1. Is there a “money myth” that states that people's income is a simple reflection of their talent? Does it apply more to one sex than the other?
Yes, there is a “money myth” that states that people’s income is a reflection of their talent. This money myth parallels the “beauty myth” that, in comparison, states people’s beauty is a reflection of their worth.
2. Can you see a connection between the beauty myth and the rise of eating disorders among young women in the US?
Yes, it is very simple to see the connection between eating disorders and the beauty myth. One of the reasons the beauty myth is so harmful is that is damages women's self worth. It is taught from an early age that the more physically attractive you are, the more people will like you. Women in the media are grossly unrepresentative of what the average woman looks like, and in addition, they are photoshopped and altered to look completely flawless. Unknowing women base what they should look like off of these women and go to extreme measures to reach the unattainable. Women damage their health from binging and purging because they put the way they look as more important that their physical health. The rise in eating disorders among young women in the US can be attributed to the marketing of the perfect body to look to younger and younger girls.
3. Among people with physical disabilities, do you think that the issues of “looking different” are more serious for women or men? Why?
I believe that among people with physical disabilities, the issues of looking different are more serious with women. I believe this because there is more pressure for women to conform to the “cookie cutter” perfect woman and look like the women they see in the media. It is more socially acceptable for men to be larger or to look less uniform. There is more pressure for women to look perfect, and for some (societally speaking) it is impossible because of a physical disability.
1. Is female genital mutilation a medical procedure or a means of social control? Explain your answer.
Although technically it is a medical procedure, female genital mutilation is undoubtedly a means of social control. The point of genital mutilation is to prevent women from violating sexual norms and be seen as more desirable to the men who want to control them. This only enables highly patriarchal societies and makes women feel more powerless to the will of men. About 3 million girls undergo this procedure a year, thousands of which happen in the United States.
2. Can you think of another example of physical mutilation imposed on women? What are they?
Another example of of a physical mutilation imposed on women are breast enhancements and labiaplasties. Although women are not directly forced to undergo these surgeries, there is strong influence from the media and often from partners to have them done. These surgeries can be considered physical mutilation because they are altering the female body in an unnatural way, and although women want to have them done, the need to change their bodies is deeply rooted from pressure from society.
3. What do you think should be done about female genital mutilation in places where it is widespread? Do you think respect for human rights should override respect for cultural differences in this case?
I believe that performing non consensual female genital mutilation surgery should be punishable by jail, and in the case it is performed by a practicing doctor, they should lose their licence permanently. In this case, I completely believe respect for human rights should override respect for cultural differences. In this case, respect for cultural differences means the controlling and mutilation of women by a patriarchal system that sees them as nothing other than objects. I believe the preservation of innocent women is vastly more important that preserving culture.
1. Can you think of an experience of your own similar to the one described here? Explain what happened.
Although I have never been in a situation as dramatic as the one described here, I have been in situations in which the customs of other cultures have shocked me. For example, once when I was in Italy, I was walking through the small streets with a friend of mine when all of the sudden a man grabbed me. He pulled me into his arms and started to dance with me in the middle of the street, he was far older than me, maybe in his forties, and he was saying “bella, bella!” as he air kissed my cheeks. Obviously being used to recognising this kind of behavior as a dangerous situation, I tried to get out of his grasp. He seems surprised that I didn’t take his sudden sign of affection (a ploy to get me to purchase something in his shop) lightheartedly. Because of the cultural differences we experienced be both left the situation confused as to the others actions.
2. Do you think you ever cause culture shock in others? What did you learn from this experience?
I don’t believe I have caused culture shock in others considering my exposure to other cultures has been limited my whole life.
3. Why is it difficult for people who live within different cultural systems to interact without discomfort? At the same time, are there benefits gained from doing so?
It is difficult for people who live within different cultural system to interact without discomfort because when people experience widely different norms in their culture, they are often left confused or unaccustomed to the actions of another. For instance, some of the practices regarding covering ones hair that are often conducted in countries in the Middle East seem unreasonable to many American women because they do not hold the same beliefs as to personal exposure as women from these countries. Yes, there are benefits that can be gained from this. When people are exposed to different cultures, they learn more and can incorporate new and unique ideas and practices into their everyday life.
