Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cost of Being Poor

    Thanks for sharing this article  it was interesting read because I never looked at poverty costing more money versus those who live above the poverty line.  Oftentimes, I have seen so many men and women standing near sidewalks definitely close to traffic lights especially when they’re in the “Stop” mode. These hand held signs with all capital letters usually read something like this: WILL WORK FOR FOOD, JUST GOT LAID OFF WORK CAN YOU SPARE A FEW COINS, and I NEED WORK AND HAVE CHILDREN CAN YOU HELP ME. Needless to say this is depressing and I’ve sometimes thought to myself, “ why can’t they find a job”,  “Have they tried looking”, “Do they have any educational background”,  or “What if they aren’t really poor but are just looking for a hand out to use money in a negative vs. a positive way.”  Well, one day I was out running errands as usual, and I decided to stop at a local store to pick up a snack…a box of yummy delicious strawberry pop tarts should hit the spot. 
    There was a lady who I’ll call Nervena, standing near the door with a buggy and a child sitting in it who appeared to be around 2 years of age and before I could get in the door good she said,” Please lady can you give me some money for my child.”  My response was, “well I need to get something” she said, “Okay lady” and I proceeded inside the store.  Needless to say after I made my purchase Nervena was still standing there so I thought, “Now what I’m going to say.”  However, as I was walking out she didn’t say anything so I felt relieved and proceeded to my vehicle.      Suddenly, this unusual feeling of sympathy for her child came across me…yep you guessed I went back up to her and handed her child a pack of pop tarts.  Nervena said, “Thank you lady, thank you.”  When I looked out my window another young lady handed her a Pepsi cola from her case of sodas.  My fingers couldn’t get the wrapper open fast enough for me to finally enjoy my delicious strawberry pop tarts as I thought Nervena’s child probably was enjoying them too.   Perhaps, some day America and the world will be free of all forms of poverty.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Race in US History

     Race in US History has been since the beginning of America unfortunately it still is evident today as we still haven’t come to grips about what race really means.  According to Sociology race is defined as; “A socially constructed category of people who share biologically transmitted traits that members of a society consider important.”  (Maconis, 673) However, society has categorized this meaning something all together different.   When certain events arise for i.e. crimes; this situation automatically focuses on the minority race due to discrimination.  This unequal treatment of minority categories is often led by stereotypes which still exist today. In an Oklahoma prison, 76.5% of the prisoners are minority.  This is just a minor sample, but pretty consistent throughout the criminal system.  In the movie Discrimination at the Swim Club it gives another example of social injustice.  Minorities were told to swim somewhere else because it would affect the image of the swim club, when in actuality it may draw more clients if others were able to see that the club was culturally diverse.  Whites and Blacks fought hard in the Civil Rights movements to end segregation; the physical or social separation of people.  Today, for equality for all mankind, we must remember the principals that our country was founded upon and end racial problems and live for “liberty and justice for all.”

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Global Gender

Woman today are treated far better than those in Afghanistan because the amenities and luxuries we can enjoy in the United States is not a norm for the Afghan women.   The Afghanistan Relief Organization (ARO) is a nonprofit organization.   In May 2005, ARO established the first of a series of women’s literacy classes, designed to help women who desperately need literacy and vocational training to support their families.  In the United States women don’t have to depend on literacy programs as most have the mean to a public education which teaches them how to read and write.  The female literacy rate for women in the United States is 99% vs. that in Afghanistan which is only 21%.  Employment is another privilege that women in the U.S. are able to benefit from as there are more opportunities for work.   The unemployment rate in Afghanistan is 35% while the unemployment rate in the United States is only 8.8%.  These percentages are drastically different and since women have a lower literacy rate this leads to a lower employment rate also.  Going back to luxuries and amenities for women in the U.S. there are so many areas that can be taken for granted.  Unfortunately, in Afghanistan during the rule of the Taliban from 1996 to 2001 women were treated worse than ever before and by any other society.  Women were not allowed to work, leave their homes without a man, and could not seek medical help from a male doctor.  Despite the help from organizations such as the ARO the repression of women are still extremely noticeable in the public life of Afghanistan women.  The lives for women are slightly improving in Afghanistan although many non-profit organizations are attempting to make a difference Afghan women are still facing horrific issues. However, 33% of women experience physical psychological or sexual violence.  Changes have come from international organizations and nonprofits such as, the Revolutionary Association of the Women in Afghanistan (RAWA), The Afghan Women’s Mission, and Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.  With these non- profit organizations they have attempted to increase literacy rates, train and employ women, and better the infant mortality rate and simply provide medical care for women to live longer lives.  Although, these are not some women living in America, any changes for betterment of women in other countries is a great asset and privilege for all.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Child Sex Trade in Southeast Asia

