Before it became so serious, bureaucracy actually started as a joke.

Photo of a brown wooden staircase by Ralfs Eglitis (2019).

The Cambridge Dictionary defines bureaucracy as “a system for controlling or managing a country, company, or organization, that is operated by officials who are employed to follow rules carefully.”

The dictionary also gives another definition of bureaucracy that many of us can relate to: “complicated rules, processes, and written work that make it hard to get something done.”

Other than rules, processes, and paperwork, bureaucracy can be recognized as contracts, hierarchy, official duties, qualifications, and an impersonal approach.

History of Bureaucracy

In 1536, systematic policing methods had to be introduced in France to prevent French soldiers from attacking poor citizens for sustenance between wars.

Photo by Rosemary Ketchum (2018).

Although the police force as we know it is a relatively new invention, policing itself began over 5020 years ago in Ancient Egypt.

Ancient Policing

Grades are often seen as fair and accurate. But what if they actually recreate violence and inequality?

Photo by RODNAE (2021).

Within schools, students are believed to be equal. Yet, by treating students in an unequal society as equal, schools and teachers recreate social inequality and are symbolically violent.

A Short History of Grading

Jurors are often said to be fair and impartial, but the Brandon Mitchell controversy shows that this might not always be the case.

Left: Juror 52 Brandon Mitchell; Right: Police officer Derek Chauvin

Recently, news surfaced that Brandon Mitchell, a juror in the Derek Chauvin case, attended a Black Lives Matter march wearing a t-shirt written: Get your knee off our necks.

Many saw Mitchell’s t-shirt as a clear reference to the murder of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin.

The incident has raised concerns about a possible mistrial and juror bias.

According to the American Juror website, juries are vital because they “guarantee all people, regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, or economic status, the right to trial by an impartial jury. …

Fifteen European countries banned the burqa because they see it as oppressive to women. But does this end oppression?

Photo of a woman wearing a Hijab by Pixabay (2016)

“There’s alcohol in the cake…just in case it goes against your religion,” said our older German guest at a tea party recently.

Many people would see the statement as considerate, except she said it directly to me — the only person wearing a headscarf at the table. She also used deine, which is the informal, singular form of the word your in German.

Piecing together the evidence, it became clear to me that she had stereotyped me as Muslim.

Are you feeling frustrated because another day has ended and you’ve done nothing important? Try these ten easy tips to improve your productivity — no willpower required.

Photo by Pixabay (2016)

When I have too many unstructured days, I start to feel stuck. The week begins to feel like one really long, aimless day. Frustrated, I wait for my willpower to kick in while I beat myself up for my lack of self-discipline.

Killian Markert says that “discipline and willpower are not reliable” when it comes to productivity and consistency because they decrease over time.

To better productivity and consistency, Markert recommends creating daily habits “which make taking action inevitable and automatic.”

When I make something into a habit, I’ve noticed…

Zama Madondo

I make important information about society and social life accessible, relatable and easy to understand. I also question what’s ‘real’ or ‘normal’.

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