Before I came to Kwantlen, I had already taken a sociology course. When I took the latest class of Sociology, Soci-1125, it really opened my eyes to what is really going on in this world. Through videos, class discussions, lectures and social justice events, I gained a better understand of many things. This class has better prepared me for my life, and I feel as though I am able to live it to the fullest. I am able to see the familiar in the unfamiliar, and view things in the most positive way possible. During this class I learned specific core concepts to have a better understanding of our world. These concepts included the sociological imagination, the global sociological imagination, critique, debunking, ethnocentrism and finally, obvious. Ethnocentrism plays a big role in life, and I found it to be the most useful concept to learn about in my life. Ethnocentrism has many positive and negative effects, and can also be a good thing, if used correctly and to a certain extent.
The core concept I chose to go into further detail with is ethnocentrism. ethnocentrism is judging or comparing someone else’s life in comparison to your own. It is also viewing your group as the center of everything else. And in a lot of cases it is viewing other people’s lives as negative, or not as good as your own. But there is no right or wrong life. Positive functions of ethnocentrism includes “social comparison” (lecture notes 13). Negative functions include the “Us versus them mentality,” “false sense of superiority, invincibility, and infallibility” (lecture notes 13). Everyone’s life is just different. Being in Canada I have had the chance to have a very happy, and fulfilling life. Canada is a first world country, so there are many things we have that people in other countries could only wish to have one day. Through this class though I have realized that I have been judging people, and their way of lives. And I have been comparing their lives and the way they live them to my own. Which is not fair. People in a third world country is going to have a different life compared to someone in Canada.
This concept has allowed me to become a more fair person. I am trying my best now to not put down other people’s countries and cultures. Although, even though it is not good to have an ethnocentric view of other things, there is nothing wrong with being happy, or positive about your own way of living, and how you do things. Everyone is different, and they do not deserve to be treated the same.
In this class I unlearned a lot of stereotypes. Through videos we watched in class, I learned about different cultures and how they have learned to sustain themselves with what they personally have. I also learned a lot about Ghana. When I went to the social justice event I learned about their school systems. I was surprised to learn that the teachers only get paid if students pay their tuition. I was not even aware of the amount of schooling, and then I learned that teachers were so committed to school, sometimes they would not even get payed. And finally finishing with a quote we learned, “broader understanding comes about in comparison and contrasts which let others be” (Charles Taylor).