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York University
Social Science
SOSC 1910
Kerry Taylor

Democracy and Equality 9/25/2013 8:40:00 AM - promoting greater equality is a fundamental tenant of democracy - English magna carta ( 1215) – the rule of law  government under law – constraints on the crown  it gave the little guys a little bit more control th - supremacy of parliament over the crown ( 17 century)  laws must be enacted according to “ known rules” – precedent o precedent - law is backward looking  it ensures certainty, law will be predictable  promotes fairness - everyone is subject to the law – everyone is equal before the law - lady justice represents  blind justice  law is not concerned with personal characteristics  our system of law wants to be objective, neutral, claims to be value free - everybody is subject to the law “ everyone is equal before/under the law”  nobody exists above the law  this is supposed to bring more equality - formal equality  the idea that likes should be treated alike - capitalism  a system where we have two groups o have & have not’s  this is how the system works and it is okay ( people with stuff and people with no stuff)  inequality is assumed - human rights does not mean getting rid of capitalism  we all exist in this capitalist system but recognize that we put constraints on the haves and haves nots and we can tip the scales of justice to make a little more equal - democracy is everybody participating and benefiting in a society  promote greater equality between haves &have not’s - human rights perspective says we should contrain capitalism in order to distribute wealth more equally within society - substantive equality  recognizing differences society  and minimizing those differences  equality of results - in order for any of these rights to have meaning at an international meaning we need to make them law at a national law  laws that bind the govt. and all of its people - intl law lacks the power to enforce standards - when something is a legal claim  it gives them a voice against the people or the government - when you a law isn’t followed you go to the legal system and than proceed to the UN - but if there is no law to protect those rights than you cannot go to the UN and complain - govts don’t always make the translation process between moral principle to legal claim - if law isn’t going to help us we need to search for tools elsewhere to fight the power  political voice – elections - in a democratic state the govt. needs to rationalize its actions to the people  you then assess if you like what the govt is doing constitution - the highest law - recognizes the rule of law in its preamble ( intro)  constitution is the law that the government must obay  sets out the state works/ organized - Canada has a federal state  which level of govt has control over which activities in society ( ssec.91,92) - division of powers  helps us to know who were going to go after if our rights are being violated - charter of rights and freedoms is entrenched in the constitution - has the power to strike down laws that the govt makes that violate our human rights - once a right is constitutionally entrenched it is very difficult to remove - sets our parameters of society -the charter can only be used to make a claim against the state or government* The charter process - not withstanding clause ( sec.33) was put in place to give a little incentive to make the provinces join in with the constitution and give them a little bit more power o it is rarely used - the charter shows us the rhetoric of law ( persuasive language) - law is written and provides all kinds of fancy promises but we want to see what happens when that law is put into practice - the reality of law is quite a bit different  some of this is due to the courts handle the law  how officials implement the law - individual rights :  freedom rights- political rights o draw a boundary or a fence around the individual and state cannot come within that fence and interfere  the state cannot tell you what religion you can practice ( in theory) o the state cant tell us what we think about an issue  we can think what we want but when we come to express ourselves this becomes a different matter ( we have rights but they are not absolute)  equality rights o sec.15 says nothing about a minimum standard of living  no social security, healthcare  economic rights are absent from the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms  section 15 ( 2) govt can pass laws that are intended to fix historical disadvantages that people have experienced  but does not require the govt to do that ( they can but they don’t have to ) o enumerated grounds- these are the people/ the groups/ the characteristics being protected ( written down) o analogous grounds – sexuality is the same as our age/ability/race and needs to be protected to ensure equality ( this came through was not always under the charter)  right to dignity o no specific section of charter that deals with this aspect of citizenship o works its way into supreme court decisions o “ social rights” o this is difficult because it is vague  very subjective - collective rights :  our laws should be interpreted with an eye to our multicultural heritage  interpretive section of the charter- when we make laws we should think about multiculturalism ( but doesn’t say how to protect culture/diverse values/ cultural heritage) - when we have collective rights for aboriginals they still fall under the Canadian law they haven’t been taken out of it Weaknesses of charter - stresses individual rights over collective rights (how to get along with groups of people) Translation process of human rights codes human rights codes protect us from the power of other individuals not the government , some form of disciriminstion ( employment, housing etc.) - subject to interpretation o if the appeal is approved it can move to the court system o they have same category protection s15(1) charter o does not protect ethno cultural groups just the people within it  equal standard protection  no protection of economic rights in these codes either  there is a tiny mention (ex. cant face discrimination based on social condition in terms of rental housing) Ordinary statutes - laws we have about everything  