1. What does the creation of symbols such as those listed here suggest about culture?
I believe the creation of these kind of symbols, or “short hand” as it’s referred to, says a lot about this generation. I believe it is amazing that it can be universally registered by an age group that a certain abbreviation of numbers or letters can mean a full phrase or even sentence. The ability to create this almost language of new symbols shows how what some people (baby boomers) might call lazy is actually rather ingenuitive.
2. Do you think that using such symbols is a good way to communicate? Does it lead to confusion or misunderstanding? Why or why not?
I believe communicating with these symbols is effective to a certain degree. When talking to friends or people you might know over the internet, it is useful and can deliver a specific “aesthetic of typing.” But, when typing “u” instead of “you” and “np” instead of “no problem” become engrained in someone's mind, it can become a problem. I find that if I am talking to my friends and using short hand phrases, as I normally would in casual conversation, while also typing up something for school, I can mix my modern vernacular with what should be professional language in my paper. So, it can be confusing, but is ultimately a good way to communicate to those who want to use it.
3. What other kinds of symbols can you think of that are new to your generation?
Another symbol that is new to my generation is the use of commonly accepted slang. Although similar to short hand, slang is creating a new word as a synonym for another rather than just shortening a word. For example, some common ways to exclaim “I can’t believe you just said / did that!” are “BYE,” “NOOOOO,” “GOTTA BLAST,” “I’M GONE,” and similar phrases. To someone who doesn’t understand this slang, the seemingly random “I’m gone” after being told something astonishing might be a surprise. But, since my generation has attached a new meaning to the phrase and given it something other than its literal meaning, it can be considered a symbol by this generation.
1. Is the DJ scene part of popular culture or high culture? Why?
DJing would be considered part of “popular culture,” more commonly known as “pop culture.” Pop culture has more to do with mainstream western arts and ideas than high culture, which is more of an upper class aristocratic form of culture. This would be considered pop culture because the musical stylings of DJs are generally not enjoyed by the upper class as it is by the youth of the common class.
2. What does this story tell us about who creates new cultural patterns?
This story tells us that it is the lower class youth that create new cultural patterns. But, in my opinion, this creation of cultural patterns generally stays within class lines. Obviously this isn’t true in all cases, but it is far more likely that privileged white upper class youth would be setting trends in dressage rather than street DJing, and vice versa.
3. Can you think of other cultural patterns that were born among low income people?
There are many other cultural patterns that have been born from low income people, one of which that is also in the artistic world is graffiti art. Graffiti can generally be seen in one of three ways: it can be considered a nuisance, it can be considered an intricate and beautiful form of art, or it can be considered a platform for political messages. Although it started originally as a common and gang affiliated form of art, it has transformed into something bigger and greater.
1. Do you think our society gives more freedom to males than to females? Why or why not?
I believe our society gives more freedom to males than to females. I believe this because it is easier for men to get away with doing a lot of things women wouldn’t be able to do. Men can go without wearing make up, men can go without shaving their body hair, men can have active sex lives without being called derogatory slurs, men can walk through the streets at night without fear, etc.. Men have a lot of privileges that women don’t, they make more money for the same work, they can more easily get higher positioned and respected jobs, basically, it is easier for them to exist in society because they are allowed more freedom than women.
2. Do you think that most people in our society feel that they have some control over their lives or not? Why?
Yes, I believe most people in our society feel like they have some control over their lives. A complete sense of control, on the other hand, I believe is not as common, but, at least some sense of control, I believe is pretty universal. I believe this because even the most mediocre mundane things can make someone feel in control of their own life, such as picking out dinner, for example.
3. Has learning about socialization increased or decreased your feeling of freedom? Why?
I don’t think learning about socialization has either increased nor decreased my feeling of freedom. I feel this way because most of my life is currently under control of my parents, so, even if I’m not free within society I wouldn’t experience it as much as I would if I was an adult.
1. Have you ever had a disease or disability that became a master status? If so, how did others react?
No, I have never had a disease or disability that has become a master status.
