I have found my academic niche in philosophy and sociology. My explorations of Jean Baudrillard, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Lacan, Slavoj Zizek, Michel Foucault, Susan Sontag, Ken Wilber and others drive me to learn more and attempt to understand my surroundings, my life, and who I want to become. Postmodernism and post-structuralism drive me to examine the evolution of human societies and other forms of power relations that permeate through my existence and the historical underpinnings of this world.
These critiques of media, government, and societal norms of what it means to be â€œnormalâ€ or a â€œgood citizenâ€ dig deep into the stories of the oppression of minority groups across the globe â€“ homosexuals, African Americans, the working class, the â€œdiseasedâ€ etc. These men and women aim to analyze the silencing of millions of lives and voices. Whether the problems are notions of arbitrary truth constructions, a need for a disastrous portrayal of suffering to limit peopleâ€™s resistance or identification with hate crimes, or capitalism, philosophers and sociologists pose interesting questions about our existence. However, they posit no solutions. All of their claims seem to be circular as they must use the institutions they criticize. I have a hard time tearing myself away from these texts as they serve as reconciliation to the problems I have felt through my life in terms of discrimination because of my liberal views or the stigmatization of mental illness that I have struggled not to self-impose with my battles over depression when I am surrounded by a society attached to jokes about whistleblowers and abnormality. As a high school student striving to carve out a space for myself in this brave new world, my challenge when dealing with this complex literature is to find the nebulous solution to philosophical criticisms and how to make them applicable in our American society through a metho