African Music and Cultural Festival in Melbourne

This looks a lot like Latin dancing at the African Music and Cultural Festival in Melbourne but it is actually the Kizomba (from Angola and other countries). They then dance to a Spanish language song, an African salsa fusion they put together.

Continue reading African Music and Cultural Festival in Melbourne

Being a Black Puerto Rican

“Neely Fuller, a great Black sociologist, stated: “Until one understands the system of White supremacy, anything and everything else will confuse you.” Divide and conquer still applies.

Listen people: Being Black is not just skin colour, nor is it synonymous with Black Americans. To assert who I am is the most liberating and revolutionary thing I can ever do. Being a Black Puerto Rican encompasses me racially, ethically and most importantly, gives me a homeland to refer to.”

– Rosa Clemente, activist, writes about how American and Latin communities exclude Black Puerto Ricans

Continue reading Being a Black Puerto Rican

Latin Summer Festival

In the 2011 Australian Census, there were over 107,300 Latin-Australian migrants. The majority were born in South America (almost 87,700 people); the second-biggest groups were born in Central America (14,900 people); and a smaller proportion were born in the Caribbean (4,7000 people). Continue reading Latin Summer Festival

Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux has been featured on Rolling Stone!

Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux has been featured on Rolling Stone! She talks about the politics of her latest single, which features Palestinian rapper Shadia Mansour. Tijoux says: “‘Somos Sur’ is about the importance of resistance, not only in Chile, but around the world. Global resistance movements, whether in Latin America, Africa or the Middle East, are fighting against the same patterns of violence that have repeated themselves throughout history. Which means many of these groups share a similar set of demands. We are asking for a free Palestine just like we’re asking for an independent Wallmapu in Chile, without police control.”

Quote: http://buff.ly/1jqOipd #sociology #latin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKGUJXzxNqc&feature=youtu.be&utm_content=buffer7ada1&utm_medium=social&utm_source=plus.google.com&utm_campaign=buffer//cdn.embedly.com/widgets/platform.js

Pisac, Peru

Portrait of Peruvian man playing a siku (panpipe), Pisac market by discovercorps on Flickr.

Pisac is a Peruvian village in the Sacred Valley on the Urubamba River. The village is well-known for its market every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, an event which attracts heavy tourist traffic from nearby Cusco. One of its more notable features is a large pisonay tree which dominates the central plaza. The sanctuary of Huanca, home to a sacred shrine, is also near the village. Pilgrims travel to the shrine every September. The area is perhaps best known for its Incan ruins, known as Inca Písac, which lie atop a hill at the entrance to the valley. The ruins are separated along the ridge into four groups: Pisaqa, Intihuatana, Q’allaqasa, and Kinchiracay. Intihuatana includes a number of bathes and temples. The Temple of the Sun, a volcanic outcrop carved into a “hitching post” for the Sun (or Inti), is the focus, and the angles of its base suggest that it served some astronomical function. Q’allaqasa, which is built onto a natural spur and overlooks the valley, is known as the citadel.

Information via the photographer on Flickr.

Sociology of Community

In sociology, we define community as a group who follow a social structure within a society (culture, norms, values, status). They may work together to organise social life within a particular place, or they may be bound by a sense of belonging sustained across time and space.

We start students thinking about community using the work of Ferdinand Toennies. He used the concept of gemienschaft to study the close social ties in rural and pre-industrial societies, where everyone knows one another and bonds overlap. For example your local grocerer is also your neighbour, you socialise together and you may be their children’s teacher. Gesellschaft is the opposite. Toennies used this to describe urban, post-industrial communities where people don’t necessarily know their neighbours and locals have specialised roles. You may not know your grocerer by name or associate outside their shop.

Toennies sees the former as an ideal community and the latter as a problem.

Durkheim and other sociologists have argued against the idealism of this typology as close-knit communities are more likely to adhere to traditions that demand strict obedience and reinforce individual oppression. Debates about community continue to this day, affecting the work of applied sociologists who address disadvantage. Some communities are held up as an ideal and so resources are allocated to groups who appear to conform to policy definitions of a “good community.” Other communities are stigmatised so programs either neglect their needs or focus on their deficiencies rather than their strenghts.

Have a think about how definitions of community might affect applied sciology. For example, I took this photo over the weekend at the Hispanic Street Festival in Melbourne Australia. This event is one of the ways that multiculturalism officially recognises and supports minority communities: by sponsoring community shows revolving around food and music. Social welfare, political recognition and other community issues of difference gain less social attention and funding.

Albinos in Brazil

Albinos in Brazil is a project highlighting the racism that people face. Photographer Gustavo Lacerda discusses how standards of beauty are narrow. This leads to misconceptions about this condition of skin pigmentation, and a feeling of alienation among albinos:

My intention was to highlight a type of beauty which is completely out of normal beauty standard… For these people it is completely new to be at the centre of attention. They’re not used to it.

In many countries, Albinos face persecution because of their light skin and fair hair. They are often seen as being different – outcasts from society – and are often not regarded as beautiful.

Many of these people often feel marginalised, rejected. They feel different from what [society offers] as a standard of normality… It’s much easier to accept what is similar or identical to what you know. The reality is, generally people are ill-equipped to deal with diversity.

Lacerda says he witnessed two emotions in the eyes of the people he photographed: “uneasiness and a pride to be here.”

Youth Protest During the Election in Chile

On the 17th of November, Chile voted in the national election. Michelle Bachelet has won twice as many votes as her major opponent (47% of votes) but this may not be enough for a win.

Al Jazeera English explore the importance of student activist movement on the election. Students protested for free education and improvement of services. Bachelet was popular amongst low income and among younger voters, but not everyone was convinced that social change can happen.