Friday, May 5, 2017
I'm bored again but not for much longer, summer is almost here. In America we often associate Summer as a break period, vacations, freedom, it's part of our culture. When people think of "culture", around where I live, they think of every other country in the world except for our own. If I had a nickel for every time people have said "we don't have culture" I could bail out all the world powers and solve world hunger with just a little bit left over to pay off my inevitable student loans. Everyone has culture regardless of what people say. The world as we know it is filled with so many cultures they cause a culture shock to us and force some sense of ethnocentrism onto us, we despise our own culture and deem it non-existent. Not everyone does this, but many people don't think of America as a massively diverse cultural nation. America itself is filled with so many sub-cultures from material culture of churches, the way our houses look, the cars we drive, to non-material cultures such as holding a door open for a woman, common everyday gestures, and social practices. In the movie Lost Boys, it is shown how their cultural values of community and cooperation clash with American ideals of competition and independence. America contains so many cultures that we don't confine ourselves to have one distinct cultural identity. Each culture has their different practices, different beliefs, which make them unique. A folkway is an old practice that isn't quite relevant and shouldn't damage your reputation if not followed, we can see this in our commonly held practice to hold a door open for a woman, nobody will treat you terribly for it but we still do it just because it's a form of habit sometimes. Mores are the morals that sort of guide us, we don't want to break the more because it can have negative consequences to it, an example might be the act of jinxing an outcome by stating victory before it actually occurs. Taboos are the worst, the unspeakable acts, in our society it is seen as taboo to convey intimate levels of affection in public areas. I belong to a subculture of middle class American Catholics, my culture has raised me to respect others, work hard, and to have faith. Each culture is different, either by a little or a lot, but all remain equally precious and significant. In my sociology class we read excerpts from thrive, a sort of guide to thriving in America through a happier and healthier life style. Americans are very materialsistic, we value shiny new objects with a big price tag. I only realized through reading it that thrive explains materialism's cost. Having all the best stuff and worrying about money don't help us thrive, they drag us down. My own mother complains about what we can and can't afford, because of money we don't travel out of the states a lot. We as Americans need to be wiser with our money and ease the stress it causes us on a daily basis. America claims to value community and equality, but seems to fall short when it is no financially beneficial. American culture ought to be more equal and and communal and value less competition.
Monday, April 24, 2017
I'm bored again, and today I remembered how boring I've been in the past and the good you can do when you're bored. I've spent 10 hours working at a charity volunteer organization called, Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). Over five sessions of two hours a piece, I helped package food to starving children in suffering countries. At the session, we packed a recipe known as "Mana pack rice" it's filled with purely vegan ingredients such as soy, rice, vitamins, and dried vegetables. I've been going to FMSC for years, but each time I leave with the same level of gratification. You sign in at the front of the building then put on a hair net as they explain the rules and what you're going to do. After explaining the rules, they select a number of people to work in the warehouse, I always serve there so that's where I spend the majority of my time while volunteering at FMSC. Once in the warehouse, you can pick a number of jobs ranging from carrying boxes full of food, replacing the ingredients, or filling the boxes of ingredients to be brought to tables. I helped carrying and packaging boxes full of food from tables that packed the ingredients into bags and boxed them to be carried off. I never quite thought about it's sociologal value until I started my sociology class second semester. Anyone could pack the food, regardless of ethnicity or age or religious faith or mental or physical disability. While there I met people of different backgrounds, each person had different motives to go, some went for fun or their faith group or even just to make a difference. The people we packed for weren't required to be Christians, they can be of any faith with their own individual cultures. At the end of the session they show people a video of the people their work has affected, this allows the volunteers to see their contributions. Sociology has taught me to be mindful of my affects in society, FMSC allows people like me to pack food to people who won't know when their next meal is coming, to give hope where there is none, and give faith where the faithless suffer. Feed my starving children shows how we take food, a common commodity, for granted. Not everyone has food, so it's good to know that anyone of any class, ethnicity, or age, can make a social change to be aware of those who have very little.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
