social stratification – Sociology Eso Science http://www.sociologyesoscience.com/ Thu, 17 Mar 2022 23:11:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/favicon-6-150x150.png social stratification – Sociology Eso Science http://www.sociologyesoscience.com/ 32 32 Selwyn Ryan will be greatly missed | Letters to the Editor https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/selwyn-ryan-will-be-greatly-missed-letters-to-the-editor/ Thu, 17 Mar 2022 23:11:00 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/selwyn-ryan-will-be-greatly-missed-letters-to-the-editor/ With the passing of Selwyn Ryan, Trinidad and Tobago and the region have lost an academic titan, a clear-eyed (and often controversial) observer and analyst of the twists and turns of English-speaking Caribbean society. Selwyn was generally referred to as a political scientist, and it’s true that many of his publications — his books, his […]]]>

With the passing of Selwyn Ryan, Trinidad and Tobago and the region have lost an academic titan, a clear-eyed (and often controversial) observer and analyst of the twists and turns of English-speaking Caribbean society.

Selwyn was generally referred to as a political scientist, and it’s true that many of his publications — his books, his essays, his polls — focus on politics.

But he was more than that. He was also a sociologist examining the undercurrents and swirls of the often bewilderingly complex composition of T&T.

Sharks and Sardines, for example, his 1992 publication with Lou Anne Barclay, dealt with black people in business in T&T (always a sensitive topic); and Social and Occupational Stratification in Contemporary Trinidad and Tobago, which he had edited the previous year, expanded on Professor Lloyd Braithwaite’s seminal 1953 study of ‘Social Stratification in Trinidad and Tobago’.

However, it is his monumental biography of Eric Williams – over 800 pages – for which he will be best remembered.

It is a marvel of detailed research. Admittedly, some of his assessments and conclusions have not garnered universal approval, but if you hear of anyone in this country who can appeal to everyone, especially on a subject as multifaceted as Williams, do let me know.

Selwyn and I first met in 1970 in Uganda. He was a lecturer at Makerere University, I was a traveling diplomat, on leave from the T&T Foreign Service for an American foundation.

The following year, we were to see each other again, at T&T this time, as members of the Wooding Constitution Commission.

His views and mine on what might be the best constitutional arrangements for this country have not always been in harmony, but there has never been anything personal in our differences.

We remained friends for the next 50 years; I even launched one of his books.

The last time I saw him, I realized that a decline had set in; subsequent telephone conversations only confirmed this.

I will greatly miss his intelligence and directness, his lack of pomp, his willingness to help and enlighten, his commitment to T&T and the Caribbean.

We are much poorer for his departure.

My deepest condolences go to his family, who can be proud of his massive contribution to this country and this region.

I am sure he will rest in the peace he so richly deserves.

Reginald Dumas

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Columban Contest Winning Paper: “The Sisterhood of Intersectionality” https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/columban-contest-winning-paper-the-sisterhood-of-intersectionality/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 13:41:01 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/columban-contest-winning-paper-the-sisterhood-of-intersectionality/ Jessica Saxon Jessica Saxon, from St George’s College, Weybridge, won first prize for UK entries in the Columban Schools Competition on the topic: ‘Everyone Can Make a Difference: 21st Century Changemakers’. She wrote about American politician and Catholic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, described by a judge as “barnstorming writing”, and she was encouraged to enter by her […]]]>

Jessica Saxon

Jessica Saxon, from St George’s College, Weybridge, won first prize for UK entries in the Columban Schools Competition on the topic: ‘Everyone Can Make a Difference: 21st Century Changemakers’. She wrote about American politician and Catholic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, described by a judge as “barnstorming writing”, and she was encouraged to enter by her ER teacher, Mr. McAndrew. Jessica says, “Only by those who are brave enough – people like AOC and the person I want to be – can we inspire young minds to stand up for equality for all.”

Maybe it was in Malay class when someone asked me if I was Chinese because my eyes were thin and long. Or maybe it was in RE when all the boys in my class protested after I claimed one of my peers was sexist for implying that all women want to show off and seek male validation. Or even when a man three times my age had trapped me in the corner of a restaurant sitting at the edge of my booth discussing Harry Potter – he definitely had no other ideas, no. is this not ? It wasn’t until 2020 that I really understood the fact that I was going to be targeted for the rest of my life because of my skin color and gender.

Overwhelmed, I spent a few months keeping my thoughts to myself because I didn’t want the boys to hate me. That’s until I realized that I was just proving my classmate RE’s point: I was looking for the approval of the boys in my class despite the fact that they were just people who didn’t. had never learned differently in a social stratification steeped in patriarchal ideologies. Three months later, I had entered the pandemic fearing that it would hamper my ability to develop my critical thinking and prevent me from scratching the plot itch I had, silently feeding in the back of my mind ever since. that I am a child – I was completely wrong.

I had discovered Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She is not a feminist but rather someone who explores white superiority institutionalized within mainstream feminism and strives to develop it further into a modern movement filled with justice for every woman. She strives to recruit girls from a young age to help build a global understanding of intersectional feminism, hoping to shape Gen Z to bring young minds into people who stand against white male expectations. and able-bodied cis-hets who lived centuries ago.

In an impassioned speech regarding explicit biases within medicine, Ocasio-Cortez referenced her religious faith, opposing the rationale for neglecting people of one race, sex, or race. different sexuality. Referring to the abuse of power that prevails behind religious freedom in the United States, she states, “the only time religious freedom is invoked is in the name of bigotry and discrimination.” In one sentence, Ocasio-Cortez is able to highlight the history of discriminatory gaslighting within the American healthcare industry, although it touches on a global spectrum. Janice A. Sabin, PhD, a University of Washington professor who studies implicit biases in health care, tells Today in an article — about the dismissal that floods the medical care black women receive — that “pain is an area of ​​implicit bias”. have an impact because it’s an extremely subject area.” Ocasio-Cortez acknowledges this and draws attention to its inequitable nature.

