Kaldor's Intro to Sociology Fall 2013

About this class

Students in this class will be blogging about social problems around the world. Student bloggers will review journalism, social science research, and films concerning social problems in a variety of countries.

SUNY Brockport
by jburg6 on November 18, 2013
Every day there are social interactions between people and different cultures. Some of these interactions are good and some are bad. In the film 5 Broken Cameras (Burnat and Davidi, 2011) the social interaction occurring is between two different ethnic groups. Their relationships with each other get worse every day. There are many different cultures and ethnic groups around the world, close by and far away. One group should not judge or disturb any other group for any reason.

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SUNY Brockport
by sfarn1 on November 18, 2013
In the film "Even in the Rain" the controversial theme of colonialism is presented and it shows the audience how colonialism is not only a thing of the past but how it still exists today in our culture.

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SUNY Brockport
by ckeat1 on November 18, 2013
The film Sugar Cane Alley (Euzhan Palcy, 1983) takes place in the 1930s on the island of Martinique. The idea of this film was to portray life for Africans on the island living under French Colonial rule. While Jose, the main character, and his fellow neighboring children do not have to work in the sugar cane fields all day, all adults in the village are summoned to cut sugar for profit. Due to this scenario, modernization is a key theme in this movie.                                                                     

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SUNY Brockport
by dmast1 on November 18, 2013
A sociological view on the documentary of Somewhere Between, of the lives of four adopted young Chinese women and their struggles of identity.

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SUNY Brockport
by ewolf2 on November 18, 2013
Somewhere Between (2011) directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton is a film displaying the lives of four adopted Chinese girls after being given up for adoption because of the “one child policy” in China. The film portrays the hardships of social interactions upon adopted children when meeting new people and of course their birth parents.

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SUNY Brockport
by ichar1 on November 18, 2013
In the film Welcome (2009) young Bilal is in love with Mina but, time isn’t on his side when Mina’s father is forcing her into an arrange marriage across the world. Despite the fact that Mina loves Bilal she’s torn between him and her family. Will she follow her heart and cut off the wedding or will she put family first?

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SUNY Brockport
by ssmit16 on November 18, 2013
In today’s society it is becoming more and more normal for families to adopt children, not only from the United States, but countries all over the world as well.  In Somewhere Between (Knowlton, 2011), a mother—also the director of the film—aims to uncover some of the identity confusion faced by children who were adopted internationally.  Knowlton interviews a selection of biologically Asian girls who were adopted into American and English families.  Knowlton’s goal is to understand these girls’ self identities and the way their lacking knowledge of their birth parents and birth co

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SUNY Brockport
by ahike1 on November 18, 2013
Welcome is a film, which was directed by Philippe Lioret released in 2009 that is an example of immigration being discriminated against. Bilal was the immigrant that was trying to swim across the English Channel from France to get to the UK to live with his girlfriend. Simon was a friend that he made a relationship with that coached him to help complete the journey. As they grew closer with a stronger relationship, Simon provided Bilal with shelter by providing him a place to sleep in his home, which was illegal.

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SUNY Brockport
by cclar6 on November 18, 2013
The film “Somewhere Between” directed by Lisa Goldstein is a poignant, touching documentary focusing on four teenage girls, all having gone through similar experiences throughout their childhood. The one thing that each of these girls have in common is that they were adopted from orphanages in China when they were young children, and now live with American families.

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SUNY Brockport
by hhuey1 on November 18, 2013
The social structure of building a new life after crossing country borders is about doing what you are told.

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SUNY Brockport
by mkonu2 on November 18, 2013
Deviances are any behaviors or physical appearances that are socially challenged or condemned because it departs from the norms or expectations of the group. Deviances are evanescent and are shaped by the different societies in which we live. In My Beautiful Launderette (Frears and Kureishi, 1985), a film that exemplifies social deviance very well, Frears depicts how social deviances affected the lives of Pakistani’s living in Britain in the 1980s. To accompany these deviances were issues involving the class differences, ethnic differences, and issues surrounding social mobility.

