Reading Sumana Roy’s Guilt Lit, I was reminded of the countless similar times one is morally conditioned and policed (in classrooms, peer and learning spaces) to read the
kind of literature that ‘remind(s) us of our privilege footprint’. It conjures the clamour as shallow as the call to shift to vegetarianism to save the planet.
Digressing. Everything has a context and we need to see it. When we are fighting climate change, we need to see who is it that we are really fighting? Is it the corporate (with their industrial means and propaganda) or the average person trying to sustain a decent life?
When reflecting on culture, society or literature, Alan Johnson’s ‘One Thing’ in ‘The Forest and Trees: Sociology as Life, Practice and Promise’ remains a guide:
‘We are always participating in something larger than ourselves, and if we want to understand social life and what happens to people in it, we have to understand what it is that we are participating in and how we participate in it.’
In relying on individualism, we subscribe to the narrow perspective of viewing society as people and people as society.