Category Archives: Sociology

Why Regulate Our Wilderness?

Ahklun Mountains and the Togiak Wilderness wit...

Image via Wikipedia

A Well Regulated Wilderness
By: Michael Lipsky

Review by Maria Campagna

Our wilderness is an extremely important place to protect. From the flora to the fauna, we must accept that they were all here first. Just like social workers seek to protect the welfare of humanity, there are those out there who are advocating for our environment. To keep this in check, they must regulate use of land by creating laws to help prevent further damage to our ecosystems.

Environmental activists have helped push laws into the government that prevent people from industrializing certain areas as well as trekking on land that cannot be driven on. There is over 100 million acres that have been protected because of these advocates. To some, they may not see the intense need for regulating and maintaining so much open space. We are living in such industrialized times that we often look over the need for helping out our environment. Most of the time, we can’t even take the time to take care of ourselves.

By implementing these laws it will help ensure that parts of our earth are rightly protected. We as humans take so much from the earth and take it for granted. From our food to pollution to creating massive cities that overtake thousands of square miles. Just like in any type of situation in life, there must always be balance. We must maintain that natural part of the earth so we can help maintain that natural part of ourselves. The earth has allowed us to live and thrive on it by teaching us. In order to understand life, we must first look to the natural side. We must be able to observe nature in an open manner free from cages and laboratories.

Preserving this for generations to come can help ensure that we don’t overlook what it means to truly be human. To truly have that balance and to be one with the earth. We are not separate from it by any means, we are just another species living on the earth trying to make it through. Just as we struggle from day to day with relationship issues, poverty, war and many other issues there are animal that fight to stay alive just as us.

The next time you are out, take a look around you. Notice that we are just another species. Notice that we are all living in this together. Whether what you are looking at is human, is another species, is water, is air just know that we all exist together and that we need to maintain that.

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Earth & Women: Link To Happiness?

Yin yang laozi

Image via Wikipedia

I was reading an article that I happened to have stumbled upon and it really made me think about the way women are connected to this world. The title of the article was “What’s Happening To Woman’s Happiness.” The basic gist of the whole article is describing how in the past few decades the happiness of women has declined and is still declining. Men seem to “out happy” women and as they age they get happier whereas it’s vice-virsa for women.

As I was skimming through some sparks in my brain of course had to ask “Well, why is this?” Is the media trying to hold us women down? Are we more powerful than we think? Do we have some kind of secret knowledge? It makes me think how close to nature we truly are.

Women are creators and, well no offense, but men can just come in and spread their seed. We are the ones that carry it out, nurture, love, caress. We teach men how to become like this. We teach them how to be able to let go of their ‘manliness‘ and embrace their femininity. Men do this for women as well, we have learned how to become more rational and less emotional in certain circumstances. I truly do believe that the masculine and feminine yin-yang balance is truly needed.

As for the overall happiness of women, I’m wondering if it’s a connection between women and mother nature. Is she also suffering? Getting more upset due to the wars, fighting, greed and hate in the world? Men overpower women when it comes to power and control. If we were to send a bunch of women to war, we’d probably try to talk it out rather than draw our guns and fight. It’s just the way that women work (Not all, but most…I know a few women who want to fight and who would be happy to draw a gun rather than talk but they tend to show much more of a masculine side)

What can we do to help prevent this? Is there anything that we can truly do to create happier and more sustainable earth? Or will there always be hatred and violence? I see in many communities the light of ‘Mother Nature‘ shining through and seeing them reach out to become more ‘earth-friendly‘ and I truly appreciate these people. When I think about a situation like that, it obviously makes me happy. Most people I know though, don’t really care about saving the planet or caring for people or stopping violence. Most throw their hands up and say “Well, it is what it is and we can’t do anything about it”

Why is it that the world seems to know just how to suppress us? Why does the media seem so great at creating this whole “Don’t worry, we’ve got it!” kind of attitude. It doesn’t help and one day I hope that the majority of people will just wake up and way “Oh crap! Let’s start something!” I don’t mean in such a way that we’re jeopardizing others’ lives or creating violence and hatred on the streets. I hope that someday we can learn to talk things out or at least respect other people’s decisions rather than try to impose ours on them.

