Professor Vaso Thomas
Sociology 11 3286Q
September 26th 2009
Super Kids (Reaction #1)
The road to being a productive member of society starts at a very early age. A child’s very personality is influenced directly by a significant adult presence or the interaction with some capable person, usually a family member. Environments and peer groups also play an influential role in shaping a developing mind, but can be combated with a strong support group. Children come from all walks of life and some endure the unendurable and are still able to achieve academically; this fact is contributed to self motivation and drive, and in the author’s opinion, these children will only achieve great feats with proper guidance, praise, and direction.
All the children in this essay have one thing in common, they come from extremely harsh conditions that have encompassed their lives and they have found personal qualities in themselves that have allowed them to excel. In the spirit of this essay, all of us have great potential that lies within and the growth of these potentials are determinant on key factors; family structure, environment, support group and the most important and imperative, is the guidance from some capable person who takes interest in and helps to motivate the individuals path. Without which, the child would have great difficulty determining society’s social boundaries and rules, a necessary piece of any developing persons mind-set to allow them to successfully maneuver through life.
Our children are considered the future of our world and deserve all the attention and resources we as adults and teachers can afford. These lessons and orientations to life begin in the household with our own children and is a revolving cycle that is picked up by all following generations. Although the young have proved resilient, it is only a very small percentage of kids that actually make it above and beyond their individual life ordeals and set-backs.
Professor Vaso Thomas
Sociology 11 3286Q
October 25th 2009
Defining Black Feminist Thought (Reaction #2)
As a stand point, black feminist thought emerges through a wide array of experiences unique to the specific social group that experiences them. These experiences are crucial in defining the state of mind that would foster a black feminist point of view and hence are the central sculptor in this unique perspective. As a black woman certain societal and cultural factors are a constant influence in defining this social group’s view on itself and therefore creates a special type of living condition specific to that group. Through normality of these everyday living conditions emerges a way of adaptation that is central to promoting the attitude and resilience that goes hand in hand with being recognized as a black feminist.
While being a black feminist represents the core criteria for defining this specific group, all distinct social groups are key-factors in defining their own uniqueness through interaction with each other and therefore are dependent on one another. These interactions directly influence the common ground on which each specific social group chooses to relate to each other with and becomes the general reality of the collective therefore manifesting each group’s unique identity. In other words through our views of each other we create actions that ultimately become catalysts in which we derive our sense of selves by adaptation of techniques of coping with other social groups points of view and consequent actions.
The representatives or catalysts of black feminist thought can be defined by their social groups’ intellectual minds and its activist voices. Which is a common ground among all social groups because what message is heard without a voice to tell it and what thought is magnified without a trained mind to express it. Women intellectuals are crucial in defining and expressing black feminist thought for they hold the tools of articulation required in giving their specific social group a defining voice among other social groups. Through this frame work can these intellectuals become the role models in which the definition of black feminism can come to reflect the distinct qualities in which it has come to describe.
This distinct social group derives and shapes itself through the oppositions and oppressions of being both a woman, which has been an attribute that holds a lower status than a man in most cultures, and being dark in complexion, which also holds a lesser status than a person of light complexion in most societies. Through these trials and tribulations throughout history and presently still practiced, the black feminist mind has been slowly gaining momentum towards liberation from the norms of society and other social groups in which have otherwise been subsequent in creating the everyday reality in which they live.
It is a realization that through the practice of understanding and mutual respect in everyday interactions, can we eventually shape the realities of all social groups that cross our paths in a positive manner which will foster a more positive outlook for each social group in which to build a healthy and productive community for all.
Professor Vaso Thomas
Sociology 11 3286Q
October 27th 2009
The Man of Color and The White Woman (Reaction #3)
We are all children of the society in which we were raised and are all shaped by its cultural influences regardless of such factors as biological attributes. Knowledge is learned through language and language takes on different forms based on its specific cultural origin. Through these catalysts of learning and societal influences, a culturely specific idea of one’s self is formed and shapes the individuals overall identity. So it can be seen as we are products of our environments and are directly molded to the norms of the society in which we were born into and brought up in which create the realities we come to accept and practice.
Even though these seem to be the core facts, other societal factors also arise in taking active part in shaping the end product of one’s personality. Through such ideas as discrimination and such practices as inequality, oppression and social stratification, defining of one’s place in society often times becomes a journey into self analyzing and hence self worth. Depending on which side of social acceptance you happen to fall, this factor will ultimately determine the way in which your reality is shaped and consequently set forth the limits associated with that specific reality.
