Monday, May 8, 2017
In this unit, we learned about culture. This unit was the most interesting to me because I learned so many new words and the meaning behind them. A word that we learned this unit was ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism is the evaluation of other culture according to preconceptions originating in the standards and customs of one's own culture. In today's society, people tend to judge others based on their culture. For example, in Muslim culture, women must cover their entire bodies with a hijab. People who are not Muslim may believe that women should not have to cover their entire body from head to toe and should be more free with the clothing that they wear, but that is what Muslim culture follows. We also learned that many cultures use different gestures, norms, and language. In order to get a waiter's attention in the Middle East, you clap your hands. But, in America we just call them over to our table. Also, in other cultures, certain hand gestures can be offensive. In America, when using the hand gesture "ok" it means ok, but in Italy it means "butthole!" I had no idea that it meant butthole in Italian, until Mr. Salituro stated it. I think that that is really funny! I think that it was a fantastic idea to learn about the different gestures and norms in different cultures. It was interesting to see how America is different compared to so many other cultures.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
In this unit we learned about race and it definitely made me view things differently. In our society, us humans have always had a terrible habit when it comes to judging someone or something. There are so many ignorant people in this world where they don't understand that when they judge a person by their appearance it can really offend them. Here's an example. I work with kids from ages 5 to 8 and we were one day playing the game called Indian Chief. So when it was time to pick the new Indian chief, one of the second graders called out a first grader by the appearance of her skin. She said that she should be the Indian chief next because she was black. I was shocked to hear that, especially at such a young age. It's unfortunate to see young children judging others by the way they look. Another great example was when we had a panel of students describing their experience of getting judged because of their race. Rheya explained her story by morally stating that no person should judge someone else by the appearance of their skin. Rheya identifies herself as biracial because her father is German/Swedish and her mother is Indian and Pakistani. She mentioned that whenever she was out with her mom, people would assume that she was a nanny because of how different the color of their skin was. Not only did people not believe that she was her mom, but they also didn't believe that he sister Athena was her sister because she was black. Ever heard of adoption? It really sickens me that we live in such a judgmental society. Race is beautiful and I really hope that in the near future people will start to realize that. We need to stop targeting others for the color of their skin and start accepting it. Every tone of skin is beautiful and should not be looked down upon.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
In this unit we learned about social class and how it effects different parts of society. Growing up I have always been fortunate for everything that has been given to me. I would say that my family and I are in the upper middle class spectrum. My parents worked very hard to get where they are right now. They have told me many stories about how when they moved here from Russia they were completely jobless, barely being able to afford a normal meal to eat. At that time they were in lower to poor class. But because of their determination and hard-work, they now have very stable and successful jobs. My mom owns and works at a hair salon called Magic Scissors and my dad works as an electrical engineer at ComEd. After reading Nickel and Dime and watching The Line my perspective on life completely changed. In Nickel and Dime the woman was trying to live her life off making minimum wage and because of that she was look down upon. All she wanted to do was try to live a normal life, but because she was poor she was always treated with disrespect. In the line we watched people in society who had terrible things happen to them which caused them to not be as successful as other people were. It was shown that those people had a hard time getting back on their feet after becoming poor. Some, either, lost their jobs or become severely injured. Looking at what those people went through made me think about what an advantage I have in my life compared to them. If someone is in poverty it is very likely that they will not be able to live life at it's fullest extent. Education is a very big topic when discussing the income of a family. If someone has a lot of money they are more educated than someone who is in poverty. Most people at Stevenson High School have a lot of money so they are more likely able to receive a higher education than, for example, Wheeling High School. Statistics have shown that a majority of Stevenson students end up going to college after graduating. Some go to a community college, and others go to a university. I've heard many people say that money isn't everything in this world, but that's false. Money plays a huge role in our lives. It determines what type of house we will be living in, what kind of education we're going to have, ect. People have a bigger chance of living life to it's fullest extent with a bigger income. I've always known this, but I never actually sat down and thought about it after learning it in this unit.