Maybe this is why the happiness of women is declining. Maybe this is why we need to reach deeper into ourselves to find the root. Alan Watts had said that the earth “peoples” If the earth does indeed “people” then it would be right to say that our earth is our mother. Introspection may be the key to understanding why this world is so out of balance. Maybe it’s time for us to really start to realize that we need to balance out the masculine and feminine qualities. Without the balance, without the yin-yang element the human population is surely headed for more disaster than it has already created.

Call me a feminist but there is scientific evidence that everything has two parts to it. This world cannot go on living in a predominately masculine world. Open up your eyes people, thank the women in your life.

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Judgement: Fact Of Life?

Review of “Black Men and Public Space” by Brent Staples

Judgment is a topic that comes up very often when discussing matters of race, ethnicity, social status, economic status and the various social structures that we are all categorized in. I personally believe that it’s wrong to judge others based on appearances without actually getting to know them first. Aren’t we all the same anyway? Essentially at the core we are all made up of the same molecules and the same elements and the only thing that is different is our perceptions of the world. No one person is really an individual. I don’t mean to speak harshly but rather use this knowledge to possibly look at one another with more respect and seeing others as ourselves could pose to be useful when using harsh words or actions. It may be naïve for me to say that I would treat others with respect and walk up to a person holding a gun as if they were my equal so there is a fine line between judgment and safety.

The issue that this man is facing is the fact that society brings upon judgment based off of the facts of the majority. What ends up happening is, groups of people get judged for things that they have never even done or thought about doing in their lives. Although we must see his perspective as being that of one who is being judged, we must also see the outside world’s point of view.

The amygdalas of the human brain is where our “fight or flight” responses take place. These responses are closely related to registered pictures or words based off of a negative emotion, such as fear. What ends up happening is that the fear is registered and brought into the outside world and applied. The issue here is that we are using our fight or flight responses based off of people we have never met before.

The issue that this man has to overcome is the fact that we have no choice as to what position we are born in and as to what kinds of people are out there in our world. We have no control over the media and what kinds of images they would like to portray to the world. In the case of how groups of individuals act, we have no control over that as well. If the majority of the African American population is seen as gun-wielding murderers and rapists, unfortunately there is no control over that either.

We do however have a choice. Now this may seem unfair but it will essentially boil down to changing one’s life to suit others, which is what this man demonstrates to us. Towards the end of the essay he has clearly evaluated his environment and has acted upon it. By implementing ways to create a more comfortable atmosphere for him and others around him he has learned to avoid people and even whistle a tune from Beethoven.

This may not sound like the most pleasing thing to do, change yourself to suit others but it may be an essential way to survive. Throughout the history of man, and other organisms alike, we learn to adapt and survive in the most comfortable way possible and this is just another example. Although it is much different than having to change your way of hunting food or fending off predators it is an adaptation nonetheless.

The beauty of humankind is the fact that when it boils down to everything we essentially have control over what we do. As stated before, we may not have the abilities to change the world around us but we do have the power to change ourselves. I feel for this man and I do believe that he means very well in his life and he is not a horrible person in the least, he has managed the situation he was given very well. Most would take on the role of the murderer, thief or rapist purely because they begin to think that way about themselves without even realizing it. This man clearly has a strong mind and will to survive and adapt in the world he was born into.

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We Need Individuality!

The theory I’m starting to form from understanding all of this is that we may all come from the same source but we still are not one MIND. Our minds are not ONE. Reason? Humans need different MINDS in order to exist. A carpenter needs a person to know how to do electrical work and a person to know how to do plumbing in order to build a house correct? It IS highly possible that one person MAY know all of these things (Referred to as a “Jack of All Trades”) But for most of us…We have our special talents that we bring to the world and we simply can’t seem to understand the others. Could we try to understand the others? Of course…Do we have the ability to do these things if we would like to? YES! But overall, society needs different MINDS to operate and to GROW.

