Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Segregation as a Construct

Kashfi Halford 2006 (

I selected this photograph beacuse it clearly represents a very physical example of segregation in modern society. Bhabha states in the reading: “Social differences are not simply given to experience through an already authenticated cultural tradition; they are the signs of the emergence of community envisaged as a project.” I feel that this quote fits well with the photograph because it describes social differences as a construct that is created within the mind of an individual and implemented in the physical world; not the other way around. This is very similar to the way that the wall in the image itself would have been created. It would first be an idea then it would be passed to an architect and then to a builder before it would finally even begin to become a reality. In much the same way as segregation, this cannot happen in the oposite order. Segregation, or the creation of barriers between social differences, is not represented in the natural world and then implemented into a culture. Rather it must start with an idea that spawns within a single indevidual and is then transverssed to others to reinforce or create a physical representation of their own internal barrier.

I really enjoyed this reading not only beacsue of the excellent use of language but because of the way the information is presented. For me it has always felt strange that other people could care so much about the way that others live. However after reading this article I can more easily understand the ease at which people accept segregation. If the barrier between cultures is already in place when someone is learning about the world, they will percieve the barrier as being something natural, something that has always and will always be in place. From that perspective it is easy for me to understand how segregation flourishes so much in modern society. It is because we have allowed these social barriers, these constructs, to exist for so long that our culture has forgotten that they are no more natural than a plastic doll. In order to break down these walls, we as a society must understand that the barriers are fake and as such, have no place in the physical, the real, world. 

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