Reflection on Deconstruction: Erlebnis with Jacques Derrida

Concept of education. Soft focus of stylish glasses lying on open book in library, blurred bookshelves.

Deconstruction is a method of philosophizing which aims at decentering established beliefs, traditions, and systems of thoughts and values which long became our grand perspectives in life. Thinkers like Derrida think that we are prisoners of our own perspectives; thus, there is a need for us to pay attention to the subversive activity of subverting our perspectives. This calls for the suspension of grand narratives, not really to destroy them and replace them with the marginal, but to reconsider them side-by-side with the marginal narratives so as one also sees the value of the marginal. His reflection will focus on the deconstruction of grand narratives.

For the Filipinos, what they need to deconstruct is their discriminating mentality concerning white and blue-collar jobs. Filipinos have a strong preference over the professional compared to the vocational, the white over the blue, the educated over the uneducated. If we notice, a lot of youths pursue degrees in college though they know they are not really that capable; so many ended up dropouts. Another thing, many had graduated from college and ended up unemployed or underemployed. We have so many jobless engineers, but we have less skilled carpenters, plumbers, electricians, painters, etc. This is the grand narrative in the Filipino aspiration for jobs that they think will offer them a promising life. They tend to see the blue-collar ones as low profile and degrading. Besides the low income these marginal jobs receive, the professionals tend to look down on them.

The Filipinos have to deconstruct their perspective on this. The world has to understand that a building will never stand had there been only engineers and planners. There is also a need for carpenters, painters, masons, helpers, and assistants. These marginal workers must be put on equal footing with that of the engineers and planners; the marginal with the grand. If this is the case, many Filipinos may appreciate and might be attracted to pursue vocational jobs.

I was decluttering and organizing my digital files and I found this brilliant reflection written by my philosophy instructor K. N. Bayot wayback November 24, 2010. I want to share this because I want to remind people to deconstruct their discriminating mentality concerning white and blue-collar jobs.

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