Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Post 10

Every person has their own unique set of values that they use to guide themselves through their lives. One value that I have placed in my life is being undefended. Being the youngest of 4, I had to fend for myself often. Even today, when I have a problem, I never ask for help. I like being able to do things on my own without other people's help. While this may in part be my personality, it was also brought about by american culture. As the article titled "The Values Americans Live By" says, our culture has specific set of norms and expectations of how we are supposed to interact with each other. Some of these expectations include being independent, punctual, and hardworking. One example in my life is being punctual. When going from one class to another, there are bells throughout my school that sound at the end of one class and then again at the start of the next precisely 5 minutes after. So, if I were to walk in a few seconds late to a class, my teacher would mark me tardy because I walked in 'late'. As Americans, we value time very strongly. Another value that Americans live by is work/action. Americans believe that people should be doing something with every second of their lives, and if someone is lounging around, they are viewed as 'lazy' or 'wasting their time'.

In an excerpt of the book "Thrive" that we read in class, the author describes how americans can change their actions in order to make themselves happier. One way that said you can become happier is a 'giving account'. This would be where with every paycheck you get, you set aside a certain amount of money to give to a charity, or to use to give back to your community.

While it is okay to possess the typical American values, it is important that you remain happy throughout your lifetime by giving back and doing random acts of kindness.

Post 9

For every day of our existence, we have been affected by culture. When i went to Mexico with my family last summer, one thing shook me the most. Americans value time, while Mexicans do not as much. one place that this stood out to me the most was in restaurants. Here, waiters come by every few minutes to check on you, and once you're done eating, they rush you your check and you're expected to leave right after eating. In Mexico, dining is extremely leisurely. Going out to dinner could take up to 3 hours. So my family and I caught ourselves bored, and constantly wondering where our waiter was, where our food was, and when our check would come. By the end of the week, we came to appreciate the slow dining and time to talk instead of shoving our food down our throats and rushing out.

Throughout my life, I have been affected by many different cultures. Although we may not be aware of it, our behaviors, thoughts, and actions are all influenced by the values instilled on us. I have grown up in the same culture for my whole life. Some of the cultures that I belong to are the Unites states, Midwestern, Teenager, and Student.

 An article that we read this week was called "Social Time: The Heartbeat of Culture." This article showed that every culture lives at a different pace. It can be a shocking experience to go from a place like the United States, which is very time conscious, to a place like Brazil, where time is more of a suggestion. This article also shows how different cultures have a different value placed on time. Cultures like Japan and the United States value time heavily, while countries like Indonesia and Brazil place less emphasis on it. The movie we watched, called "God Grew Tired of Us" also talked about culture shock, as it followed a group of boys who came from Sudan to the United States called the lost boys. The lost boys had to adapt to all the different values and expectations in America in order to succeed and build a new life. Along with culture shock, this movie touched on ethnocentrism which is when you judge another culture because of its norms/values. In the movie, the lost boys were expected to ditch their culture and conform to the norms and values of the american culture.

Post 8

What is a social construct? A social construct is a mean of something placed on it by society. Race is a social construct. Although I do not have any memorable direct confrontations dealing about my race, it is still a very interesting topic for me. The only thing that is different between races is the pigmentation of our skin. The only reason that the pigmentation of our skin is different is because it evolved over thousands of years. for example, people from Africa have darker skin pigmentation because of Africa's geological location and its proximity to the equator. Along with skin color, had types, eye color, height, ect. all of these characteristics evolved with the other species. But, this does not mean that all black people are one skin color, and white people are not all green eyed. Forming in/out groups of people based on their skin color is like me standing infant of all of my friends and saying from now on i will only be friends with you if you have blonde hair. It is ridiculous because these are just characteristics that we were born with, and there are no biological differences between any of us.

An article that we read this week titled "Racial Formations" pointed out how race is a social concept, not a biological one. In the United States, racism can be traced back to slavery before the civil war. But in other nations, race has come about in different ways. An activity we did in class revealed that in different nations we would be characterized as different races. This is further evidence to support that race is not biological, because if it was we would all fit into a single category. But as an article in the packet pointed out, a simple plane ride can change your race, as race is based on how the people around you perceive you. For example, in the United States, my race is perceived as American. But, if I went to lets say Germany, people may perceive me as German. It all depends on perception of others.

In our society, there is both implicit and explicit racism. One example of explicit racism is if a person said that they refused to vote for Barack Obama just because he was not white. They could agree with all of his policies, but be explicitly racist and not vote for him because he is not white. Implicit racism is more about people treating each other differently because of their race. in the movie "White Like Me," Tim Wise explained how domestic workers and farmers were excluded from unemployment benefits. These job skills were held predominantly by black people, so while the law didn't explicitly exclude blacks, it implicitly excluded them from these benefits.

Post 7

This week in class, we discussed social class. Social class is determined by how much money you have/make, where you live, and many other factors. Most of the people who go to my school are in the upper middle class. Although not talked about often, social class determines a lot in a person's life. For example, since I am in the upper middle class, I have a lot more opportunities that people in the lowest class may have. I can go to college without worrying too much about the costs, I can go out to eat with friends and now be worried about having enough money to pay for dinner, and so much else. My family and I can go on vacations every year, and we do not have to worry about money on a day to day basis. A lot of people in my community can afford our $30 swell water bottles because we are in a certain social class and we can afford to blow $30 on water bottles that will be swept out by a new water bottle trend in a few years.