She points to the fact that some “defenders” have done this before and used religious liberty to account for other horrific events in history. “It’s very hard to sit here and listen to the arguments of this country’s long history of using scripture, weaponizing and abusing scripture, to justify bigotry. White supremacists have done it , those who justified slavery did it, those who fought against integration did that, and we see it today.” I think his way of expressing himself is one of the best. She reflects on her own personal beliefs to logically manipulate arguments, manifesting the rationale behind her reasoning, while acknowledging that her counterparts may disagree, repeatedly beginning her sentences with “In my faith…” She expands on the idea that all people are sacred in their own right and should be treated with the same respect that she wishes to be treated with herself. “There is nothing sacred about rejecting medical care from people, no matter who they are, because of their identity. There is nothing sacred about dismissing someone from a hospital. There is nothing sacred about rejecting a child from a family. There is nothing sacred about writing discrimination into law.”

Ocasio-Cortez carries herself with a certain elegance and speaks with such sincerity, convincing onlookers that she is right. She takes matters into her own hands and takes the bliss (Matthew 5:6) “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied”, to another level as she continually gathers women around the world to be one part of the intersectionality fellowship, leaving no one behind. What elevates the power that Ocasio-Cortez exudes, in my opinion, is her ability to draw direct attention to people who confronted her in problematic and immature ways. In a speech combating misogyny, Ocasio-Cortez denounces a former President of the United States for approaching her with racially motivated remarks, “…the President of the United States last year told me to to go home to another country with the implication that I don’t even belong in America.”

By doing this, Ocasio-Cortez actively encourages others to uplift. She encourages others to speak out against their injustices, in a special language that tells women their stories are worth telling. It raises awareness of a multitude of socio-economic issues and proves that women have something to say and that they can say it. She greatly inspired me – and many others – and I would be grateful to have even a little of her bravery and confidence.

If Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can overcome every woman’s worst nightmare and survive, who says I can’t either?

Key words: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Columban Competition, Jessica Saxon, St George’s College, Weybridge

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Is the AAP ready to replace the Congress as India’s national opposition? https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/is-the-aap-ready-to-replace-the-congress-as-indias-national-opposition/ Sun, 13 Mar 2022 13:00:20 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/is-the-aap-ready-to-replace-the-congress-as-indias-national-opposition/ A landslide victory in Punjab propelled the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) from ruling a “glorified municipality” to becoming the fifth Indian party to successfully expand beyond its home state and gain another state. The AAP now governs two states, as many as Congress. As Congress grapples with an existential crisis after the dismal electoral record […]]]>

A landslide victory in Punjab propelled the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) from ruling a “glorified municipality” to becoming the fifth Indian party to successfully expand beyond its home state and gain another state. The AAP now governs two states, as many as Congress.

As Congress grapples with an existential crisis after the dismal electoral record of winning just five of 50 state assemblies up for grabs since 2014 and being routed in two consecutive national elections, the success of the AAP to sweep another state has raised whispers that the AAP is the possible “national and natural replacement for Congress”.

As the AAP takes the heels of Congress in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and beyond, here are five reasons why the party could well replace Congress as India’s national opposition.

‘Alternative governance’ agenda captures voters’ hopes

The Indian state, despite its stability, has lagged behind in creating economic growth and jobs, reducing hunger, malnutrition and poverty and has seemingly given up on providing health care and food. education, ensuring urban governance, gender parity and reduced social stratification, etc.

Such failures provide extraordinary leeway for reforms that address these critical issues and thereby create new electoral bases for a party.

Yet existing parties, particularly Congress, have failed to offer an alternative paradigm. As such, we the people have been content with the familiar trope of being “too populous to be well governed”. A sense of hopeless status quo and a lack of imagination have permeated our approach to most public policy issues.

A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is barely distinguishable from a Congress government, especially in the states, as the famous Arun Shourie so aptly put it. “The BJP is Congress plus the cow,” he said.

Congress has become a prisoner of its own heritage, upholding archaic structures and laws, unable to free itself from outdated approaches to governance. He remains convinced of his sense of right and seems content to wait his turn as an opposition, to be elected to power because of a possible anti-incumbent. This right and convenience is why Congress does not have a marketable governance model for states, unlike the AAP model in Delhi and the BJP model in Gujarat.

In such a vacuum, the PAA offers an alternative form of governance that lowers the cost of living and increases the disposable incomes of ordinary people through innovations in welfarism; improves opportunities for the upliftment and dignified existence of the poor through reformed public health and education systems; improves service delivery through the use of technology and updated delivery structures, such as door-to-door service delivery and provisions for universal water supply and sewerage access.

Through these steps, the party has thoughtfully identified unmet voter needs, challenged itself to meet them, and thereby created a sustainable voter base that transcends former voting blocs. It is this enduring base that explains why the AAP, after gaining a foothold in one state, sweeps it and thus can defeat Congress in other states as well.

Solves the riddle of the BJP’s ‘Hindu’ and nationalist appeal

The BJP’s success under Modi against the Congress was underscored by the party’s success in defining the Congress as “anti-Hindu” and “anti-national”, thus making the Congress a pariah for a significant portion of voters. The BJP keeps these voters consolidated by constantly stirring the cultural and social pot and appropriating the mantle of “protector of the national and Hindu interest”. Due to the emotive appeal of Hindutva and nationalism, the BJP has created a bond with voters that has grown immune to governance failures.

The AAP has managed to navigate this minefield with innocuous symbolism, such as temple visits, one-crore fees for martyrs, tiranga yatras, and the Teerth Yatra yojana. He has also carefully avoided becoming entangled in cultural and religious debates that keep the body politic’s focus on cultural differences rather than governance issues.

While the AAP has received much criticism for pandering to the emotional needs of the people through the type of religious and nationalist symbolism that the BJP also uses, such criticism overlooks how a fractured political regime, where society is polarized on such conflicting issues, is not able to settle such debates. On the contrary, such challenges only distract us from focusing on the things that unite us and alienate the Liberals from a significant portion of voters.

Thus, the AAP has struck a balance where Hindus who feel alienated are brought back into the liberal fold by having their feelings publicly acknowledged and respected, neutralizing the sense of victimization that the BJP has carefully nurtured among Hindus and thus allowing elections to be fought over issues of governance.

A charismatic and competent leader

The AAP gains another point against Congress by comparing the attractiveness of its leaders; Arvind Kejriwal versus Rahul Gandhi.

Gandhi has held no governance post and is unable to inspire voters’ confidence in his ability to govern, while Kejriwal served as chief minister three times and was re-elected based on his governance record.

Kejriwal is also a much more powerful organization builder and a more persuasive public speaker. Moreover, Gandhi was systematically demonized and as a result is widely seen as the incompetent representative of a corrupt dynasty in decline responsible for the corruption and nepotism that frustrated the aspirations of the common man, creating sentiment among the voters of a lack of alternatives to Modi.

