Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Post 10

This unit we learned about American Culture. The united states is considered a melting pot. A melting pot of a bunch of different cultures. But America does have a set of their own values. Coming from a different country it may be difficult for someone to adjust. We read a reading called The Values American's Live By. One value that might be difficult for someone moving to America is the concept of time. In America time is money. American's never want to be late and want things done in a timely manner. This can hurt relationships. Because when we are so focused on time to make money we forget to leave time for those who truly matter.

In America we are very focused on competition. We believe that competition brings out the best in us. This also goes along with Americans need to be more independent. I agree with this to an extent. Yes, being independent and having competition can be good for us. It shows us our best self and our abilities. But, we shouldn't be afraid to ask for help. Other countries value cooperation and dependence. They work together to get things done. Americans tend to be afraid to ask for help and that ends up hurting us. If we don't ask for help and we fail, we look down on ourselves. And if we ask for help and complete it people tend to still be upset because they couldn't complete it alone.

I've been to many different countries and Israel is my favorite. I stayed on a kibbutz where everyone works together. This is so different from America where everyone works alone. They all live together, work together, eat together, etc. That is a part of their culture. If they were to come work in America it would be difficult because our values are very different from theirs. American values are interesting to think about because we don't believe we are a culture. Or at least I thought that. Our culture all relies on quickness and getting things done, making money, the American dream.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Post 9

This unit we learned all about culture. I'm thankful to have visited many different cultures in my short life so far. I've been to Mexico and Israel. The most interesting place I've been that felt different to me was Mexico. Every year my grandparents live there for three months so they rent a place and we stay with them instead of in a hotel. We did stay in Puerto Vallarta but we were in the non touristy parts. I remember walking into a town and having some sort of culture shock. Culture shock is the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to unfamiliar culture, way of life, attitudes. I walked through this town and all the people were having a fiesta. There was a band and all the people in the town were just dancing having a good time. All the kids were playing games. I don't think I saw anybody on their phones. I would never see anything like this in America. Everyone was so nice, I even danced with a stranger.

In class we are watching a film called God Grew Tired of Us. It is about the lost boys who marched their way from Sudan to find safety. They found refugee in Kenya where they lived in hunger and a life that is just not a good life. A few boys were moved to America. Things like getting on an airplane and learning the different foods, knowing what butter is, was all a shock to them. They did not know how electricity worked or what a cabinet was. They had to be taught to not throw trash out the window. They had never seen a white person before their big move to America and everything was a shock to them. It makes you realize the things you may take for granted.

America has their own culture as well. When one judges another culture based on their own, they call that ethnocentrism. Many Americans are like this when judging another person's culture. They don't realize that not everything is like the way they have it. There are many subcultures that one could be a part of that is within their culture. For example, I am American. This is my culture. But, my subculture would be the fact that I am Jewish. Within Judaism there are even more subcultures! There are Orthodox, Hasidic, Conservative, and Reform. Only those within that subculture would understand certain things that others may not.

Even within SHS we have our own subcultures. There is certain language that people in SHS would understand that others wouldn't. For example, sayings like "the point", "the wood commons", or "the PAC". Someone who doesn't go to SHS would not know these sayings. There are also certain mores at SHS. Mores are serious norms that would disrupt the culture if violated. Things like walking on the other side of the hall way, not cheating on tests or quizzes, or even stopping in the hallways. Folkways are things that don't have serious or if any implications. Things like being late to class, signing out when leaving, wearing spirit wear, or saying the pledge. These are just a few things within SHS's subculture.

Culture is a huge part of who someone is. In the movie they explained how when they are at home they eat with their hands because that is their culture. Without culture who even were they. No matter what one's culture is, it is a huge aspect of who they are. We have to have an open eye when it comes to other peoples cultures. Not judge based on what yours already is, but what they have and how they live their life.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Post 8

This unit we have talked about race. Race is not biological. This took me a while to understand but I finally grasped this concept. As humans, we all started out in one place and migrated to other places. Over the thousands of years we changed based on our surroundings as a way to survive. The reason people have dark skin is because they live close to the equator and they take in Vitamin D from the sun, their body doesn't make it for them. The lighter your skin is, the farther from the equator that person is. When someone is farther from the equator they have lighter skin because their body makes vitamin D, it doesn't get it from the sun up north or down south. Race is a social construct made up by society. In the past couple hundred years people started exploring the world and that was when race became a thing. If you were to line up everyone starting from the middle of Africa and moving upward, it would be a spectrum of colors and looks. There would not be distinct groups.

