I believe about the video I just finished?
I believe that the whole idea of this video is true and real. I believe that race really is a modern idea and it is sad to think that it is made into a big deal no matter how you want to put it: hidden racists or perhaps showing the obvious attitude and behavior of being racist. On the brighter side, there is plenty of time to debunk the idea of race so that people in the world wouldn’t have to be affected by who they are. I believe we are all capable of making a change in the world and not be living in fear and doubt of others because of race.
What do I know about the video I just finished?
I know that at some point in our lives did we think, “I won’t be racist like those people, I am different,” yet some of us don’t actually prove it. We mean it, but we don’t stick to our words and our actions only speaks louder. I also know that we all deserve to be treated equally because people are tired of unfairness because of their race. We can all be strong as one if we try to better who we are and our behaviors to others. It’s definitely time to make a change.
Changing the appearance of racism along with its form does not aid any better changes. Racism is set to be more insidious than ever. Charles deliberately stated that racism is still racism no matter how people twist and turn the angles on their perspective of racism. People who are victimized and those of victimizers involved in racism must understand how their feelings and actions intertwine with each other in order to make the ability to make changes become a reality. Racism surpasses stereotypes and individual prejudice. It has become systemic, already built into culture, social institutions and social structures.
It is wrong for victims of racism to think they can fight this malady alone. It takes two to tango, and, as the Ghanaian philosopher and educator Dr. Kwagyir Aggrey once said, it takes both the black and the white keys to produce harmonious music on the piano. The healing process of racism inflicted society must involve both Whites and Blacks. Like a parasite, racism needs a vector to thrive. To heal society of racism disease, both parasite and the vector must be treated.
I chose this segment because it stood out to me the most, especially how the Ghanaian philosopher Dr. Kwagyir Aggrey proposed it about the need and importance of two aspects in order to heal racism. His analogy is very much true. You cannot perform a full and completed song without the black keys or the white ones. Together makes a tremendous sound. Also, what I would like to add upon this segment is the fact that even the player could not perform music until his or her hands, mind, and heart surrender to the keys. We all need to make a sacrifice to surrender to other people before we start forcing them to step out of their own boundaries. As mentioned, racism is dialectical which means it affects both the victimized and victimizers. Both must not only stop at the level of understanding each others’ roles, rather also taking a closer look to history and learning from it so that changes in reality can be made possible today.
Moments of silence to the victims of 9/11 shows great respect and honour. We make it one of the significant importance by showing sympathy to the tragic event that had happened that we make it an annual, well-known, the one that is labelled on our calendars. However, what about the rest of the people who are harmed struggling for survival every day and every night? Millions of people die slowly every day fighting for their rights, making unlimited sacrifices to their love ones in developing countries. Interventions has caused a wall between developed and developing nations. The article’s example of west intervention was when the United States trained, courted and armed Osama bin Laden to kill Russian soldiers and Afghans. However, he still had the thought that he should attempt to bring about the 9/11 attack back to the Americans. Another example the article brought about is Nelson Mandela and his African National Congress whom were labelled “terrorists” by the United States and other western countries. Yet in today’s presence he is described as an “international icon.”
How do I feel about the reading I just finished?
I do not remember of what happened during 9/11 because I was still very young to understand, but I remembered the facial expressions of my parents and they were not pleased at all. They were shocked and I could tell they felt very afraid. Although I did not understand why my parents never mentioned it to me and my brother, I figured it out myself. When I was a bit older, I saw the 9/11 newspaper in my parents’ room and it struck me and my heart fell to read it all and see the images that tore me apart. I thought to myself, “how could someone have done such a thing?” I grew up praying for those who are unfortunate in the world especially because I went to catechism at an early age so it is not a surprise for me that there are large number of deaths happening in the world.
What do I think about the reading I just finished?
I think that even when history has claimed, and revealed many lessons, those lessons are still hard to accept because some people in the world have not felt or have not been put into ‘history’s shoes.’ In result, those people do not have much knowledge of the struggles and experiences of the past until they have felt it in the presence. This similar feeling felt by the people would then escalate onto the past and therefore is driven to do more about a situation.
What do I believe about the reading I just finished?
I believe that the United States are hurting other nations without realizing it. Because they are so focused in being in control and having ideas that would defend their rights freedoms, they are lacking the ability to see the perspectives of the rest of the people of those whom have different values, beliefs, and cultures. I also believe that the most tragic event would be more of a concern to people rather than the nations striving hard to survive is that people hold a great amount of fear that it could possibly happen again unexpectedly. The evil actions of people can go to an extent that the most tragic event that could happen has no sympathy attached to it. This thought is still engraved in people’s minds, and possibly haunt them. And things such as terrorism is directly made on purpose, not by accident. There is time to look for opportunities to help the developing countries around the world, but there isn’t in the time of terrorism. The realization is that terrorism is something that could be made preventable and retribution only limits the chances of saving great amount of innocent lives around the world.
What do I know about the reading I just finished?
After reading this article, I know that although we are introduced to tragic events, we should not forget the others who are still struggling to live. Because of the many lives that were taken away by western interventions, those countries do not make things better, or another way to put it, promote the lessons learned because of how strong retribution is.
This article focuses on the ability or inability of forgiveness. Charles has chosen a very significant yet tragic event that happened to Americans during 9/11. The terrorist attack still holds fear for some Americans and had wished it never happened for it had ended the many lives of the people. President George Bush in response held a war against Israel for revenge and as well as for the people of the United States. The US proposes the idea of forgiveness to other countries when they, themselves cannot perform the same task because they are so focused on their issue of trying to fix problems by revenge. Charles also mentions the preaching of forgive and forget – mostly the past by Africans in particular because the slave trade in Europe had downgraded the Africans. This preach had been ignored in most cases and the feeling of uncertainty lives on. Bush, will all his willpower and support tried to please and fight for justice for his people. However, even when there were various opportunities providing justice and a call for reparation, he distinctly refused. Therefore, terrorist attacks and other forms of attack or attempts should be dealt with.
If forgiveness was among the lesson learned, Bush and his team would not be seeking to go into war- against Iraq in the shadows of the anniversary of 9/11.If forgiveness was among lessons learned, the cries and moans of thousands of innocent Afghan men, women, children from their graves would temper Bush’s war- mongering rhetoric and intentions. He would ponder over the potential loss of innocent lives of Iraq citizens when he attacks Saddam Hussein.
I chose to paraphrase this segment because it provided me with the thought that if I were put into Bush’s position, his team, and his people, what option would I have? Does my decision make it to the right path of fairness, equality, loyalty, and truth? Here, it is basically saying that if forgiveness is something that has to be learned, why is Bush and his team seeking to go to war? Flipping perspectives, he is creating the same cause to the thousands of men, women and children who are innocent just like the Americans who were victimized in the attack of 9/11. I would understand why Bush would launch such a war, and by any means did not want to hurt anyone. But because of most tragic event historically made in America and was totally uncalled for, it had to be accounted. It is the unfairness that Bush holds a grudge on which leads to forgiveness as very difficult stage to reach.