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Indoctrination, Criminal Labelling, Institution of Marriage and Masculinity

In the material shared in class, what does Noam Chomsky mean by “indoctrination” and why is it occurring? What are the alternatives forms of education that he is defending?

In terming education as indoctrination of the young, Noam Chomsky highlights that society has predefined the educational path for their children. It has been a custom that from a young age, people go to preschool, then to primary through secondary school, up to graduate schools to be termed educated. Through such a predefined path, many people have turned out doing the same things over the years, competing for the same jobs and creativity being at its lowest. From the same skills gained by many, individuals are expected to perform duties assigned to them and not question the system in place. At some point, everyone has been an obedient conformist, doing what they are instructed without questioning but staying passive. Education has become so vague with institutions teaching irrelevant materials, giving assignments because it’s customary, and exams that don’t quite fully reflect the knowledge and skills of individuals. Education is supposed to

Noam suggests that people need to embrace technology. The modern world is overwhelmed with the internet. As long as you have a clear framework, the internet has massive unending data and information from which knowledge and skill can be acquired (Brown-Martin, 2014). Nowadays, the internet has become the source of information in research work, thereby eradicating the monotony of specific books. Noam states that it is impossible to become a professional with only predefined books and materials to learn from. The diversity of websites and online books has challenged indoctrination, making the modern learners aware and able to identify with the outside work at a global scale.

Furthermore, Noam highlights the issue of cost and investment in education. Noam implores society to take education as an investment (Brown-Martin, 2014). In such investment, the key aspect is creative exploration. An education system ought to jog learners’ minds, keep their imagination running, and provide resources to actualize ideas rather than lament the cost of resources. For instance, Noam says from craftmanship came the classical artists. Through creative exploration, there are technological advances on almost a daily basis, resulting in economic gains.

Autonomy is the better way to a more elaborate education. Noam argues that assessments made through tests don’t reflect much on the knowledge and skill of individuals (Brown-Martin, 2014). In some cases, in schools, we have instances of teachers refusing to answer questions or administration neglecting some curriculum simply because it’s not included in the assessment tests. Children have been robbed of their interests simply because exams don’t cover certain topics. Therefore, autonomy should be incorporated in the education system to allow children to pursue topics that excite them towards a bright future. Education should not be a system where you are given material and repeat them but rather a platform that helps learners get to a point where they can assume autonomy and propel their lives.

According to Philip Zimbardo (1973), how does labelling as “criminal” occur? Can you think of another phenomenon that is currently “constructed” as deviant?

What differentiates human beings from animals is that we have a set of rules and laws that propel us. The regulations can be modified depending on specific aspects such as time, location, and society. Still, despite all the changes some laws go through, the main aim is to maintain sanity and order in the community. Labelling theory depicts that self-identity and an individual’s behaviour can be influenced or determined by the terms used in their description or classification (Zimbardo, 1973). Therefore, a society with its set of rules and laws has some behaviours that it labels right and some behaviours that are frowned upon and labelled wrong. An adverse reaction of society to a specific behaviour result in being labelled a crime.

Furthermore, the same adverse reaction by society to anybody who has engaged in this particular behaviour causes an induvial to be labelled as not normal, criminal or deviant. According to labelling theory, the efforts to curb crime often have led to crime increase. Anybody arrested, prosecuted, and punished is directly labelled as a criminal despite the trivial offence. When these criminals are taken to prison, the treatment they receive is inhuman. According to Philip Zimbardo, he wrote that he is not angry with the punishment received for being a thief (Zimbardo, 1973). He is mad with the prison guards’ animal-like treatment he receives at the prison. Even after completing their sentence, these labelled criminals will always be criminals to society. They always have trouble securing legitimate employment, which significantly puts a strain on them.

Moreover, society is not that welcoming, and the probability that these labelled criminals may go back to crime is very high. Philip Zimbardo wrote that he would not be a thief after being released, not that he has been rehabilitated, but he only thinks of a completely different form of crime (Zimbardo, 1973). He wants to kill all those who treat him like an animal. He advocates for fair treatment of criminals in prisons and for proper vetting of prisons guards to consider humanity in the treatment of prisoners.

Currently, being a person of colour in the United States of America is being constructed as a crime. A stereotype of primarily young black people in the USA being labelled as criminals is on the rise. Studies carried out in the US shows that a good percentage of the criminals in prisons is made of the black population in contrast to the overall population of black people in America. Given these statistics, the police officers quickly label a black person caught in any slight altercation as a criminal. They sometimes overlook any explanation or evidence that may prove their innocence.

How is the institution of marriage changing? Use insight from Arnand Thornton (2001) AND Kefalas et al. (2011) readings.

