Assignment Instructions

CST130 Reflective Journal Topics 2021The purpose of this assessment exercise is twofold: firstly, it aims to get you to think critically about several key issues raised in your readings and the accompanying lectures; secondly, it aims to get you to begin using the critical terminology you will have encountered in your readings and the accompanying lectures. Thinking critically means thinking in a way that demands and seeks clarity of ideas, precision with definitions, and an understanding of key presuppositions. Presuppositions are in many ways the most important focus of what critical thinking entails because it essentially demands that we interrogate what we take for granted, i.e. that which we don’t think about but nonetheless think with. Critiques of ‘white privilege’, ‘gender bias’, ‘homophobia’ and so on are all critiques of presuppositions, assumptions that are made about the world that aren’t factored into thought. When we think or say, ‘that’s no job for a woman’ (as people have said in the past about a range of professions) we are presupposing a set intrinsic limits and restrictions relating to our understanding of what being a woman entails. Overturning those assumptions has been a century long labour of critical thinking and activism. Taking that same critical mindset of refusing to accept assumptions at face value, your task with the following questions is to write short critical responses (250 words per question) that address the critical issues they raise. I have added a brief outline of the issues that I think these questions raise, but you should feel free to add your own, and to respond selectively (ie I don’t expect you to respond to all the issues).Choose 4 topics. Only answer 4 topics. Please note the word limit: 250 words per topic (max of 1000 words in total for all 4 topics combined – bibliography and references are not included in the word limit).Question 1As David Harvey’s work on postmodernism shows, the key drivers of change over the past 50 years have been (1) organisational reform and (2) technological innovation. While we tend to focus on the latter, in many ways it is the former that is the more important. Discuss.Question 2As Timothy Morton puts it, the flipside of any discussion about what capitalism has destroyed must be a conversation about what it has produced that is indestructible. Discuss.Question 3According to Reece Jones, borders enact 5 different types of violence. Discuss.Question 4Following Mel Chen’s work, it can be said that ‘immunity’ is a highly politicized notion. This has become especially clear in recent months as the Covid-19 vaccination program has been rolled out. Discuss.Question 5Jairus Grove proposes that we can think of war as an ecology or form of life in which our lives are embedded. Discuss.

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