Final Reflections — Violence

Before taking this course I had some prior knowledge as to the different aspects of violence through previous classes that I had taken. The classes that I had taken last semester were the second year Gender and Crime class and Criminology. In Gender and Crime I learned a lot about… well… gender and crime. We discussed the intersections of gender, crime, the criminal justice system, and more specifically examined gender correlates of crime and victimization, gendered violence, masculinity and crime, and gendered experiences within the processes of the criminal justice system. In my Criminology class we learned about the definition of crime, terms used in criminology, basic legal concepts and processes within the criminal justice system, and crime statistics and correlates. This class, however, was the most eye-opening in terms of learning and investigating the different concepts of violence.

Where my other classes had brief sections on violence, this class was entirely revolved around it which made me understand the aspect more in depth. I had previously learned that violence was an umbrella term as there are many different types of violence and concepts related to it, however, I never thought about the effects that can contribute to violent behaviours. This was evident within our group presentations, to which each group presented a different effect, whether it is the social, economic, psychological, and ethical dimensions of violence. My group presented the social dimensions of violence. We discussed different forms of violence as well as the acts of social violence which include; riots, mass killings, terrorism, and lynching as well as many more.

A study that really hit home for me was the Stanford Prison experiment because it shows how violent one can become when playing a role of authority. I hope to one day become a police officer and I have heard stories that police use their authority to discriminate, subordinate and intimidate the people. The police feel as though because they work for the government and enforce the law they are above them, when in reality they are not. I know myself well enough to know that if I become a police officer I will not result to violence to get my way. Of course, the only time I would use violence is if I was put into a position where I had no other option but to defend myself using violence. When I become a police officer I will treat every person I come across as equal and not make prejudices based on race, ethnicity, social class, gender, etc.

The only two times I believe in violence are just as I discussed in my previous paper, violence within sport, and violence as a means of self-defense. In sports, violence is apart of the culture, whether it be body contact in football, fighting in hockey, etc. I do not agree with violence when it is used to inflict pain on others, whether that is on humans or animals for personal gain, or for fun. I also do not believe in violence as a means of torture. I was watching TV the other day and briefly came across Donald Trump talking about bringing back torture for enemy subjects in order to gain intelligence from them. Even though I do not live in the U.S, it blew my mind that he would stoop to that level of inhumanity. We would just be turning back time and all of the morals that our countries have built over the years to what? Stoop to the enemies level. Talking about it just blows my mind.

After taking this course, I have obtained a greater understanding of violence and the themes surrounding it. As a result of taking this course I have also developed important foundational skills such as; critical thinking, reading, writing, researching, and independent and collaborative problem solving. I have also gotten a more in depth view into understanding how to think critically when it comes to reading, writing, and determining what evidence is useful and what is not. I will use what I have learned from this course and apply it to other classes as well as everyday life. Critical thinking is so important within everyday life because if you do not think critically, you may not see the word as it really is. Along with that I have obtained knowledge in problem-based thinking by taking this course and being an active member in class both individually and collaboratively.