Wealth and its Influence on a Person’s Behaviour

This video tries to answer how money influences a person’s behaviour. The researcher did this by conducting different psychological experiments. What they found out is that “people who feel less well-off, whether in real terms or in simulated settings, tend to act more charitably” (Solman 2013). This study was worked out by psychologist from the University of California at Berkeley. Have a look yourself:

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Smartphones in the Fight Against Segregation

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Are smartphones the way out of segregation?

‘Gulf lovers use smartphones to beat segregation’ was the headline of a news article published by Al Arabiya on June 28th 2013. It immediately caught my eye: lovers beating each other with phones? Throwing phones over segregating walls? I did not know what to make of this headline.

“In the United Arab Emirates and all across the conservative Gulf countries, dating is unacceptable while arranged marriages are the norm, so to beat the segregation imposed by a stern society, young men and women meet virtually.”

Are smartphones the way to avoid segregation between men and women? Or does it affect certain norms and values? In any case, chatting applications on smartphones create a new platform for men and women to meet, while not having to worry about a controlling society.Continue Reading

School Segregation

In April I wrote an article about segregation in schools by Hamas. But are there any other cases in the world which show various kinds of segregation in schools or entire education systems?

Of course many of us know that there are differences between public, private and ‘special’ (i.e. based on a religion) schools. In many countries like Spain and the Netherlands, some of these schools receive public funding while others don’t. In itself this can be seen as a measure to tackle segregation: giving all kinds of schools the same chances. However, what if society changes over the course of time? This would render these ‘equalling’ funds, put into place decades ago, to be segregating modern society: supporting one branch in favour of others. Should these laws be changed? And if so, how fast and more in general: how?Continue Reading

First All-Inclusive Prom at an American School

We are in the year 2013 and it has now been the first time an integrated prom took place in a high school in Wilcox County. One wonders why this was not possible sooner after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Have a look at the following report from NBC:

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As you might have noticed, due to a server change some links were broken. Please write me an e-mail if you find any unresolved issues.

Thank you in advance and I am looking forward to the next intriguing discussion.

Thoughts on the Apartheid City

Under apartheid, racial zone plans were installed by the white elites, which segregated the city. The Group Areas Act, as an example for a new policy the white elite introduced, was “designed to minimalize interracial contact” (Simon 191). This led to an artificial division between the work place and the labourer’s households. What also stands out is the stratification of races and classes in such an apartheid city: The wealthy white elite lives furthest away from the poor black people. In between, as a kind of buffer, live the Indians and the Coloureds (see Davies’ apartheid city model).

Consequently, the transport system were in need of a reform because of these changed new premises. In the apartheid city there was a duplication of the transport system: There were buses for the Europeans and buses that served the areas in the outskirts. In general, “[t]he poorest in the city travel the farthest to work” (Brookfield and Tatham 63).Continue Reading

Hamas Orders Gender Segregation at Schools

Aljazeera stated at 02-04-2013 that from September 2013 boys and girls from the fourth grade on will be separated, in private as well as public schools. Gaza’s Hamas-controlled parliament has passed a law requiring separate classes for these groups.

As Aljazeera’s article states:

The newly approved education law also forbids the “receipt of gifts or aid aimed at normalising (relations) with the Zionist occupation (Israel).” The law, which also bars male teachers from teaching in girls’ schools, will go into effect at the start of the new school year in September (Aljazeera; 02-04-2013).

The question remains if this is purely a religious policy, or if political thoughts are behind this policy. Especially when taking into account that accepting gifts “aimed at normalising (relations) with the Zionist occupation” are also forbidden. This article of the law compromises way more than religious segregation between boys and girls. Therefore, can we question this education law as being a political tool? Here Western cries for a separation between ‘church and state’ are obvious. Is such a ‘rule’ i.e. separating religion for political decisions feasible in Gaza?Continue Reading

American Civil Rights Movement

The American civil rights movement, which mainly took place in the 1950s and 1960s, is considered to be a social movement which fought “against racial segregation and discrimination in the southern United States” (“American”). Thus, they tackled social, economic and political issues. According to Gregory et al, a social movement consists outside of a “formal state or economic spheres” (695), which would fit this description. Important figures in the African American fight for more freedom are, for example, Martin Luther King, Jr., W. E. B. Du Bois, Malcom X and Rosa Parks.Continue Reading

School Segregation: Q&A with Dr. Terrance Roberts

At Pepperdine University, Dr. Terrence Roberts is asked what he thinks about the concern that there is resegregation in US schools. Roberts replies that “schools have never stopped being segregated.” He later also mentions people who want to become colourblind and utters: “What I would hope is that you would see me as I am without judgement, without feeling the need to disable yourself so that you could deal with me.”

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Israel Fortifies Its Borders

Israel tries to fortify their borders with a concrete wall that should keep terrorists out. However, as I already argued in the post “Peace Line in Belfast Divides the City”, walls provide only a short-term answer and cannot replace peace negotiations.

And there is yet another problem: Can such a physical barrier really hinder terrorist attacks in the time of modern warfare?

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