In an era where divorce is rampant, cohabitation and bachelorism are common. Marriage presents an interesting subject of discussion. Marriage is a common practice in all societies across the world. In some cultures, it is a rite of passage, and hence it is expected by society if one is to fit in it. Although it was a vital aspect in the traditional culture, marriage has evolved a great deal over the years, mainly affected by technology. Depending on the society or religion and believes, there are different definitions of marriages. The often-used definition is that marriage is a cultural and mainly legal binding between people who are referred to as spouses. Some of the main reasons for marriage include emotional, social, legal, libidinal, religious, and spiritual purposes. After marriage, one factor is usually constant; most spouses move in together. It is impossible to talk about marriage without mentioning cohabitation. Placing these two in a historical context shows how marriage and cohabitation have evolved. There are circumstances and reasons why young people are entering cohabiting unions and not necessarily marriage. According to research carried out by Armand Thornton, the most common occurrence that led to cohabitation is the birth of children at an early age leads to entrance into cohabiting unions and marriages (Thornton, 2001). Also, adolescents experimenting with dating and initiating youth into a sexual relationship strongly correlate with entry into cohabitation and marriage.

Maria J. Kefalas also looks at the institution of marriage for young adults. Kefalas believes that marriage has a more significant meaning than just being together (Kefalas et al., 2011). With several interviews to detect the main change of the institution of marriage, it is the contemporary setting surrounding modern marriages. Two groups of unions are identified that is marriage planners and marriage naturalists. The latter is considered the Morden type of marriage, and the other one the conservative, traditional kind. The marriage planners group follows an elongated type of transition to adulthood. At the same time, naturalists take a rather fast-track to marriage which constituted the mid-twentieth century, when we look at the nature of their relationship and commitment in these groups to determine whether marriage is steadily declining or just becoming deinstitutionalized.

In conclusion, it is evident that with time the institution of marriage is in becoming replaced majorly by the cohabitation standard of living as many youths are inclined to the planned marriage. This is caused by early adulthood prompted by the unplanned birth of children at the early ages of sex experimenting. Therefore, they plan to marry each other for child upkeep or opt for cohabitation. Also, cohabitation can be influenced by situations like the high cost of living, so cost-sharing is an option.

According to the reading by Hartmann (2003), what does men’s interest in sport say about masculinity? How does the process of gender socialization occur according to the relevant lecture material?

Men have found great interest in sport from a young age to old age. Sport is an involving activity that pushes the body to its limit. The contemporary society today has many glued to watching football while others play. Hartman points out that sport reinforces men’s identity with regard to masculinity (Hartmann, 2003). Over the years, men have been accorded respect based on the hardship they can endure in achieving a result, and sport has been a checkpoint towards masculinity. In sport, the body develops and becomes tone to take shape. Therefore, the male body is expected to showcase muscles, a complexion that symbolizes strength. Besides, in sport, there is winning, and since men are driven to take charge and get things done, winning in sport elevates such aspect. Nevertheless, the men who can’t participate in sport identify with professional athletes by watching them on TV or the internet and going to sports games.

In sport, they may be physical and psychological harm, but society has branded men as hard species who, through the pain, they stand out to conquer as the forefathers did in the war. Men socialize with other men in attending or participating in sports, thereby rubbing off male character and stamina. Participating and watching sport reinforces, maintains, and redefines masculinity (Hartmann, 2003). The competitive nature of sport drives men to want to become the best in the world and hence become more acquainted with their masculinity. However, although the sport has promoted masculinity, it has also provided a platform where masculinity is challenged and with the possibility of alterations.

There have been deliberations to allow women equal participation and access to sports. As a result, the modern world has seen many women engaged in sports such as football, hockey, basketball, volleyball, and others while the others attend and watch sports games. Sports with regard to masculinity is a social setting where men interact and compete to prove what it means to be a real man. In this regard, masculinity has been challenged. For instance, women skilled in kung fu can defeat ordinary men and even men with similar skills. Such cases of women rising to compete favourably with men have questioned the idea of sport and masculinity. Therefore, women and men have embraced the sport, and social interactions are shifting from men only to all gender socialization. However, sport is an enterprise for masculinity (Hartmann, 2003). This proves that even with women and girls taking part in sport, it is evident that men’s sports are more aggressive, and the winnings are more significant. Even in the modern world, there are few spectators in women’s sports compared to male sports. In Olympics, make athletes run longer distances, proving the male endurance. In the long run, even with distortion, masculinity continues to be clearly defined in sport.


Brown-Martin, G. (Director). (2014). Noam Chomsky – The Purpose of Education (with subtitles): United4Education

Hartmann, D. (2003). The sanctity of Sunday football: Why men love sports. Contexts2(4), 13-21.

Kefalas, M. J., Furstenberg, F. F., Carr, P. J., & Napolitano, L. (2011). “Marriage is more than being together”: The meaning of marriage for young adults. Journal of Family Issues32(7), 845-875.

Thornton, A. (2001). The developmental paradigm, reading history sideways, and family change. Demography38(4), 449-465.

Zimbardo, P. G. (1973). The psychological power and pathology of imprisonment. American Psycholog. Assoc., Journal Suppl. Abstract Service.


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