Since race is a social construct, as a society have classified people into groups. As someone who is white I have never felt the prejudice that others may feel for having a different skin color. I've been raised to treat everybody equally and that we are all the same no matter our color differences. I know a lot of people aren't taught that, and that is where racism comes into play. There is implicit and explicit. Implicit is more implied and doesn't straight out say racism. Things like news articles when it comes to crime. When a white person is arrested, their mugshot is barely shown and they get a caption like, "woman comes home from store with items she 'took'". Obviously this is just an example but they tend to be played off lightly. When a person of color is arrested for the same crime their mugshot is the first to be shown and they have an awful headline that makes them look like they committed a murder when it could have just been a store robbery. Nobody is trying to be racist but when shown side by side it is implicit. It is hidden in our unconsciousness. Explicit racism is as terrible as it is. People just being racist and not really caring. Especially in the political climate these days people have no respect for other peoples well beings and their lives. Especially in republican states, if you are not white people either expect you to be a criminal or a terrorist. It is just completely awful and I wish our world wasn't like this. People get arrested just for being a certain skin color. I will never understand this but what I can do is try to help and become educated and use my privilege to help others who may not get the same treatment as me. I believe everybody should be treated equally but that's not the world we live in, tragically.

When we listened to the panel my heart sunk. Kids, my age, going through awful things just for being who they are. They could be born in America and people scream at them to go back to where they came from. The ignorance in this world upsets me deeply. It was interesting how people either embraced the stereotypes that were already given to them, or wanted to be everything but that stereotype. Kat's story on how everyone thought that because she was hispanic she ditched class and did drugs and was this awful person. Her thoughts were that she should just give them what they are asking for even though she doesn't want to be that person. While Jenny's was the opposite and because she was asian everyone thought she was smart and did well she wanted to be not the brightest person and just was average. She didn't want to fall into the stereotype everyone gave to her. It hurt me to see that their life choices were being made by stereotypes and what other people wanted them to be. They were being judged at because of what they looked like and not who they were.

I wish the world could be a better place and except everyone, love one another, and just be happy. But as sad as it is, we aren't there yet. We try everyday to make the world a better place but there always seems to be some stupid person messing things up again. I need to use my privilege and help others when I see prejudice and to always set a good example for others who may not see the same equality as me. I've learned that you can't be colorblind. You need to see the amazing colors around you and except everyone's different cultures and nationalities. You can't disregard someone's heritage but youccan treat them equally even with those differences. Race is a social construct and I believe that we can change that construct but it will take a very long time.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Post 7

This unit we learned about social class. Growing up I have always been very lucky with what I have been given to me. My parents have worked hard and I would say we are in the upper middle class. My parents continuously get new jobs that make more money so they can help pay for my college. My mom always told me how when I was younger we lived in a one story, very small house, and we had no money to even save for nice things. My parents worked their way up to get us the home and the lifestyle we live. After reading nickel and dime and watching The Line I had a new outlook on life. In nickel and dime the woman was trying to live off minimum wage and she was looked down upon. She was just trying to make ends meet and because she was considered poor she was frowned upon. In the line we watched people who had tragedies happen in their lives which caused them to fall. They are having a hard time recovering from their now poor selves. Some got injured and some lost their jobs. They are trying their hardest to make ends meet and it really made me think how much I take advantage of what I have. If someone is in poverty they have a lower chance at living a full life. The amount of income a family has relates to the education they have received. If someone has a lot of money they are more educated than someone who is in poverty. At Stevenson a lot of people have a lot of money so they are able to receive higher education than just high school. 98% of students from Stevenson end up in college, whether it be a big university or community college. People have more life chances with a bigger income. I've always known this fact but it never settled with me until we learned about it. With more money, comes more opportunity.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Post 6

This past week we have learned about deviance. The dictionary definition of deviance is "the fact or state of departing from usual or accepted standards". Deviance has to be looked at from the time and place. Someone carrying around a gun in the south side of Chicago is normal but it becomes deviant when that person is carrying a gun around in the north suburbs of Chicago. Smoking marijuana in Colorado is thought of as okay but in Illinois it is seen as a crime and is illegal. Of course this could all change. Many states are starting to legalize marijuana. This would make having marijuana not a deviant act but a normal one.

Deviance tends to label people. Going to jail is a deviant act. It goes against the norms of society. In the movie 30 Days in Jail with Morgan Spurlock he goes and spends exactly what the title of the movie says, 30 days in prison. Being a criminal is being deviant. It goes against the accepted standards. Spurlock learns what these prisoners go through and when they are given this label it his hard to escape it. Most of the prisoners who end up leaving prison end up coming back a few weeks later. They were deviant at first and even when they want to change their ways, society has labeled them so now they have trouble escaping it.

I want tattoos which is not usual in my family. Nobody in my family, immediate or extended family have tattoos. Because it is so against what my family wants my parents told me that if I get a tattoo they won't pay for my college. So basically, I'll get one after I graduate. But still, if I were to get a tattoo now it would totally go against the accepted standards of my family. If I were to get one I would be deviant. There are probably many more aspects of my life where I am considered deviant. If my family were to change their minds about tattoos and all get one then my views would no longer be deviant. I could change this view for my future family and kids. If they want a tattoo I could be accepting and not as closed minded so when my kids want tattoos they wouldn't be considered deviant to the family. Deviance changes depending on who you are with and where you are. It also changes with time so things that may be deviant today won't be tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Post #5

