The Philosopher-Actor Bruce Lee


Enter the Dragon Movie Poster‘Movies Mockingbird’ is a blog series dedicated to uncovering the core ideas behind movies – the core ideas that are visible yet hidden. In it, I will attempt to dive into the sea of social sciences to reveal the whole iceberg of movie plots and not just the tip visible on the surface.

In this post, I will examine Enter the Dragon (1973), starring Bruce Lee as Lee. Although dialogues from the film will be used, it will aim to review Bruce Lee holistically because of the historical depth of his acting and ideas.

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Secrets of the Masked Man Bane


Dark Knight Rises poster‘Movies Mockingbird’ is a blog series dedicated to uncovering the core ideas behind movies – the core ideas that are visible yet hidden. In it, I will attempt to dive into the sea of social sciences to reveal the whole iceberg of movie plots and not just the small tip visible on the surface.  Movies Mockingbird is the graceful antithesis of glamorous adrenaline and spice that pervades the movie screens.

In this post, I will examine The Dark Knight Rises (2012), the third Batman film by director Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale as Batman, and Tom Hardy as Bane.

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Good Luck exam letter


Dear students in arms,

There are two aspects to consider here that are relevant in undertaking any exam. The first is the psychological and the second is technical; I will try to elaborate on both holistically.

Quote about teacher by NietzcheFrom the psychological side we have to realize that we ourselves are our greatest teachers; tutors and professors can show us the way but we have to travel that path ourselves. A person who is determined and keeps on pursuing ultimately gets his/her rewards, with or without any tutor.  Later onwards in our lives we will realize that ‘one repays a teacher badly if one always remains only a pupil’ (Friedrich Nietzsche).

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The most effective exam practice technique: sample answers


University of London study notesWith  exams around the corner, every student struggles to find the best possible technique of learning, preparing and understanding core concepts of subjects. Some prefer extensive reading, some make long notes, while others find it easy to memorize pointers.

When I was in my first year, I found it quite difficult to manage my studies. Basically, I was unable to explore the different ways of preparing for university examinations. However, the first time experience was both challenging as well as inspiring. Where there were subjects for which I had been preparing all year, through essential readings and past paper practice, there were some modules for which I had been making sample answers, or, answers to past examination papers for each chapter, for example.

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Revealing the genius of the Joker


The Dark Knight poster‘Movies Mockingbird’ is a blog series dedicated to uncovering the core ideas behind movies – the core ideas that are visible yet hidden. In it, I will attempt to dive into the sea of social sciences to reveal the whole iceberg of movie plots and not just the small tip visible on surface.  Movies Mockingbird is the graceful antithesis of glamorous adrenalin and spice that pervades the movie screens.

In this first post, I will examine The Dark Knight (2008), the second Batman film by director Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale as Batman, and Heath Ledger as the Joker.

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Observations on the path to contentment


In my previous post ‘the other side of negativity’, we touched on negativity and how to understand its true nature. Here we shed light on embracing the roots of optimism and satisfaction. Social sciences are not just useful to understand the society, but can also provide invaluable guidance on how to know ourselves and live a satisfied life.

I have always personally struggled with stoic philosophers and their ideas; they seem on first impression, very pessimistic and self-defeating. They say that hope is the root of all anxiety; but if we do not have hope, we will not do anything. It is only the anticipation of something beneficial that moves us to think and take action. How can then we shun hope and still perform?

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Era Of The ‘Selfie’


toy_story_original_cineIt might seem a bit irrelevant on this blog, but I don’t think so!

The ‘selfie‘ fever across the world has definitely hit students and broadly education as well. In my institute, where I used to see people usually walking and talking, now I find them in groups taking selfies. Pictures, pictures, pictures everywhere. Whether it’s notes or a date sheet on the noticeboard, you will see students taking their picture and saving them inside their complex world of cellphone. Continue reading

“The other side of negativity”


downloadNegativity is felt by us every now and then through depression, anxiety, remorse and all the other bad feelings that we experience. Our sense of what constitutes something as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is mostly dictated by society. Dictated because although we live in a free world, the effects of society are more coercive than we give them credit for. Also there’s a golden maxim in sociology which says: You are free to make your choices, but you are not free from the consequences of those choices. It’s true that life is harsh (or easy for some) and that there’s a distinction between feeling good and feeling bad. There is certainly duality, even it if it two sides of the same coin. But ‘negativity’ has now acquired a sociological importance for the fact that broken hearts and depressed souls now outnumber the trade deficits of our respective countries. Continue reading

Examining entrepreneurship through the lens of sociology


New blogger Danish, of Pakistan

New blogger Danish, of Pakistan

It’s not easy being son of a professor of business; while growing up out of desire to imitate my dad, my habit formed of reading Harvard Business Reviews instead of Agatha Christie or Sidney Sheldon. And then there was a certain charisma with student life; life was so linear and orderly; this allowed a certain luxurious way of thinking that was smashed to pieces when my job started in 2009 (I was 19 years old when my world fell apart). Over a period of time, I realized that it’s good to be motivated by motivation theories, but real life does not allow such reductionist perception to thrive. We all dream and dream a lot. Who doesn’t want to become the next self-made billionaire? But life has taught me that simple optimism is neither durable nor agile; rather, true motivation lies at the core depth of facing harsh realities and conquering subconscious unresolved conflict.

That is why now I want to bust the ‘bubble’ of the general consensus regarding “entrepreneurship”. Becoming an entrepreneur has become a buzzword by now. In every house of learning, we are taught how to strive to become an entrepreneur to achieve the ultimate pinnacle of success. Success stories like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg and a lot of others cement our belief that if they can do it, so can we. Many of us want to have our own business and be our own boss. To become an entrepreneur is no longer an objective phenomenon, but a deeply emotional one for our generation. And it does make a lot of sense too.

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A New Academic Year: Some New Ways, Some New Hopes!


Do not give up, the beginning is always the hardest.A new academic year has begun. It has been a month for me now since I began classes at my institution and it has been great getting back to my studies after a somewhat boring summer.

The results of the past year and the first experience have taught me a lot. I have registered for four modules and this time around I have two modules which need to be studied on my own: Sociological theory and analysis, and Population and society. I cannot take regular classes for these at my teaching institution, however I will be provided with guidance by my teacher. I am taking classes for Elements of social and applied psychology and Social research methods. I have plans to study in a very organised manner – hopefully preventing the procrastination monster from dragging me down with it. And I believe I have learnt this art already by finishing up with four chapters per module. Especially considering these chapters are quite lengthy!

Since the results 2013/2014, I have realized what it takes to produce excellent grades. Putting in a little extra effort can take one to another level. Dedicating a lot of time to research and preparing answers allowed me to perform well. And therefore I aim to brush up on those techniques and use them wisely. Studying two modules without a proper supervision or regular tests and reinforcement will be a whole new experience. (Though I hope I don’t take of advantage of that). I believe this will allow me to set up my study patterns more effectively. Having no regular classes at college will actually leave me with more time to devote to reading and research.

This time I will experience the true essence of studying through this programme – self studying. I hope to achieve better!

Best wishes to everyone around the globe for 2014/2015.

Sundus

Sundus is studying for the BSc Sociology in Pakistan with support from Roots College International. The BSc Sociology is not available to new students from 2014, however you can still study for a Diploma for Graduates in Sociology.