By contrast, Kejriwal is seen as a self-made man who passed both the IIT and civil service entrance exams; won a Magsaysay Award for Social Services; and is a renowned anti-corruption crusader. This makes him better placed to emerge as a face of opposition behind whom the public can unite and credibly challenge Modi.

Mastery of the “new-age electoral campaign”

In the competition for national opposition space, the AAP has another ace up its sleeve: its mastery of new-age election campaigning.

The AAP has a dominating presence on various social media platforms; ostensibly has a better understanding of search algorithms; has more passionate online volunteers; and has innovative multimedia messaging that allows it to disproportionately define the narrative online – and subsequently, offline; a task with which Congress often finds itself confronted.

In fact, Congress, the original “godfather” of welfare policy and the party behind India’s 1991 reforms, is unable to claim ownership of either over the BJP due to the construction superior narrative of the latter.

A combat-ready group with a mission

The Congress is run by leaders and volunteers who are demoralized, uninspired and out of step with the expectations of the people. The party has become impoverished despite the enrichment of its leaders. It has failed to attract new talent as its own leaders abandon it to launch their own parties or join its rivals.

In contrast, the AAP has an army of loyal and dedicated young volunteers, with unwavering faith in the party’s mission. It helps her create a buzz and win the perception battle.

The rise of the AAP has not been without its share of failures. He was left for dead after the Lok Sabha debacle in 2014, then again after the disappointing results of the 2017 Assembly elections in Punjab and finally, after the Lok Sabha washout in 2019 where he won only only one seat. Yet, due to an indomitable fighting spirit, the AAP has risen like a Phoenix from the ashes after each defeat.

Pushed against the wall, she reinvents herself, appeals to a new electoral base, launches with all her might and outflanks her better-off rivals in battles of perception, without being intimidated or shouting.

This fighting spirit is ultimately what can help the AAP unseat the bickering, exhausted, worn-out, decaying Congress that often dies in states where it is pushed into third place. And it is this fighting spirit that may make the BJP wary of the AAP’s emergence as its main rival, ending its dream streak of easy victories over Congress.

With the strong AAP at the forefront, the opposition could finally find its voice, a proposition that should only appeal to the AAP even more with opposition voters.

Praneet Pathak studied marketing at IMT and is a keen observer of Indian democracy.

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Main theme of the symposium on civility in the workplace | Local News https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/main-theme-of-the-symposium-on-civility-in-the-workplace-local-news/ Sat, 12 Mar 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/main-theme-of-the-symposium-on-civility-in-the-workplace-local-news/ FAIRMONT — On one occasion, while teaching mathematics, Yvonne Watson felt frustrated because the students at the back of the class were talking loudly. When she asked the students what was going on, one of them replied that she was adding unnecessary steps to the problems. The student said that before going to prison, he […]]]>

FAIRMONT — On one occasion, while teaching mathematics, Yvonne Watson felt frustrated because the students at the back of the class were talking loudly.

When she asked the students what was going on, one of them replied that she was adding unnecessary steps to the problems. The student said that before going to prison, he sold drugs. He measured and weighed them and calculated his expected income without all the steps required by Watson.

“As he explained, in my mind I’m thinking ‘Stop!’…but something told me to just listen to him,” Watson said.

Speaking at a one-day workplace civility workshop hosted by Pierpont Community & Technical College on Friday, Watson said it’s important that she listens and manages her emotions.

She told the student to do her own problem-solving on one side of her homework and hers on the other. Through this exchange, Watson noticed a positive change and increased engagement in the student’s behavior in the classroom.

Courtesy in the workplace can be summarized as behaving in a way that treats each other with respect, speaks to each other with courtesy, and behaves in a way that creates a work environment characterized by trustworthy, honest yet polite communication and interpersonal interactions that are both personally cordial and professionally appropriate, according to Watson.

In another experience, Watson told the story of a fight with her husband over a snow shovel. In December, she was checking to see if her husband had shoveled snow from his driveway.

“I looked outside and thought, ‘You know, honey, I hate that you have to be out there alone. If we had two shovels, I could join you, but I will continue to watch you,” Watson said.

Her husband remembered the suggestion and when her birthday in September came around, he gave her a set of shovels. She said it was cute, but where’s the real present? She wanted something like a new handbag or designer shoes or money. She didn’t understand why in September he would think of winter snow.

It turned into a serious fight, which affected his mood at work. She used the personal story to explain how trauma and stress can lead to workplace incivility.

During her turn on the podium, Sharon Anderson, CEO of KCG Consulting, used optical illusion photos and asked what the audience had seen. When people saw contrasting images, she used them as an analogy for emotional civility.

“She said she had to turn her view upside down to see it. So sometimes we have to do that in order to understand and include other people’s perspectives,” Anderson said.

An example included an image of a man and woman standing under a tree by a lake and the outline of a baby, which was harder for many to see at first. She asked Pierpont Community and Technical College President Anthony Hancock to describe how to handle a situation where everyone couldn’t see her.

“If you don’t see the baby, it’s okay because he’s there, believe me. Trust that we see the world differently and therefore, that’s a good thing,” Hancock said.

Anderson concluded by saying that communication and managing emotions are the most important elements in expressing emotional civility.

Joseph Drew, a professor of government at the University of Maryland’s Global Campus, said a change is taking shape in the country’s social systems. To give an example, he referred to human resource departments and they served as faculty buddies.

When you ask HR for help, they watch over you and give you honest opinions. Now, HR seems to function as a “defender of the administration; sometimes giving away a club against teachers or students,” Drew said.

He focused on how society has changed and the problems that arise from it.

“Nationally, we have, in my view, an evolving system of social stratification. The absence of a traditional ruling social class in this country. A shrinking middle class, nationally and now it has become a barrier to social mobility, the worst it has ever been in the history of our country,” Drew said.

The event ended with questions and a discussion before lunch. Professors who wanted to know how to improve the management of interactions with students discussed with the panelists.