ex. Highway traffic act , young offenders act, milk act, vagrancy law - not entrenched in the constitution / not in the charter and not human rights  they fall at the bottom of the hierarchy, no magic powers - ordinary law deals with universal healthcare system ( ex. Canada healthcare act) - can be easily taken back and thrown away - level of assistance provided cannot be challenged by the charter because our economic rights aren’t protected there  you cant fight a law that doesn’t exist  you need to fight politically or some other way o BIG PROBLEM - in Canada we treat rights as though they are divisible  many of us cannot exercise our fundamental rights at all o key concepts in the creation of minorities 9/25/2013 8:40:00 AM Test Info - 3 big lectures - 6 questions - have us choose 5 - 2 questions from each lecture - have to answer a question from each lecture - any of these questions would be test questions ( end of powerpoint) Social Construction of minority status - a dynamic and evolving process - when an idea gets stuck on a person it snowballs and gains momentum - an imaginary cause cannot have a real effect  but when you attach ideas to yourself they start to have a very real effect  social construction of reality - all of these ideas are constructed to help us make sense of the world around us - when we are uncertain or have no basis social construction cans give us direction but it can be based on a very negative and hurtful idea  often based on beliefs that have the tiniest or no truth to them at all  were all capable of social construction  all capable of social construction of minority groups - minority groups don’t start out as being naturally being inferior  what kind of ideas were attached to them  what opportunities were limited to them to make them this way  inferior based on one of their attributes - the way we act based on our beliefs that constitute violations of human rights  it’s the treatment that constitutes minorities - exercise of power isn’t just from the domain of the govt. although they are the principle sources there is also business, corporations, media, non govt, institutions that are important actors that could have a big impact on laws policy and our lives - govt has to gain some level of consent from the voting public  who benefits ?  ex. Power of label of a terrorist o when we listen to the govt we may begin to lump a bunh of people where they don’t belong  its not just about power its about how its used - beware of where ideas come from Definitions Minority - minorities at the societal level ( who has more or less power) - common for the minority to outnumber the majority - concept of minority is only meaningful if we look at the corresponding majority  relative - different contexts - mostly at the societal level  ex barack Obama is part of a racialized minority in the US but he is the president, does that mean they aren’t a minority in the country anymore ? o you don’t pick out one person in the group you study the group relative to the majority -we distance ourselves from a certain group that may have a certain status attached to it o social perception of that group o there is nothing inherently wrong with those people o the treatment attached to them -by virtue of one minority status or another you cannot be an oppressor yourself  we learn to oppress having been the object of oppression st some point  both the victim and the oppressor are part of different racialized minority groups o this still constitutes violation of anothers human rights majority - pick a characteristic, define it as significant define it as being a positive thing, and is then presumed by majority to be normal and desirable o those that don’t have that characteristic they are deemed inferior and abnormal  this is when different treatment starts to take place Labelling & stereotypes -used to deny people rights -used to justify human rights violations -population is not entitled to human rights ( if they have been deemed as abnormal they have been denied political power, social power, and dignitiy) -they become inferiorized through this ( not innately but socially) -labels being based by normative attributes of dominant groups  and judged by majority standards -not all minorities are the same - and majority and minority are not all that different ( similar attributes) - you may be a majority in one characteristic and may be minority in another  may have multi minority status o overlapping categories of minority that lead to multiple discrimination - this class is not targeting those that fall into majority category - all of us are equally capable of labeling some attrerivute as positive and defining somebody elses something as negative o we all discriminate o the ideas we attach to people o where they come from o and how we treat one another in society o govt equally capable of discriminating in laws that they pass and don’t change o can lose one or more minority statuses o can move from minority to majority ( age)  we all will eventually fall back into minority if we don’t care about minority policies ( senior policies in society) Invalidation myths & ideologies -big set of ideas how the world ought to work -given populations should be treated in a certain way o ex. woman ought to be treated as possessions - social Darwinism  the human species can be ranked according to so called “race” Discrimination - doesn’t treat any people as individual human beings - treat people based on stereotypes - with no real reason or basis behind It we treat someone a certain way *individual – everyone who wears they’re hat backwards will get an A or vise versa *institutional – I work at le chateau and my manager told me that when people of color come into the store follow them and get on them because they are going to steal , shoe store manager told them to target old people because they have money etc.  sometimes you have to follow instructions * systemic/structural – a chain of events that follow you around through different institutions, generally this stuff that sticks around is prejudice from the past ( once it gets into legal, health, educational, economic systems etc.)  why is it that ideas can change but institutions fail to keep up  when the idea is stuck in the system results in deep inequalities o everyone in