It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine. No, really I do. I know a lot of people might be a little anxious and nervous, but I see mostly good things ahead if, that is, we can put aside our differences and learn to exploit the revolutionary opportunities now emerging together, as a global family, and not separate, as a bunch of warring class, ethnic, and gender factions.
Does it seem like the world is going to hell in a hand basket? Hard to conclude otherwise when children are massacred as in recent fashion. If you want to understand why however, maybe it is time to put aside “stock” answers and look past clichés about God, madness, and guns. If you are interested in a deeper look at the world we live in, sociologists can help.
We all see the world through eyes colored by the psychological imposition of gender. Girls are girls and boys are boys and never the twain shall meet. We think what we see is natural reality, but is it really? Sociologists would argue, not so. In truth, gender is less about physical reality and more about social control, the status quo, and power. At birth we are put in little gender boxes and these boxes limit us, and control us. Something to think about in the pink and blue world of modern life.
Do so-called authorities know more about us than we know about ourselves? “The Big Lie” asserts that authorities, in the form of theologians and academics, seem to think they do. Further, those authorities tend to take a dim view of human nature—and those negative perspectives often produce very negative consequences. Because authorities are cloaked in a mantle of institutional legitimacy, their opinions are perceived as being more truthful than those of non-authorities. Nevertheless, “The Big Lie” argues that the truth is often at variance with the opinions of authorities. Be skeptical! (Timothy M.)
A brave new world has emerged for our children. Whereas once bullying was confined to the school yard, or the back hall, now bullying penetrates into every aspect of their life space. At night, alone, in their bedroom, surrounded by family, our children have become targets, and victims. What are we going to do and who are we going to turn to? As Nat King Cole once sang, “Straighten out and fly right…”
Here is a letter from a concerned worker in the Florida school system. Schools are supposed to be safe havens for our children, but the reality is they are not. Filled with violence and abuse, our schools beat us up and put us down. We often know it is going on, and we are often willing to change, but The System is designed to punish the willing and suppress change. Times are a changing though and what is now only a subterranean tremble of minor revision will shortly become a global and revolutionary earthquake of change.
Got your attention? Good. Feminists have long challenged men to treat women with respect, and to acknowledge their “sins.” But now, feminists themselves face a challenge. Men might be part of the problem, but women play a role as well. In fact, their role in creating the world “as it is” is just as significant, and just as worthy of critical analysis, as the roles (father, warrior, ruler) that men have played. The only question is, will we face the part we played, take responsibility for the damage, and change what we’ve done. Or will it be business as usual once again.
Is our socialization process a process of ideological indoctrination? As part of our socialization we learn “how the world really works.” Our religions teach us of a cosmic “fight” between good and evil, science teaches us about the struggle for survival and “survival of the fittest,” and everybody talks about how its OK for the “winners” to dominate the “losers.” It is all part of the natural (or divine) social order! But is it really, or is it just indoctrination. You be the judge.
Ah school. Frolicking days of care free learning in positive and loving environments right? Guess again. Schools are contested grounds and parents, administrators, and teachers struggle to find equitable, democratic, and positive ways to raise the next generation of citizens. But what does that entail? Better yet, what do we want to teach our children? Do we want to teach them love, acceptance, and tolerance, or do we want to model judgment, punishment, and disdain. Children learn by watching what the adults do so as adults we should be careful what we do to our children.
The Socjourn was recently featured in the publication Open AU. I’m reposting the article here but if you want to see the original article, visit this link. As a side note, the statistics they report are a bit off. In January of 2012 the Socjourn received close to five million webserver hits, not one million as I originally suggested. Not bad for a discipline that has been, up to now, confined to the dank basements of academic inquiry.