Tuesday, May 16, 2017
For the last unit we learned about American Culture, I found it really fascinating how other areas and cultures are completely different to the way we live here. Living in the U.S can affect someone in a good way and bad way. America is about being open, having the luxurious life, entertainment, and a land of opportunity. A person who has those qualities like for example, The Kardashians then you are set to go. We read an article in class written by, Stefan Schirmer(who comes from Germany) and he writes about the different things that he notices here in America. One thing that he wrote that caught my eye was when he went to a courtroom. He stated in his article that in America, the cases are televised and are open to the public. In Germany everything is more reserved and hidden. He quoted that "Regular americans seem to feel much more comfortable and confident acting, especially entertaining, in front of a camera, whereas many germans come out rather stiff and shy" America is about entertaining the public eye, no one wants to get bored. Every person is exposed to materialism in America and everybody wants to have the nice cars, the ginormous houses, and all the high fashion brands. People show off their wealth by what they have, they like to brag and to be open about how much money they have. I believe that a person who is more reserved about who they are or who doesn't like to show how much money they have would have trouble in the U.S. America is about competition and being the best and if you're not competitive, then you're not living up to the American values. I'm affected by the American culture with materialism. I go to a school where there's a lot of people who are very wealthy so it's also a lot of competition on just what to wear to school. When I walk the halls of Stevenson I see groups of people that dress like they have money. They got the expensive brands all over them, and then I see other groups that don't have those kinds of brands because they're not as wealthy as the others. I don't mind what kind of clothes people wear, but no one should be judged based on what they wear. My family does well and I dress the way I want to dress but at times I feel the competition on what to wear and we should just mind our own business and worry about ourselves instead of other people.
Over the weekend and just this Monday I decided to go to Feed My Starving Children for my service hours. I've gone to FMSC before and I every time I go it's a fun a great experience to interact with new people and of course help people in need. On my way there I felt excitement because I couldn't wait to just go to the stations and get to work. When you arrive they give you hairnets and you wait for the leaders to tell you information on what kind of food we are going to pack and what benefits it has. After that you go wash your hands and choose a station. My mom and I went together and we went to the the station that said Peru. My job was the packer, and I was kind of the leader because once I finished packing a box I led my group to shout "Peru, yeah baby!" and one you shout one of the volunteers comes and takes your box to the storage room. I met a lot of new people that were in my groups, and it was like a good chance to make new friends because there was a lot of teens that were in my grade and we worked really well with each other. After time was up for packing and bagging the bags, we cleaned up our stations. Once we were finished cleaning up, the was a prayer going on in the storage room that was optional, My mom and I decided to go and we gathered around with the others and said a nice short prayer while we placed our hands on the packed food. After the prayer we sat back at the benches where we waited for the leaders to tell us how much boxes we packed for the night and where the food is going to. The first night We packed 74 boxes and it was going to Haiti, and the second night we packed 74 boxes and it was going to the dominican republic. FMSC was a wonderful experience and i'm looking forward to doing it again soon.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
We just finished up on Culture, and I really liked this unit because it was very interesting. We learned about new words that I have not heard about and we learned the meaning. I didn't know what ethnocentrism was until this unit, and ethnocentrism is judging other cultures solely by ones own ethnic group or culture. In today's society people tend to judge others based on what their culture follows, for example, in Muslim culture women have to be covered head to toe and they wear a hijab to cover their hair, neck, and chest. Many people outside of the Muslim culture might think differently like, woman should be able to be more free in what they want to wear but it's what the Muslim culture follows. We also learned in class that different cultures have different gestures, language, and norms. In the Middle East you clap your hands in a restaurant to get the waiters attention instead of here in America we just call them over. Also in other cultures certain hand signals can be offensive terms in different areas. In my culture there's always one hand gesture that people get really confused on. The hand gesture is basically you prentending to stab your chest with your fist and it means "screw your mom!" I remember one time I was in Mexico( I didn't know about the gesture at the time) and my cousins tricked me into doing the gesture while we were walking in the city where there was a ton of people. I thought it was no big deal, so I started to do it and my cousins were laughing their butts off while people were giving me dirty looks. After the humiliation my cousins finally told me what it meant and I literally just wanted to hide. I think that it was good idea that we learned about the different norms and gestures that some cultures have in class because it literally save lives.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