2. How might such a master status affect someone’s personality?
If someone is to have a disease or disability that becomes a master status, they might see themselves as nothing more than their illness and it could potentially change their personality. Living a life constantly being pitied by people or constantly needing help can force someone to become bitter. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if someone is to say have cancer and know that they only have 5 months to live, this might change their outlook on life and make them want to live a higher quality of life.
3. Can being very fat or very thin serve as a master status? Why or why not?
Yes, being very fat or thin can serve as a master status. Generally, there is a feeling of moral superiority behind being thin, so, a very thin person could achieve the master status of extremely desireable. But, if this person is thin to a fault where they are abnormal, they could be ridiculed by common society, and have things like “chicken arms” or “so thin it’s gross” said about them. Being very fat, on the other hand, is a more predominant and noticeable thing about a person and can lead to many life threatening health complications. If one is to become extremely / unhealthily fat, they could be considered lazy, gluttonous, or inattentive by society.
1. Just as Grandma Macionis was a product of her culture, so are we. Do you know people who have plenty but never seem to think they have enough?
Yes, I know people who have plenty but never seem to think they have enough. My grandmother, for example, constantly thinks she is dipping below the line of poverty, when in actuality, she is quite wealthy. She only shops at the bargain market and buys secondhand clothes when she could easily afford to buy nicer things. Her behavior, much like Grandma Macionis, can be attributed to her upbringing. Since she was raised with less than a comfortable amount of money, it can be understood as to why her spending habits carried on into her adulthood.
2. What cultural values make people today demand timesaving products and “convenience” packaging?
People in this generation demand instant gratification, so, if it’s possible for packaging to be simplified and easier for the consumer, that is what they will expect. For example, having 10 small bags of chips put in a bigger bag is easier for someone to just grab and go rather than just one big bag that they have to open and reseal. The person doesn’t think of the extra and unnecessary packaging that is going to waste, they just think about the convenience of the easy packaging.
3. Do you think recent decades have brought a turnaround so that people are now more aware of a need to recycle? How does today’s recycling differ from that practiced by Grandma Macionis?
I believe that very recently, people have become more aware of the need to recycle, but, it is a different kind of recycling than what Grandma Macionis experienced. The kind of recycling practiced now involves people throwing away their plastic material into recycling bins, whereas Grandma Macionis experienced a more literal “upcycling” of material. For example, if someone has a plastic tupperware that they don’t need anymore, they might put it in the recycling bin so it can be melted down and its materials may be used again. Grandma Macionis, on the other hand, might have taken the tupperware and reused to be a bowl, or to hold a plant, or to contain supplies, or to once again hold food.
1. Where do you place your bet? Do you think earth can support 8 or 10 billion people?
No, I definitely don’t think the earth can support 8 or 10 billion people. The current 7 billion has already passed the limit of what the earth can take, so adding more is only making life worse for the working class. I believe that if the population doesn’t decrease, or at the very least stay where it’s at, things will continue to get progressively worse.
2. What, if anything, do you think should be done about global population increase?
I think something needs to be done about the global population increase to prevent shortages of natural and manufactured resources. I believe, there needs to be systems put in place to prevent the disposal of “second tier food.” Hundreds of thousands of pounds of slightly bruised apples, less than perfect looking strawberries, and couple days away from “recommended expiration date” packaged or canned foods are wasted by big grocery stores. This massive waste of food could be helping millions of people, and if even a slight amount of food that is being completely wasted was given to people in need, it would help reduce the effects of overpopulation without compromising any kind of moral compass.
3. Were Malthus alive today, would he feel relieved or would be say “I told you so!” Explain.
I believe he would say “I told you so!” A lot of Malthus’s predictions about overpopulation have come true and he just seems like a smug guy in general. He would probably say something along the lines of ‘people need to stop breeding’ or that ‘we have already passed the point of no return and we are doomed.’
1. Research tell us that a majority of scientists in the United States claim no religious affiliation. Why do you think most scientific people appear to reject religious accounts of human creation?
Many scientific people reject religious accounts of human creation because they have intimate knowledge on the overwhelming proof of evolution. Although there are many religious scientific people, the majority of scientists do not believe in the idea of a divine creator because there is no scientific evidence to back it up.
