One of the first things I unlearned in the course was about critiquing; I always believed that being critical was a negative thing. But in actual fact, being critical is how we learn and move on from past assumptions or facts to learn new ones. Thus, being critical is positive, for in doing so we move beyond what we know now and into a new mode of thinking. It is only through critical thinking that we are able to constantly revamp what we know and make it better. If we are not critical of what we hear, see, and know, then we are stagnant and are not moving forward with new knowledge.
This course also re-taught me about the sociological imagination and how one is using their sociological imagination when he or she is able to step back from the assumption that our lives our shaped by ourselves. And instead realizes that there are greater social processes that shape who we are, be it our social contexts such as social institutions, structures, social actions, interactions, time, setting, and people. Thus, in being sociologically mindful, one is able to see how there are various things that shape and influence who we are, how we think, act and behave within our lives. In doing so, one understands that there are wider circumstances than our personal daily lives and daily routines, for the power of the sociological imagination is the understanding that personal troubles are connected to public issues. The global sociological imagination goes one step further than the sociological imagination in that it sees how we are globally interconnected and that there are global factors that play a part in how we develop as societies rather than just seeing things developing at the societal level. Thus, another country across sees might affect this country and vise versa. Canadian companies might travel to India to exploit their country’s low wages for greater returns, which affects the entire global economy including the middleman, the rich man, and the poor man. Thus, globally there are things that are impacting who we are, as a whole.
“Obvious” was another core concept that opened my mind. For, it made me realize that every society, community, culture, or nation has an idea about what is “obvious” or thought to be “common sense.” And that this mode of thinking helps to hide the real truth, or helps to decrease its importance or value; thus, there are some things that seem to be “obvious” and because of this nobody goes beyond and looks further in depth towards its truths. In not seeing past the obvious, people are not fully understanding the world and its full meanings. In short, people are only seeing partial meanings, and as a result are not fully aware of life’s truths. Thus, in seeing past the façade of the “obvious” one is better able to do research and study beyond cultural understandings, so that deeper truths can be achieved.
Some of the preconceived notions I had about this course were already mentioned, however, the notion about social justice was definitely altered upon the completion of this course. I honestly did not entirely know what this course’s definition toward social justice was. I thought that this course was going to dive into the different laws and regulations to do with law on the topic of social justice. However, to my surprise, this course mainly discussed the issue of social injustice and how social injustice touches everyone around the globe. Whether it be children who are starving because their land’s resources have been stripped from big businesses from various rich countries, such as United Kingdom, United States and Canada, and or because their country is in debt due to corrupted government business deals. In either case, social justice is global, it is not a term that is reflective of each society, rather it is a term that is formed from the interconnectedness societies maintain. We all see and endure forms of social justice and injustice may it be locally or internationally, one business deal across the globe will ultimately affect my life on the other side. Thus, this class taught me how social justice works and affects us all on various levels through the various films we watched on different countries. Not only did this class reveal to me how people in poverty around the world are receiving social injustice through exploitation, but this course revealed to me how the world is the product of its environment and that every action has a consequence whether intended to be positive or negative. Thus, social justice is global and the sooner people realize how interconnected we all are, the sooner we can make changes, and take responsibility for our actions that affect the planet as a whole.
I really enjoyed this course and how we took the theory and put it into practice. This was one of the first courses I have ever actually done this; and I really enjoyed this process and felt like I actually made a change, even though it was a very small change, it felt good.