At this point, I think boredom is a hereditary trait in every human being. Instead of being bored, I'm gonna talk about something controversial cause that's always fun. The most common opinion of our current president is that he's racist and xenophobic, but what exactly is race? We hear it all the time, race. When we think of race, to us it means, Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Ect. We judge race by appearance, if they look "black" then they are "black" meaning skin tone, special features, dialect, all based off judgements. Last year in my anatomy class, we learned to scientifically identify the difference between the bone structure of races and sexes depending on certain characteristics. My sociology teacher this year, was appalled. According to my sociology teacher, race wasn't backed by scientific proof and was only a sociol construction. It baffled me. I remember as a kid I wanted to do "the Carlton dance" from the Fresh prince, my mom had told me that I physically couldn't because black people tended to have differences in bone structure. A little later, I saw a childhood icon confirm my teacher's findings. Bill Nye the Science Guy himself, the man, the myth, the legend, stated out right that race was not backed by science and was only a sociol construction. In my sociology class, We watched "White Like Me" by Tim Wise, we saw how people treated whites better than blacks, how subconsciously we identify good with white and bad with black. There was one particular scene that downed the classroom in silence, an experiment where kids picked between a white doll and a black doll. All the kids preferred the white doll cause it was "good" and the black doll was "bad". Nothing could've prepared the class for one little black girl. The black girl picked the white doll cause it was better, and the black doll was worse, the girl was then told to pick up the one that was like her and she hesitated, almost reaching for the white doll, then slowly picked up the black doll. It was horrible. Subconsciously these kids were wired to see race as a basis on which we judge each other. Race wasn't something we were born with, science can't prove it, the experiment confirmed the truth that race is a social construction.
Monday, April 3, 2017
Spring break has ended and I am so bored now, so I'm gonna post about it. Spring break was fun, I went to San Diego. The weather was pretty fantastic and I had a lot of fun. San Diego is very beautiful, but at the same time, it's also filled with poverty. We couldn't go a day without seeing Atleast 10 homeless people wandering the street, it makes you appreciate what you've got. In my sociology class, we saw the distribution of wealth in America with most of the wealth in the hands of the least amount of people possible. Sometimes I could see people digging through the trash for anything, dragging a cart behind them filled with stuff they'd picked up off the ground or from a trash can. One thing that really caught me in my sociology class was while we watched a video about the poverty line, one of the characters said that one of the reasons people think people are poor is because "they're lazy". From what I saw in San Diego, this is the opposite. The impoverished aren't lazy because they roam the streets all day to find adequate supplies to survive, they don't have a car so they walk everywhere. There are parts of San Diego that are just breath-taking, gorgeous, and then you see a part of the city full of condemned buildings and houses in poor condition and there's this depressing feel to it. San Diego isn't the only case where this happens, I've seen the same trend in Chicago and New York. In particular areas, it may be based on race or sex, what I saw in San Diego was just a general scourge of poverty that didn't see specifics. Nobody is immune to poverty. Except maybe the really rich in America, those few people who contain the most of America's wealth. The 1% won't have to worry about paying for school, food, and luxuries that the people I saw in San Diego were having to dig out of the trash. The 1% will pass on their wealth to their children, and they onto their children, a constant chain of wealth that keeps the family in power and the money away from the majority of Americans. San Diego is beautiful, I loved my vacation there. I hope that when the government is better able to distribute the wealth in America maybe San Diego can have less people scavenging the street trash, and more healthy and happy people with homes full of food and a stable wage.
Monday, March 20, 2017
I'm bored again, no surprise there. My sociology class has recently discussed society's role in defining deviance, what is considered wrong or unusual in our society. Society determines what people see as deviant like, tatoos, piercings, excessively lengthy hair, society determines the ruling on the morality of these qualities. Social class also influences the definition of deviance, somebody who is lower class is more vulnerable to being labeled deviant than somebody of higher prestige. Somebody who's well educated, wealthy, and with great prestige, are pressured a lot less than lower class people. The amount of money a person makes also plays a role, wealth gives a person a lot of power in society, money is a major influence that can sway public opinion. We read an article in sociology called "Saints and Roughnecks" showing the Saints (high class) being just as juvenile as the lower class Rough necks, but receiving minimal to no punishment at all. The Rough necks however, are treated like criminals, and their futures don't result in as much profit as the saints do to their treatment. The rough necks don't think they can be anything more than Rough necks, so they can't do anything more than be deviants. In school, I could see the same treatment. Kids who would dress like Rough necks, act like them, and be treated like they're nothing more than trouble makers who won't amount to anything. It's terrible. Inversely, I'd see all the higher class, popular, kids being granted breaks for their behavior because their prestige allowed it. The scale is imbalanced! Deviance should be determined by morals on equal standards, that people of all classes can reach. It should also be known that money and prestige shouldn't give people free get-out-of-jail cards, we should be held to the same standard regardless of class or income. This is true for all social enviornment said and in the court of law.