2. Why do some religious people reject scientific accounts?
Many religious people reject scientific accounts because they were brought up with the idea that one of the most important things in life is to have faith in god, and believing in these scientific ideas will result in eternal suffering. Because this has been pounded into the heads of religious people, it is rare for them to flip to the other side and suddenly start believing that what they have been told all their life is false and there is proof otherwise.
3. Do you think religion and science can coexist? Explain.
Yes, I believe religion and science can coexist. Someone doesn’t have to hold all the beliefs of their religion for their faith to be valid. For example, I think it is reasonable to say that the majority of christians are not opposed to wearing clothes of multiple fabric types, yet, this is considered a sin by the bible. Just like this, many christians can accept scientific beliefs while still holding faith that a god exists.
1. In your own words, what are the “emotional scripts” or “feeling rules”?
In simple terms, “emotional scripts” are the attitudes women have about terminating a pregnancy both in a moral sense and as a pressure from society. These ideas were discovered by the sociologist Jennifer Keys.
2. Can you apply the idea of “feeling rules” to the experiment of getting married?
Yes, these ideas can be applied to getting married. Women feel a pressure from society to get married, and consequently have children, starting from a young age. All through their live, women are told getting married and settling down with a nice husband is endgame. These feeling rules can apply in the way that some women don’t find this to be the ideal lifestyle for them, but, because of the pressures of society, might feel like they don’t have any other option.
3. In light of this discussion, how accurate is it to say that our feelings are not quite as personal as we many think they are?
This discussion basically brings up the idea that what we feel is our own opinion might actually be influenced by outside forces without our knowledge. Ideas from religion, from school, from family, from the media, and from society can shape the way we perceive things subconsciously and can lead to an altering of opinion without even realizing it.
1. Why did Max assume that two college teachers would not enjoy spending time with him?
Max assumed that since he was of a different age and social position that two young doctors wouldn’t want to spend time with him. Since Max seems different in all ways except for the common interest he found, he thought they would be too different to have a good time together.
2. How does his reaction suggest that people take social position personally?
This reaction suggests that people take social position personally because he thought that the doctors, considering they were more wealthy and had better jobs, would think of themselves as better than the lower class Max. This shows the deep rooted self deprecation that accompanies being in the lower class.
3. Can you think of a similar experience you have had with someone of a different social position than you have?
I feel that I experience similar social experiences similar to this fairly often. For example, literally every time I go to Yountville, the neighboring city of Napa, I feel out of place. Often the clothes I have on, the car I’m driving, and my overall attitude and disposition make me feel very different from the people who live there, so when I go, I can imagine I feel somewhat how Max felt.
1. Can you find your county on the map? Which way did most people vote? Can you explain why?
Yes, I can find my county on the map. Most people voted democratic in my county. At first I was surprised by this, considering the number of people wielding confederate flags on the back of their cars and how this can be considered more country than city. So, I would attribute this voting trend to Napa’s proximity to the very liberal San Francisco.
2. In most elections, more Republicans than Democrats claim they are concerned about “moral values”; more Democrats than Republicans say they care about “the economy and jobs.” Can you explain why?
I would explain that more Republican candidates claim to be concerned about moral values because the majority of the Republican candidates are religious and normally support “family values.” The “family values,” also often called moral values, they are generally pro traditional marriage, against abortion, and in favor of more limitations on immigration, and Republicans who support these ideas tend to support them very strongly. More Democrats than Republicans say they care about jobs and the economy because they are trying to appeal to the working class of people and want to enable more accessibility and more liberation in the economical system.
3. How might Democratic candidates do better in rural areas? How might Republican candidates do better in urban areas?
Democratic candidates would do better in rural areas if they showed that they weren't liberal extremists and could appeal to some of the ideas of the people who would generally be Republican. For example, they would need to show they they are not out to destroy traditional marriage, don’t want to “give all US jobs to immigrants,” and aren’t trying to destroy religious freedom. Republican candidates might do better in urban areas if they show that they can be open to less traditionally conservative ideas and be more progressive. For example, if they showed that they weren’t homophobic.