April 08, 2009

socio 570.

monday in class we discussed how the urban ghettos are being flipped by wealthy entrepreneurs into million dollar condos. this displaces thousands of poor individuals all over the U.S. you can see this in the P&L district in downtown kansas city.

we talk about how wealthy suburbanites get to go to school, get a degree, and ultimately utilize their privilege to change the face of the world, and we talked about how the poor don't have this privilege and are subject to whatever the wealthy decide to do with the world. they don't really have a choice; hence, why they're being displaced by the wealthy business grads.

my class is comprised almost entirely of white kids - most from johnson county - who are taking this course as a required sociology elective in order to graduate. as i sit in class i start to realize that this class is just another handful of white suburbanites who will go on to have their way in the world while those less forunate are forced to deal with the consequences.

every time the class meets i'm tempted to chime in with something to the effect of "what are we going to do to change this?" or "so are we just another generation of wealthy entrepreneurs?" or "is there something we can do - after taking this course - that would go against the typical flow of privilege?"

it's interesting, and i feel like i'm actually learning something (a rarity for me in public education), but i wish every single day that my professor would turn the corner and move the class away from "this is what is happening" to "here's what we can do about it". i guess that's not the point of a public education, but i can't help but think that would be a little bit more motivating.

maybe i'm just more interested in social justice. who knows. but i certainly would have liked to have been challenged more in school - not just with a larger workload - but challenged on a more personal level instead.



Emily said...

you should chime in with one of those questions. Even if you don't come up with the answer, you might inspire other people to start thinking like you do.

em. said...

you should totally say something, because this sounds exactly like my philo. class last semester when we were talking about white privilege...i didn't say anything because i was really frustrated and i should have.

oh, and i agree with emily..the emily above me!

Melissa said...

Maybe one great thing about your education is that it presents all this information...which then allows You to challenge yourself/your peers using your Own motivation and vision? It just seems like whatever results from that could be more genuine/lasting.
My prayer is that we "white suburbanites who will go on to have(our) way in the world" will end up turning the world on its head with the ways we decide to engage the less fortunate.
Great post.