Monday, March 6, 2017
I would say I'm bored, but to say that would be a lie. Had a pretty amazing weekend that has left me and anxious, thrilled, and confident. People might say a real man shouldn't show emotion, feelings even, masculinity has told men to neglect their emotional instincts. Society has deemed men as strong, smart, and independent. For women they've been labeled weak, unintelligent, and dependent on males. This is only what society wants people to think. We watched a film in my sociology class called, "Tough Guise 2" it detailed how violent and emotionless society has tried to mold men. "Face me like a man", "What are you, a girl?", "You hit like a girl", all of these common stereotypical phrases are agents of socialization trying to make men tough and weaken women. Most people don't think about these phrases on a daily basis, we accept them and move on. The more people accepted these stereotypes, the more they became integrated into our culture, men are tough and women are weak. Me and my girlfriend are fencers, we talk about it a lot, this weekend we were sitting down and she found out that it was only in 2004 that women had been allowed to sabre fence in the olympics. The reason being that the committee had for years seen sabre fencing as a purely masculine sword style. I've seen many female sabre fencers who are far superior to me, it baffles me that only 13 years ago they weren't considered fit to fight alongside men. It's crazy! Society has this idea to label anything in two ways, either masculine or femanine. If it's not seen as tough or has too much emotion, it's considered femanine. If it's not pretty or docile, it's considered masculine. Boys are taught to be masculine, to mask emotion with violence and strength. Girls are taught to be femanine, to be pretty and weak. If you don't fit into these two boxes, you are an outcast, a freak. My mother taught me how wrong this was, to show emotion is a sign of strength, to be vulnerable is a sign of courage, and to be kind and caring is noble. My mom still raised me in the idea of what a boy should be, but with less of an emphasis on being "manly" and more on being smart and sensitive. society could do with a little upgrade, don't you think?
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
I'm bored of watching commercials about cereal, fast food, and a movie I don't really want to see. In my sociology class, we've learned about the sociological process. Exciting? The words itself sound boring, but it plays a tremendous impact on everyone. Ever seen a commercial for spongebob Mac 'n cheese, or your favorite athlete drinking the same soda as you? That's part of it. We watched a video in my sociology class dubbed, Consuming Kids. It's all about how advertisements being used on children manipulate the children to see certain brands and recognize them. Companies will use kids shows to sell toys, food, and clothing. Who doesn't want a shirt with spongebob's face on it? GI-Joe needs your help? Buy his toys and join the fight. These shows team up with toy companies to use children's easily manipulated minds to profit. After learning this, I instantly went home and apologized to my mom for throwing tantrums to buy me something with my favorite characters on them. I hadn't realized it, but I had grown up thinking the spongebob Mac n' cheese was the best tasting, I tried this again a few days later. The normal Mac n' cheese tasted the same as the spongebob shaped ones. My whole childhood had been manipulated to believe the tastes were different cause the noodles were shaped different. As Wallace Shawn from princess bride might say, "Inconceivable"! We learned of a concept titled 'Nature and Nurture': Nature is how we naturally act as human beings, instinct, where as Nurture revolves around the social enviornment and how other people give comfort and care to us. My parents were very nurturing, they emphasized being a good person, they encouraged a good education, they raised me to work hard, that kind of nurturing can mold a good person. My parents would scold me for wrongful actions, and award me for acts of kindness. These lessons in nurturing teach people how to act properly, how to be aware, conscious, and happens to everyone. Every time you're afraid as a kid and ran to your parents for safety, that was nurture. Humans desire human interaction, but only if they're nurtured to be friendly.