Tag Archives: Society & Humanism

On Writing: Ambiguity and Precision in Social Commentary

Social commentary is, as the name implies, the practice of actively voicing one’s thoughts on elements of society. It is the act of demanding change, it is the act of preventing change, of demanding justice and of promoting injustice. In short, it is voicing one’s thoughts on the state of society and what should be done with it.

Over the course of human history, this has been done through speeches, songs, essays, poems, paintings, theater and film, among others. I will focus on essays* and poems in order to show the role of ambiguity and precision when expressing one’s views on society and will use the examples of a journalist and a poet to this effect.

Of the essayists, perhaps the best known and accessible ones are the journalists, they are in the newspapers and magazines, and to an extent in the news shows. Thus, they are almost literally all over the place. The poets, in my experience, are not so widely disseminated. They are hidden in the caf├ęs, the universities, the occasional blog, in the underground music scene. They are elsewhere (again, in my experience).

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Filed under Society & Humanism, Thinking Aloud