Category: Imagining Better Worlds

On the current problem of inequality: The rich are getting richer

Inequality “There’s been class warfare going on for the last twenty years, and my class has won. We’re the ones that have gotten our tex rates reduced”. Warren Buffett   Last Sunday saw the publication of the Sunday Times Rich (April 26th 2015). It showed that the wealth of Britain’s richest people has more than doubled…

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Oh cruel world!

Humanity’s inhumanity to humanity is haunting the ballot box.

Welfare states tumble

Health services crumble

With austerity conniving.

Rich get richer

Poor get poorer

With markets driving.

Suffering is ignored

Environment forgotten

With prejudices thriving.

Oh cruel world!

Humanity’s inhumanity to humanity is haunting the ballot box

Against Austerity

Against Austerity   Austerity is anti- humanist. It takes money and wealth as the starting point rather than people. It celebrates usury, credit and the rich. It erodes human value;  and soon becomes insensitive to the widespread suffering of human beings that it generates. Austerity invariably fails – making for more hardship and inequality. The…

INSPIRATIONS:MARTIN LUTHER KING

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the central figure of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s in America. A Christian Humanist who believed in the power of non-violence and love, he was assassinated by a lone gunman on 4 April 1968 on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee as he prepared to attend a rally in support of striking sanitation workers.

April 4th is my birthday and so his assassination is always a date for me to remember.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, and a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.

I find his compilation book A Testament of Hope remains  an inspirational book.

The Making of the Modern Homosexual Revisited

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‘The Making of the Modern Homosexual’ Revisited

 A discussion between Ken Plummer, Jeffrey Weeks and other contributors chaired by Gregg Blachford; with an update with Róisín Ryan-Flood was held in the Sociology Department at the University of Essex on Thursday March 19th 2015. The Making of the Modern Homosexual was published in June 1981 in hardback and paperback. The book was inspired by Mary McIntosh’s article ‘The Homosexual Role” Social Problems Vol. 16, No 2, Fall 1968 which was republished in the book and followed by a discussion. The book was developed in an early workshop, linked to an Open University Second Level Intro to Sociology Course (Study Section 8), and held at Essex in 1979. (The O.U. programme ran for over a decade, throughout the 1980’s.)

The Book ‘Blurb’

‘Is the “homosexual” a type of person that has been with us in various guises throughout history? Is he or she simply a “being” that we are slowly discovering and understanding better? Or is the “homosexual” simply an invention of our century? The authors of this original and important new work take this last view and argue that although “same-sex” sexual experiences may have existed throughout history, the notion of the “homosexual” is a peculiarly modern idea, which has profound consequences in the structuring of recent homosexual experiences. The essays in this book take the contemporary construction of the homosexual as their common concern’.

The Book Contents

Part One: The Making of a Sociology of Homosexuality

  1. Building a Sociology of Homosexuality (Ken Plummer)
  2. ‘The Homosexual Role’ (Mary McIntosh); with interview (McIntosh, Weeks, Plummer)

Part Two: Directions for Enquiry

  1. Homosexual Categories (Ken Plummer)
  2. Discourse, Desire And Sexual Deviance: Some Problems In The History Of Historiography (Jeffrey Weeks)
  3. Liberating Lesbian Research (Annabel Faraday)

Part Three: The Making Of The `Modern Male Homosexual: Explorations In Research

  1. Pansies, Perverts And Macho Men: Changing Conceptions Of Male Homosexuality (John Marshall)
  2. Gender Confusions: Psychological And Psychiatric Conceptions Of Transvestism And Transexualism (Dave King)
  3. Male Dominance And The Gay World (Gregg Blachford)

Appendices on Research

Some images from those early days -1980

A day meeting to discuss the book and organised by the Open University who used many images for their programme broadcast throughout the 1980’s. The photos show Jeffrey Weeks, Ken Plummer, Gregg Blachford, John Marshall, Mary McIntosh and Annabel Faraday.

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‘The Making of the Modern Homosexual’ Revisited

Announcement of forthcoming seminar 50 Years of Essex Sociology: A seminar sponsored by the Department of Sociology and the Centre for Intimate and Sexual Citizenship ‘The Making of the Modern Homosexual’ Revisited  A discussion between Ken Plummer and Jeffrey Weeks and other contributors chaired by Gregg Blachford and an update with Róisín Ryan-Flood. Thursday March…

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No Other Way

 There’s no other way

That’s what they say.

Economics must put money before people

And medicine must put profit before health.

Education must put management before wisdom

And religion must put war before love.

Technology must put machines before environments.

And politicians must put power before care.

We must follow the way things are done.

There’s no other way

That’s what they say.

But what if economics valued feelings

And medicine fostered dignity

Education aimed for all to flourish

And religion wanted better worlds for all

Technology looked out for justice

And politicians put people first.

If we would just be kind and care for each other.

Then we would have the road less travelled.

A much better way

Than the way they say.

There is never only one way.

This was my little contribution to Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet which has just been published.

Global Chorus is a groundbreaking collection of over 365 perspectives on our environmental future. As a global roundtable for our times, in the format of a daily reader, this book is a trove of insight, guidance, passion and wisdom that has poured in from all over the Earth. Its message is enormously inspiring, and ominous in its warnings. And yet, united in a thread of hope, its contents are capable of helping even the most faithless global citizen to believe that we have the capacity to bring about lasting positive change in our world. Places at this roundtable are occupied by writers, environmentalists, spiritual leaders, politicians, professors, doctors, athletes, businesspeople, farmers, chefs, yogis, painters, actors, architects, musicians, TV personalities, humanitarians, adventurers, concerned youth, concerned senior citizens, civil servants, carpenters, bus drivers, activists, CEO’s, scientists, and essentially those who have something thoughtful and visionary to say about humanity’s place upon Earth. Compiled for your reading as a set of 365 pieces, Global Chorus presents to you a different person’s point of view for each day of your year.

Contributors to Global Chorus have provided one-page responses to the following line of questioning:

“Do you think that humanity can find a way past the current global environmental and social crises? Will we be able to create the conditions necessary for our own survival, as well as that of other species on the planet? What would these conditions look like? In summary, then, and in the plainest of terms, do we have hope, and can we do it?”

Today is World AIDS Day

AIDS Day 2014: December 1st Go to AIDS UN: http://www.unaids.org/World In 2013, there were 35 million [33.2 million–37.2 million] people living with HIV. Since the start of the epidemic, around 78 million [71 million–87 million] people have become infected with HIV and 39 million [35 million–43 million] people have died of AIDS-related illnesses. Close the…

End Violence Against Women

  Today is ‘End Violence Against Women’ Day – and runs for the next two weeks ( and forever!). The Issue To raise awareness and trigger action to end the global scourge of violence against women and girls, the UN observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November. The 16…

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