Our abilities to be able to think beyond are beneficial to human society so we can begin to think outside the realm of possibility and develop new ideas and essentially develop our minds. What we are doing by Astral Projection and Meditation and such is utilizing different brain waves that others don’t normally do on a daily basis.

Don’t you think that this long line of Astral Projection and Meditation and such is evolution in and of itself? We are creating these realities for ourselves and developing them and actively practicing them and it is changing the structure of our brains. It is PROVEN that meditation alters brain structure and forms new synapses and allows for us to utilize more of our brains when making decisions. It takes MILLIONS of years to see real evolution and our pineal glands are one of the things I would like to point out.

I would LOVE to have been able to study the brains of our past ancestors because I believe that would help hold the key to really whatever is going on. It is highly possible that their pineal glands were much LARGER than ours, or even on the other spectrum much smaller. We are losing our abilities to use our Pineal Glands through the foods we eat, the environment and just not utilizing it in the best way possible. Some, however, ARE! Some are practicing eating correctly and watching out for these harmful products we are putting in our bodies and spreading it to the NEXT generation.

The energies are there…Astral Projection is there…Meditation is there…What we are doing in the NOW is developing these senses. Just like you and I just ARE and this world just IS…

Thoughts © Maria Campagna

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Terrorism & Words

The whole fact of the matter is if your Muslim and commit and act that is linked to plotting against someone or a group of someones in a violent way, you are a terrorist. Take the Muslim label off, and you just might be considered insane instead.

After 911 happened all bets were off for Muslims and anyone that even looked remotely like a Muslim. Constantly criticized and ridiculed as if the whole Muslim community were terrorists no matter what they said. Of course, this is more likely the ignorant labeling of American society which leads most to believe that they are all out to get us.

The fact that a white man can crash a plane into a building and simply be called “insane” is crazy in and of itself. It is indeed an act of terrorism no matter what your age, race or other social label is. According to Wikipedia, ‘terrorism in the most general sense, the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion’

I believe that America should pretty much have their own dictionary for how they define things. We tend to sugar-coat things so we, as Americans, don’t look bad. The definition of terrorism according to Americans (And I’m not saying ALL Americans think this way but for the sake of the mass-media we’ll just use the term Americans) Terrorism, in the most general sense, the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion by someone in the Middle East. Honestly, this is the truth.

Americans can’t look bad! We can’t look like we’re breeding terrorists ourselves so we’ll just call them crazy. If we did, we’d be considered hypocrites and oh no, that’s not what us as Americans are. We have the most upstanding and fantastic citizens in the world. No one comes close to us! Maybe our citizens may be mentally ill but no, they will never be terrorists. The horror!

The bombing that just happened in Times Square was set up by, in fact, a Pakistani man. Of course this is going to be considered an act of terrorism. However, what if this man had been a white 45 year old man who just wanted to bomb Times Square because he was angry or upset about some company that was located there? He’d just be insane. There would be obvious suspicion that he was indeed linked to a terrorist but once the Middle-East is out-ruled, he’s just crazy.

It honestly is enough to make someone scared of Muslims because of the way the media portrays it. The articles posted on this Pakistani man were all geared towards instilling fear upon whoever read it. Whereas articles on Andrew Joseph Stack continuously ruled out any act of terrorism. Maybe these journalists should have gotten a better dictionary.

Thoughts © Maria Campagna

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The Interlocking Triangle Club

The institutions that form the interlocking triangle are the economic, military and political organizations of America.

The economic institution will consist of mostly major corporation owners. Military will be any high-ranking officers. Political is the president and the members of his cabinet. The thing that these three institutions will all have in common is power and wealth. They are the two key components to being a part of the “Interlocking Triangle Club”

As national events need to be decided, these institutions have the most power and say. Obviously the way to power and say is nine times out of ten, wealth. The members of this triangle will probably all agree on the fact that they deserve to have all of this power due to their status in society and the money in their pockets.

Their money is how they achieved power and their power is how they control society. They are pretty much a group with lots of money that share the same powers and basic beliefs. I would personally consider them an overly powerful subculture.