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Remembering Paul Farmer, a healer and guide https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/remembering-paul-farmer-a-healer-and-guide/ Fri, 25 Feb 2022 22:04:49 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/remembering-paul-farmer-a-healer-and-guide/ My mother says those who die in their sleep are divine. Dr. Paul Edward Farmer died Monday in his sleep. He was only 62 years old. He had devoted his life to improving the health of the poorest. A physician by profession, he was also a trained anthropologist, prolific writer and professor at Kolokotrones University […]]]>

My mother says those who die in their sleep are divine. Dr. Paul Edward Farmer died Monday in his sleep. He was only 62 years old. He had devoted his life to improving the health of the poorest. A physician by profession, he was also a trained anthropologist, prolific writer and professor at Kolokotrones University and chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He was co-founder of the non-profit organization Partners in Health (PIH).

I have never met Farmer but have followed his work, writings, interviews and other material that emerged from his years of work in Haiti, Rwanda and impoverished areas of West Africa . His death is devastating news for the small global tribe of doctors and healthcare workers who defied capitalist greed and dedicated their lives to the poor and disadvantaged. Farmer was the beacon of this dying tribe.

As a trained anthropologist, Farmer had a knack for asking simple but important questions that peeled back the layers of social stratification. Many of his books have revealed how poverty works in the modern world. It amazed him how ordinary people in countries like Nicaragua, El Salvador and Haiti were able to put their lives on the line for dignity and social justice. His latest book Fever, Feuds and Diamonds: Ebola and the Ravages of History (2020), discusses the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and traces the origins of this region’s neglected health care to centuries of domination. colonial. This ability to logically trace the epidemic to an end point in the region’s colonial history shows a teacher mastering his talent and capable of revealing the “visibly invisible” to his students.

That said, the massive but significant web of Paul Farmer, the author, is extremely difficult to keep up with. His books deal not only with the sociopolitics of health care, but also with spirituality, liberation theology, hope, political economy, and even culture and society. His book Infections and Inequalities not only examined the link between poverty and disease, but also revealed how developed countries like the United States treat poor “invisible countries” like Haiti. His articles on tuberculosis and HIV are an important medical resource for physicians. Mountains Beyond Mountains, her biography by Tracy Kidder, is an inspiring book that all aspiring doctors should read. In Pathologies of Power, Farmer addressed disparities in access to existing medical technologies.

With the Covid-19 outbreak tearing the world’s health systems apart and opening gaping holes in our interpretation of public health care, Farmer’s work becomes a beacon, especially for resource-limited settings like India. . He believed that the social construction of epidemics and the lived experience of illness are very different and that poverty is not an accident of nature but the result of historically determined and economically driven forces. In India, many of us work in facilities that have been called “clinical deserts” by Farmer. These are hospitals without the tools of the trade. Farmer asked if such clinical deserts could be irrigated and concluded that they could. He believed that if a MASH hospital can be built next to a battlefield, then one can certainly be built after the battle is over – for example, in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Peru or Guatemala after the civil war. He believed in pragmatic solidarity with health partners.

Kidder writes in Mountains Beyond Mountains that during a trip to Cuba, Farmer revealed that he did not believe in Marxism but that he loved the then Cuban President Fidel Castro, mainly for the protection of the sick and the people. vulnerable. He writes that when they finally arrived at their hotel in Havana, Farmer said, “I can sleep here. Here, everyone has a doctor.

As Farmer sleeps eternally, it is the responsibility of each of us to ensure his legacy is maintained. Let’s promise him that everyone on this planet will have a doctor.

The author is Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, AIIMS, New Delhi

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The Centrist Manifesto of New World Ideology https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/the-centrist-manifesto-of-new-world-ideology/ Fri, 18 Feb 2022 13:24:00 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/the-centrist-manifesto-of-new-world-ideology/ Centrist manifesto By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu The centrist manifesto by Uchenna Nwankwo; Centrist Books – An imprint of Centrist Productions Ltd, Ikeja, Lagos; 2022; 202pp Books that change history aren’t heavy tomes. In 1848 the world was shaken by the publication of The communist manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The battle cry across […]]]>

Centrist manifesto

By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

The centrist manifesto by Uchenna Nwankwo; Centrist Books – An imprint of Centrist Productions Ltd, Ikeja, Lagos; 2022; 202pp

Books that change history aren’t heavy tomes. In 1848 the world was shaken by the publication of The communist manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The battle cry across the world has become: “Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains! The underlying statement was: “The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles.” The revolution has become the rage all over the world. Now in this year of Our Lord, getting out of Nigeria is the historic book The centrist manifesto by Uchenna Nwankwo.

It is crucial to reiterate the two quotes that launch Uchenna Nwankwo’s speech The centrist manifesto. The first is a quote from Albert Einstein, namely: “If at the beginning the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope.” Then comes the quote from Miguel de Unamuno: “Only he who attempts the absurd is able to achieve the impossible.”

Society as a whole almost always puts the stamp of absurdity on the forehead of any original thinker. In Nigeria where most people prefer to eat and consume rather than think of origin, the thinker Uchenna Nwankwo amply represents an endangered species. The saving grace is that even if the original thinker is scorned at first, as history attests, he eventually achieves victory. For example, Galileo Galelei was made to backtrack on his observation that the earth revolved around the sun by the Catholic Church, but the Church had to apologize to the scientist in the end.

Uchenna Nwankwo is a prolific author who has been hailed by legendary titans such as the first Nigerian President, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, former US President George Bush, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former French President Francois Mitterrand , former United Nations Secretary General Javier Perez De Cuellar and former Commonwealth Secretary General Emeka Anyaoku.

The centrist manifesto paves the way for convergence at the Center as opposed to quondam extremisms of the left and the right. The author freely admits that centrism is not an easy thing to achieve since he writes that “it must be observed that the Center itself has remained for too long a varied, vaguely defined and nebulous concept”.

Starting in Nigeria, where political parties emerge from a numbing lack of seriousness with no ideology to brag about, Uchenna Nwankwo reaches out to the world, armed with the biblical saying that “my people perish for lack of vision”. . According to Uchenna Nwankwo, “The prospect of the emergence and maintenance of a virile and just society depends on the viability of the vision and ideology on which the society is founded, built or managed. The absence or non-enforcement of such a viable vision in the management of the affairs of the Nigerian country-state as well as most other countries of the world has for too long left the country and the world at large reeling in all the senses. the word.”

Uchenna Nwankwo’s centrist intervention aimed at bringing Nigeria and the world onto a path of sustainable development, growth, greatness and stability is anchored on the three-pronged channel of “(a) socio – economic measured; (b) a thorough examination of the concept of egalitarianism and the nature and characteristics of the model of social stratification for planet Earth as approved or ordained by the Almighty Lord; and of course (c) a pragmatic socio-political format.