In an article that we read in class called "Nickel and Dimed," it showed how it was very difficult for the woman to live off of a minimum wage job, even when she started her experiment with over a thousand dollars. She ended up acquiring another minimum wage job just to make ends meet. She was working extremely hard with two jobs to make enough money to stay afloat. This article also sheds light on how people living in poverty are often deemed lazy even though they are the ones working extremely hard in strenuous hours to make ends meet.

A movie that we watched a few days ago in class called The Line was about poverty in America. one part of this movie that struck me was how people may look completely content and like they are not struggling with money at home while they are struggling every day to make ends meet. before watching this movie, i didn't realize that there are so many people who are struggling and there may even be people that i am friends with that are struggling.

The united States may be one of the richest countries in the world, but it is crucial that we do our best to help others that may not be as well off as we are.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Post 6

Throughout class this week, we discussed deviance. Deviance is repeatedly or seriously violating society's norms. This is relative to time and place. One example of deviance in different times is women and how we dress. A long time ago it was absolutley unacceptable (and deviant) for a woman to show her ankles, but now, for example, if I were to walk in the streets of Chicago, or my neighborhood for that matter, with a skirt going all the way to the floor and a turtleneck, I would be considered deviant and would be ostracized for violating society's norms.

In the video clip we watched of Seinfeld, the man was at a stoplight scratching the side of his nose. The girl that he was seeing at the time was in the car next to him, and mistook the scratching for picking. She was horrified and sped off, and never spoke to the man again. In today's society, it is viewed as disgusting and just an all around no. It is a very deviant act. And because of this, she refused to speak to him again.

An article that we read in class this week was "Saints and Roughnecks". This article talks about how deviance is related to perception. Saints and roughnecks do the same things outside and inside of school, but saints cover up for themselves with money and respect. So roughnecks are viewed to be deviant while they both do the same things, saints usually get a free pass as punishment while roughnecks would get a detention. While my teacher was talking about this in class, I'll be honest, I was studying for a pre-calc test that I had next period, but I still had my sociology packet out so I could participate if I needed to. My teacher said (roughly), "in class, saints are the people who have their material out for the class that they're in. They act like they're paying attention, but they're actually doing their pre-calc homework. These students are respectful enough to have their class material out to act like they're doing what they're supposed to, but they're not." At that point, I stated laughing because I literally had my pre-calc in front of me next to my packet for this class. Then my teacher asked what was so funny and I heard up my packets, and he talked about how I would be a saint because of that. I am deviant, but not in an outward, obvious way that others may be.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Post 5

Throughout this week in sociology, we have discussed gender and negative standards that they hold. For example, boys. Boys are taught from a young age that they are supposed to be violent and emotionless. This is known at masculinity. When boys are young, they're expected to by outside with their friends, playing sports and getting muddy. Girls are held to standards too. From a young age, girls are taught to be emotional, weak, and dependent. This is known as femininity. When girls are young, they are expected to me inside their home, playing dolls with their friends in sundresses, or baking cookies.

When I was younger, I did both of these. I have 3 older sibilings. 2 girls, 1 boy. Sometimes, I would be downstairs with my eldest sister, and she would be ripping the heads off of our dolls(yes I'm serious) and other times, we would be playing welts in our basement with ping pong balls. I was raised around sports. As a kid I played almost every sport I could. I liked boy clothes, and was told I was a tomboy. Although today I still do not particularly like wearing dresses and I'm not super feminine, I now understand the gender norms and see other girls acting this way and I can see how I am different.

In an article by Michael Kimmel and Matthew Mahler, they discussed how masculinity relates to school shootings. Society tries to ignore gender when gender is the problem. Media refers to the people who hot up the schools as "shooters" instead of by gender. Virtually all school shootings have been committed by men. These boys were taught that they have to act violent and masculine, so they decided to prove themselves by shooting up a school.

In the article "Teaching Men to be Emotionally Honest",the author discussed how men are taught to disrespect women. It also touched on how men are taught to be emotionless and not form deep relationships. While girls are expected to share everything with one another and be emotional, boys often hide their feelings because being emotional is not "manly".

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Post 4

One agent of socialization that has affected me the most is sports, in particular, lacrosse. Although we learn lacrosse things like stick skills, shooting and passing, but I have learned over the years to not give up from winning games that we thought we had no chance in. And friendships that make our team better as a whole. When I meet people and they ask me what I like to do, I always say play lacrosse, because it has become a huge part of who I am. I was not a naturally born lacrosse player, I learned it from my older sister and decided this what what I liked to do so I continued it. I was nurtured into liking and playing lacrosse.

One extremely interesting way to study what someone learns from their environment (nurture) is by looking at feral children. Feral children are children that were lost or abandoned by their parents and then raised by animals from an early age. For example, " a feral child known as 'the wild boy of Aveyron' was studied by scientists . . . This boy. Who was found in the forests of France in 1798, walked on all fours ad pounced on small animals, devouring then uncooked. He could not speak, and he gave no indication of feeling the cold" (Henslin, What is human nature?). I find this boy especially interesting because since he was raised by animals, so he walked on all fours. I could not imagine being raised by animals, but for him, it is a reality.

Like how I said earlier, sports are an agen of socialization that have effected my life dramatically. "Sports are another powerful socializing agent. Everyone recognizes that sports teach not only physical skills, but also values."(Henslin, Agents of socialization). Similar to my experiences, this article says how sports teach not only physical skills, but also values. For me, these values have had the most beneficial impact on my life compared to anything else(except my lovely parents, of course).

Agent of socialization- a person or group of people that influence our self concept, emotions, attitudes and behavior. 
Nature vs nurture- our genes vs things we have learned from our environment.