CST130 Reflective Journal Topics 2021
The purpose of this assessment exercise is twofold: firstly, it aims to get you to think
critically about several key issues raised in your readings and the accompanying lectures;
secondly, it aims to get you to begin using the critical terminology you will have
encountered in your readings and the accompanying lectures. Thinking critically means
thinking in a way that demands and seeks clarity of ideas, precision with definitions, and an
understanding of key presuppositions.
Presuppositions are in many ways the most important focus of what critical thinking entails
because it essentially demands that we interrogate what we take for granted, i.e. that which
we don’t think about but nonetheless think with. Critiques of ‘white privilege’, ‘gender bias’,
‘homophobia’ and so on are all critiques of presuppositions, assumptions that are made
about the world that aren’t factored into thought. When we think or say, ‘that’s no job for a
woman’ (as people have said in the past about a range of professions) we are presupposing
a set intrinsic limits and restrictions relating to our understanding of what being a woman
entails. Overturning those assumptions has been a century long labour of critical thinking
Taking that same critical mindset of refusing to accept assumptions at face value, your task
with the following questions is to write short critical responses (250 words per question)
that address the critical issues they raise. I have added a brief outline of the issues that I
think these questions raise, but you should feel free to add your own, and to respond
selectively (ie I don’t expect you to respond to all the issues).
Choose 4 topics. Only answer 4 topics. Please note the word limit: 250 words per topic (max
of 1000 words in total for all 4 topics combined – bibliography and references are not
included in the word limit).
As David Harvey’s work on postmodernism shows, the key drivers of change over the past 50 years
have been (1) organisational reform and (2) technological innovation. While we tend to focus on the
latter, in many ways it is the former that is the more important. Discuss.
As Timothy Morton puts it, the flipside of any discussion about what capitalism has destroyed must
be a conversation about what it has produced that is indestructible. Discuss.
According to Reece Jones, borders enact 5 different types of violence. Discuss.
Following Mel Chen’s work, it can be said that ‘immunity’ is a highly politicized notion. This has
become especially clear in recent months as the Covid-19 vaccination program has been rolled out.
Jairus Grove proposes that we can think of war as an ecology or form of life in which our lives are