About Social Injustice

About Social Injustice

Times change, opinions differ, society adapts. This is the basic meaning of sociocultural evolution. A minority of people feels something is unfair or unjust, and hence they voice their concern. Initially there is strong opposition from those who want things kept the same, but eventually people start changing their opinions and what was once the

James DuncanTimes change, opinions differ, society adapts. This is the basic meaning of sociocultural evolution. A minority of people feels something is unfair or unjust, and hence they voice their concern. Initially there is strong opposition from those who want things kept the same, but eventually people start changing their opinions and what was once the minority becomes the majority. For example, the female population was seen as inferior in most aspects: they weren’t allowed to vote, hold any positions of power (that weren’t royalty), or attend higher education. So they spoke out and many years later society changed. It has adapted, and continues to adapt, to see woman as equals; the same thing has happened over the recent years with the gay rights movement: times change, opinions differ, society adapts.

But do these discriminations in society actually disappear or are they simply swept under a different rug? When society adapts to be fairer to certain communities, are the prejudices merely redirected to others? As we develop and fight racial stereotypes, we see a rise in stereotypes based on peoples’nationality or culture. Religious discrimination hasn’t stopped but merely shifted its focus over the last few centuries. Perhaps the most obvious example of this is who in our society we scapegoat. Jews, Hispanics and Asians have all been subject to scapegoating in one or more occasions throughout history; an entire race has been blamed for a large variety of problems that had little or nothing to do with them. When it becomes socially unacceptable to blame a specific community, another will take its place.

Discrimination and prejudices are still rife in our modern society. Having lived in London my entire life, it is sometimes easy to forget we still entertain such a wide variety of racial, cultural and sexual stereotypes. The situation with women, blacks and homosexuals has vastly improved, but on the other hand islamophobia, xenophobia and other certain social stigmas are growing. It is not to say no one is tackling these issues, yet, it is currently more acceptable to make discriminatory remarks about Muslims and foreign immigrants than it is to make such claims about black people. The former groups are subject to our latest prejudice fashion, and others will surely follow as our cycle continues. The social injustices at the forefront of society will fade into acceptance, and others will replace them. Similarly as it becomes less acceptable to scapegoat and discriminate against those that we currently do, inevitably we will just find someone else: times change, opinions differ, society adapts. It works both ways. What exactly works both ways? Sociocultural evolution? If it does, then it probably isn’t correct to classify it as evolution, but rather a cyclical tendency of various societies.

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