Forum for Understanding: Science (Discussion about medicine and culture)




НазваниеForum for Understanding: Science (Discussion about medicine and culture)
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<&/>break in recording

Whatever was going on was looked at as more or less law that if you and of course it was law anyway that if one was to become pregnant or to uh to go I mean to circumvent some law then he'll be liable to some uh punishment But education per se has revolutionalized the thinking of many I mean who have gone to class And that revolutionalizing of the mind has brought about this deviance So that now a person is not ready to sit with his father to sit with her mother and to draw the uh the advice from her and that one has tended actually to alienate us from that source that used to give us that particular advice

<$B> Yah basically that should be very right because individualism has been more a result of westernization which of course implicitly education is part of the westernization process so that here we find the more an individual gets educated or learned if I could use them simultaneously the more he or she is alienated from the family

In fact you would agree with me that most educated people don't want to have anything to do with those kinship ties like if he sets up a home in an urban area it's basically his house and doesn't it doesn't belong to his father nor does it belong to his brothers And this is the end result this is the beginning of deviance behaviour because if he gives birth to children who mostly in school they come back to him maybe he's not in the house these kids they only grow up with the inter-estate <-/>inter-estate children who mostly are not socialised properly

<$A> Well I don't know we are talking about westernization well the of course it has very many facets and I will uh I think we one thing that has always interested me is the role of for example the <-/>the culture we've developed is a kind of subculture maybe but in our in our the consumption culture and for example the role of uh of uh advertising and things like that and you find that uh listen to when they were talking about the world smoking non-smoking smoking day something like that they were they were they focused on this very strongly and said that it is one of the reasons that you find people go into drugs because you find that the successful sportsman is linked to a certain cigarette a certain brand of beer something like that So you find that uh of course the kids are watching that even on <./>tele on television and in the newspapers and somewhere in their subconscious they think they think that to be a successful person in this world you have to take this kind of drug you have to take this kind of cigarette and things like that And you find that sadly children in school these days almost every boy is sneaking to go and smoke something behind the toilet at breaktime And they <-/>they don't see that it's wrong because and you see there's a there's a certain crisis because uh the teachers would like to tell these kids that this is wrong Well they miss it but they also smoke and the kids can see and when they go home they can see it on television so what <-/>what is all this So there's this crisis and the and the and the child who is being socialised doesn't know what to do So I don't know how this one can be tackled because it's a part and parcel of our culture the culture we have now So I don't know Ms whether there's anything you can do to a culture once it is evolved

<$B> I think we should not accept that culture cannot change per se whereas you accept that the role models of society have failed thus leading to the rise of deviance like teachers smoking in class children sneaking out of school to go and take drugs but it's a matter of trying to sensitise them on the ills of these drugs on the ills of what they are doing It should be a moral obligation to every individual to <-/>to look to see that he's not doing something that could be aped and which could be disastrous But as for the print and electronic media perhaps with time they'll discover where they are going wrong

<$C> I also think that it's very hard to change culture once we develop it like now when there is a family a set family and there are children there they've been taught how to live and they are they have grown up in that culture It's so hard for them later in life to change and become what they were not taught to be as a family even as <-/>as a society in a society as a whole This I mean that when the children are in school they will go to the class and listen to what the teachers have to say and they also think about what they would like to take from the teacher and what they wouldn't like to do even if they are being taught So I think once we set a culture it's very hard to change and as it changes gradually I do not think we are going to really become as westernized as the western people are although we are trying to become like them but it will never end and we will always go back to where we belong

<$A> Uh One thing we should also remember is that uh this culture of course right now we have to uh painfully accept that it's here with us uh but when we look at it also it has a lot of its own inconsistencies I mean we still are groping backwards to what is good in society So that while that particular teacher is telling the student that uh you should not smoke you should not do one two three four five six but then the same <-/>same person who is supposed to be a role model uh blatantly contravenes whatever he's telling uh the student And another thing is say for example the medical practitioners A medical practitioner will come around and tell you okay taking these things is bad taking that is bad and even before he gives you his back already he's embarked on that particular thing he has been telling you not uh to do

<$B> Perhaps what could help us here is the punitive measures that should be <-/institutioned> instituted against <-/>against the deviance It is like Musalia was saying culturally it was not even expected that girls would become pregnant before they get married It was also not expected that boys would do something that is in dire contradiction with what the society expects and if ever they did such a thing then the punitive measure they used they normally used to face were more disastrous They <-/>they retrogressed their attitude towards such deviant behaviour But I think the modern society is too soft on some of the illpractices we are trying to see

