Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Last week's snow day and today's non-snow day make me think with a sociological imagination. It is tempting to want to criticize the school and say "our school sucks because it didn't give us a snow day, or parents might say I can't believe I have to drive students to school." But this is much larger than just our school's decision. We live in a society that does not yield to nature. We want to carry on despite nature to drive the economy. This affects how schools close or don't close. The school has to consider the parents in the district who have to go to work. The school also has a contract with the bus company. Many people are paid based on whether or not we have school. Finally, school is designed to prepare students to fit into the market economy that we live in and there are no corporate snow days. This is all not to mention the number of students and parents who have access to a car to drive themselves to school. If we lived in a different district or a different era when many more students were walking themselves to school, we might see a different response. So this is how our everyday life, our private life is controlled by much larger forces - public forces. That is understanding it with a sociological imagination.