According to Sapir and Whorf, language is the lens by which we see the world. Language is enriched as we define and redefine everyday realities, and new articulations, through an agreement on the meanings of letter combinations, emerge. Over the years, what is oral – words we would hear only in informal conversations among certain social groups – start to seep into mainstream culture and even become part of the lexicon. And as shown in the picture, this has also allowed us to perceive everyday realities in more colorful ways.
In denying that a culture of poverty exists or in saying that we should just respect the values of the poor and not impose our own middle or upper class ones, we might be inadvertently supporting structures too.
Our economy is growing dramatically but poverty rates are not dropping substantially. Where have we gone wrong? To begin with, faulty paradigms about the poor.
Upon squinting our eyes to the sun, we feel our skin wrapped with sunlight that provokes feelings for the summer season, causing us to quiver lightly, always ambiguous at its memory and attracted to its significance.
Capitalist development driven by a maximisation of profit for the owners and shareholders makes it prone to practices that are environmentally unsustainable, that promote a kind of individualism that disregards the fortunes and efforts of others, and that disrupts social mores. They often obstruct flows that meet basic needs, endanger livelihoods of those dependent on natural capital, and furthermore accelerate inequality and disrupt social cohesion within the community.
Why have reactions to Charice’s coming out been so harsh? Was it because she was popular, unlike the regular “tomboys” we see around our neighborhoods or in school? Was it because she was merely a kid when she came out of the closet?
The movie Fifty Shades has drawn much interest, concern, and criticism from different people around the world. People have shown different and conflicting attitudes toward the film with some commending the film and some bashing the film extensively. The film, based on the book written by British author E.L. James, was about the love story between a literature major Anastacia Steele and the young and wealthy entrepreneur, Christian Grey.
While I am not a fan of Tony Meloto’s ideas about social entrepreneurship – a business will never be “social” unless the poor are made partners and equals in management and decision-making – one cannot argue with 1.25 million people housed with his (and Gawad Kalinga’s) goal of instilling discipline and putting an end to a culture of poverty in GK communities.
While we may not have a quick and ready solution to this long-standing peace and security problem in Southern Philippines, we also have a responsibility to examine the social processes that we create and re-create everyday and that lead to the construction of a divisive social structure. (Image by Patricia Evangelista/Rappler)
Food lovers, check out this mind map that depicts issues about the food we eat and the social structure within which our personal food habits are located.