Structure vs Agency

I spent a good amount of time thinking about what the actual root of the problem I think is and just like most things I don’t think it is as simple as saying it is definitely agency! or definitely structure! in fact I do tend to think that it is a bit of both but more structure I’d say. I want to believe that in the heart of hearts of humans we all care about the crisis and what is going on but we are raised in a structure where it is really not exposed or brought to light enough. In fact for me I know being born and raised here in Seattle going from preschool all the way to high school I really cannot recall a time where in any class we spent a respectable amount of time on anything to do with the environmental crisis which has been going forever now and really only getting worse.


I really think that there are some people who genuinely don’t give a shit to do with anything towards this topic but I think the majority of people who distance themselves from this choose to do so with the mentality of “I’m only one person what difference will my actions really make?” I know a couple of close friends like that but I know deep down they do hold this as a sensitive issue. The structure we are brought up in has major flaws in regards to this, flaws I believe many people know are there but I think this is the case where people are fine brushing it off to the side rather than dealing with it until it gets to the point where it can’t be ignored. School and the media do not really cover this and when they do I can’t help but to think they don’t really want to and then its not brought up again till an extreme situation happens again.


When it comes to thinking how I feel about this, its interesting for me because unlike most other things this topic in particular draws almost a blank and “I just don’t know” type response because I really don’t know it this is a lost cause type deal. I would love to see every human put into a situation where they see that starving polar bear face to face and see what type of reaction is seen because then we could really see the agency aspect which I think is in part of the fault but the majority I’d say comes strucurally as this really is brushed to the side with education and the media which are in my opinion the two most influential factors when it comes to issues like this.

Here is a response from Laurel on this particular topic which in my opinion she hit the exact thoughts I had

One Reply to “Structure vs Agency”

  1. Nice observations on the role of media and education. I really like your thought experiment about individuals being brought into direct contact with crisis. This raises some of the ideas that Nixon discussed in the Slow Violence reading regarding how certain groups are directly effected while others remain insulated from the crisis.

Leave a Reply