Access to Higher Education

Tuition fees in the 1990 to present.

Tuition fees in the 1990 to present (CBC).

University tuition rising to record levels in Canada

This article (and the video in it) looks at the problem of the rising tuition fees for students in Canada. The school fees in the 1990s have steadily rose from $1,464 to $6,348 in 2013. This issue is becoming problematic for this notion of universal access to education since only the ones who can afford it are the ones getting higher education. The schools argue that because the government stopped putting priority in funding these the education system, students are affected by the implications of less funding. Yes, there are things that can help you pay tuition, such as grants, scholarships, and loans. For things such as bursaries and scholarships, the competitions to get these are increasing with people not being able to afford tuition, in which will affect the standards on how to get these (most likely making the standards higher and difficult to achieve).

Student loans are becoming prevalent in these situations, but you will eventually have to pay it off and it will only show how much this education made its toll. Like Rochelle, in the article, who knows that she will be in more than $50000 in debt, many students will also be in the same position. Graduating and getting your degree will not guarantee a job, so it will be even harder to pay off student debt (that will only keep going up with interest). The article adds that the tuition rate will exponentially increase in the future. The article also looks at the debt caps for students as a possible solution, but it seems that because students take private debts to help pay off the education fees they will ultimately still be over the debt caps. It certainly opens up the discussion on the function of the school as being accessible to people in all social strata.


Holla at me?

This video is a response to the catcalling video ad by hollaback, a non-profit organization to stop street harassment. The debate between Amanda Seales and Steve Santagati illustrates two different views on street harassment. Amanda Seales argues that it is a problem because it propagates the objectification of women. She states that the moment women steps out of her home, they are expected to be smiling and available to accept the “compliments” they receive. Steve Santagati disagree, he thinks the opposite. Women live to be complimented and would have not cared if the people who were “complimenting” them on the streets were attractive and not the “no class” people that were present in the video. The problem with Santagati’s argument, according to Seales, is that it is trying to question why women would have a problem with catcalling.

The catcalling video itself is problematic because it has many flaws such as the white catcallers being edited out, the location is rather limited (it is only in some streets of New York), and the nature of it being an advertisement. How serious should this video be taken? Seales tells us that this is a reality that happens everyday, and especially in New York where women cannot easily remove themselves in public space using a car, it seems more extreme. Santagati argues that if it really is this serious why would women choose not to fight back to the street harassers. It just shows the privilege of men when they believe that women can just refuse advancements and expect to be alive after; Seales gave the example of the Detroit woman who was killed from refusing advancements from men. There are many other examples of women being killed because of catcalling. Despite the view whether cat calling is a serious problem or something harmless, this issue illustrates how misogynistic ideas are socialized into societal norms.

Highlighting The Dysfuction in The System

View of the Municipal Palace in Chilpancingo, Guerrero state after students set it on fire on October 13, 2014.(AFP Photo / Yuri Cortez)

View of the Municipal Palace in Chilpancingo, Guerrero state after students set it on fire on October 13, 2014.(AFP Photo / Yuri Cortez)

Furious students burn Mexican govt. building in protest over police corruption

The article gives us an example of how deviant behaviour is used to highlight what is not working in the system. Last month, protestors from Ayotzinapa college were going to Iguala to join a protest against the imposed rise of university fees, and also commemorate the people killed who were also protesting the infringement of student’s rights in 1968. Unfortunately, the police attacked the protestors and some were shot and others were taken. Days later they found about 30 bodies of the students in the protest in a mass grave, burned. Many of the student’s classmates started a riot demanding justice for what the police and their leaders have done. Protestors have attacked the Municipal Palace in Chilpancingo, Guerreroin protest. The authorities have arrested 26 officers that are allegedly working with a powerful drug cartel, who were responsible for the mass graves that were found. They are also trying to arrest the mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Albarca, who may be the intellectual behind the atrocity, but he and his wife are in hiding. This protest has shown the world that one must do whatever it needs to in order to make a change.

Double Standards: Reene vs Ferguson Riot

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Ferguson’s amazing pumpkin-spiced protest reveals America’s repugnant double standard on race

The article talks about the double standards when it comes to race in America. A protest in St. Louis that was organized by Derek Laney uses pumpkins as a symbol of white privilege in the country, in light of recent events in Reene, New Hampshire. The Pumpkin Riot in Reene, became a big news over the internet speher because of how this riot have been covered in contrast to the riot in Ferguson. The media tries to normalize the action of the people in the riot, who were mostly white, unlike the brutalization of the protest in Ferguson in the past months. The article Why Pumpkin Fest riots are not like Ferguson explains that the Ferguson and Reene riot should not be compared because they both stem from different type of motivation and circumstance, but it does open up the discussion of how people perceive black behaviours compared to white behaviours. It discusses how white behaviour are normalized by treating it as “kids being kids” mentality (as stated by Derek Laney), while the behaviours of people in the black community becomes stigmatized. This is what Laney is trying to spread; white people do not have the same worry that the black community have, especially in the setting of revolutionary actions.

A dramatic hearing for killers of Tina Fontaine’s father

Tina Fontaine’s family weeps as men who killed father apologize

On October 31st, 2011, Jonathan Starr and Nicholas Abraham murdered Eugene Fontaine. As the hearing carried on, the court discovered that Starr and Fontaine “got into a fight over money”. Two and a half years after this murder, Eugene’s daughter, Tina was found dead in the Red River in August. The Fontaine family believe that Eugene’s murder influenced the death of Tina. This tragedy goes along with crime and social deviance because Starr and Abraham both broke norms of society making them deviants. If one would look at this situation through the eyes of a functional analyst, they would see that society should be a well-organized machine. However, because of this murder, everything is thrown off balance making it difficult to return to society to how it was before.


Conflict Theory and Censorship

Protesters in Hong Kong holding up their smart phones (by: Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Here’s the Ingenious Way Protesters in Hong Kong Are Organizing Themselves

The protest for democracy in Hong Kong gives us an insight on how social power works in society. In the article, they introduce a new mode of communication called FireChat, there are some pros and some cons, but overall it will be influential in the protest. The main point of the article is to inform people of a new form of communication for the protesters, in Hong Kong, to organize themselves since major social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have been blocked off by the government to prevent further organization of protestors. This event is relevant to conflict theory is that this new mode of communication is being used because of the government’s hold on media. Being able to censor things in one’s society is extremely powerful because it can disrupt people’s way of thinking. Due to the government’s power to create systems of control, their ability to close off networks to their advantage shows the power inequality between the elite and the masses.

Florida Man Guilty of Murdering Teen in Fight Over Loud Music

Loud Music Killing

Defendant Michael Dunn walks back into the courtroom after a short afternoon break during his trial in the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Fla. on Sept. 27, 2014.

On October 1st Michael Dunn was found guilty of 1st degree murder of the shooting of 17 year old Jordan Davis. The murder occurred because Davis was listening to loud music that clearly troubled Dunn. When the jury proclaimed the verdict to the public, Dunn showed “no emotion”. This current event goes along with social deviance because it does indeed break a social norm. In today’s society if someone is doing something that is disturbing the peace, one should not resort to violence, especially gun violence. The social norm is that one should kindly ask the person to stop what they are doing; if they refuse, then one should call the police.