Airport anthropology, one next ting and di post weh mi did a write from before

Airport Anthropology

I feel the same way every time i go to the airport. Kinda puzzled, curious, worried. I know i feel a way because all i want to do is look at people coming outta the airport and who pick dem up. Is not fas mi fas but mi just really interested fi understand fi mi owna life fi mi owna a country so mi a look fi try mek sense a weh a gwaan. The last time mi go a di airport a some white people mi guh pick up, we did out deh one long time so mi get fi see nuff nuff tings. mi see one man come out wid nuff suitcase and some pickney run guh to him and hug him up mi think a dem fadda and him wife or girlfriend or baby modda deh deh too a watch him and a smile. mi did a watch dem and a wonda weh kinda work him do a foriegn, how long him gone fah, if him happy ova deh? how him feel bout di snow? mi wonda how much time off him get from work and how much money him come back wid a jamaica. Is quite a few pickney did a hug him up so mi wonda if him did stay a jamaica how him woulda mine dem pickney deh and di baby moda or wife or girlfriend. mi did feel happy fi him cause him come back and him mus have likkle money innah him pocket and him pickney dem glad fi see him. Him mek mi think though bout this idea a resistance. him and one next woman weh mi see.  She dress up like she a come from New York, har friend dem come pick har up innah one big jeep. she look well hot and dem even hotta. mi nuh know weh kinda work she go do or how long she gaan fah but she look like a she a run fi har life and she and har friend dem look happy. dem mek mi really start think bout the idea a resistance dem two people deh dah night deh in particular. cause mi see two regular looking jamaican go deal wid america and snow and come back a jamaica and dem look alright.  although things must kinda hard certain way cause it hard fi everybody di people dem find a way out. dem nah stay yah and mek weh a gwaan hold dem down. so dem a fight babylon a different way and it look like it a work. mi get fi realize seh when some people lef is really a act of resistance, a fight dem a fight when dem lef cause dem waan better to.  Me deh yah waaa resist and a nuh seh mi nuh have no visa but mi nuh really know bout guh live a nuh foreign. even so, it nuh so easy fi guh foreign weh mi a guh go? so mi seh we must resist but weh mi a guh go?  den yuh have a next side to the whole ting bout di airport. mi guh deh again today, a so mi get fi realize seh mi feel a way everytime mi guh fi true and mi love watch people out deh.

One lady a come cross innah di parking lot, she and two pickney. dem have an stylish dark glasses and dem look happy dem a skipa come ova. mi realise seh she mussi just park di car a di airport and gone a foreign so when she come back she can drive har self back. eida dat or di pickney dem come by dem self and she just guh pick dem up. but dem look like dem just a come from foreign and dem have tings. mi watch har till she drive out wid di black mercedes benz. Mi modda come to mi mind. mi memba when mi modda use to carry mi and mi sistah pon bus guh downtown and all bout. we neva have nuh car a bus we used to tek. but mi memba seh we did look like dem two pickeny deh and di woman weh gone innah di mercedes benz. mi modda tek care a we and she dress weh up and we did happy when we a guh out wid we modda we neva worry bout nothing. but di lady a di airport mek mi think bout some pickney weh nuh haffi worry bout nuthing, weh live a comfortable life, dem guh foriegn a summertime and come back wid nuff nice things. mi imagine weh dem live and seh a di same jamaica weh plenty pickney deh, weh nuh have nuthing dem neva even pass crossroads.

mi feeling dem weird enuh. mi see seh a fight some people  fight fi a better life then mi see seh a have some people have it mek dem can leave and it bodda mi. mi wonda a weh kinda place dis we a live innah? why it set up so.


One next ting

Today mi and mi friend a talk, because mi know some people weh a look fi one african centered school fi dem pickney guh. So mi guh seh to har seh how come we have so much Rasta people and people weh seh dem african conscious and we nuh have nuh african school? so we talk and talk and debate and debate and she a show mi seh bwoy it nuh easy fi start and dem try and it nuh work and place hard fi find and the cost and ting and people busy and a try manage dem life and nuff ting. mi understand weh she a seh enuh but mi still a look pon it and seh dat it very very strange. we have so much reggae artist a tour, so much rasta gathering roun music, so much reggae festival innah di worl, how come african people innah jamica nuh have nuh African centred school fi sen dem pickney???? it nuh mek nuh sense what a gwaan. you see the thing tricky but it simple enuh. we need a school and we need fi understand that. we need fi get we self togeda wid di likkle weh we have and mek it happen or else a joke Rasta and African people a joke.


