How Have These Institutions Influenced My Attitudes, Beliefs, and Behavior?

One concept that has shifted my beliefs comes from Crim 100, this was the first Criminal Justice class I have taken. This concept we touched on was called racially biased policing. Before coming to Longwood, I was not very aware of racially unequal policing occurring in communities. The area I grew up in is predominately white so learning this was quite alarming to me. As a result of learning this, my attitudes toward policing changed and I realized not all cops are necessarily good cops and minorities have good reason to be skeptical of police.

Another concept that has shaped my thinking revolves around children and media. In my Soc 222 class, we learned media is more negatively correlated than positively correlated with children’s development. I thought this was interesting because even though this is the case, we still see tons of media such as gaming consoles and television shows are steered towards children. Before I came to the university I assumed these types of things helped children develop but now I’ve learned they do more harm than good.

Despite we are only a few weeks into the semester, I have already had one class change my way of thinking going forward. In Soc 333, we have discussed different types of racism such as color-blind racism and cultural racism. Although the others stand out to me as well, color-blind racism is a concept that has steered my way of thinking. In the past, I had heard people say things such as “race doesn’t matter anymore” and tended to not think of the person saying that as racist but rather just saying we all have equal opportunity. Through this class, I have learned statements such as that are color-blind racist since they downplay the role history has had and that person refuses to accept they got ahead partly because of this racial inequality.

This next concept that has influenced my thinking does not come from a sociology or criminal justice class but rather a kinesiology class. During my Kins 320 class, I learned about different types of healthcare throughout the world. I learned that many other countries have universal healthcare options while we do not. As a result of this, we see of citizens getting stuck with hospital bills worth hundreds, thousands, or god forbid even more. This has changed my behaviors and beliefs towards our healthcare system. I believe we can still keep private healthcare options in tact for wealthier citizens while promoting universal healthcare for those not as wealthy.