Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Youth and Politics

Try taking yourself out of our contemporary society and imaging living a life without the social norms we are bombarded with.  For a moment there, there is a feeling of liberation and a sense of autonomy; although these are soon clouded over with our adapted sense of the reality we must face everyday.  How we personally identity ourselves seems like an individualized sense of being that grows from within, but it is all in context, as we are constantly affected by our family, society, and world events. I myself am a part of the Establishment and continue to accept living in our current society with all of its dispositions and injustice.  Despite my efforts to be myself and not let people pressure me into making certain decisions in life, I am still living under the 'voluntary servitude' Herbert Marcuse talks about, as the government ultimately controls the way in which I conduct my life.  Whether it be buying school supplies at Staples or logging onto Facebook, I am constantly contributing to the consumerist and social networking lifestyle that I want to alter.

While I am a fan of Facebook for providing such an amazing long-term connection with a large number of people I have met in my life, I do think that it is creating a generation of depersonalization.  In class today we were joined by Adnan Selimović and a friend of his named Will Darwall.  Originally from Yugoslavia, Adnan has studied Social and Political Thought and is currently doing research on youth empowerment and contemporary society.  Together we talked a lot about what social media has come to be and how social networking is alienating people from the processes we should naturally go through to connect to other people.  I think this is a serious problem because if my generation grows up lacking that basic human connection, humans will only grow further and further apart in years to come.

In addition to this topic we also discussed the veils that surround us from within family and society, how we identify with those around us, the stigma regarding youth, common assumptions, how we are made to be predictable, and the applicability of these concepts.  Adnan and Will were incredibly real and honest with us about their feelings and what they were trying to convey throughout the day.  I loved that they both stayed with us during the morning and afternoon session today; in fact, Prof. Lamas stayed outside of the room all day.  I really wish they were going to be with us for another day because I have become widely more aware of my true desires after just one day with them.  Tomorrow though we will be joined by members of the Theatre of the Oppressed, so that should be quite interesting as well!

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