It was a short fourteen weeks ago that I had been sitting in my first day of my social justice sociology class. It was also then where we first came to appreciate the idea of “The Social Imagination”. To put it how it was told to me, it refers to “a capacity, ability, a quality of mind that allows an individual to connect their life with the forces that impact it”. Now as much as this course has been all about the social imagination and how we should take moments out of our day to strive to obtain a critical look at what things we have always taken for granted, but it wasn’t until the second day of class where I really found an idea of sheer eloquence. The day I learned what ‘praxis’ meant was the day my outlook on life had been altered. To me, praxis was the process of applying what i’ve learned from class to the real world and bringing what i’ve learned outside to the classroom. This concept had stuck with me the entire semester and I have no doubt it will continue to embody itself in my everyday life. An idea so simple yet powerful in its nature how could I possibly use it on a larger scale to what it is capable of? The answer to this question came to fruition by means of our charity fundraiser. It was then we could use all those ideas, theories, videos learned in class to do something good that either directly or indirectly affected each and every one of us.
What I learned in this course, where do I begin? Besides the obvious injustices of the world, there is one video that I recommend to anyone who has ever donated money to any cause. It can be found here [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cqj0sgrNL10]. As Jessica Jackley explains that donating money without actually knowing where that money goes or how it is going to be used is quite counter-intuitive and even with the most pure of intentions, it is something you don’t want to do. What I get from her explanation is that once you start donating just because you feel bad for people who aren’t as fortunate as yourselves in terms of material goods and daily problems, you have transcended your cause. Donating to feel “less bad” about yourself and “paying to enjoy the rest of your day” is completely the opposite of what you want to achieve by donating. What any given positive contributor to society would prefer is an opportunity to be able to support themselves rather than just a variable amount of money coming from an undefined source. As spoken by Jessica Jackley “They want to build on their own capabilities, to do more of what they were doing already.” I think this video really brings the true issues to light as well as opens our eyes and puts us back on track to what we really should be doing if we want to help people.
In short, this class has been an experience. I can’t thank our professor, Dr. Charles Quist-Adade, enough for this class. I hope that he continues to do what he does and that he inspires all of his students as much as he did us. “Knowledge is not passively received, it is actively claimed.”
Sociological imagination. Only the best of us will know what it means. Yet, every single person undergoes or contemplates it everyday. The Sociological Imagination means; a capacity, ability, or the quality of mind that allows and individual to connect their life with the forces that impact it. It is nearly impossible to go a day without thinking at least once how anything in their day has impacted them. Even if they do not think about it, it still does impact them on how they react and how they act for the rest of the day if not the rest of their lives.
Taken to the next level, the sociological imagination is broken down into two essential tasks; one- to understand the intersection of biography and history; and two- differentiating “personal problems” from “public problems”. I assume the first task is that you exist in a world where prior events have shaped the environment and you being existent now; will ultimately shape the future. I interpret the second task as simply separating problems you can control and problems that are out of your control. Or maybe it was what you think to be a problem may not be a problem for someone else. I think either or would suffice.
As Charles Quist-Adade sees it, doing these two things will allow us acquire a new found critical perspective into life and of things we have always taken for granted or assumed to be true. It will also allow you to see the vast range of human diversity and help you understand the constraints and opportunities that affect our lives and those of the people around you. And ultimately, it will encourage you to participate more actively in society.
Currently attending my 3rd year at Kwantlen Polytechnic as of September 2011, I find myself asking new questions on topics that I had no idea even existed 2 years ago. My major in criminology has opened me up to a world of understanding and to think critically of what we see and hear everyday.
My interests include a wide variety of outdoor sports and activities that include biking, volleyball, hockey, tennis, camping, travelling, backpacking, swimming and exercising. When I’m not doing those I am either sleeping or eating. I also enjoy eating because I believe that food not only fills your stomach but it fuels the soul. Or at the very least food makes people happy. Very happy.
The concept of social justice isn’t foreign to me, it’s just I have never been able to associate the name with the idea. This will soon change as I explore what is known as SOCIOLOGY 2311 – Social Justice! Not knowing what social justice was is partly why I decided to enroll in this class yet at the same time I was hesitant at first. However life has a funny way of handing you opportunities even though they might appear to be obstacles at first. I appreciate the idea of social justice; the notion of equality and fairness to all. Alone I may not be able to do much, but I believe that this class is a good place to start.
Overall, my passion for justice is the reason why I chose this field and I think that remembering why you chose something in the first place is so important, not only to look back on your growth and to see how far you’ve come, but also to keep on track while preventing from veering off into something you swore you’d never become.