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SUNY Brockport
by treyn1 on November 18, 2013
In the film Somewhere Between (Knowlton, 2011), adoption across international borders for instance, China and the United States, is a process that depends on multiple fictions. The young girls at the orphanages are given a random birthday, rarely no biological roots or relatives that could have taken care of them, and usually labeled as young as possible so international adopters like the American families in the film are willing to adopt these young girls so they can raise and watch them grow up. As a result of the falsification of records through the Chinese adoption agencies, this causes for the four girls as they grow up in America with their adoptive parents to wonder who they are, and what their biological roots are. This produces controversy within the girls as whether to keep the fiction of their unknown past alive or to seek and discover who they really are and find out where their biological family remains.

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SUNY Brockport
by avers2 on November 18, 2013
Diouana is a young woman from Dakar who ends up moving to France in order to work for a French family. She works for the family as a “care taker” for the children in Black Girl (La noire de) by Osumane Sembène (1966). Diouana was thrilled when she was given the job because she had expected it to be everything she had ever dreamed of and more. Diouana’s expectations consisted of a better social standing, more opportunities and a sense of freedom. To her surprise she was greatly disappointed with almost the opposite of her anticipations. The film focuses heavily on culture change, identity and discrimination.

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SUNY Brockport
by dloca1 on November 18, 2013
For many people that haven’t experienced different cultures or are privileged enough to not have to experience hardship, it can be difficult to relate to those types of situations. The film Even the Rain (También la Lluvia) (Bollaín, 2010) shows a case of crossing borders.

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SUNY Brockport
by nfazz1 on November 18, 2013
The social interactions of two different cultures are challenged in the film Welcome, and the characters are faced with social issues, along with ethical dilemmas throughout the film.

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SUNY Brockport
by cclan2 on November 18, 2013
In the film Even the Rain directed by Icíar Bollaín in 2010, a few social interactions caught my attention. One of these being when the Bolivian Police put the padlocks on the water well that a few villagers from Cochabamba had just dug for their families.

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SUNY Brockport
by mmann5 on November 18, 2013
The thought provoking film, Welcome, displays the difficulty of asylum seekers and romance.

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SUNY Brockport
by alara1 on November 18, 2013
The documentary, Somewhere Between by Linda Goldstein Knowlton, focuses on four teenage girls who were adopted from China by American families.  These are about their adjustments into American culture and trying to find their identity.  All the teenage girls want to meet their parents and become connected to their culture because they feel disconnected.   China has implemented the One Child Policy, where a family is only allowed one child.  The family prefers a son because he will carry on the family name and take care of the parents when they are old.

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8 years 1 month ago

As I was scrolling through NewsActivist, the title of your article popped out at me. Although I did not see this film, after reading your review, I really wish I got a chance to watch it. Your explanations were very clear and gave me a desire to watch this movie on my own time. Racism and discrimination is still remains in the workforce today in America, although it is very subtle. For example, in my Race, Class, and Gender course, we talked about how Walmart and other department stores give women a lower wage than men and tend to avoid hiring black females as cashiers. People in many different cultures all want to achieve their dreams and do what’s best for themselves. Diouana made a strong attempt, but the harshness from the French couple and the overwhelming experience from culture shock led her to a make a drastic and unfortunate decision. Although I have never experienced gender or racial discrimination in the workplace, it is obvious that it still exists today.

Reply to: The Power of Love
8 years 1 month ago

This was one of the movies I truly enjoyed. The story was captivating and moving. I enjoyed seeing the change in Simon's character as he got to know Bilal. In the end, I believe his death brought him and his ex-wife closer, but also changed him as a person. The cultural strains that Simon and Bilal went through together were tough. They were thing I would have never thought would have been a problem. Unfortunately for some people, it takes a lot to see beyond the race and culture of another human being. But that is what eventually happened. I agree, the ending with sad. But it also gave a sense of completion and a feeling of a good lesson learned.

8 years 1 month ago

What happened in the Philippines was an absolute tragedy. I don't understand why it got so little media coverage. The casualties were huge, the injured larger. The Philippines is not that large, many of these people have no where to go. I have read that the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders have been closely involved with giving aid. It's horrifying to think what would happen if a major disease spread through the country. They need more aid and more attention. Many of their living conditions were not good in the first place. Hopefully they find a quick path to recovery.