On the socio-economic level of Nigeria, the author condemns individual businesses that dominate spaces as opposed to businesses, societies and systems that promote growth. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are failing through the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) and the privatization policy. The phenomenon of perennial depreciation on the part of labor ranges from the local to the universal. It is therefore necessary to adopt pragmatic measures combining socialism and capitalism, as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt did in the United States to save the country from the Great Depression of 1929 to 1939. This is the crux of centrist ideology. .

Uchenna Nwankwo delves into egalitarianism, communism, Marxism-Leninism, Euro-communism, fascism, classical capitalism, modern capitalism, socialism and nationalization before focusing on lifestyle or centrist ideology which, according to him, “you can say that it evolved naturally from the beginning of time.

Delineating the elementary and secondary distribution of political power, the author begins with monarchy, aristocracy and democracy, before delving into Nigeria’s special and unique status as a “Babel” having “more than 250 ethnicities and language groups (not to mention its multi-religious and multi-cultural status and, of course, ethno-developmental differences and dichotomies).

Finally, Uchenna Nwankwo in The centrist manifesto takes to the world stage to tackle the neglected and uncharted terrain of the issue of equitable distribution of power among nations or countries at the global forum. He argues that the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) can truly function as the World Assembly or Legislature if an equitable format for the sharing or distribution of power is achieved.

After the statement of the theory, there is the ultimate drive of praxis. Putting the ideas of Uchenna Nwankwo into The centrist manifesto in effective practice, interested Nigerians are here urged to form a new party which should serve as a political vehicle to anchor and ensure the entrenchment of centrist ideology in Nigeria. The biblical injunction insists that new wine should not be put into an old vessel to avoid contamination or ruin.

Nigeria can follow the example of the transformation of old Russia. Nikolai Chernychevsky wrote a novel called what is there to do? Lenin followed up with his own book, also titled what is there to do? Words turned into deeds and the Russian Revolution happened. Uchenna Nwankwo gave the words for the change needed in Nigeria.

The centrist manifesto presents an ideology whose time has come.

Thank you all.

  • A Review presented at the launch of The centrist manifesto on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos, Nigeria.

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Is it fair to compare Prime Minister Imran Khan’s agenda with that of General Zia-ul-Haq? – The Friday Times https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/is-it-fair-to-compare-prime-minister-imran-khans-agenda-with-that-of-general-zia-ul-haq-the-friday-times/ Mon, 17 Jan 2022 09:29:56 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/is-it-fair-to-compare-prime-minister-imran-khans-agenda-with-that-of-general-zia-ul-haq-the-friday-times/ Many critics of Prime Minister Imran Khan have accused him of following General Zia-ul-Haq’s policies. They say the extreme self-censorship, stifling of dissent, human rights abuses, violence against minorities and the witch hunt against political opponents are reminiscent of Zia’s time. Yet some even believe that Khan’s style of rule is more deadly than that […]]]>

Many critics of Prime Minister Imran Khan have accused him of following General Zia-ul-Haq’s policies. They say the extreme self-censorship, stifling of dissent, human rights abuses, violence against minorities and the witch hunt against political opponents are reminiscent of Zia’s time. Yet some even believe that Khan’s style of rule is more deadly than that of a brutal dictator whose dark era corrupted politics, sowed the seeds of religious hatred, stoked ethnic tensions and tore the social fabric of Pakistani society. Is this a sober analysis or an excessive pretension?

Khan’s opponents believe he may be the first Pakistani politician who went from political sagacity to political immaturity. For example, if one skims through his interviews from the Musharraf era, one notices that most of these interviews reflected the political savvy and harsh realities of Pakistani politics. Almost in all of these interviews, Khan lambasted the country’s undemocratic forces, accusing them of manipulating elections, promoting corrupt politicians, funding sectarian forces, patronizing ethnic elements and engaging in wars and conflicts that had nothing to do with the national interest. from the country.

Ironically, when the same undemocratic forces cobbled together an alliance of corrupt politicians, forcing them into the ranks of the PTI, Khan not only welcomed them with open arms, but he also praised these defectors, in addition to declare them men of conscience who risked their political careers by ending their association with what he called corrupt political dynasties. Such moralizing posture was missing even in the behavior of Zia who knew very well that they were unscrupulous chosen ones who could go to any lengths to protect their interests. But our Mr. Proper of modern day Pakistani politics has allowed these conscienceless feudals, tribal lords and money makers to fill his right and left flanks.

It was because of such an attitude that even some of his middle and lower class supporters began to take everything Khan claimed with a pinch of salt, wondering how Khan would improve public schools while he was himself. -even accompanied by private owners. schools and whose business can only prosper if the educational standards of public schools are dismal. They also questioned the rationality of integrating people from pharmaceutical companies while claiming loud and clear to provide free, quality medical care. Khan did not disappoint his critics with his cronies allowing drug companies to exponentially increase drug prices.

Khan also proposed policies that appeased traditional influential classes in Pakistani society like textiles, stock exchanges, car imports and other lobbies. He poured out favors on these classes, removing the subsidies that had been given to the poor in the past. The Kaptaan handed out a package on scholarships shortly after coming to power in addition to announcing Rs 1.2 trillion relief for the wealthy during the pandemic, allocating a measly Rs. social stratification, who were most affected by the contagion.

General Zia had also adopted such a hypocritical attitude, but what was most harmful in a myriad of his policies was his exploitation of religion for political gain. The dictator invoked religious injunctions, symbols and overtones to perpetuate his illegal rule, in addition to granting carte blanche to obscurantist forces in society and the clergy – which seriously damaged the social fabric of the country. Consequently, the malign tentacles of sectarian forces have taken hold of Pakistani society, plunging the country into an abyss of religious sectarianism.

Khan appears to be following the legacy of his ideological predecessor Zia, soothing the soul of his political mentor, General Hamid Gul, whose concept of strategic depth and myopic worldview not only spawned jihadist and militant organizations, but has also contributed in some way to the murder. tens of thousands of Pakistanis during the Taliban insurgency, in addition to causing the Pakistani economy to lose over $100 billion due to the devastation wrought by extremist forces who idolized the late Gul.