It’s a little difficult for me to be able to explain why they would be considered a subculture since the power allows them to pretty much be the culture as a whole. What I mean by this is the fact that since they control the laws, decisions and other goings on of society that aren’t they technically our culture? If our culture is defined as beliefs, values and norms and they are controlling most of it then it’s a pretty fine line between the two. Since our culture is pretty much defined by the media and the media is owned by big corporations who are regulated in turn by the government then it would be safe to say they are growing to be our actual culture.

The main component to this triangle however is the fact that they all agree on the most basic outlines of things. For instance, most will agree on private property issues and distribution of wealth to name two. It’s the shared beliefs that hold this triangle together like glue. Of course there might be little quarrels amongst them that they do not agree on but when it comes to things that have to do with money, they will all agree so it binds them together. It’s like the superglue of their group.

They are strong, they are wealthy and they are interested in only themselves. Its difficult to be a society ruled by 1 percent of the population. It really makes you wonder why money is valued so highly. What brought about this intense need for control and money? Personally, I wish I were living quietly by myself in a little village in Japan practicing peace, healthiness, mindfulness and knowledge of the wise.

Thoughts © Maria Campagna

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“But My Job Sucks!” Change Your Job Or Change Your Perspective

Sometimes, things that you read can get to you and sort of make you thankful for the things you have been given in the first place. I know that many of my jobs were actually well-paying. The bosses weren’t all that bad and the environment was actually relatively friendly. At the time however, I didn’t really take notice to these things and, as any teenager, I complained about having to go to work.

Now, I see how hard it is for some people to even get jobs paying $10.00 an hour. Most are paying less than minimum wage and in obviously horrible working-conditions. The bosses make you feel less-than important and as if it’s a burden to even have hired you in the first place. It’s as if they have no sense of human feelings in the first place.

It’s no wonder why most people living in such conditions never really get out of the place that they are. For one, the pay will not allow them to move up and grow in society. They simply cannot save money and working paycheck to paycheck is the norm. If they have children it’s even more of a stressful position because they not only have to worry about themselves but now they have to worry about their children. Maybe they have to figure out someway to feed the kids and pay for daycare due to the fact that the family has abandoned them or they just don’t know who their families are in the first place.

Secondly, the bosses probably make them feel like even more low-lives than they are. Picking, prodding and nagging at the slightest thing they do wrong. Instead of kindly or at least in a more controlled manner, “Excuse me, maybe next time you could do A, B and C like this” Screaming or demeaning is inevitable. Maybe the bosses themselves are going through a tough time but that gives no reason to treat someone in such a manner.

Maybe, if people would understand that they’re all in this thing together they would realize that they could do something about it. By the bosses being nicer, the staff will probably feel more at ease and bring a bit of a more calm and happy atmosphere to the customers. It’s all psychological. If someone has a pleasant attitude it will most likely, but not always, rub off on the other person. It would make for a much more pleasant experience for the server and the customer alike. If they happen to get an order wrong it’s up to the customer to be nice and respond “Hey, I ordered this with no cheese. I’d like to have a burger with no cheese please” Instead, most just yell and get angry as if the waitress/waiter was not paying attention to them personally.

People must realize that it’s horribly difficult for someone to create such in-depth personalized attention to fifty people at once while running around delivering food to different tables and cleaning up. It’s as if we were to present the customer with twenty different waitresses and tell them to memorize their names and a part of their lives in ten minutes. It’s difficult.

This behavior however creates a negative image of the waitress/waiter themselves into believing that they are not worth any more than the dump they are currently working in. It pretty much labels them in essence. They are led to the belief that their situation will never change and that their lives just consist of getting yelled at constantly and going home to an even more stressful environment. For them, the cycle never ends.

Although things like this enrage me, the ignorance of most people, it’s a bit difficult to change the situation. Unfortunately, most of these problems are out of my reach due to the fact that each individual may not want to change. If people would like to get help to understand how to be nicer and a much better person to the world, I would gladly be of assistance.

Thoughts © Maria Campagna

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Prostitution? It’s MY Choice!

