Organised by the NUS Sociology Society Exco, Soci@Sundown is a series of discussion sessions which facilitates meaningful discourse on topics of sociological relevance that anyone can join. We aim to create a safe space for people to air their views and engage in mutual learning through debate and sharing. Soci@Sundown also allows sociology majors (or anyone interested in sociology) to meet and interact with one another!
Our inaugural Soci@Sundown session was centred around the topic of ‘Generation Z’ (those born between 1996-2010). As the majority of current FASS undergraduates are Gen Z-ers, we found it valuable to discuss our common experiences - how do we feel about issues like mental health and career choices? How do we even distinguish Gen Z from previous generations? What will our futures look like?
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, there has been an outburst of arguably xenophobic behavior and comments amongst the Singaporean community. Most notably, an online petition calling for the ban of Chinese nationals from entering Singapore was published and had garnered thousands of signatures from the local community. Is this an act of xenophobia? What exactly is xenophobia? Where do we draw the line between fearing contagion and discrimination?
We held a screening of Black Mirror’s Nosedive, which features a society in which people are rated from 1 to 5 stars based on social interactions. Their ratings affect their quality of lives - from their economic status to how others behave towards them. For Soci@Sundown, we linked Nosedive’s rating system to China’s upcoming social credit system - what are the concerns that arise with such a system? Will this affect the authenticity of basic human interaction, or is it a system that will be successful in maintaining civil behaviour?
The body positivity movement is a relatively new social movement that has gained widespread cultural awareness in the recent years. Body positivity promotes the idea that all bodies are innately beautiful and should be accepted!
However, many have also shared that as the concept of body positivity becomes more widespread and commercialised, its original intentions have evolved as well as adapted new meanings. What are the implications of this and how does this affect the future of the body positivity movement?
In this virtual discussion, we broke down the implications of digital inequality for different groups such as the elderly and the financially disadvantaged, who face accessibility issues and also ideological differences (acceptance of technology).
Moving forward, many have discussed whether the internet should be a public utility (e.g. free wifi / free wifi services extended to residential areas like rental flats). Is the digital divide something which can be solved? What needs to change in our everyday or bigger scheme of things?