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Social Constructionism

Social constructionism is a theory of knowledge in sociology and communication theory that examines the development of jointly-constructed understandings of the world that form the basis for shared assumptions about reality.

Some brilliant examples of social constructs are captured in this statement by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:

“I am Nigerian because a white man created Nigeria and gave me that identity. I am black because the white man constructed black to be as different as possible from his white.
But I was Igbo before the white man came.”

Points to note:
1. Nigeria: an institution created by colonialism 
2. Blackness: an idea that justified slavery abc racism in modern times

Among others, the job upon us includes the demystification of myths, exposing pseudoscience, and deconstructing social constructs; especially those that do not serve the progress and harmony of humanity.

This is purely an intellectual exercise which epitomises leadership in the 21st century, because we are where we are today because of the strongholds of these ideas.

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‪Fertility rate: ‘Jaw-dropping’ global crash in children being born (BBC)

Clearly religion gave legitimation to suffering in the past, and in its absence people are increasingly concerned about why children should be born to suffer.

Even though wealth has increased globally (let’s leave the question of distribution for now), and we are living longer, data also shows that we are less fulfilled and unhappier. Scholars even argue that we now suffer from poverty of aspiration.

A more religious society is definitely not the answer because it justified inequality and strengthened most of the social norms like patriarchy, homophobia, racism etc., that we are currently contending with.

Can gainful work provide new meaning and a heightened sense of purpose? Isn’t it time we rethink the nature and outputs of work?

#ideas #debate #meaningfulwork #innovation

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Trade and Foreign Affairs

The Athenian envoys said to the Melians:

We both know that the decisions about justice are made in human discussions only when both sides are under equal compulsion, but when one side is stronger, it gets as much as it can, and the weak must accept that” – (416 B.C.E)

In similar vain, Africa’s cry for justice and fairness at negotiating tables is in vain, until we are seen as equals. Sadly as in ancient antiquity, the strong still plunder the weak in the 21st century.

#ideas #justice #fairness #power #internationalrelations