Reflecting upon this class I feel that I have a better understanding of the world. Firstly, an outlook on our global imagination, where I am more aware that my actions or actions of our ‘tight knit’ society does have an impact on the rest of the world. For example, if I choose to drive my car around how am I impacting the world? Well, I am using gas which is emitting pollution into the atmosphere and these impacts will be globally but also will be sociologically as well. The pollution I am creating today will also be impacting future generation’s air supply and can contribute to global warming.
Furthermore, consumerism is a large standard of living amount European and North American cultures. We spend money on unnecessary items such as cosmetics, which North Americans spend approximately $8 billion dollars or pet food which is $17 billion, the most outrageous finding was that Europeans spend approximately $11 billion on ice cream! Looking at the bigger picture, globally, this is a negative impact on the entire global societies. These funds can be used to improve poverty among third world countries; where children are dying due to the fact that they do not have enough food or nutrients to survive. Instead of buying expensive pet foods, we should really begin to consider investing these funds to human beings, especially those who are not fortunate enough to afford basic necessities.
Exploring concepts that are unfamiliar to me and are not touched upon gives me a different perspective to my own actions. I feel that I will think twice before purchasing a new pair of shoes or buying an ice cream cone for $10; consumerism is a large factor in our “north American” culture and society, which drives individuals to become materialistic, however, with a little eye opener, we begin to see where we stand- globally, we must help the rest of the world out. Understanding that each society has an upper class and poverty, it is necessary for individuals to be educated on how they can help others. Prior to taking this class, I was unaware of these facts about European and North American consumerism; once you learn about these issues you begin to realize that it does sound ridiculous. Children are starving around the world, and people are spending money on their pets rather than humans- food for thought!
Poverty is a global issue in the south part of the world. As reading the text, it is outstandingly outrageous that Americans spend a ridiculous amount on luxurious items and materialistic goods, when these funds can be going towards other parts of the world where poverty is occurring. For example, $17 billion dollars is used towards pet foods, when there are starving children around the world (Quist- Adade 2013). These types of facts need to be publically advertised so that people are more aware and think twice before acting.
Global sociological imagination is a concept that connects different societies and brings them together. One part of the world may be experiencing a trouble event; this event will also impact other parts of the world. For example, when the United States experienced recession, it also impacted the rest of the world. Prices in real estate decreased drastically, therefore, other global markets took advantage and purchase property. Also, the US dollar dropped which impacted our Canadian dollar and made it stronger. Another example is different types of natural disasters which occur around the world, and impacts agricultural trades around different global markets. These types of events impact the rest of the world like a domino effect. Although we may seem to be far apart from many places in the world, we are all interconnected.
The Social imagination is a concept that seems to be clear but is a bit complicating. In order to understand the social imagination, one must understand history and the past decisions made that brought us to where we stand. For example, looking at family history, we understand where our ethnic and cultural backgrounds rise from. Therefore, understanding the history, one is able to understand why parents have standards and certain values that they share with their children. However, these standards and values change depending on the individual and what they believe- they make it a bit of their own by adding their own ideologies into their history.
Social justice includes the following: 1) each an equal share; 2) each according to individual need; 3) each according to personal effort; 4) each according to social contribution; 5) each according to merit. Social justice emanates from and is guided by the laws of nature; nature law and natural law exists as the reference point for the justness of all human actions (Adade, 2013). Social justice is basically to control human rights and to punish those who deviant from these rights we are given as humans. Without social justice, there would be deviance in society which would cause chaos and would lead to a dysfunctional and corrupt society. For example, if social justice was not implicated towards a victim that has experienced abuse, there would be many more individuals in the world that would be abused and there would be no justice given.
Cooley’s looking glass self is a theory of how one sees them self. You imagine how you appear to the other person; you imagine how the judgement of the other person and you feel some sense of feeling such as pride, happiness or guilt. This philosophy is evidence as to why individuals in society conform to such norms as they want to blend in rather than look different as they do not know how people will react to them being different- it can be a positive or negative experience. Some individuals who are dresses differently are also labelled in society, for most cases, as deviant individuals. Also, with these labels come certain stereotypes and negative association, and therefore, the entire experience usually causes the individual to feel negative, rather than being able to express themselves and feel positive and good.
The idea of history is knowledge of the past which is received in the present. History asks questions, whose objects are past human actions, which proceeds by interpreting evidence and whose goal is human self knowledge. History is important as it gives us a different insight as to how societies worked and evolved throughout centuries. History is hard facts, all history is history of thought, therefore is the re-enactment of past thought in the historian’s own mind, this re-enactment is not the passive surrender to the spell of another mind, but an active and critical thinking: the historian re-enacts the past in the light of his own knowledge. There are different types of history, such as religious history, cultural history, family history, evolution. All are regarding how human individual’s interactions occurred in society and how these evolved and changed throughout time.