8 years 1 month ago

I really enjoyed reading your article. I have always known about the one-child policy that china has had but I never really thought about what that meant. Mainly because in America were so used to people having and wanting semi big families. There are barely and Movies or stories about families with an only child in the United States. So to hear that their “plan” is backfiring actually makes sense now that I understand more about Chinese culture. Now I know that a boy is preferred, so if a boy is preferred then everyone’s going to try to have a boy, and then if everyone tries to have boys then eventually it won’t balance out anymore. I think you did a very good job and spreading awareness about different changes and modifications that are happening in other countries.

8 years 1 month ago

I think you did a great job on this post. The title really captured me because I was able to almost relate to the situation of having some sort of “forbidden friendship.” I feel like this topic is very accurately depicted in your article. I like how you started it out with yes/no questions people would probably answer in their heads, this sort of draws the reader in especially if they answered yes to one of them. I didn’t see the movie before I read the article but after watching the movie, this is a very good summary of it. It really makes the reader almost feel and imagine the bond that was formed between Simon and Bilal.

8 years 1 month ago

I agree with your comment that it is a positive thing that China seems to be making more of an effort to lessen the severity of their One Child Policy. Personally, I think this law is ridiculous and almost unethical. Reproduction is one of the most common and natural things for humans to do. It is what keeps the world population up and the economies thriving. To think that one of the most advanced countries in the modern world has a government system that made a written law telling its citizens they are not allowed to have more than one child is beyond my comprehension. This is a basic human right and if a couple chooses to start a family of their own, who is to say that they should have to limit the size of it? Though I understand China is one of the most densely populated countries in the world for its size, and some type of action needs to be taken, I do not think this is the way to go. I was very glad to hear that they were going to lift this law, even if it is only adding one more child to certain families. I think that there are alternative ways to control the population rather than dictating the size of a family.

8 years 1 month ago

I can relate to your blog post a lot but in a different situation. instead of it being with my family it was with my elementary school. I went to a school that had both Haspanic and African American, which is what I am. However the majority of the school was Hispanic.Going to a dominitly Hispanic school made me feel like I didn't belong there. I had some African American friends but that was it. You was always able to see the separtion between the two races even when we got to the 5th grade you could still see the separation between all of us. I felt that while in school i was an outcast but after school i felt more comfortable.

8 years 1 month ago

I think this is a very well written post! I agree with many of the points you have made about adoption and how the four girls must feel about their situations. As wrong as it is to say, it seems that in society if an individual looks noticeably different than the others he/she is surrounded with, they will be treated much differently, often times not in a good way. Though the girls were adopted at young ages, raised by American families, and practice traditional American culture, they still look Chinese and it will always be clear that they are not truly “American”. It is interesting because I have two friends that were adopted from China as babies, and they constantly say that the only thing Chinese about them is their physical appearance. In a way, it is good that they were able to comfortably adapt to American culture with ease. On the other hand, though, sometimes they wish that they had more cultural ties to their Asian heritage. Regardless, cultural adaptation is a prevalent occurrence when it comes to adoption. Great post!

8 years 1 month ago

I agree with your post because i feel that the one child policy is unfair to the parents who want to have more than one child. Its not only unfair to the parents but to the child as well. Being that I am the only childi feel that growing up without another sibling was somewhat boring because even though I was always around my cousins when it was time for me to go home I found myself to be very bored because i had no one to play with. And I feel that at a young age a child should be around kids his/her age to interact with. Ifeel that the one child policy is putting a restriction on families and what their allowed to do. Also your statements on the abolishment of labor camps is something that i also agree with, by getting rid of the one child policy and labor camps will allow China to grow more ifficently and become more modernize.

8 years 1 month ago

This post on the chosen article was very interesting being that it applies to one of the most influential topics in today’s society in the United States. When two individuals become parents, each individual has a set way and specific standard as to how they want their child to be raised. This is usually based on past experiences or even various instances witnessed throughout their life span. But when it is actually time for the person to raise the child, they experiences many different types of circumstances that may set them back or set them a foot forward, whatever instance it may be, the pre intended way the parent wanted to the child to be raised may need be altered. But parenting is not the only thing that can be related to the child’s drug use. The parents may do everything right in their hand book of parenting but when it comes down to the amount and the exact extent in which the child was exposed to the drugs, that can also be a big factor on what the child decides to get involved with.

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