Arguably, the most alarming aspect of Khan’s style of governance is the appeasement of the religious right. The Kaptaan not only enthroned a notorious sectarian figure who would publicly despise a particular sect, as a special assistant, but he also encouraged religious fascists by choosing Orthodox clerics to lead the country’s ministry of religious affairs. Such appointments have emboldened fiercely anti-Shia groups to mount their murderous offensive against the community, prompting some of the provincial assembly legislators to introduce laws that would further harm the social fabric of the country. Such a policy also encouraged the Barelvi groups to assert their authority, which were funded by undemocratic forces to be opponents of the N-league. A senior PTI Punjab leader has spoken openly about the possibility of working with these rising fascist forces. Such a decision would integrate those hatemongers who seek to promote mob lynching and challenge state decisions.

Like his dictatorial predecessor, Khan promotes medieval thought by making sweeping changes to the curriculum and throwing millions of rupees behind conservative elements like the clerics of Jamia Haqqania in Akora Khattak. Khan, like Zia, seems to loathe Western education, drastically cutting the budget of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) while pumping millions – if not billions – of rupees into establishing various religious authorities and research centers who wouldn’t. try to create or invent something, but invest all their energy in deciphering the inner message of certain folklore figures. Governor Khan in Punjab is also trying to change the education system at college and university levels in a way that would lead to stuffing higher education institutions with conservative elements. Instead of modernizing seminaries, he seems to be converting public schools into religious institutions, which would further promote the very narrow interpretation of religion that has done so much damage to the social fabric of the country in the past.

What the Kaptan has added to General Zia’s legacy is the element of superstition. The late dictator was Machiavellian, but he was not superstitious. He would try to manage state affairs in a shrewd manner, which reflected a modicum of rationality. But Khan seems to have dragged superstitions into affairs of state, forcing powerful elements in the Islamic Republic to remind him that governments are not run that way. His actions could inspire gullible masses to regard superstitions as a source of blessing, which could plunge the country into greater intellectual backwardness.

The use of religion for political purposes has always had a boomerang effect on those who have come up with the idea of ​​such exploitation. Gandhi used religious symbols and ideas in his political meetings, campaigns and rallies, which ultimately not only encouraged extremist Hindus to turn India into a theocracy, but also led them to weed out those who s opposed to Hindutva, including Gandhi himself. Indonesia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Afghanistan have also suffered from the exploitation of religion for political ends. After Zia’s death, it was expected that Pakistani politicians would not resort to exploiting religion for political gain. Some did it after 1988, but later regretted it, focusing on governance issues, trying to solve ordinary people’s problems. But Khan has revitalized this use of religion, which could be very catastrophic for the country.

It is therefore perhaps reasonable to argue that his legacy could prove deadlier than that of General Zia, as the champion of change not only adopts the dictator’s right-wing agenda, but also adds the element of superstition. It is, indeed, a destructive combination.

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SMU students impress at inaugural SheXO Young Leaders Challenge https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/smu-students-impress-at-inaugural-shexo-young-leaders-challenge/ Mon, 10 Jan 2022 04:03:05 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/smu-students-impress-at-inaugural-shexo-young-leaders-challenge/ An initiative by Deloitte Singapore and United Women Singapore that supports the development of young women leaders Singapore Management University (SMU) students took home half of the ten winning places in the inaugural SheXO Young Leaders Challenge, an initiative designed to focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace in Singapore. The five SMU laureates […]]]>

An initiative by Deloitte Singapore and United Women Singapore that supports the development of young women leaders

Singapore Management University (SMU) students took home half of the ten winning places in the inaugural SheXO Young Leaders Challenge, an initiative designed to focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace in Singapore.

The five SMU laureates are Anagi Fernando (4th year, School of Economics); Brenda Wang (4th year, School of Social Sciences); Lai Siew Ping (4th year, School of Social Sciences); Salin Yap (2nd year, Lee Kong Chian School of Business) and Yeo Zhi Ning (2nd year, Lee Kong Chian School of Business). Congratulations!

The challenge was open to female students enrolled in any undergraduate program at a Singapore university, and applicants participate as individuals to come up with a solution to a topic-based challenge question. The goal of this challenge was to nurture and inspire young women, and give them a head start in their leadership aspirations before they enter the workforce.

Out of 59 entries received, ten winners were chosen based on their analysis and solution to the challenge question “If you were a leader now, how would you improve on the practices commonly used to promote gender diversity?” , Inclusion and Equal Opportunities in Singapore Corporate Organizations Today? », And their presentation during the final round of judging. Applicants were encouraged to consider, but not be limited to, their analysis and solutions to the following areas of gender diversity and equitable representation in cabinet and leadership roles; discrimination in the workplace, bias and fairness in recruitment.

At the virtual awards ceremony that took place on December 14, 2021, the winners received a paid internship with Deloitte or with a supporting organization of the SheXO Young Leaders Challenge (SheXO YLC) and mentorship with a female leader. experienced company from the same organization. They will also receive a cash prize and have access to networking opportunities at Deloitte events.

The judges were really impressed with the participants of the challenge. Ms. Sheila NG, Chief Financial Officer, Raffles Medical Group and SheXO YLC Mentor said: “I have been impressed by the diversity and thoroughness of research on the topic of presentation. The participants were all well prepared and articulate to express their views. It is important to encourage young people, especially women, to aspire to leadership positions as they advance in their careers. I urge all young people, especially women, not to be bound by gender perceptions as they advance in their careers, no matter what industry they work in.

Ms. SEAH Gek Choo, SheXO Program Manager, Deloitte Singapore, congratulated the winners and said: “It was a pleasure to witness the fire and zeal as they passionately shared their vision of a future without a party. caught nor discrimination. They have shown their leadership potential, and we hope these young women will build on this momentum and support other young women who aspire to make an impact that benefits society and the economy. It will certainly be an important step towards creating a pool of young women leaders and opening doors for them so that there can be a more diverse voice in many organizations.

When asked what motivated them to take part in this challenge, Brenda Wang said, “I have always been interested in the inclusion and empowerment of women, but it was only after have taken several modules as part of my specializations in politics, law and economics and public policy and public management. including gender policy and social stratification, which I have had the opportunity to think more deeply about diversity and gender inclusion and discuss it with my peers. SheXO YLC has been a great opportunity for me to pursue my interests in gender issues while challenging my writing and presentation skills. She added that her case analyzed the state of gender diversity and inclusion in Singapore, including the main challenges in Singapore workplaces and the programs companies have implemented to address the issue. Based on her analysis, she identified three solutions that companies could adopt to better address diversity and gender inclusion: (i) use AI technology to make hiring processes fairer, ( ii) include diversity and gender inclusion as KPIs, and (iii) set up support platforms for women and men.