(There was no reference article that I had written down. Please comment if this sounds like a review of an article you happened to come across)

This article was of course a very feminist view towards prostitution. I do agree with most of the things she is saying as the fact that prostitution is not a free choice and women are essentially brainwashed or pulled into it due to lack of self-esteem, funds or other social issues. Most feminists will take this extreme view of hatred towards this topic. Prostitution, sexual exploitation and sexuality in general is probably one of the most talked about situations a feminist will encounter.

I do believe in both sides of the coin. I believe that prostitution is in fact a free choice of the woman due to the fact that she is doing it. The other side is the fact that they do it because of pressures of society or for fear of being hurt. I like to take a more broad look at things and take in both sides so I don’t necessarily agree with one side or the other.

The argument I will provide is this, prostitution is seen as an overall dangerous job right? It’s dangerous to the woman’s health, well-being, self-esteem among other things. The thing that most forget to think about is that there are tons and tons of jobs that will ruin a persons self-esteem, endanger them in some way yet they still do it.

Jobs such as construction, timber cutting and firefighting are detrimental to the persons overall health. One can get caught in a fire for too long and die, get hit with a falling tree branch or fall from a 5 story building they are renovating. Overall, there are plenty of dangerous jobs.

On the other side, some retail jobs actually will seriously hurt the employee emotionally due to an overly demanding boss, horrible coworkers and the like. A person can come out of a job with significantly lowered self-esteem due to the fact that even if the are working their hardest, it’s still not enough for the boss.

There is no way that I am saying that prostitution is one hundred percent like any of these jobs. It is a highly dangerous job with consequences beyond belief. Due to the fact that a woman can be brainwashed into thinking that if she is a prostitute she is beautiful is beyond her mind yet it is programmed into her subconscious which is where the damage will set in.

Consciously, she knows that what she is doing can be damaging to her health but by believing the thoughts of others or being severely driven by the need so survive her subconscious mind will kick in. She has children to feed, rent to pay, herself to feed and a society to survive in. The subconscious will take over the conscious and slowly begin re-wiring her brain. The thoughts of danger will be nothing new to her just as brushing our teeth is to us, it’s just there.

Drugs will also play a factor in the brainwashing due to the fact that they chemically re-wire your brain. I have seen people become other people when doing drugs. They don’t realize the fact that the more you do it, the more you become someone else whether they’d like to see it or not. Addiction will most likely set in and they will in turn need even more money or give out more of their body just to get drugs. It’s a vicious cycle.

Low self-esteem is probably a very huge factor as to why these women will get involved in such a career choice. If someone were to come up to an emotionally damaged person and call them beautiful , they are hooked. The need for approval is like a drug to certain people. They will fiend for the way that someone actually likes what they look like or act like and keep finding more. Doesn’t matter whether or not the other person is safe, it’s just the feeling that matters.

It is up to strong women to fight these social conditions and try their hardest not to fall into the path of a prostitute. It will most likely endanger their children, ruin their lives and put them as a human in great physical and emotional danger. They do not have to choose this life for themselves yet what most fail to realize is that they have such low thoughts about themselves that they just don’t care anymore. These women become numb to society and just see the money and the way that these men make them “feel beautiful”

Thoughts © Maria Campagna

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Don’t Call Me Crazy!

Review of “On Being Sane In Insane Places” by David L. Rosenhan

Say you are a “mentally ill” patient. You are there for whatever reason whether it be you, that goes in yourself, or possibly court mandated or just a suggestion by a doctor. As you walk into the hospital you are immediately evaluated, possibly given certain clothing to wear to distinguish you as a patient and given a pretty basic room. The doctors will treat you as if you are an experiment or just another crazy person. They will poke and prod at your problems and try to “assess” you. What I mean by “assess” is they try to figure out what is wrong with you. The whole time you are there you are constantly told that there is something wrong with you and that you don’t function as a normal person in society, hence why you are here in the first place. Isn’t this enough to make you go insane just from being there?

Labeling theory can work against the person or group you are observing due to the fact that it does exactly what it says, labels you. Much like in society if you are labeled as a genius, you feel like a genius and probably will tend to do better in school due to the fact that people see you as such. This is not true of all cases, but most you will see that the person being labeled will program themselves to think so.

