Schwalbe argues that one way in which inequality is perpetuated is through the shutting down of our imaginations through ideas like thinking that there is no alternative to our own unequal social arrangements (TINA). We need to reject TINA, to reject the idea that there is no alternative. We can do that by studying history and studying anthropology and traveling and by reading fiction, because all of those things present alternatives to us. For this assignment,
As you read, I am going to ask you to be mindful of sliding back into TINA thinking. It is surprisingly easy for us to be skeptical of whether new ideas are “realistic” or whether they can really reduce inequality even while we seem to have a hard time questioning the TERRIBLE LEVELS OF HUMAN SUFFERING WE ALREADY HAVE AND TOLERATE. So, I’m asking you to keep practicing freeing your imagination. Also, I would argue that all-or-nothing thinking also arrests our imaginations. We have a tendency to think there’s no point trying stuff if it won’t totally END inequality. I would like you to consider adopting a harm-reduction mindset. Harm reduction is an approach that comes out of drug addiction treatment and it began with the idea that even if you couldn’t get someone to stop abusing drugs entirely you could reduce the harm of that drug use in various ways (such as, for example, needle exchange for heroin users or designated driver programs for people who are drinking). A harm reduction mindset for inequality would ask whether the alternative could reduce human suffering even if it did not totally eradicate economic, racial or gender stratification.
Write a post of at least 200 words that teaches your classmates about the alternative(s) you read about and what you learned. Think of it as conveying the essential and core information from your article in a succinct way so that your classmates can understand what the article was about without reading it themselves. Your post should be specific enough, though, to demonstrate that you have read one of the articles carefully.
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