One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Reading Society

My first cultural shock at time, when even I hadn’t heard of cultural shock was when I saw some boys from a religious minority community of Quetta city had dyed their hairs with medium blond. It was a Reflex Reaction like those of Knee-jerk reaction when one steps in some sharp thing or eye-blinking to sudden exposure of intense light as I hadn’t seen anybody dying hair in blond color. Though it was a cultural shock but it allowed me to understand the layered society that I was growing in. The dyeing of hair was an expression of dissatisfaction of those boys with their appearances and status in the society. In short it was a sign of identity dissatisfaction. Later on, I found this phenomenon is cosmopolitan and people change their appearances as a sign of identity dissatisfaction. Some religious minorities in Quetta were living in walled colonies and were attached largely to specific professions like sweepers in Municipality, Nurses in Hospitals and as Railway Workers. Those were kinds of jobs that others communities generally hesitating to have. It was not only religious minorities who were somewhat involved in those professions but also a sub-tribe by name of “Lodhi” who were largely iron-smith by profession and it was common to see them in Quetta making and repairing iron tools. In fact, it was really offensive to call someone Lodhi (it was meant useless person).

I was wondering that if Constitution of the country in large have given freedom and equal opportunity to all citizen irrespective of their religious and tribal affiliations (though the quota system is a biased law that discriminate among citizen based on their tribal affiliations and locality) and also religion does not permit to discriminate (though extremists don’t see it this way) then why some professions are considered to be the domain of the certain communities or layers in society. When I learnt about caste system in India then it was easy for me to understand that these layering were inherited from Indian society. Here is a documentary to learn in brief about caste system..

Society and its institutions whether it is culture, religion, tribes, communities, government, corporations… all are structured and to read a society we need to learn about the social structures. Though social structures are evolved to keep society in order but the social classes are coming out as their products. Even in very liberal and advanced society like US, the class system is a natural outcome of social structure. Following educational video though it is an old one but still illustrates very well this phenomenon,

The bitter side of social class is that; if you are born in a lower social class or in a minority community in any country (even in a liberal society), you are going to have a very different experience than members of majority group/ higher social class. It seems that class struggle is a perpetual struggle.

In a next part of this knol, I will try to illustrate how psyche of people shifts along classes as we progress and why Carl Marx’s prediction that communist revolution will follow a capitalism crisis didn’t come true after 1920’ great depression (instead fascism rose and lead to WWII) and also it didn’t come true in current crises of capitalism (Is there a new kind of fascism underway as it happened after 1920's great depression?)…

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