<$D> Well I think I wouldn't want to that one to pass because for example you are raising the issue of punishment we as a way of dealing with deviance but uh of course you <-/>you are talking about drugs and we've talked about prostitution and you have cases like street children Now in some of these cases I in most of them in fact I don't know who you'd punish because they well maybe speculative but I also got a feeling that most of these people are victims of <-/>of the wider society We are saying of course that uh they <-/>they are victims of <-/>of a poor socialisation we are saying that the role models have failed to <-/>to set examples for these people to follow and then again we want to say that we should come and punish them Well this one strikes me as being doubly unfair

<$B> I think the situation as it is now is an overblown situation If you go back this situation began somewhere At one point in time there was no prostitution so I believe perhaps then at that particular time we'd have looked at it in a better way but now that the situation is already as it is there's still something you can do about it though you see the sort of punishment you might apply might be sort of a persuasive punishment not necessarily to make that person feel bad but to make him feel what he's doing is not the right thing

<$A> But we should also address ourselves to these particular conditions that are conditioning this person to behave the way he or she is behaving I mean we don't need just to wholly uh wholly blame the uh the victim The society is also victimising this particular person and this particular person to cash on herself or himself from the effects that the society is imposing on her or him he has to go and venture into some other

<$B> Social

<$A> certainly into social activities So I really don't know who now to punish in this the society or the individual

<$D> That's in fact a very important issue when you are talking about deviance because of course there are people who look at the <-/>the the prostitute or the other forms of deviance as <-/>as a as victimisers of society but I I'm more sympathetic to the view that they are they are more victims than victimisers because now like uh well I said about the failure of models that uh are supposed to set examples we are we are saying we have spoken about the culture that has come in well no single individual has any control over that and no single individual has <-/>has a control over the kind of environment that you are born into and you are brought up in So the <-/>the socialisation is something that you can't you can't really control And of course there's the issue of maladjustment even psychologically leading into prostitution and things like that

<$?> Well on that note listeners we come to the end of this week's edition of Forum for Understanding in which we discussed society and deviance With us in the studio were John Musalia Ezekiel Espisu Sarah Muthoni on behalf of the producer George Okode This is Goro Kamau saying goodbye




S1B032K

<&_> TV Conference about Psychology and Society

<$A> Dr Kabithe

<$B> Miss Kinuthia

<$C> f

<$D> m chairman

<$E> Michael



<$A> So there's no trust any more Then there's no personal commitment The only commitment left is the so-called constraint commitment You are constrained because you have children You don't want to leave each other because children will suffer You have property some time together you have friends and social pressure You want your friend to know you are a family man or you have a family like anybody else But actually you don't have marriage The I know cases whereby people even write me letters for <-/>for our publications and they say they don't talk to each other they talk through the medium of their child you know the child is the medium

<$B> Doctor Kabithe much as I would want to differ or much as I would want to agree with you that we would hate to be <./>stat static uh that we have to change with the time changing times But I feel that we would shift blame more on you know the changing times They've made us really try to do what we didn't know ourselves doing For instance we want to live how Whites live We want to live in a civilised way such that you find that most of these killings or most of these other things you blame them on way of change uh a <-/>a parent would kill a kid because uh they say he's not able to bring it up adequately or according to the standards then Don't you think then actually this changing or the way that we have adopted our style of <./>li living has more to blame when it comes to all these kind of family <&/>use breakages child abuse and all that kind of thing

<$A> This is a very interesting Miss Kinuthia because I wonna make a point here perhaps you never heard before I've lived in a western countries <&/>grammar for more than seventeen years And may I tell you this Some of the things you see us doing <./>be believing that that's what westerners do is not true For example my son is there and he talked to me the other day And he told me it is very interesting that when he went to that college in the United States he was surprised By midnight nobody is out You cannot even go in the door in the girls' dorm You are in the men's dorm If you go to girls' dorm you can only stay in the uh lobby You can never go upstairs in their rooms Yet here in our universities ladies can go to the boys' room boys can go to the ladies' room and we want to believe that is western It is not western It is misunderstood western

<$C> So are we less responsible

<$B> Where <-/>where did we get it from

<$A> Well well here's a point It's actually the question of the ignorance whereby you totally did not understand what you thought you understood Africans think they understood Europeans but they didn't Europeans have a culture They have self-discipline There are a few of them who are actually uh misfit and we may be copying those but a basic family over there it is not what some of us believe

