Browsing All posts tagged under »sociology«

Tossing Bottles at the Wall

December 7, 2013

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Concerning Welfare and Welfare Bums You talk about people on welfare and immediately you have a chorus of other people explaining how they (or sometimes their parents) avoided it because of some sense of pride and enterprise which made them (implicitly) above welfare.  I was too good for that. I was taught better than that. […]

Racism Is Not White

December 30, 2012

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Racism is characteristically a function of colonialism.  Thus racism was olive-skinned during the long era of Greek colonialism in the Eastern Mediterranean.  It was the colour of the Japanese during the era of Japanese expansionism into Korea and China.  It was Aryan during the era of Nazi Germany.  It is pale-skinned here and now in […]

White Is Right for Canadian Money

August 17, 2012

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It happened with crayons.  “Flesh toned” used to mean pink, like White people’s skin.  Until recently, other people’s skins, black, brown and golden, didn’t come in “flesh tones.” Well, they changed the crayon boxes after awhile. Simone de Beauvoir discussed a related idea in 1949 in her book, The Second Sex.  She argued that woman […]

Mythic History in a Canadian Classroom

September 13, 2011

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From Featherfolk, a work in progress. * History & Worldview in Education * 1. A Classroom Visit Let’s for a moment visit a fictional social studies classroom in an entirely fictional Canadian school.  Over the classroom door is an inscription: HISTORY IS WRITTEN BY THE VICTORS. On the first day of classes a student asks […]

How a Slave Was Made a Man

June 26, 2010

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  Another story from the autobiography of the escaped slave and abolitionist orator Frederick Douglass with a lesson that even a slave, with the power of only their will to resist, is better off taking a stand against oppression. ~ I have already intimated that my condition was much worse, during the first six months of […]

Believing Is Seeing

May 23, 2010

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Let’s talk about seeing. You think you see with your eyes, but that’s not really quite true.  You see with your mind. It’s a crucial distinction, and far from being merely philosophical. Oliver Sacks tells a story about a man who was at one time pretty much as sane as you and me.  Sane, that is, […]

Case of the Logical Liberians

May 17, 2010

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Consider the following exchange, in which a researcher explores the formal operations of an illiterate Kpelle farmer in a Liberian village by giving him a test of logic (Scribner, 1977): Researcher: All Kpelle men are rice farmers. Mr. Smith is not a rice farmer. Is he a Kpelle man? Kpelle farmer: I don’t know the […]