Practice Opening 1:
The human is a complex being; quick to endorse individuality though slow to embrace unity. Around our projected ideals, we build nations, some of which may become empires through expansion and colonialism. Although the state certainly gives its citizens a sense of national identity, at the same time it polarizes the citizens of other states. However, they affect those with no state to call home most; an increasing number of migrants who through political turmoil or natural disaster become refugees. Political borders may give many a home, yet simultaneously these fabrications of space leave millions in political limbo with no place to call home, aside camps with deplorable conditions.
Practice opening 2:
While many are proud of their nationality, it would appear that such pride is dangerous to any type of unity. What I call subconscious jingoism, is a belief held in many proud citizens minds that they live in the greatest country on Earth, and any other person of another country is inferior. While no one will, of course, come out and admit this in daily conversation, or perhaps even actively think it. Where it rests in a subconscious image we have of our own country, because we were indoctrinated to have such a viewpoint. It is certainly an ideal visible in the population of super-powers such as the US. Ignorance is what creates these divisions among humans, and for any sense of unity to arise we must remove any pride we may have in our nations, and instead be proud of our planet.
-Civil Unrest in Africa
-Emergence of Political Camps
-Dismissal of Undocumented Workers
-Increasing Refugee Population
Civil Unrest In Africa:
The continent of Africa, now home to over 55 countries, was once the land of European colonialism. During the time of imperialism, Africa was taken piece by piece by leading nations in Europe. However, when it was realized that this was immoral and most of Africa was given independence, the lines to divide nations were drawn without much concern for local populations. Many opposing tribes were thus lumped together by imaginary lines, creating much civil unrest throughout the continent. The nations of Nigeria and Cameroon (British and German colonies respectfully) are in debate over ownership of an oil rich peninsula. The only validation they have though for any type of ownership are the maps drawn by 17th century imperialists. All over Africa, separatist groups are rising to oppose the political view of Africa which has created turmoil for decades.
Emergence of Political Camps:
With a growing population of refugee (people with no home to call their own), it becomes an issue of where to put these displaced people. The brutal reality is that no nation seems to want to give these destitute people any place to call home. Rather, political camps are set up in order to shelter undocumented migrants, thus putting them in political limbo. Here, they don’t have the same rights citizens of nations do, and are almost always desperate for essentials such as food and water. However, the issue is why these camps are the go to tool for migrants. The answer is that governments use camps in “..attempts to protect and purify the sociopolitical body.” What they are actually doing here is keeping the undesirables out of common life, in exchange for enhancing the public in their view. The US does this to, the US/Mexico border patrol is an active force in keeping our public the same.
Dismissal of Undocumented Workers:
Undocumented migrants coming into the US from south of the border are often marginalized by the greater half of the American people. There lives are of little concern to us, and in fact most of us would be quite happy keeping them out. Although, it is not only in our active actions that we dismiss an entire group of people. Sometimes, it is the things we do unknowingly that really separate these people. The topic of interest would be the discarded belongings of undocumented migrants crossing the US/Mexico border. Often times, there items are referred to as deserted trash. However this would appear to further push these migrants into obscurity. The paper says, “…the articulation of migrant belongings as ‘trash’ involves a normalizing process in which the bodily comportment of migrants is deemed inappropriate.” When one simply refers to another person’s belongings as trash without much though, it certainly is reflective of their overall image of said persons belongings.
Increasing Refugee Population:
All over the world, refugees are leaving their home countries in effect of political turmoil, and are desperately seeking asylum from anyone who is willing or not willing to offer it. In the case of many Syrians, “…papers or no papers, your life as a refugee genuinely starts: on foot, in the attitude of powerlessness.” Already it is apparent how destitute these groups of people are, and the true horror is the increasing amount of refugees around the world. According to the Migration Policy Institute, Afghanistan alone created over 2,000,000 refugees, sending these people scattered across the globe in an attempt to find a new home. However, most of these migrants never find a true new home, and either perish in exodus or remain in a political camp where they are left out of the public eye.
1. Political borders splinter and isolate humans more than unify and involve them, because of visible civil unrest in post-colonial nations, emergence of political camps, and increasing refugee populations.
2. National pride is a subconscious tool of separation among groups of humans, and will always create divisions among them.
Topics for smaller papers:
-Americans viewpoint of refugees in other continents
-Ethics of migration and political intervention
-Nations that welcome the most refugees
-National pride in leading nations
Current State: I have a radical belief that political borders marking nations do more harm than good. This is an area of interest for me, as I am a geography major and largely considered with the ethics of humanitarianism. The state of many displaced people across the planet is a topic of much debate over the years, and there is plenty of information pertaining to the topic available. I am excited to further investigate this matter, and feel that I have a fairly strong thesis that may be able to use some workshopping.
Feedback was requested.
OK, breadpatrol, let’s get to it.
What beautiful language you weave, breadpatrol. A good editor could make it better still, but you clearly have writerly skills. Your “around our projected ideals we build nations, some of which may become empires” is breathtaking. I would help you with your odd logical connectives and some phrases that defy easy first reading, if you ask; otherwise, gosh!
As for content, the paragraph meanders a bit and eventually fails to completely reconcile. “Slow to embrace unity” is at odds with the sense of national identity, statehood, and “calling home” of the rest of the sentences. Your paragraph moves in the direction of considering at-a-loss refugees who have nothing but individuality (though it represents an at-large unity with a country they can’t access). Confusing conflicts.
Hmmm. You’re writing fragments here, two in a row. You call an ideal “visible,” You refer to divisions as if you had already mentioned them. I get the sense you don’t care as much about this paragraph as you do about Opening 1. I wonder if “subconscious” jingoism should be called a “belief held in the mind” or whether beliefs are conscious.
Taken together, these two openings could easily introduce very different essays, both fascinating and worthy of 3000 words, but very different. Do refugees remain at large because the residents of prospective host nations suspect or deride all prospective immigrants as inferior? Why in the world would we (if you’re talking about us) conclude that the residents of citizens of other countries are inferior (and therefore unworthy to live here?)? Wouldn’t we instead pity them? Sympathize? Extend a hand?
Not exactly what I expected. I see that Africa is producing millions of refugees: check. I follow that refugees are clustered into camps (I presume because jingoism prevents them from successfully integrating elsewhere): check. Dismissal of Undocumented Workers seems very domestic, an unnecessary expansion of an already rich topic. As for an increasing refugee population, it’s undeniable, but makes me fear the essay will be about the: Many Cause for Refugees; in other words, a survey essay, not an argument. I suggest picking one cause (jingoism probably) to bear down on.
I don’t exactly see what borders have to do with your thesis. Civil unrest forces people from their homes. What difference does it make whether refugee camps are built inside or outside the war-torn country? People with nowhere to go end up in camps not because they’re without a country but because they’re without a home. You could easily counter-argue, and you’ll have to if your thesis is to make any sense.
I agree that pride of country is arrogant, but your hypothesis is about as broad as: Men will always disagree. Do you plan to prove that arrogance prevents successful relocation of refugees? Your hypothesis offers no hint of that idea.
“More harm than good” is a massive undertaking, breadpatrol, far too broad for 3000 words. I’m entirely in favor of your examining the part national identity plays in exacerbating a particular refugee crisis. That would be a very worthy enterprise. If you want to use the last paragraph of such an essay to generalize from your smaller proof by suggesting that the elimination of national borders would smooth the acceptance of all humans by all other humans, you could certainly do so, but to make that your thesis is beyond the scope and purpose of a research paper.
Is this at all helpful?