that group is effected PREJUDICE/DISCRIMINATION/STEREOTYPES - how do prejudice discrimination And stereotypes work together ? * test questions* - when one picture comes to stand in for the whole group - stereotypes are like caricature or a distorted image of the population as a whole  minority stereotypes based on one attribute the effect reinforces the attribute - you might think a certain thing but you don’t act on it  discrimination is the biased action towards a certain population.. - invariably violates human rights while prejudice does not Othering & self fulfilling prophecy Social distancing – physically and theoretically moving one group away from another - how our ideas can attach to people and push them away - once they are distanced they are no longer an intergral part of society  othered population is refered to as “ they” and “them”  don’t take needs into consideration  the things they can contribute are no longer utilized -minority self hatred can lead to : o alienation o them believing the beliefs about their kind o an idea sticking to you can have huge implications in your life - really hard for an individual to rise above certain perceptions - groups become dependent in society because of closed doors and opportunities tutorial 3- discussion questions 9/25/2013 8:40:00 AM Question 1 - aboriginalization - racialization - gender - disability - class - gender can effect the way you are treated Question 2 - lack of merit - not merited because our society favours white able bodied affluent men - hierarchies were formed - discriminatory laws and practices that have prevailed for centuries  examples. White Australia supremacy, chinese exclusion act, African Canadian -non representative government and bias in the judiciary and overlooks the rights of minorities Question 3 - govt is in denial about past discrimination - because if you don’t know history you’ll repeat it - need to be aware of discriminatory laws that created hierarchies in order not to let them prevail - Canada wants to forget about the idea that they preferred white abled bodied heterosexual males they pride themselves on being egalitarian and fair - take responsibility for our actions to provide justice and admit we are not innocent - effects the demands response for change - hierarchies still exist and are still embedded in our system - power relationships - systemic discrimination is created this way - history of racism sexism etc. wich has hung the legacy of discrimination it is unseen and unaddressed and we have a non representative govt that lead to the exclusion of minorities and underrepresents minorities Question 4 - giving people of disasabilties, poor, homosexual, women, minorities etc. mopre positions of political, economical, social and legal power - make affirmative action programs more effective in the government and private sector - training and incentive programs with funding - affirmative action programs within political parties - reform of campaign financing regulation - programs that encourage ballot casting by all abled voters  ex. Law achool entry - functioning co ilitions of functions groups - law school reform ( social perspective and promote public interest law) - polticial programs - Question 5 - by manipulating deeply held invalidation myths to provide "evidence" for their arguments, high tech hate mongers incite virulent hatred of and harmful action toward targeted minorities. By so doing, high tech hate- mongering violates minority members' human rights to dignity and equality by denying their fundamental freedom from group defamation and harassment. - incite hatred and promote harmful actions Question 6 -high tech hate-mongering violates minority members' human rights to dignity and equality by denying their fundamental freedom from group vilification and harassment.  S. 15 of the charter  Invalidation myth used to create hate propaganda  Freedom and rights to conflict is freedom of speech ( libertarian), freedom from group defamation ( egalitarian) Question 7 - hate promotion activities are conceptualized as discrimination (acts or practices which deny target groups their individual and collective human right to dignity), the promotion of hatred indisputably violates human rights - prejudice leads to the promotion of discrimination Question 8 - We can conceptualize the process of invalidation as a sequence of three main stages: Invalidation myth (prejudice): definition of target group as inferior and/or dangerous Invalidation ideology: development of theory of vilification and provision of supporting arguments and "evidence "to" justify "denial of fundamental human rights Platform for action: incitement to hatred and harm (discriminatory action); denial of human rights. Analysis of Messages Invalidation myths: Jews are aliens and traitors: Judaism stresses loyalty only to fellow Jews/ Jews act only in their own interests (implied threat to Aryan race) Jews are selfish, greedy liars and extortionists: The "Holocaust hoax" has been fabricated by Jews to legitimize extortion; to shame and pressure non- Jews to give financial aid to Israel (alleged threat to Aryan race) Jews are powerful media manipulators: by their monolithic control of the American media, Jews are not only able to exert control of government, but also to poison the minds of people throughout the world with pro-minority/ anti-Aryan propaganda. (alleged threat of death to Aryan race) Invalidation ideology: "Alien" Jews pose a serious threat to the Aryan race in North America and throughout the world. Platform for action: True Americans ("our folk") are urged to take steps to put an end to the monolithic Jewish control and manipulation of the media. And, it is urged, We must take whatever steps are necessary in order to eradicate the insidious Jewish threat to North American civilization and to the future of the Aryan race. Question 9 - These violations of minority rights are allowed to proceed unchecked because those with the power to decide; with the power to order our priorities with regard to human rights, can argue, persuasively, that to introduce constraints on hate-mongering by organized political and religious hate groups would violate our preciously safeguarded and fundamental rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom of