Ana Awmack Juan
Dr. Charles Quist-Adade
December 21, 2011
Sociology Final Reflective Essay
Reflecting back on the course, the idea that stands out the most is “debunking”. We examined what the concept of debunking is, how it can be used as a tool in questioning the perceived norms and ideologies of society, and how it has helped to provide change by giving a voice to individuals that are affected by these views.
The definition of debunking, as found in the lecture notes, is “looking at both the obvious and surface-level and the less obvious and deeper explanations for social behaviour” (Quist Adade, pg 10). The concept of debunking is a tool that helps us look deeper into societal ideologies, such as the idea of various human races or the perceptions of homosexuality.
The idea of race is a social construct that has marginalized and dehumanized individuals that belong to what are viewed as inferior races or groups. It has been proven biologically, through genetic testing, that the differences between “race groups” are very slight, with genetic differences of only a few percent, ranging from 1.1-3.2% (Quist Adade, pg 100). In essence, we are one human race with different physical characteristics due to our adaptations to our environments over generations. Looking at the movie Indecently Exposed, Jane Elliott does a great job in trying to debunk perceived notions of native peoples, as well as minorities. She does this through education and makes individuals that are considered to be from the “superior race” walk in the shoes of a minority person for an hour and experience how they feel and how they have been treated throughout their whole life.
The concept of debunking has also helped to question ideologies and norms of societal perceptions on issues such as homosexuality. Homosexuality is been perceived as wrong and against God and nature by conservative ideologies. The use of debunking has helped to change views such as the idea that homosexuality is a choice, or that the human interpretations of the bible are the exact views of God. Debunking the ideas of race and homosexuality has helped to give a voice to individuals that may have been previously marginalized and subjected to scrutiny.
By debunking previous colonialistic, ethnocentric and heterosexist views of minority groups, we can become a more diverse society. As time passes, there is evidence of acceptance of minorities, such as the end of slavery, the election of a black president, and the legalization of same-sex marriages in certain places. These achievements are thanks to individuals that have questioned norms that may not seem fair or correct to others, even if the rest of the world has seen it differently.
Debunking has been a great tool in changing societal ideologies and norms that have marginalized individuals that are members of minority groups. Only through constant debunking and education can we change ignorant and uneducated views of individuals and their groups. Before this course, I too had the perception that there were various races but now I know that this was an ignorant and ethnocentric perception.
Elliott, Jane (2004). Indecently Exposed. WestWind Pictures video documentary.
Quist Adade, Charles (2011). Social Structures and Processes. Lecture Notes. Surrey, B.C.: Kwantlen Polytec University.