For Salin Yap, it was her first time participating in a case challenge and she appreciated how well organized and accessible this challenge was. “During my college career so far, I have inspired and motivated my peers a lot, especially the admirable women around me. It motivated me to say yes to the opportunities to challenge myself personally. As cliché as it may sound, saying yes and taking the challenge head-on will bring you great fulfillment. “

As for Lai Siew Ping, the challenge of creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce really resonated with her and that was a primary reason for her to submit a proposal with recommendations to tackle these issues. “I believe these issues will only become more urgent over time, as Singapore and the world become more and more connected and therefore diverse. Yet the measures currently available have barely scratched the surface of creating a workforce in which everyone can feel comfortable and want to work. It had three main recommendations: (a) ensure a fair hiring process (eg blind hiring practices where non-job criteria will only be revealed when necessary; (b) create a working environment in which everyone would feel comfortable; (c) representation in leadership positions (i.e. equal representation of men and women as well as LGBTQ representation).

“As an international student from Sri Lanka, issues of women’s empowerment and gender equality are close to my heart, having witnessed the gaps that exist in developing and developed countries,” said Anagi Fernando.

“While researching for this challenge, it shocked me that there are still sanctions related to motherhood and vertical segregation in our society. My Solutions underscored the need for organizations to focus on creating systems that celebrate and promote gender equality and inclusion in order to have lasting and lasting change. I am incredibly excited and humbled by this victory! I look forward to internship and mentoring opportunities. I am eager for advice and guidance to start my career, and I aspire to join an organization where I can contribute and add value; to challenge standards and help create a more inclusive work culture, ”added Anagi.

For Yeo Zhi Ning, “One of my aspirations is to help cultivate a healthy environment conducive to growth, no matter where I work. I hope I can make a difference by talking about the D&I issues that affect a lot. This was my first case challenge I’ve been on, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. I was very happy and surprised to learn of my victory, and I am very excited for the upcoming internship and mentorship. This is an incredible opportunity, and I can’t wait to grow up under my mentor.

Congratulations to these five undergraduates who made SMU proud!

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Where does the term “unskilled worker” come from and why it is inaccurate https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/where-does-the-term-unskilled-worker-come-from-and-why-it-is-inaccurate/ Thu, 06 Jan 2022 15:50:23 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/where-does-the-term-unskilled-worker-come-from-and-why-it-is-inaccurate/ New York City’s new mayor Eric Adams said this week that service workers “don’t have the academic skills to sit in the corner office.” His statement is based on a common misconception about the workforce. The terms “skilled” and “unskilled” are applied offensively to different parts of the labor market. Loading Something is loading. On […]]]>
  • New York City’s new mayor Eric Adams said this week that service workers “don’t have the academic skills to sit in the corner office.”
  • His statement is based on a common misconception about the workforce.
  • The terms “skilled” and “unskilled” are applied offensively to different parts of the labor market.

On his second day as mayor of New York City, Eric Adams appealed to office businesses: he urged businesses to demand that their office workers return to their offices earlier than the proposed schedule in April.

“You are part of the ecosystem of this city”, he said. “My low-skilled workers – my cooks, my dishwashers, my couriers, my shoe shiners, those who work at Dunkin ‘Donuts – they don’t have the academic skills to sit in the corner office. need.”

Although Adams intended to highlight the interdependence of New York City’s economy, where restaurants and retail outlets depend on the business of office workers (who largely travel to Manhattan from Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx and neighboring suburbs) who in turn depend on them for their livelihood and property, he did so by citing a misrepresentation of a huge chunk of the workforce. ‘work.

Although the cooks, bicycle couriers and employees of Dunkin ‘all hold service jobs, they are not “low-skilled workers” who “lack the academic skills” for office work. Despite the complexity of the job, these jobs are considered “unskilled” or “low-skilled” because they require repetition of menial work – extremely important things like making sandwiches and pouring coffee. They also make up the vast majority of the US workforce at nearly 80%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And at the height of the pandemic, alongside healthcare workers, these workers were often described with one word: essential.

essential workers

A view of Thank You art in a restaurant window in Kips Bay during the coronavirus pandemic on May 28, 2020 in New York City.

Noam Galai / Getty Images


The Modern Origin of “Skilled” and “Unskilled” Labor

The idea that service workers “don’t have the academic skills” for office work is a common misconception that is rooted in American history.

Modern concepts of “skilled” and “unskilled” labor in America are drawn from the late 1800s and early 1900s, when so-called “white collar” jobs became increasingly necessary. in the management of industrial capitalism.

During this period, a “social stratification” was occurring: White-collar jobs became more respectable because they required a high school diploma and were paid rather than by the hour. Working in factories and on farms lacked the prestige of the emerging new class of managerial jobs.

This social stratification came to define much of 20th century America, with millions of American parents defining their children’s success as a college education leading to a salaried office job. By comparison, working in the service industry is viewed by some as a failure.

The inequality between people working in offices – who can work remotely with relative ease – and people working in service jobs that require a physical presence, such as catering workers and bicycle couriers, was evident. long before the pandemic throws her into a worse – still light.

Salaried office workers are much more likely to have stable work schedules, with free weekends and paid vacations. They can work seated and use the bathroom as they wish. Clerical jobs often come with benefits like healthcare and 401K pension plans.

Service jobs, on the other hand, often have irregular hours, with work that requires physical labor and with little or no benefits. These jobs were made more difficult in the first year of the pandemic, when many service workers were urged to continue working wave after wave of COVID-19 cases while dealing with growing customers. more hostile.

The result has been an exodus of employees from service jobs, with entire staff resigning en masse in some cases. We often talk about a “labor shortage”, but one thing is clear: when companies offer higher wages, they are able to attract more workers.

But workers have been fighting for a minimum wage of $ 15 for almost 10 years, and $ 15 / hour still does not provide a living wage. While some businesses have evolved, the market generally values ​​service jobs less, primarily due to their apparent ubiquity and lower barriers to entry.

If these workers are truly considered “essential” in America, rather than “unskilled workers,” they should be treated – and paid – as such.