religion. A human rights dilemma of giant magnitude, to be sure. So whose human rights continue to be violated? Not the rights of those with the power to decide, the established majority powers, but the rights of vulnerable, stigmatized minorities, the identified targets of cyberhate. Social Darwinism- Biological concepts & evolutionary theories conflicts between groups lead to progress because a superior evolves and social ranking is created Systemic discrimination – built into way business and companies operate Prejudice – pre judgement before being aware of relevant factors, biased belief Civil Liberties & National Security 9/25/2013 8:40:00 AM Civil Liberties & National Security we must somehow disagree and voice our opinions but not use violence and force (civil lib) Dignity and integrity of the person. When we look at civil liberties we look at ways which the government is restrained THey provide us with a set of limits beyond which the government cannot go It's providing us with a barrier of protection from the state coming into our lives ( like a shield ) Political Rights RIght to participate- RIght to vote, elections in which we can vote, right to be free from government control from your life choices. Freedom to decide- Civil Liberties Are: a) Right to due process of law : lawfully enacting legislation. Then we see if the law is being applied within it's limits. Fairness of process. b) Right to Dissent - freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and association. Who/what is a "security risk"? who's defining what security means? DO we get to talk about it ? c) RIght to Security of the Person - No arbitrary(without good reason) detention/search. RIght to a fair trial, to know the charges against you, and to answer to them. d) Right to Personal Privacy- you should be able to conduct your life without your personal info being monitored. National Security for the "safety of the state..." the "good of all…" Going the thing thats best to the greater number of people How are these terms being defined? How benefits? Who suffers? A)External Threats quid pro quo something for something (scratch my bad I scratch yours) B)Internal Threats- protestors? The concept of national security is purposefully vague , it shifts overtime, can expand/contract in relation to PERCEIVED( don't know if its true or not/may come from prejudice) threats National Security As An Invalidation Ideology Concept can serve as an invalidation ideology Application can shift to group to group Compaigns take place under a "veil of secrecy" Situate "national security" in a CONTEXT o bigger global/international relations (political, economic…) Case Studies: Japanese and Arab/Muslim Canadians -Russian Revolution- communist "threat" Canada 1941- WWII Japanese Canadians . Japan blew up pearl Harbour. Japanese people started to be preserved different and insurance policies for them were canceled, they were evacuated from their homes in a 24 hour notice and their cameras ext were taken away,they were forced into labor and detention camps, and would take over their property. Toronto and other cities declared themselves "closed" to these people. This was all done using the LAW Racial profiling: being targeted on the basis of race( or religion) for different treatment 1991 Gulf war- Arab/Muslim Canadians- CSIS (Candian Security Inteligent Services) visits to workplace or home ( Kashmiri ) violation of rights because CSIS would ask questions about the persons beliefs and ext which is a violation of rights and these people are being targeted based on their rights "RACE IS A PROXY(something comes to stand it for something else) FOR RISK" -BHADI Socio- Economic Rights 9/25/2013 8:40:00 AM Poor people - labeled in a way that’s not entirely representative of the situation - focus critique on the bigger structural functions that are going on in our society Poverty -doesn’t just effect you in an economic way -linked to having a psychological effect on people -feeling of marginalization ( distancing) o sense of shame o struggling with reality of being pushed away - poverty line used to measure, with a set of ideas ( relay on stats Canada) - average unemployment rate for youth is double the national unemployment rate - always going to be poverty  root of so many injustices in this world -health education food and shelter are minimum obligations  state might want participate to make sure we have all these essentials to make life bearable  governments can only do this within their economic means o concession to how much money the govt actually has - state is subject to forces of the market - freedom does not mean anything if you don’t have any choices  if you don’t have an economic base to start working from  every individual needs to have their minimum needs met before they have any freedom at all  were not free unless we have those basic building blocks of life - neglect  can occur as a result of omission or commission  govt passes laws to limit the activities of the poor - socio economic rights are not protected by the charter  not protected under human rights codes  some measure of these things that we need being provided through ordinary statutes ( Canada health act) o all of us are entitled to some act of healthcare o not entrenched in highest laws of land o these are privileges not legal rights  because of this ^ human rights are divisible Ways of looking at socio economic rights -dominant way of thinking ( free market system)  socio economic rights and the idea of providing those with the basic building blocks should not be protected at all  place their belief and faith in the free market system  we let the market do what its going to do ( the profits and benefits will trickle down) - invalidation myth  meritocracy  our society works on the basis of merit  if you fail its due to your own screwing up  when someone is poor the first judgment is made that their situation is their own fault - socio economic rights interfere with the free market and should not be granted because they will mess up our capitalist system  self regulating system - liberty rights and freedom rights are the biggest and most important fundamental ideas in society  ex. Get rid of Obama care ( we should all be free from ha
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