To demonstrate social imbalance in a small scale, first the class was separated into 4 groups. We were spaced around the room and given a packet of supplies and instructed to plan and make a tool which may be useful for a future student of Dundee University. I was placed in group 1 and given a large pack of supplies which included various stationary equipment such as pens and pencils, post-its and coloured paper. We were told we were going to be graded at the end on the presentation of our creation.
The teacher appeared to be more intrigued with our group than the other groups, and gave us continuous praise and words of encouragement such as ‘excellent’, ‘well done’. This at first made my group feel as if she expected a lot more from us.
When it came to the presentation of our ‘invention’, starting with our group, we felt as if we had created something quite general and standard. Although, the teacher made us feel more confident in what we had made with continuous words of encouragement and praise.
We only realised we had been given a lot more supplies when it came to the other groups presentations. Group 2 were given similar supplies to us, group 3 had a lot less and group 4 had barely anything to work with. What struck me was the teacher’s reaction to each of the groups presentation. As the presentations moved along the groups, the teacher became less and and less interested and divided her attention onto other things such as looking out the window, checking the time, which was particularly visible in group 4’s presentation.
When thinking about how the teacher had responded to each of us and reflecting on the emotional response we had towards the inequality in everything between the groups: from the materials we were given to the response we were given in our presentations. We came to realise that there are many cases where real people deal with inequality on a day to day basis. This could be due to racism, differences in culture or religion or countless other factors such as demographic, wages, family background and social stature.
I am new in the UK so I am still unsure of the social imbalances present here. However, I am aware of social imbalances with regards to Arabic people or Muslim people. Because I lived the majority of my life in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, most of my friends are Arabic and Muslim. It was only when speaking to some people in America on my vacation last year that I realised the extent of racism some of them had towards regular Arabic people. Due to the extremism occurring in Syria as well as post 9/11 Islamaphobia, many people I had spoken to had already preconceived ideologies about people they had never met.
These ideologies are heavily influenced by the media such as Fox News, which use fear tactics to create a nationwide panic. Similarly, Donald Trump’s idea’s about Muslims which include ‘banning Muslims’ from further entering the USA. This is of course a fairly dramatic case of Social Imbalance. However it is the most prevalent today, which Muslims around the world being victimised, harassed and bullied because of their culture and religion.
This is something I believe can be fixed with educating the youth about acceptance and tolerance. This generation and generations to come get most of their information on current affairs from the media, it can be hard to distinguish what is real in the media and what isn’t. Educating the future generations not to believe everything the media tells us can be more valuable than one would think.