We have all come a long way since we signed up for this alternative assignment back in September. The road to the benefit night was a great and exciting journey, which we all learned from and gained valuable life lessons. Through individual and group participation, we all worked together to create a successful event, which not only raised funds for rural Ghanaian students but also raised awareness. Furthermore, through the engagement of this social justice event we made a difference in the lives of the many deserving brilliant, under privileged Ghanaian students.
We started off by communicating with Ms. Gifty and other members of the Ghanaian Canadian Association of British Columbia (GCABC). After acquiring information of the cause and the event, we began taking initiative by going out into the community to seek donations and raise awareness about the upcoming event. We contacted all of the African businesses listed on the GCABC list, however only one business was able to provide support: Taste of Africa was able to donated delicious donuts for the night. We proceeded to delegate tasks to individual group members, which included: the distribution of posters, tickets, promotional water bottles, and the creation of a promotional facebook event. Furthermore, through contact with Ten Thousand Villages, three group members participated in an awareness event at the store which lasted 4 hours. It was a successful in that Ten Thousand Villages donated 15% of the total profit for the day to our event. When we received notice that the premise of the event had been changed, we need to re-strategise to ensure that the event would be entertaining. To make the event more enticing we included prizes that would be worthwhile for people buying raffle tickets. Some of the group members were able to have prizes donated, and we also had to purchase the prizes as well. Also, we contacted many musical acts, and were successful in booking one band. After everything was finalized, we met up at both the Langley and Surrey campuses to promote the event through a second round of ticket pre-sale as well as raising awareness by handing out flyers and more promotional water bottles.
On the day of the event, we met up early at the conference room to set up for all aspects of the night. We assigned roles to each group member to ensure the night would go as smooth as possible. As a last minute addition we were lucky enough to have Bonnie Sutherland as a guest speaker at the event to educate the crowd about the work that Afretech does. We felt that this was the most valuable part of the event because people got to see what is happening in some under developed parts of Africa and how they could contribute. We appreciated that this organisation was strictly non-profit, and had little to no overhead to ensure that every dollar goes directly to improve African communities.
To us, social justice means raising awareness of inequalities, injustices, and being active in the community to help take a stand. The important thing that we took away from the event was the positivity associated with getting involved in social justice events for a greater cause. We learned that it`s possible to make a difference to matter who you are. As we learned in class, silence is deadly, everyone`s voice counts. Motivation and dedication leads to a change and if we all participate, then we can see great progress.
In one of our classes we were asked the question “How do the elite gain by the existence of minorities?” One of the most famous incidents in North American of elite gain because of the presence of minorities is of course slavery. African were brought to the US as free labour. This can in part be a contributing factor to why America in it’s past been so successful on the world stage. Canada also has a history of slavery. Chinese were paid next to nothing to build cross-Canada railway and had to survive extreme conditions. As we discussed in class people to this day realize that minorities are used as cheap labour and even used as a scape goat as the cause of social issues.
On November 14, in class, we watched Race: The Power of Illusion. It explored a different way of thinking of race. This film looked an several young people studying there DNA and comparing it’s patterns to those of a different “race”. While the students are learning about themselves the film discusses the issue of Concordance. Concordance is the concept that involves race and links outer physical traits with internal traits. This video goes against that concept and even refutes the idea of race itself. One of the students says “Every single one of us is a mongrel” alluding to the fact that our blood is so “mixed” and similar that each one of us is individually their own unique race or that were all the same race- the human race.
Thomas´ ¨Thomas Theorem¨, Mills´ idea of ¨Sociological Imagination¨, Weber´s term ¨Verstehen¨ and ¨Cooley´s theories ¨Sympathetic Introspection¨ and the ¨Looking-Glass Self¨ are uniquely similar and related. They are connected as they all start in an individual’s mind and are social as they need other people and objects for the individual to relate to.
All of the ideas require two people to be in relation to one another. Both the idea of the Looking-Glass Self and the Thomas Theorem requires another person to actually help define a situation(or idea), a person(and yourself) or an object. Verstehen, the Sociological Imagination and Sympathetic Introspection requires one person to explore how another person may see and feel about one thing(or walk a mile in someone else’s shoes) so that person might be able to more understand that certain thing.
At the end all of these ideas requires one to be subjective. Without social interactions and people to use and define our world, people and objects would have no meaning. All meaning is given by people according to their perspective, the perspectives of others and their relations to these people.
“The practices of the Nacirema present …an example o the extremes to which human behaviour can go.” This quote is not actually of the “Nacirema” society but is in fact American society in disguise. Already knowing that this was a satire of American society I re-read the article amused by how absurd our culture can be. Although I found myself grinning at some of the points- this article paints an unfortunate picture of American society.
The article point out that “the culture of this people is still very poorly understood.” This seems to be very accurate as most people I come across don’t have very logical reasons for what they do. North Americans while thinking “why do I do this to myself” will wear high heels or other uncomfortable clothes.
People spend a significant amount of time doing these “ritual” activities which we are desensitized to but in reality are often extreme, at least to the eyes of an outsider. This article enables us to get a view or out society as if we were outsiders.
The main point of the article is that these “ritual” activities are focused on the human body. From an outsiders view it seems that our “fundamental belief… appears to be that the human body is ugly and that its natural tendency is to debility and disease”. We are not able to accept differentiation and diversity in neither our appearance nor our natural aging process.
The author goes further by describing the “lacerating the surface of the face” by men, and the baking of the “heads in small ovens” by women; as well as the development of “sadistic specialists”. While I wouldn’t describe out actions as torture like the author describes it, I fully acknowledge the absurdity of our actions. These actions are growing deeper roots in our society and are infiltrating the minds of younger and younger people, seemingly getting worse and worse each generation and may be on the way to actually reaching “torture” level.
In my first class in Sociology 1125, on Sep 12th we were asked, in small groups to discuss “What is Society?” We discussed this in our small groups then shared our thoughts among the class. This is what we came up with:
- “We create society in our image”
We are society and society is in us
Hello, my name is Julio Aguilar. This is my fourth year out of high school and my third year of post-secondary education. I have a certificate in Travel and Tourism and a certificate for Foundations in Design.
My goal right now is to enter a Kwantlen degree program called Graphic Design for Marketing. While also developing my visual portfolio, to hopefully enter this program, I decided to further my knowledge and gain some other skills that could benefit this goal and maybe other areas of my life. To be a graphic designer you need to be able to communicate ideas or concepts effectively to a specific group of people often in your own culture or society. I am taking this sociology course so that I can be “formally introduced” to our society and therefore better engage and communicate within it. Sociology has in the past interested me as I thought it as the study of societies and cultures. It is the study of how a society and it´s individual people works together and create a way of living. One of the most fascinating things to experience while traveling (one of my favourite things to do- although I don’t do enough of it) is to get a glimpse and a feel for another society and it’s people. I hope this course could makes this experiences that much more interesting.
I am in general studies and also taking at Kwantlen a drawing course, a marketing course and cultural anthropology.