PATRICE’s Response: The indecent exposure documentary was a documentary that focused on racial problems between white people and aboriginal people in Canada. It focused on making white people feel isolated and discriminated against so that they can understand some of the racial discrimination that aboriginal people face as a minority. Although the method used in the documentary was a little extreme, it managed to shake the racial opinions of many of the participants. The documentary touched on some very important topics. One of the topics discussed in the documentary was the element of racism and racial stereotypes used within law enforcement. It reminded me of one incident in which I was present at a fight. When the police showed all the students took off, except for one. He was the only black individual at the fight and truly had nothing to do with it. The police arrested him any way and took him off for questioning. We were so young at the time we did not realize the racist stereotypes associated with this. The video was a good reminder that racism still does exist in Canada and that we need to open our eyes.
Is Racism the same in Canada and the USA
Katherine’s Response: I think that the USA and Canada are very similar, in the perspective of racism. I think it is ethnocentric for a Canadian to say that Canada is less racist than the United States. In one of the videos we watched in class, one of the speakers said that for the elite crimes are named differently than the crimes of average citizens. This reminded me of a story, I read about in the newspaper. I can’t remember if it was in the US or Canada, but a high ranking man, stole a ring from a jewellery store, and it was not said that he stole it, but that he pocketed it. It was unbelievable!
This story is a good example of racism, but I do not think it strongly argues that racism is the same in Canada and the USA.
I think what Ana has said is very accurate. We cannot be ethnocentric free because we are our world and our societies have been created with so many different views, beliefs and cultures. Our society and our culture is what creates the “norms.” What is normal for us here, maybe considered very strange in another country. When you are used to a particular way of life, it becomes normal for you and you convince yourself that your way is the right way- but this may not be the case.
Can we ever be ethnocentrism-free? Why?
I do not think we can ever be ethnocentric free because we are a diverse world with various cultures and beliefs. This is what makes us unique. The issue of ethnocentric beliefs arises due to the fact that as people we conform to our society’s norms and because it is what we know and are accustomed to. Even though someone may be practicing what is the norm within their existing society, if it differs from what we consider to be the norm there will always be a sense of criticism and wondering why “they” do things like that. We have to understand that cultures vary due to our environment and adaptation to it, as it is what dictates the differences between our cultures. For example, in North America we may consider eating dog to be wrong because we have labeled them as pets and man’s best friend, but in other countries they are labeled as source of food, even a delicacy. Even in Thailand, there are street vendors who serve cockroaches, but in North America we considered them a pest and would not consider frying them up for dinner.
As individuals we have a tendency to want others to change their views and beliefs to ours because we may think we are correct or know better. Take, for example, the placement of native children into residential schools in order to “civilize” them because they were considered savages. This was in order to conform to what the society felt was the norm.
Question: What are the consequences in relation to social justice that we face because of the current world population?
The consequences of having such a large, and continuously growing population, is that we have an over-production of goods, but people are too greedy and selfish that the goods and services are not equally shared. Another obvious fact is that there are way too many people on the planet, and we are getting close to being unable to accommodate everyone. With these two factors in mind, we can see that at the rate things are going, we will always have such a gap between the rich and the poor, that is never going to close.
Today we talked about minorities groups. A minority group is defined as a category of people who are at a disadvantage. This disadvantage can be defined by race, gender, social status, religion or age.
We discussed how the “elite”gain by the existence of minorities.
My group discussed how the elite hire illegal immigrants to do their housework, nanny for their kids or to work for their businesses. In doing this, they are able to pay them cheap labour. But what they are doing is extremely shameful and wrong as they are exploiting the minority.
Slavery is another way that the elite gain from minorities. They take advantage of those who are less fortunate by making them work long, strenuous hours, with limited breaks and at a pitiful wage. Slaves are often abused verbally, physically and emotionally.
Dr. Charles Quist-Adade
Affective Reading Method
This video is about how my professor has taken part in the Global Sociological Imagination. When he was little, he began planting cocoa beans in his village in Ghana. This was how he partook in contributing to manual labor for his village. When it came time for him to attend university, the cocoa bean farmers made financial contributions to his education and this financed his secondary education. Now, 30 years later, his cocoa beans are providing nourishment for people worldwide as well as employment for workers in the chocolate industry.
The two central premises for this video are: 1) Describing what the Global Sociological Imagination is, and how everyone takes part in it. 2) How he personally has contributed to the GSI.
How I feel: After watching this video I feel inspired to do something that can play such a huge role in global societies. I wonder if Charles had any idea the potential impact planting a cocoa seed could have, even 30 years down the road.
I think: That GSI is an important concept to understand. If everyone could think outside of themselves and their own world and was to become aware of the affects their actions can have globally, our world could be so much better.
I believe: That everyone has a role to play and everyone has the potential of impacting other people’s lives.
What do I know: I know that I have had an impact on people’s lives. Through missions trips and sponsoring children through World Vision, I have played a role in GSI. I know that I do not want to stop there, I want to continue to impact lives for the better.
September 11: Forgiveness is Not Part of the Lessons Learned
By Charles Quist-Adade
Affective Reading Method
This article addresses the anniversary of September 11th and how forgiveness was not one of the lessons learned through the tragic events. For a country that is said to be a “God’s own country,” it has not taken one of the core values of Christianity: forgiveness. The first central premise of this article is that if Bush had learned the lesson of forgiveness, he would not be taking thousands of soldiers across the nation to retaliate to the terrorist attack of September 11th. The second premise being that Americans are somewhat hypocritical, as they preach to non-Westerners to forgive and forget, but mostly forget. They want Africans to forget about the holocaust. They want the Europeans to forget about the slave trade. They want others to forget and move forward, but do not put this into practice when it is their country in jeopardy. Bush claims that he is seeking justice, but it appears it is revenge he wants- not justice.
How I feel: I feel shocked by this article, as it makes some pretty bold statements about Americans. I’m not sure whether or not I fully agree, but it gives me something to think about.
I think: I think that it is wrong what Americans are doing. They should be trying to find a way to bring closure to this situation without going to war and causing so much death. It feels as if there is no end in sight.
I believe: I believe that it is not our job to take revenge. As a Christian, it is my belief that God is the one to bring justice, and the Americans are going about this the wrong way. They are making the situation worse, and are definitely creating a double standard.
What do I Know: I know that what happened on September 11 was an extremely devastating turn of events. I cannot imagine the damage that it caused Americans economically, emotionally and physically. However, I know that they are responding negatively to this situation and are not making it any better for themselves and others involved.