Category Archives: Structure and Action

Who Shot First?


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Who Shot First?

The conflict between Israel and Palestinians occupying Gaza isn’t new news– their war has spanned more than 20 years, with the off and on firing of missiles claiming a multitude of civilian lives and spurring on the continuation and escalation of the bombings. Social networking sites are being used by current citizens to publicize how exactly the warring is occuring, using tweets to note the elevation of the combat and the course the Isareli armies are taking through the streets and bodies of water surrounding Gaza. What isn’t being talked about enough is the political implications that have driven this war to be active for so long.

In the video linked, Hillary Clinton speaks of her previous negotiation of a ceasefire in 2012 between the two warring parties & the separation of power between Mahmoud Abbas followers and Hamas members and how exactly that’s split the Palestinian people and further instigated the Israeli drive to war. In the video, Clinton explains that during the ceasefire she helped to negotiate between Palestine & Israel, Abbas was working with the Isreali government to orchestrate a peaceful juncture in which the two could meet and discuss a course of action. Now that Abbas is gone, the Israeli people are met with Hamas, a presumably ‘for the people’ public organization working for the freedom of the Palestinian people. Yet what Isreal sees themselves up against is a militaristic, violently resistant front that continues to resist any cooperation and compromising.

What’s seen in play here is a definitive shift in power where political issues are being held in a public arena, using warfare to force the strength of one side over the other instead of being able to come together and discuss with one another a less violent course of action. Ceasefires have currently been proposed by Isreal and agreed upon by Egypt, only to come to vehement disagreement by Hamas because the cease will not address all of their stipulations. Stewart seems to believe Hamas is disagreeing because those stipulations are important and, as the voice of the people, they will not back down until all are agreed upon.

One thing both Clinton and Stewart can agree on is that the entrapment occurring & being inflicted upon the Palestinian people is disgraceful and unwarranted. The amount of hatred both sides have for their opposition that’s been instilled in their current culture has only come to create destruction, dysfunction, and a driven desire for eradication of their ‘enemies’ that will only continue to grow if the war isn’t properly handled very soon.

Submitted by Promise Hartung

Stab at College Rape Culture


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Stab at College Rape Culture

All over the country there have been pushes to reform how colleges and universities deal with Rape. It has been found that when a rape or sexual assault was reported, certain universities tried to hide it or let the offender get off with a slap on the hand. Rape is wrong and by trying to protect the offenders, these institutions are basically justifying it and making it seem like its not such a bad crime. These students across the country are using their power of defiance to bring light to a problem in our society. They are challenging the powers of their university and giving a voice to those who were victims and weren’t heard. Hopefully their actions bring a change in the way these things are not only handled by these educational institutions but also by this country.

Submitted by Jayla O’Neal

Culture, Power, and Social Structure in Medicine


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Culture, Power, and Social Structure in Medicine

I found this news article fascinating as it expresses a range of sociological themes through one single news article. As an aspiring physician, I am routinely intrigued by news in the medical community, and also hope to travel abroad to provide care internationally.
From looking at the image alone, there are clear differences or examples of inequality that also present themselves as differences in culture, power, and structure. Culturally there is a difference between the healthcare providers who traveled from the USA and other established countries, and then there are the patients, who have been suffering from disease and do not normally have access to healthcare. Additionally, social structures identify between patient and physician, introducing more than cultural norms to the mix in providing treatment. This also goes hand in hand with the role of power, as physicians are given a responsibility to do no harm through their creed as well as provide for the care of the diseased.
This article discusses the Ebola outbreak in Guinea which is a hot topic to discuss, as many lives are being affected through the epidemic and organizations such as Medecins San Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) are taking on the responsibility to aid the communities affected. Whether focusing on the macro level of healthcare or the micro level of patient-doctor interactions, the bottom line comes down to helping humanity and aiding life, whether in America in a practice, or flying out to across the Atlantic to save a life.
The discussion of the mob involvement struck me as interesting as it introduced a new party into the mix. The traditional power structure was changed, and the status quo was changed in a sense. Additionally, the inclusion o politics changed the scope of the situation and escalated it to a broader problem.
Moreover, by the mob accusing the physicians of bringing the Ebola virus, it was a clearer example of the varying levels of power and social structure. With a lack of scientific education, the mob members did not have the power to challenge the doctors’ science and creed, and the culture of the mob challenged the acceptance of good Samaritans into their community, thus lacking faith in their harmless intentions.
In conclusion, this article and image packs a sociological punch, whether from the political or scientific perspective. On my end, I am happy that I can see these varying connections, and to be able to see how things all appear differently on different levels from a sociological lens.

Submitted by Dhruv Sethi

The Sociological Totem Pole


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The Sociological Totem Pole

The image above represents much of the world today. This image caught my eye right away when I saw it because it represents many of the categories that we have talked about in this course thus far. It represents power, social structure, inequality and much more of our society today. Both the micro-levels and the meso-levels of social structure are seen within this image; it shows the structure of interaction between individuals (micro-level) and the structure of organization when the churches become involved (meso-level). The image accurately portrays the connection between the different statuses in our society today and this is why I found it so interesting.

Submitted by Memu-Iye Kamara