Especially in a mental health setting, if you begin to label your patients a schizophrenic won’t they begin to really think they are? Possibly bringing out these behaviors due to the fact that they now are programmed to think as such?

Especially in this article when they did the experiment and asked the staff at the mental institution who were psuedopatients and who were not they answered that 41 patients out of 193 were in fact psuedopatients and the kicker was the fact that there were actually no psuedopatients in that particular facility. It makes you think whether or not all of these people in institutions should really be there.

I agree with the fact that certain people are clearly mentally disturbed but the majority of the population is not. There is so much diversity among us that it will create differences in emotions, how we act, and more importantly how we perceive the world. Which is another important note to mention, just because we perceive someone a certain way does not mean that they are abnormal, it could just simply be due to the fact that they are different than us.

In order to properly diagnose and treat people based on what they really are having a tough time with there should most certainly be some guidelines to follow. First and foremost, do not make the patient seem like they are abnormal. They must feel comfortable with themselves and you in order for the doctor or psychologist to really get to know the person. If someone feels threatened or uncomfortable with the fact that you think they are indeed crazy, chances are they won’t open up to you.

Second, the environment must be completely non-threatening. The patient should feel sort of like they’re at home or in a friends house. Comfy chairs, nice paintings on the wall and possibly some soft music.

Third, they must know that there is nothing wrong with them coming to get help or even if they are there against their means they must understand that a psychologist or even a mental health facility does not mean that they are crazy. Explain to them that just because there is a label on mental clinics and hospitals as being for people that are “insane” is just a labeling by society. With that, you can even explain to them the labeling theory and start off with an educational and interesting conversation.

Thoughts © Maria Campagna

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Ronald McDonald Is Taking Over The World

Review of “McJobs: McDonaldization and the Workplace” by George Ritzer (Link not available)

After reading this article, I now know what to call certain things that I have noticed in my daily life. The fact that the company clearly wants to figure out ways to enable them to gain more money without spending more money is just a given statement. I guess that is us, as the consumer, who are truly the fools in this situation and the employees are just expendable.

I’m sure you have noticed this, in Stop and Shop they now have cash registers that the customer scans and pays for the items themselves. This is a clear example of McDonaldization in the fact that the employee is being replaced with a machine and now the store only requires one employee to watch after 4 machines as opposed to 4 employees per register. This also provides the company with much less room to mess up cash transactions as the machine takes money and calculates change. The only thing that I have seen wrong with it, and this is because I have done it, is the produce buttons. If I’m buying expensive produce such as an eggplant (Because it’s not eggplant season yet) I’ll click on a different and cheaper produce and just weigh the eggplant as such. Not only do they have electronic cash registers, but now they have scanners that the customer scans each item as they put it into their cart and just scans the scanner at the end (or something along those lines) and quick pays for it. This will reduce lines and waiting times and of course those two things are very appealing to Mom’s who own screaming children.

I have also noticed this McDonaldization is when we register for classes. We no longer need to go to the registrar (Unless you have remedial courses) to register for our classes. We do it online which will save the college money in employing people to be behind the registrar’s desks. It’s simple and it’s efficient for the college because everything is online, it already knows the student due to the fact that we must put our N number in the system and in two seconds everything is done. I’m sure all colleges have this feature. No longer needing to go to a person to register, now cuts out how many people the college needs to employ to register students.

There are so many more places that have this McDonaldization such as food buffets, where the customer gets their food from a centralized location. ATM are also another example providing electronic service to individual’s bank accounts 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Bank of America even has a deposit system where you can deposit your checks and/or cash into their ATM.
It’s starting to pop up everywhere and has been an ever-growing trend in the United States especially due to the fact that since the consumer themselves finds it more convenient. There would be an argument that people would want things done for them but I believe that since the expanding “Me” generation has been booming, people will actually want to do things themselves because they simply don’t want the human interaction. That’s a scary thought that people will want to start doing things for themselves because they don’t want others doing it for them or they don’t want to talk to anyone. Just goes to show how although we as a society are being socialized a certain way, the individual can bank on not having to socialize at all.

Thoughts © Maria Campagna

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