In class we have learned about how socialization affects males and females. We get put into these specific gender roles by society and are looked down when we are something different than those specific roles. From birth, every human is put into a box. Boys are told "Be a man don't cry" or "real men don't cry. Be strong.". Girls are told that they have their specific place, to not be too adventurous, and to act smaller than they are. From the toys where boys get trucks and cars and outdoorsy type things. Girls get the dolls, the makeup sets, the kitchen sets. God forbid a boy wants to play with a doll or a girl wants to play with a car or truck. I remember when I was younger we would always go through the McDonalds drive through when my parents didn't have time to make dinner. Every happy meal comes with a toy. I hated girl toys. I never played with dolls, I was more of an artistic wild child. I would always scream from the back seat "ASK FOR THE BOY TOY". McDonalds even had two types of toys. The boys would have the cool transformers and cars while girls had little barbie dolls and ponies. Small things like what toy a kid gets in a happy meal has an impact on them as they get older.

Our families play a huge role in how our gender is perceived. Society already puts us in a box so when at home that can affect us. During the LGBT panel I learned so much about how these roles affect others. One boy was raised as a girl. He was in a religious home and his family believed he was a girl. Today, he is still being told that he must wear dresses and pretty clothes when all he wants is to dress how a boy would. He wants to be treated as the gender he is not the gender society has given to him. Sex and gender are two different things. Sex is what you are born as while gender is personal and changes with each person. Your sex may be a girl but your gender is a boy.

Not only are LGBT being affected but cis men and women too. In the movie tough guise we learned that men are shown violence every where they go. When something is shown so often it becomes normalized. Men believe that the way to keep their manhood is to be violent and strong. It shouldn't be that way. Men are allowed to have emotions and they can be weak. Movies aren't all what they are portrayed to be. Same goes for women. Women are constructed to feel small and unimportant which I believe is insane. Women are constantly photoshopped on every ad and every magazine to be shown that women aren't okay with the way they are. Society doesn't believe their normal self is beautiful. It brings down average women and makes them believe they aren't good enough. Society has placed everyone in this box when in reality it should be an ocean. We should be allowed to feel, believe, and be whoever we want. Society shouldn't be telling us who we can or can not be.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Post 4

This past week we have learned about how we become who we are. A majority of who we are, are shaped by the people around us. Sociologists call this, agents of socialization. These agents could be family, school, peers, and the media. Agents of socialization play a role in the nurture process. Nurture is what one learns from their environment and nature is what's in our genes.

A huge factor in most people's lives is their families. Their families shape a huge part of who are person may become. They teach skills, values, and beliefs. These are called manifest lessons. In my life my parents taught me how to be kind to other people, how we practice our religion (which is rare), how we treat our other family members. They taught me from their eyes what was right and what was wrong. Families also teach unintentional lessons or latent. I grew up in a family of comedians and I ended up picking up on my dad's sense of humor. I will say things and my mom will go, "I swear that is something your dad would say." We tend to become our parents. My mom will do things and I will think she is my grandma. I will point it out to my mom and she always says, "DON'T SAY THAT!! THAT MEANS IM GETTING OLD!!".

Sadly, some people aren't influenced by any family. They are left alone and forgotten about. They grow up as feral children. Children who aren't taught anything but left in a room by themselves. When we were learning about these feral children I thought about a book I recently read, Room by Emma Donoghue. It was about this girl who around I think age 16, gets kidnapped and lives in a shed. She ends up giving birth to a little boy. The only world this boy knows, is his mother, the little tiny shed he lives in, and the TV. He has never been outside or known what it's like. He doesn't believe the world he see's on TV is real. When they finally get found and escape the shed, the boy is 5 years old. He doesn't understand other people, and the just the world in general. He barely had any agents of socialization except those he was confined to.

Getting off from a sad topic, another agent of socialization is the media. The media plays a HUGE roll in children. In class we watched a video called Consuming Kids. It was about how marketing plays a huge roll in every child's life. I found this extremely interesting considering marketing is what I plan on studying at school next year. From the time they are babies, everyone is influenced by the media. We learned in the video it is impossible to find diapers that don't have some sort of logo on them like Dora or Sesame Street. All the ad's that kids see growing up that are on Nickelodeon will determine their likes. If all the ad's are about websites like Webkinz or Club Penguin, that is what that child will like. I am a huge victim of this. After watching this video I'm not sure if I am proud or not that I owned about 20 Webkinz. The TV show's kids watch also hold subliminal messages. Drink this type of juice because your favorite star is drinking it. Or buy these clothes because Hannah Montana wears them. It tricks children into not having their own sense of individuality. Of course, kids will always go with the trends of their peers but the media is telling them what that trend should be.

Agents of socializations are a huge factor of who are today. The media tells us what to like while our peers confirm what the media says. Our families tell us right from wrong and our basic moralities but at the same time teaching us things they didn't mean to. Like maybe their not so nice language or the way the stand and interact with others. Or maybe we get their genetics like how I get my mom's butt chin and my dad's thick hair. Every aspect of our life influences us to the person we are today, whether you want it to or not.