As a graduation requirement in the College of Letters & Science at UC Berkeley, I am required to take an American Cultures course. I elected to take an introductory sociology class. And, I believe I have never ever came across a course that is, well, so "progressive." It's not that I just disagree with some of the views presented in this course, but, more so, that I am quite shocked at the topics that are so openly discussed in this course. Moreover, many of the views are those that I might not personally agree with.
So far, we have discussed unequal opportunities that minorities, largely African-Americans, face in the education system, discrimination based on gender and on sexual orientation. Additionally, we have talked at great lengths about how African-Americans are largely left out of the educational system as the current educational system is not culturally sensitive to the historical legacy of slavery.
Nonetheless, in the classroom, perhaps it's the professor or perhaps it's the maturity level of the students, but the classroom setting is very agreeable to discussion. And, as participation is ten percent of the final grade, which is on a straight grading scale (93% - 97% A, 90-93% A-, etc...) and as not a great many students expressed views that are not too dissimilar from those of the general lectures, I have some how come to take on the role of presenting the far right's side of the view by default.
On any given question, I feel I am giving a generic answer that, perhaps, Sean Hannity might give. I don't mind, but today, at the risk of getting shot, I said sexual orientation is a choice for all, but a small fraction of the population. Moreover, I said that by giving equal rights to those that do not have a choice, this will tend to encourage homosexual behavior. Of course, I added in that this is probably why the far right continue to say sexual preferences are a choice, but at the same it made me wonder how some of these talking heads on FOX and MSNBC really do say what they say with a straight face. I mean do they really believe what they say or are they just spouting the platform of their political leaders.
However, on a secondary note, it did make me think that it would be a great idea to re-introduce the draft. I mean there's multiple arguments about how it'd make the U.S. more reluctant to go to war and the like, but I'm saying this strictly on the basis that, well, there are lots of different types of people in this country that I will never meet. I cannot think of something that will build a national American identity than serving the country together in the armed forces with people from say, Idaho, Alabama, or San Francisco.
"How has your own educational experience been influenced by the socio-economic context of your home community and high school? What broader conclusions can your draw about the relationship between education and the reproduction of class inequalities?"