Inquiry on 'My community and my country'
(Cardijn’s fundamental tool of understanding society is through the ‘Inquiry’ technique. By following the See-Judge-Act methodology, we can transform the situations that are not in accordance with the plan of God; which are against human dignity.
As Cardijn followers, we have been following this ‘Inquiry’ method from the time of our joining the Cardijn movements and even after leaving the movements, all through our lives. The ‘Inquiry’ method is what is known as ‘Review of Life’ to present timers.
Every time we see the reality, we discover new situations, trends, problems and situations that have to be addressed. More so, when people from different realities, backgrounds, categories and age groups come together to collectively study the reality. It is this challenge we are going to face at the General Assembly in Bangkok so that together we can discover avenues of actions, activities and campaigns.
Each participant is requested to come prepared with written notes on the following INQUIRY and present them in the groups. It is important each individual prepares the notes and not one report for one country. The elaborate questionnaire is to help you to understand different components of reality but it is not a must that you must gather all the details. If you are not able to present some aspects, just ignore and do not worry).
1. Your community: Describe your neighbourhood; your city/town/village/your state (housing, public transport, cost of living, market facilities – retail, super markets, mega malls; educational institutions – schools, colleges, technical schools, professional colleges, etc; health facilities – dispensaries, hospitals: private/public, other public services and public distribution system, security to life and property, police station, etc.
2. Socio-cultural: Recreational facilities for young people and others; entertainment centres; influence of IT/CT on children, young people and adults?
3. What is the impact of caste system in your community/state?
4. Marriages: type of marriage most common? Arranged/love/child marriage. Is dowry system prevalent?
5. Violence against women: in what form and among what category/level of people;
6. Are educational institutions run on commercial basis? Who runs them?
7. What is the impact of changing cultural influence of the people?
8. Type of Fashion/pubs/discos/sexual habits, view of sex by the youth and adults /men-women relationship/single parent; are the people hospitable in nature like in early days /etc.)
9. Ethnic minorities: how are they treated? Are there conflicts?
10. How has the modern gadgets culture (mobile phone, iPhone, iPod, Blackberry, Laptop, etc.) influenced the values/attitudes of the people?
11. Economy: investment-local or foreign; free trade zones; special economic zones; How has the foreign investment generated employment opportunities in your place?
12. Impact of globalization in your family/community/close friends;
13. Is ‘consumerism’ a ‘menace’?
14. Employment opportunities; rate of unemployment. Is Unemployment allowance paid; is there generation of job opportunities?
15. Peripheral/marginal workers and their situation.
16. Social protection: social security; insurance coverage.
17. Child labour: to what extent it is prevalent in your community? In what sectors/areas?
18. Are the workers paid decent living wage?
19. Trade unions; what is the level of participation of workers? Gender equality: problems encountered. How far political affiliation has hindered/helped the workers’ cause?
20. Faith, traditions and belief: religions in the community; religious groups/parties; how far religion/tradition has influenced people? Is there religious harmony in the community?
21. Political participation: type of local governance; no. of political parties; participation of people-how and what level; avenues available.
22. Is there gender balance in the local government institutions/ legislative bodies of your state/country?
23. Level of corruption in your community: is it prevalent in all spheres of social activity? Is it seen in the family? In which area or field do you think corruption is rampant?
24. Terrorism: Is this a problem in your state/country? If so, to what extent? What steps are being taken by the government to curtail terrorism? In your opinion, what is the cause of this in your place?
25. In your opinion, what are the predominant social evils in your country? (Corruption, prostitution, sex tourism, gambling, etc.)
26. Other issues: What do you think are other problems that face the people in the community/state/country?