<$D> Doctor I like to take you now to the health degree Now you talked about break-up uh and uh I don't know whether maybe you should tell us what to what extent there are the <-/>the safety valves as it were you said psychological uh psychologically reach a barrier uh what about drugs do you have a problem is <-/>is is this a problem is this a way out Is it becoming a way out for this society dangerous as it is

<$A> Yes Drug is serious More serious than most people think Let me give you uh another interesting situation Nairobi is being referred to as a suburb of London as far as heroin addiction is concerned having gross addiction Gross addiction is when you are addicted to alcohol you are addicted to <-/>to drugs hard drugs you're addicted to everything And most addicts actually start small with a bhangi They go to cocaine Pretty soon you know they graduate And most of them actually even regular alcohol is no longer good chang’aa <&/>Kenyan locally brewed beer you know kill-me-quick-type <&/>laughter is what they go for And then of course the heroin roll in I am seeing very many of young people and some of the parents of these people are very frustrated people Some of the wealthy people are sending their children to London

<$D> You mean Kenyans

<$A> Yes Kenyans for treatment and it's a very expensive centre okay now I have seen rehabilitation centres that have been actually using which are cheaper But these are initiated by society by citizen who care parents we the professionals and uh those are the kind of thing I would <./>ad hope that Kenyans who are really concerned can get together and start These are residential centres whereby there's no drug coming in and one's understanding of why he got into it and so forth is done Let me also mention this I have met a lot of students who got <./>in addicted in India And I asked them to give me a comparison of the addiction and the Indian student addiction and they told me something interesting is that for every five addicted students in some of these universities you find one is five are Kenyans or Africans and one is an Indian and the drug is in India So I asked them What do you think about that They think the Indians understand the danger of drug more than Africans so Africans are very vulnerable victims

<$E> Doctor Kabithe uh can you can you if you if you go back a bit we're talking about psychologically divorces or legal divorces and talk about drugs How do you link up with the level of aggressiveness in our society today

<$A> Well uh perhaps let's put this way if you want to know if a young man or a man is addicted to heroin uh an average addict would require more than one thousand shilling some could get two thousand per day to actually just feed the habit He has not even counted his eating or where to sleep Well to raise that kind of money he would just resort to crime So if you want to talk about relationship between drug addiction and crime there it is because he can only sleep when he's high when he get up he's busy trying to freak out And these people cannot work Working bring money too slowly He cannot wait for

<&/>laughter

<$D> I think Doctor Michael was also talking about just the general aggressiveness now in Kenyan society They want to get this they want to get that you know the <-/>the <-/>the matatus <&/>collective taxis with fixed routes and everybody bang into each other nobody really caring at all I mean uh even <-/>even <-/>even they <./>il even the well-off people I mean some of the some of the <-/>the <-/>the crimes as you say <./>a are really you hear a businessman has committed a robbery You know a businessman is supposed to be doing business not <-/>not robbing not robbing banks Now there's a lot of aggressiveness It was not so before I agree with you In fact before if somebody died on the street you you'd uh you stopped to look at who <-/>who is dead but now I don't think if I drop dead on the street nobody would even care not even look back uh What's happening

<$A> It's called frustration chief

<$?> <-/>mhm

<$A> Okay We are stressed frustrated full of anxiety and we don't know what to do Therefore we are just acting It's like if you put a bunch of animals in a room and you set it on fire watch their behaviour It's unpredictable it look illogical And human beings are no better If they do not understand how to go about it that's what I'm suggesting we got to believe in developing skill People are very frustrated actually And as I said some think money is and so forth well it's not unusual Let me tell you uh a funny story whereby a very wealthy man a multi-billionaire in America who was caught stealing a newspaper because it was too time-consuming to pay for it <&/>laughter

<$A> He decided to steal it and he was in the court It's rather funny Now you told me some <-/>mhm businessmen stealing Now what you'd be very surprised that some of these businessmen some of these wealthy people will never live to enjoy their wealth All right And most of them by the time they hit seventy or sixty will be suffering from hypertension and they'll be dying of the so called short illness

<$?> <-/>mhm <&/>laughter

<$A> Now I said self-understanding is very important and I would say for many of us let's try to understand ourselves How can we be moderate Criteria of success has been actually misunderstood in our continent or in our country We really believe a person is respectable if he has a lot of money regardless how he's obtained the money Now if I <-/>I wish we were saying a person should be respectable depending on how he obtains the money because our young people now are having role models They want money so that value of hard work is going away You see we have a problem here Now where do we start motivating young people to have better families to have better life than ourselves
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