A same so mi and one next friend a talk di oda night. mi did start write it up fi mek one post but mi a guh put it yah so cause it connected. to me everybidy fi tek a approach weh u caan only a live fi u self u haffi do something fi a generation weh a come. mek a idea fi dem see come to life, something weh dem can benefit from. why we deh yah a gwaan like we reach and life nice and we can tek time focus pon building we career now? but mi nuh  waan fi be unfair enuh so mi seh everybody fi do weh dem can do then. but it still bodda mi fi mek dat compromise cause mi really believe seh we fi a mek more things happen.


Di post weh mi did start write from before 

Sometime ago i wrote that not everyone can be an activist but everyone should care. Two nights ago i got into a heated conversation with two friends that ended abruptly. Why can’t everyone be like Walter Rodney or Marcus Garvey i shouted! “Everyone can’t be like Walter Rodney she replied”. “why?” i insisted. One friend early pointed out that the level of personal sacrifice that is required to care at this level is not something that we should expect. People want to pursue their careers our their lives. My other friend pointed out that like the organs in the body don’t all serve the same function but they work together so it is with people and their role in shaping society. Not everyone plays the same role. I told her that this was a sketchy idea which we learnt in high school from the sociology of Emile Durkhiem.  I revisted the idea of functionalism and Durkheim here because when you are doing Sociology in high school it is really only a theory to some at least to me it was. Now i can see the idea emerging in conversations and i am forced to think more deeply about the reasons why we assume some of us can lead or should lead and not all of us.

The functionalist perspective, also called functionalism, is one of the major theoretical perspectives in sociology. It has its origins in the works of Emile Durkheim, who was especially interested in how social order is possible or how society remains relatively stable.

Functionalism interprets each part of society in terms of how it contributes to the stability of the whole society. Society is more than the sum of its parts; rather, each part of society is functional for the stability of the whole society. The different parts are primarily the institutions of society, each of which is organized to fill different needs and each of which has particular consequences for the form and shape of society. The parts all depend on each other.

For example, the government, or state, provides education for the children of the family, which in turn pays taxes on which the state depends to keep itself running. The family is dependent upon the school to help children grow up to have good jobs so that they can raise and support their own families. In the process, the children become law-abiding, taxpaying citizens, who in turn support the state. If all goes well, the parts of society produce order, stability, and productivity. If all does not go well, the parts of society then must adapt to recapture a new order, stability, and productivity.

Functionalism emphasizes the consensus and order that exist in society, focusing on social stability and shared public values. From this perspective, disorganization in the system, such as deviant behavior, leads to change because societal components must adjust to achieve stability. When one part of the system is not working or is dysfunctional, it affects all other parts and creates social problems, which leads to social change.

The functionalist perspective achieved its greatest popularity among American sociologists in the 1940s and 1950s. While European functionalists originally focused on explaining the inner workings of social order, American functionalists focused on discovering the functions of human behavior. Among these American functionalist sociologists isRobert K. Merton, who divided human functions into two types: manifest functions, which are intentional and obvious, and latent functions, which are unintentional and not obvious. The manifest function of attending a church or synagogue, for instance, is to worship as part of a religious community, but its latent function may be to help members learn to discern personal from institutional values. With common sense, manifest functions become easily apparent. Yet this is not necessarily the case for latent functions, which often demand a sociological approach to be revealed.

Functionalism has been critiqued by many sociologists for its neglect of the often negative implications of social order. Some critics, like Italian theorist Antonio Gramsci, claim that the perspective justifies the status quo, and the process of cultural hegemony which maintains it. Functionalism does not encourage people to take an active role in changing their social environment, even when such change may benefit them. Instead, functionalism sees active social change as undesirable because the various parts of society will compensate in a seemingly natural way for any problems that may arise.

I have been meaning to write about the death of  the NGO Jamaicans for Justice, as well as look at the connection between class and the leadership of social organizations, social movements and advocacy groups in Jamaica. It came up in my conversations with my friends, both of them pointed out that they think the leadership has been mostly white or brown Jamaicans or Jamaicans with some means. These things seemed to be for people who can afford it.

Is what we do a function of how we see the society we live in? Can we afford functionalism as a main idea which guides how we operate?  But where are the theories which guide enslaved , colonial societies like ours?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s