The class Social Justice in Local and Global contexts was a very interesting class to take. The most interesting aspects of the class were learning about the sociological imagination, learning different forms of social justices and injustices. Therefore, this class has taught me a lot of things I did not know of.
The sociological imagination looks at how our personality is influenced by interlocking components of biology and history. This concept defines a person and how we perceive the world we live in. An example of sociological imagination is events that have happened in the past have impacted me and have changed me over time. Change occurs as everyone encounters new information and situations, good and bad, that you adapt to and makes you the person you are today. Overall, the sociological imagination creates an individual’s biography.
In the social justice class, we learned different institutions of social justice. Albinism guest lecture opened my eyes as I was unaware of such injustice and acts of horrible crime. The Tanzanian government needs to step up and use powers of social justice to protect albinos. Thus, these killings and axing of people in Tanzania is an example of social injustice. Above all, the West should step in and help with this form of social injustice. But, the West covers up or does not discuss such social injustice happening. As they want to handle to such problems or want to protect people from the ‘unknown’. In contrast, in class we learned many social justices, which I was not aware of. Especially, the restorative justice in the Gachacha court system in Rwanda. This social justice handles crime differently than it would dealt with in the West.I t was amazing to see how people can forgive and forget, for the most part. Even when their loved ones were brutally killed and the killers eventually walk free. Thus, I do not agree with such social justice practice as I think it unfair and that killers should get restitutive justice. Therefore, I may view this differently from Rwandans as I have a different world view.
Overall, I really enjoyed taking this class as I learned a lot from it. It has taught me social justice and injustices in local and global context. The sociological imagination changes as we learn new things. This class has taught me different forms of social justices and made me aware of injustices happening in the world. Therefore, my sociological imagination changes as I have learned new things and made me want to make change in the world. The guest lecturers were very interesting as the class got to listen and learn new things. They provided us with their own experiences which is better to hear than what one hears from the news or reads on paper. Also, the class project was a success as my group learned how easy it is to make change by doing something so little as bottle drives or bake sales. Thus, I would love to take another social justice class in the future.
The video shown in class looked at the issue of race and biology. The video states, “Race is not a part of biology, but something we inscribed.” This statement is correct as there is no biological differences between different races. Race is determined by the local one lives and the darkest of races live closest to the equator. But, biology in all races is the same and there is no major difference. The students of this project compared their genes to genes of people all over the world. They were surprised to see their gene group is similar to people of different race from their own. They noticed that the most genetic variability is in Africa as humans originated from there and migrated to other continents. Overall, The Power of Illusion video looks at race in a different way and compares it biology. People unconsciously accept race as a part of biology, this video determines how this statement is biologically incorrect.
The Gachacha was a village style court system that focussed on the massacres in Rwanda. These trails were to punish the people who participated in the killings by restorative or corrective justice. Restorative justice is recognizing and the accepting your mistakes of crimes. The person is on trail in front of the village, the victim’s family and the court members. Witnesses would step against the accused and the offender would have to make a public apology. The Gachacha system is an indigenous system of justice and it’s aim is to heal and provide safety to the village.Therefore, this system allows the offender to confess their wrong doings, the victim’s family are angered, but can now heal and the community is safe again. This type of system is different from the more common world-wide practice of the repressive justice system. The repressive justice is that if you commit a crime yo u will have to pay for it. Examples of repressive justice in certain countries are the death sentence, stoning to death, life sentences in jail and so on.
Nigerian woman speaks about how she was stereotyped as a young child. She also states how growing up she was taught in school the “right way of living.” The right way of living is defined as the white and Western of life. She grew up reading British and American books which did not relate to her life as she was born and raised in Africa. She stated that she would read about, “How beautiful the sun was.” Thus, she states that growing up she did not get a chance to write stories about herself and her people. When she went to study in the United States, her roommate had a preconception of her and felt pity on her because she was from Africa. Therefore, the West displays negative images of Africa to be backwards and uncivilized. Chimamanda mentions how she was very modern and “spoke English and listened to Mariah Carey.” Lastly, she says, “Stereotypes are not untrue, they are incomplete.” Which states that people do not have all the facts and are influenced by the greater society to think and act in a certain way.
The guest lecture on how to organize charity events was very useful. The speaker gave us tips and ideas to help raise money for Africa. She has provided different ways such as car washes, bake sales, pub nights and so on, which are good ways to raise money. Thus, my group just recently did a bake sale and it turned out to be a success. She also taught us ways to get around obstacles and also how to get people involved. She mentioned tagging onto events happening for example, events at Kwantlen. My group will be using this tip this week as we plan to tag on with another group, who is also raising money for rural Africa. Also, we will be using the Afretech site to create tax receipts as our group is getting donations from companies we work for and family and friends. Overall, this lecture was useful as it gave us new ideas and ways to get people involved. Hopefully, in the end my group is able to achieve its goals.
I thought the FACE presentation by the speaker was the best out of all the guest lecturers in class. The reason that I connected to his presentation to the most was that I might be doing volunteering in Rajasthan, India this January. I will be volunteering for two weeks, on my own money and time in rural Jaipur, Rajasthan working with orphaned children. I will be teaching them basic English and helping repair their schools. Therefore, this relates to FACE as volunteers go with the organization to Africa and provide education scholarships with a backpack full of books and uniforms. I hope I end up going as it would be great learning experience and also I will get the chance to make a difference. It also relates to my career as I want to become a Asian Anthropologist and also make a difference through social work. Overall, the presentation of FACE made me more motivated and excited to volunteer and hopefully make a change in India.
The in class guest lecturers for Albinism were very interesting. I knew about albinism, but never knew about the events happening in Tanzania. The speakers did a good job presenting through visuals and their own life experiences. It was nice to get the different views from both the speakers as they are from Nigeria and Tanzania. Furthermore, their organization, Under the Same Sun, is commendable as they are making a difference and helping victims. It is nice to know that the chairman is Canadian and he has created such a great organization. Also, the video they presented was very graphic, which people do not want to see. In other words, people shy away from reality or are not aware of such tragic events happening as the West and media do not discuss such tragedies. Overall, I think with their organization they are gradually making a change and through this presentation they are making their voices heard.