A crisis of conscience is the only way to describe the psychological effects caused by the moral inconsistencies brought about by mans attempt to be civilized. On the one hand, civilized man has attempted to bring order to its ever growing populations by implementing institutions such as religion and governments, and making crucial such ideas as gods’ laws and moral codes that we hold inviolate and just and allow to shape our everyday lives. But then in the same breath think themselves superior to other men and take active part in the systematic separation of classes’ determinant on such factors as race, color, financial status, prestige and any other categories which start to define men as different from other men.
How then are we supposed to follow moral laws if in reality they are designed to apply to some and not to others? How do we find stabilities within ourselves if we are taught to live one way and then treated another due to some biological difference? The moral dilemma that has plagued our inner souls as we try to maneuver through a world that wears a mask and never shows what it really feels and never says what it really means. Like an immoral parent that says do what I say and not what I do, often leaving you with a sense of confusion that is impossible to sort through due to a lack of proper guidance and understanding.
There are two main results that are manifested by the realization of the societal norms that we partake in as so-called minority groups of any society. We can either turn against ourselves and self destruct due to self loathing or lack of self esteem caused by the unpleasant realization and conditioning that in the eyes of some we are of a lower quality. Or we can become strengthened by the fact that no matter what a fellow human being thinks and no matter what a so-called majority group implements into their societal norms and laws, we as human beings are all responsible in taking an active part in defining the way in which we are all seen and hence outline the frame work for a just society in which we can all be an equal part.
Professor Vaso Thomas
Sociology 11 3286Q
November 12, 2009
The Jamaicans (reaction#4)
Immigration to the United States for the Jamaicans was one of hope and possible means to a better and more productive life. Since its independence in 1962, as Foner states, Jamaica has been in a state of economic distress due to past colonial rule, reliance on plantation agriculture, and after independence, reliance on neocolonial powers and multinational corporations. Due to overpopulation and the lack of sufficient means of employment, the everyday life in Jamaica has left its inhabitants searching for alternative lands in which to achieve the means of a more fruitful and fulfilling environment in which to flourish.
The Immigration and Nationality act of 1965 has opened the door for the influx of Jamaicans with dreams of building a more stable and secure life for themselves and their families in America. Often through the constant broadcasting of the media or correspondence and word of mouth accounts of time spent in the United States by past migrants, created an appeal to the U.S. that would cause the mass migration of Jamaicans through its borders for years to come. More specifically, as Foner states, the migration to New York City, where a large Jamaican population already reside and the availability of jobs made it a logical bridge to successful integration.
During the early years after the Immigration and Nationality act of 1965, women have dominated the immigration movement to the United States due to the new immigration legislation which made it easier to get labor certification for women than for men. With the high demand for nurses and experienced professionals, Jamaican women were among the preferred to fill these positions. As the immigration of Jamaicans progressed and the larger percentage of these migrants qualified for immigration status based on family ties instead of occupation, the predominately female influx ratio eventually evened out.
Life in New York City for Jamaicans has brought about a whole new meaning for them when it comes to the color of their skin and how the white population perceives them because of it. Commonly associated with American blacks, Jamaicans felt the full force of discrimination and know firsthand the limiting affects this has on their options for employment and choices in places of residence. Due to this fact Jamaicans have tended to move into predominately black neighborhoods and places where there are similar cultures of their native lands and surrounding territories. The Jamaicans pretty much create a little piece of home and shape their new environment into a more comfortable and familiar one. In doing so Jamaicans can limit the amount of negativity they must experience as a part of a larger society and still remain focused on their original plans for success in a new land of opportunity.
Despite their high opinion of themselves and low opinion of their American counterparts, Jamaicans will nevertheless more than likely, because of their skin color and choices for areas to live inter-mix with American blacks on a daily basis. Over time through common goals and a common place in society, Jamaicans will often identify themselves on the basis of color as part of the black population and fight for the same causes and equalities that a discriminatory society has denied them. While bringing their culture into a land of mixed cultures, Jamaicans fight for a dream that has been shared by all cultures that have come to the U.S. and at the same time by keeping a part of where they came from alive within their hearts, they are in essence a culture within a larger culture who are constantly influencing each other in positive and negative ways creating the reality in which we live.