just-babs said: It's disturbing that so many of the insensitive, ignorant, bigoted, and callous quotes about the poor, homeless, and oppressed are coming from sociology majors. They're clearly not learning anything if they still continue saying the abhorrent stuff they say
or the colleges they go to treat them like customers that need to be kept happy
but it’s probably a mix of both, and the insulation that comes from being up on the ivory tower
This is a complicated subject. People seem to have this assumption that sociology students are more enlightened about social issues than anyone else and I shared in this assumption until I spent a year studying the belief systems of sociology majors. I found out that I was wrong. Horribly wrong.
Before going further, I should note that I’m speaking from a very US-centric point of view here because my research was on the dominant ideology in US society. There are a number of factors at play, but the most significant one is that sociology students are socialized into the same belief system as everyone else. The thing about the dominant belief system is that almost everyone believes in it to some degree. Even if you say you don’t, it’s still there, working on an unconscious level. It’s almost like a default mode and going outside of it requires work.
Secondly, our educational system is one based on memorization, not necessarily understanding. Even then, a professor can only do so much. One has to be open to hearing what is being said. Simply being presented with new information does not necessarily mean the acceptance of it. Not to mention the fact that being presented with information that challenges already held beliefs can cause a person to hold onto their wrong beliefs even more strongly. There is so much shit that goes on here. I didn’t even get to talk about the social psychological processes in my paper. I also think that a lot of sociology professors are pressured to present topics as opinion based. Sociology is not inherently political, but the topics it covers have been politicized so there is this sense that sociology is just opinion or that there are no right answers.
Third, sociology is not social justice. They can go together, but not always. Sociology is only as progressive as people make it.
So, really I’m not surprised, but maybe I’m just jaded. I went through a lot of surveys where sociology majors at every level responded that racism didn’t exist, women had the same opportunities as men, and that people should be drug tested to receive welfare. But this was just my experience.
Well to you all, I’m sorry to see you can across some asshole sociology majors! Before you get into sociology you already need to have an open mind, and either now or have lived what you are studying. I guess you can say I’m lucky on that part (lack of better wording. I have lived on three different regions in the US (Midwest, South, and East Coast), and I can tell you from personal observation that racism is alive and well, the poor (with me included) are at a great disadvantaged here in America, and when do not get equal pay on any level. It is my belief you need to be a good fit for sociology. It seems to many people who go into it our rich/upper middle class white kids who are mostly being taught by their peers. All what sociology looks at, needs to have experience by the sociology major to really understand the major, and to be able challenge any misconceived notions on what’s been being taught. Closed minded people, who do not seek to continue learning, and understanding of of society in the US and abroad, should not be in the major whatsoever. I am sorry to some sociology major students our closed minded and conformed idiots that will do great damage to future sociological studies😔.
Residents of Nabi Saleh, West Bank, 2013.
Peter van Agtmael
The portraits above are of Palestinians who live in Nabi Saleh, West Bank. Residents of Nabi Saleh have been protesting Israeli occupation of Palestinian land every Friday after midday prayers since 2009.