Do you have any advice? Contact senior Insider correspondent Ben Gilbert by email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We may keep the sources anonymous. Use an unprofessional device to reach out. RP pitches by email only, please.

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Movie Review: “Nightmare Alley” – The Biggest Scam On Earth https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/movie-review-nightmare-alley-the-biggest-scam-on-earth/ Sun, 26 Dec 2021 19:51:25 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/movie-review-nightmare-alley-the-biggest-scam-on-earth/ By Nicole Veneto With Alley of nightmares, Guillermo del Toro once again proves to be an unprecedented cinematic visionary whose commitment to craftsmanship continues to surprise. Alley of nightmares, directed by Guillermo del Toro, currently in theaters. Bradley Cooper as Stanton “Stan” Carlisle in Alley of nightmares. Photo: Fox projector. If there’s one general theme […]]]>

By Nicole Veneto

With Alley of nightmares, Guillermo del Toro once again proves to be an unprecedented cinematic visionary whose commitment to craftsmanship continues to surprise.

Alley of nightmares, directed by Guillermo del Toro, currently in theaters.

Bradley Cooper as Stanton “Stan” Carlisle in Alley of nightmares. Photo: Fox projector.

If there’s one general theme that ties the Guillermo del Toro films together, it’s that men – not vengeful ghosts, hell demons, or sexy fish deities who eat cats – are the real ones. monsters lurking in the shadows. It might be a cliché, but I can’t think of a better way to sum up this macabre mastermind’s thesis. Consider the tagline for his latest feature – “Man or Beast?” The message may be the same, but del Toro’s latest film, Alley of nightmares, is a departure from the rest of his work: it is his first to not present any of the supernatural or science-fiction elements on which a third of the “Three Amigos of Cinema” has built his career.

For its sequel to the 2017 Oscar-winning Cold War fairy tale The shape of water (aka the movie where a woman kisses the creature from the black lagoon, lest we all forget it), del Toro chose to re-adapt William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name for the screen. But the abandonment of the giant mech fights (Pacific Rim) and haunted Victorian mansions (Crimson woodpecker) in the seedy underworld of film noir isn’t as drastic a change for del Toro as one might think. In fact, film noir is a perfect fit for del Toro’s grotesque branding. With Alley of nightmares, del Toro once again proves to be an unprecedented cinematic visionary whose commitment to craftsmanship continues to amaze.

Black film lovers already know the plot of Alley of nightmares Edmund Goulding’s 1947 adaptation in which Tyrone Powell played Stanton “Stan” Carlisle, a handsome vagabond turned carney whose mentalist talent brought him fame, fortune and ruin at the hands of a psychiatric femme fatale. Although del Toro is a fan of Goulding’s version, his take on Alley of nightmares comes close to the spirit of the novel, a property offered to him in 1992 by his frequent collaborator Ron Perlman (who plays Bruno the strong man). There are a few nods to Goulding’s film but overall del Toro’s Alley of nightmares is its own interpretation of the source material. And if you’re a del Toro fan like me, you know that means you’re in something far darker than Goulding’s take.

Del Toro wastes no time immersing us in the lives of the underprivileged of society at the dawn of World War II (notably, the title card and credit streak come at the very end): Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) lugged a dead body under the floor of his childhood home, set it on fire and hit the road. His travels take him to a carnival run by Clem Hoatley (the always great Willem Dafoe). With her good looks and talent for fluent conversation, Stanton quickly finds a niche for himself by helping “Madam” Zeena (Toni “I am your MOTHER!” Collette) and the psychic act of her alcoholic husband Pete (David Strathairn). In exchange, the duo teach him the coded word system behind their old mentalist spectacle in Vaudeville.

After Stan’s neglect causes a tragedy that complicates his relationship with Zeena, he goes off on his own as a mentalist, taking righteous “Electra Girl” Molly (Rooney Mara) from the carnival with him as his lover and pretty. assistant. A few years go by and their number two now regularly attracts gullible crowds of wealthy elites, finally putting Stan in contact with wealthy psychoanalyst Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett). Together, the two hatch a plan to defraud skeptical mogul Ezra Grindle (Richard Jenkins, returning from his Oscar-nominated role in Water shape). To say that things aren’t going the way Stan hoped would be an understatement, but let’s just say Ezra isn’t the only one getting ripped off.

One of del Toro’s greatest assets as a filmmaker is that he has a genuine love for everything he does, that he works with his own original ideas like Pan’s Labyrinth or an existing property like Blade. What defines del Toro’s style isn’t a sentimental attraction to the weird and the supernatural, but rather the way he delves into recurring concerns, like war and social stratification, in each of his films. Its purpose is often to explore what turns men into monsters, and Alley of nightmares continue this quest. Stan’s fall is tragic, but largely on his own initiative. Scamming for survival is one thing, but running a “scary spectacle” that casually indulges people’s grief for fame and fortune is a whole other matter altogether. Unlike the era adaptation of Goulding’s production code, del Toro offers Stan no romantic redemption, and the conclusion is all the better.

It is at the level of craftsmanship where Alley of nightmares really shines, from the grimy and grotesque carnival look of Clem Hoatley to the lavishly lit art deco interiors that Stanton walks in and out. Maybe the proceedings are a little too bright to be considered a true film noir, but del Toro has never been one to be realistic. He’s a maximalist in every sense of the word. What if suddenly there is a category for the best lighting at every big awards show this season, Alley of nightmares should sweep.

Every week or so I remember that del Toro doesn’t have a but of them Oscars for making an R-rated Studio Ghibli movie. That fact never fails to put me in a better mood. For me, he can’t do anything wrong, if only because I can’t think of another living director who is so passionately attached to the aesthetic of excess. Certainly, Alley of nightmares is not his best film: with a running time of almost two and a half hours, even I started to get nervous in my theater seat. Nonetheless, del Toro is the king of an artistic alley of its own. If you’re looking to see a movie starring Willem Dafoe without giving Marvel more of your money, then consider wandering around Alley of nightmares.


Nicole Veneto graduated from Brandeis University with an MA in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, focusing on Feminist Media Studies. His writing has been featured in MAY Feminism & Visual Culture, Cinematographic Questions Magazine, and Boston University Hoochie Reader. She is the co-host of the new Marvelous podcast, or the Death of Cinema. You can follow her on Letterboxd and Twitter @kuntsuragi for weird and niche movie recommendations.

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