Unfortunately, one million children have to encounter child trafficking due to various horrifying living conditions.  Mr. Nicholas Christophe mentioned the collapse of communism, socialism, mobility across countries, and the rise of aids. The fact that many partners desire younger children as sexual partners to prevent the risk of possibly getting aids these children become placed in situations that are unbearable and in their case uncontrollable.   Imagine your child going out to play as he/she normally does enjoying their outside time and playing with his/her favorite toy.  Suddenly, you realize that your child is no longer in your view as you look out the window then proceed outside to find that your child is nowhere in sight.  Human trafficking is what a lot of parents in Southeast countries have had to encounter as girls are kidnapped and lured in by complete strangers using candy, drugs, and other methods to succumb to this horrible injustice.  Mr. Christophe emphasized that coalitions are paying more attention to human trafficking and commends a man by the name of John Miller who is a part of the evangelical and liberal feminist movement to find ways to aid this dramatic issue.  It is a sad situation to read that 12-13 year old girls have to forfeit their bodies to prostitution to just help their family.  The United Nations Children's Funds (UNICEF) "advocates and supports the creation of a protective environment for children in partnership with governments, national and international partners including the private sector and civil society."   When researching information about trafficking I chose France and it was discovered that France is one of the destination countries for women and girls exploited for sex from place such as, Romania, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and other Asian countries.   Social justice changes that could help end trafficking would be to try to participate in a state wide call-in day to fight human trafficking which occurred in Maryland on April 5, 2011.  This call-in consisted of Maryland residents contacting Chairman Vallario who could advance a bill that would ensure that convicted traffickers would receive harsher punishment.   Overall, human trafficking is inhuman and needs to be abolished FOREVER amongst all nations to include the United States of America.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Crime & Privilege

Theme: Equality for all Mankind

There are several determining factors that demonstrate the point that in these videos and readings; equality for all mankind does not exist.  Politics, popularity, and socio-economic status contribute to the lack of fairness in society. 

Mr. A. Wood was found with cocaine possession and killing someone but served no prison sentence.  He never confessed to any wrongful acts. Politically, the odds were in his favor because he was Caucasian and well-known in his community, church, and by Judge Dean. All of these attributes proved his popularity along with his status of coming from a middle-class socio-economic background.  Therefore, he had favor with the judge as well as people who would be on his side.  It appeared that the judge who was re-elected five times; did not want to convict this man and lose potential votes by giving a reasonable punishment. 

On the other hand, Mr. T. Brown of African American decent only robbed someone by taking wallet that only carried two dollars and was caught smoking marijuana.  Mr. Brown relinquished the wallet and money back to his victim (Caucasian male) who did not agree with the punishment that was rendered by the same judge in Mr. Woods’s case.  Politically, Mr. Brown had no affiliates in governmental positions nor was he popular by any means.  Additionally,   he was African American and of a lower class background in society.  He attended a small community church and when it came down to the judgment all odds were against him.  Although Mr. Brown confessed and pled guilty, he received unreasonable punishment of 16years-to life in prison. 

Basically, the labeling theory could be in effect in this instance because society focused less on what the victims did as opposed to how others reacted to their crimes. Although, Mr. Wood created a greater crime the reaction/minor punishment did not equate with his crime because of the way society and Judge Dean viewed him vs. Mr. Brown.  It is clearly evident that equality was unfair in these two cases although, the time period, geographic location, and authorities were the same; "equality for all mankind" was neither equal nor justifiable.  

Friday, March 4, 2011

Milgram Study

When viewing the Milgram video I noticed how the tester's (person pushing the button) were a bit apprehensive when he heard the test takers response of...OUCH! I also noticed how the tester's facial expression changed when he heard the sound from the test taker...almost as if a smirk was present.  Emotionally, we will respond to movies, games and other activities that we may or may not enjoy but still continue to attend/watch these out of interest.  Dr. Burger point of females have a tendency to be more empathic which implies to me that males are more dominant and the testing process may not affect them as much as it does women because in the video they looked back more often at the experimenter then the male tester did.  Today, there are various techniques that are used to discover learned our obedient behavior however, conflict arises as to how far one should go to get results.  The experiments then allowed more leniency for breaking ethical standards because the voltage was changed today.  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Television & Socialization

When I've watched special news reports about children and too much television I've noticed that this is something critics do by implying that television's portrayal of violent and sexual themes are powerful affects that viewers are watching, especially children. News has covered the affect of children bringing  weapons to school campuses and have enforced their interest in them whether they may or may not have inflicted harm to anyone. How much of a role do you think TV plays in the socialization process?  My feelings are that television does play a role in the socialization process because children of various ages can mimic or emulate what they see on television just as they may do when they see adults talking, laughing, and interacting with others. Does it affect everyone to the same extent? I feel that television may not affect everyone to the same extent because every child develops his/her own character and personality which may not only be conveyed through watching television but also in other environments for i.e. childcare, playgroups, older siblings and/or other social settings.