Privilege, Power, And Difference Essay

2531 words - 10 pages

In the beginning of the year I entered this class with a very sheltered and ignorant view of current and past events. Through time and sociological evolution I have begun to see things in a different light. The development of my ability, to look at something or some kind of situation, lets me use the sociological terms in such a manner to relate them to micro and macro problems in society. This started with the assigned readings of the class; the aim was to decipher the messages the authors were presenting. The goal was then to dig deeper and use my experiences to help myself understand the concepts throughout the course. "The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited." Plutarch (46-120 CE--common era) I was no longer supposed to retain knowledge on a factual basis but to observe the problems and challenge my own thoughts, values, and beliefs. Challenging these aspects lights the fire that creates the ability to use working sociological terms in my analyses. Through my analyses of the authors in the course I developed questions about the particular readings that we were assigned. The questions I present from these authors are on the basis of learning and seeing the macro picture from micro events. The authors that we read from were: Allan G. Johnson, James W. Loewen, Jonathan Kozol, David Nibert, Arnold Arluke, Clinton R. Sanders, and Elie Wiesel. From each one of these authors we are able to relate a theme of sociology to what is happening in their books, which results in the discussion questions.
The book Privilege, Power, and Difference by Allan G. Johnson (2001) was the first that we were assigned, and the basis in which my ability to question what the author is saying, in relation to my own experiences. Though the manner in which I had originally stated had not been sociologically evolved. My question came from pages 37 and 38 in the reading, a section in chapter 2 titled The Paradox That Privilege Doesn’t Necessarily Make You Happy. In this section he describes how privilege is attached to race, gender and social class. Saying that being a white male, heterosexual, and non-disabled put you ahead of others. My question, though still in the developmentery stages of a sociologist, asks why should I be assumed to have a perfect life? And judged because of my advantages? My question merely deals with a micro situation though if I wanted it to pertain to a macro situation as well I would have to revise it to, Is it fair for oppressed groups to assume that a white, heterosexual, non-disabled male is better off then they are? I ask this question simply because I feel that I have overcome circumstances even people in oppressed groups do not have to face, and judging before knowing leads to stereotyping.
My second set questions also comes Privilege, Power, and Difference (2001), on page 85 Johnson discusses the idea of the path of least resistance in terms of how people who are not a part of the solution are a part of the...

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