This week we just covered up on race, and it definitely has my made me think and view race differently. In society, the human race has always had a bad habit of just assuming things about someone or something. There are ignorant people in the world that just assume things about someone based on the way they look and they don't realize that it can offend them. For example, this Monday we had a race panel during class and one particular persons story fits on what I'm trying to say. Reyas story really explains why someone shouldn't assume things based on appearance. Reya identifies herself as biracial because her dad is German/ swedish and her mom is Indian and Pakistani. She stated that people would always assume that her own mother was her nanny just because she looked white and her mom didn't, and people couldn't believe that her and her adopted sister were siblings because her sister is black. When people say stuff like that, it can really hurt someone and make them feel down. People shouldn't say stuff like that without asking. In my own personal experience people don't think that me and my sister look alike because I look tan and she looks white, and she has dirty blonde hair and I have dark brown hair. Everyone always tells me that I'm the night and she's the day because of our skin and hair color. Sometimes people are shocked when we tell them that we are siblings, and they say "that's impossible". When people state those kind of remarks it makes me feel down because it is possible for something like that to happen. That's why I hope in the future people view race as a beautiful thing and they don't target people based on their skin color. Every tone of skin is beautiful and unique in its own way.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
The week before spring break we covered up social class. During class we took the time to watch a movie called "The Line". I thought the movie was very interesting and impactful, the movie basically showed the lives of various of people who are living in poverty. The people who were interviewed in the movie talked about the sacrifices that they had to make to make ends meet, and just the reality of not being wealthy. One story that saddened me the most was about a single dad with 3 children who is in poverty. What saddened me the most was that his wife filed a divorce against him after he lost his job, and she left her own children with him. It's sad how wanting be wealthy can have such a huge impact on the human mind. In times of poverty there is less social mobility due to low-income jobs or sometimes based on what kind of social class you were born in. In class we also read "Nickel and Dimed" I thought the reading was very interesting because the whole point of the reading is to show how people can maintain themselves working in the working class. In the reading the author, Barbara Ehrenreich, sets out an experiment. She gives up her well organized life to go and try to work in a restaurant as a waitress. She wants to see exactly how people make a living in the working class. From the start, Ehrenreich admits that she will never really comprehend what it resembles to be in poverty and makes it clear that she is just attempting to learn on the off chance that she can coordinate her salary to her costs. Overall, Ehrenreich maintains a good distance away from criticism. Social class has a huge impact to humans in society today, and it's crazy how people survive with such low-income.
Friday, March 17, 2017
We just finished on learning about the concept of deviance. Deviance describes an action or certain behaviors that violate social norms. Deviance judges people based on their actions because today in society humans are suppose to act and dress a certain way. For example, in class we read about a famous study conducted in 1978 by a sociologist, William J. Chambliss. In the study it talks about 2 groups at a highschool, first we got the saints and then the roughnecks. The saints were rich white males that cheat their way into getting good grades. They kiss up to the teachers, and they are well known in their school and community. They also dress very nicely and act more mature when around adults and their teachers. But they are completely different people During the weekends, they are party animals, and they do drugs. But obviously no one treats them with injustice because of their social status. The roughnecks are total opposites, they are poor African-American males who also did drugs. Their style and the way they acted was completely opposite from the saints. Deviance plays a major role because since the roughnecks were violating social norms and the saints weren't, the roughnecks had to deal with society judging them.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
This past week we learned about the difficulties and struggles men and women go through in society. In "Killing us softly" we learned how one advertisement can have such a great impact to any one. The modeling world tries so hard to create a perfect human being that we see in magazines, billboards, and TV through photoshop. Of course us humans outside the modeling world don't realize it, and we tend to be self-cautious about ourselves. For example, when I look at models like Gigi Hadid, Taylor Hill, Alexis Ren or any Victoria Secret model I think that they're the most perfect human beings in the world. Of course I feel a little self-cautious about myself when I see these beautiful models in ads but it doesn't affect me that much compared to other girls who are struggling. The modeling world doesn't realize the traumatic one photo can be to someone. Anorexia and bulimia have striked males and females (majority females) due to photo shopped ads that are seen everyday. To be conceived a man or a lady in any general public is more than a straightforward natural actuality. It is a natural reality with social implications. Ladies constitute a particular social group, and the character of that group has nothing to do with female "nature." "Sexual orientation" is the term now broadly used to allude to those courses in which a culture reformulates what starts as a reality of nature. The natural genders are reclassified, spoken to, esteemed, and diverted into various parts in different socially subordinate ways. "Lady" is a production of the manly look. Before we can perceive how ladies considered themselves and of their relations with men, we should discover how they were seen by men.