Monday, March 13, 2017
What does it mean to be a real man? Many people would say strong, successful, and independent. But I would say that men are actually emotional, sensitive, and at times dependent. Of course men have a strong characteristic to them, but behind that strong exterior there is a soft interior. Our society is so fixated on the fact that men have to be strong and suck everything up all the time but they forget that they are humans who are sensitive and emotional too, just like women. But because our society defines men as only being tough that's what they try to accomplish by becoming violent, using vulgar language, ect. In class we watched a documentary called "Tough Guise" and in that documentary they explained that many violent pursuits were caused by men. If a student at school was called a fag by another student he would feel as if his manliness was taken away from him, so to prove his manliness he would violently act upon it. Worst case scenario, it would lead to a mass school shooting, but other times it would be a fight with another student. It's sad to see that men have to turn to violence to show that they are a man. There are other ways to prove that you are a man. Ever heard of a gentleMAN? Opening a door for a girl is what a real man does. Being there for your significant other or just any girl in general is what a real man does. Not violently attacking/fighting another person. This stereotype about men needs to be forgotten and started out fresh by showing that a real man is emotional, sensitive, and at times dependent, but still strong when it's most appropriate. Now lets switch the topic to what does it mean to be a real female. Many people would say that a female has to be beautiful and skinny. In my opinion, females don't need to be "model status" to fit into society, or to be "model thin." In class we watched the documentary called "Killing Us Softly." In the documentary it stated that women, who use social media, change their appearance drastically just to look like a specific celebrity because it is socially accepted. For example, most celebrities are shown as being super skinny, but in reality it's all photoshopped. The problem with photoshop is that women look at these photos and believe that they are real and try to make themselves look like that, when in reality it's all fake and leads to women doing harmful things to their bodies. Our society needs to change our overall outlook on women and men to decrease the amount of violent pursuits that men commit and decrease the amount of harm that women do to their bodies and appearance to make them more socially accepted.
Sunday, February 26, 2017
The socialization process is the process by which we are influenced by others. That kind of reminds me of conformity. Conformity is when an individual behaves a certain way to be accepted by societal standards. Socialization and conformity is very similar because both are processes of being influenced by others. For example, there was a video that I watched a few months ago of two undercover actors and one random person in an elevator. Everyone knows that when entering an elevator they should be facing forward, but the actors in the video were facing backwards. So when a random person would enter the elevator they would face the direction that the actors were facing, but if they kept turning a different direction the random person would follow just to be accepted by society, in this case the two people on the elevator. This is a prime example of the socialization process because the random person is being influenced by the undercover actors, and this is also an example of conformity because this person is following what the actors are doing in the elevator just to be socially accepted. We also learned about the agents of socialization. The definition of agents of socialization is people or groups that affect our self-concept, attitudes, behaviors, or other orientations toward life. One agent of socialization is family. In an article that we read, "Agents of Socialization," it explained how sociologists observed parents and young children in public settings, where the act of observing does not interfere with interaction. When parents have their child in a stroller, the father is more likely to be the one who pushes the stroller. If they take the child out of the stroller, the mother is more likely to push the empty strollers, and the father is more likely to carry the child. In this and countless ways, parents send their children subtle gender messages. Most of the ways that parents teach their children about expected differences between men and women involve nonverbal cues, not specific instructions. So when a child sees these nonverbal cues from their parents they believe that that is how they should act too as they get older. I think it's crazy how agents of socialization categorize what society we should be placed in.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Today in class we finished watching a documentary on how the media greatly influences children. There was a section of the documentary where media advertisers would experiment on children to see what cartoon characters made them most happiest. This meant that whichever cartoon character sparked up the most interest the advertisers would make it into a product, whether it be food or entertainment products, so the parents of the children would buy it for them. This is a prime example of Micro/Macro Sociology. Macro Sociology is the study of social systems on a large scale whereas Micro Sociology is the study of social systems on a small scale. The Macro Sociology in this experiment would be the advertisers testing children to see what cartoon interests them the most. The Micro Sociology in this experiment would be how an individual child would feel when they see new products coming out of their favorite cartoon character. There was a segment in the documentary were a little girl wanted her parents to buy her Scooby snacks in the snack aisle. The parents asked her if she's ever tried the Scooby snacks and she said no so the parents asked, "So why should we get them?" and she replied with, "Because I love them so so much." The reason why this little girl said that she loved Scooby snacks without even trying them was because she watches the Scooby Doo show and Scooby is her favorite cartoon character. This scenario reminds me of when I was a kid and bought Scooby snacks. I really wanted to get them when I was grocery shopping with my mom and I only wanted them because I saw in the movies and shows that Scooby and Shaggy were eating them. Without even tasting them I instantly told my mom that I loved them and that I wanted them very badly. She bought them for me and when I tried it I was disgusted by the taste, but I still loved them because Scooby and Shaggy would constantly eat them in the movies and shows. What advertisers are doing is morally wrong, in my opinion, because they know how to manipulate children, especially at a young age. Another, and final segment, that astonished me in the documentary was when children were saying that the Kraft Spongebob mac and cheese tastes better than the original Kraft mac and cheese. It tastes the exact same, but they are only saying this because the noodles are shaped like the Spongebob cartoon characters that are shown on T.V. This documentary taught me that when I get older I am going to avoid buying my kids branded food products because I don't want to alter their mind in them thinking that branded food products taste better than the non-branded food products.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Every time I go out and meet new people, they always ask me, "You are so beautiful and perfect, are you a model?" Yes, I am a model. I've been modeling since I was 15. I am 17 now, so I've had 2 years of modeling experience. Because of me modeling I always notice myself, meaning that wherever I go people constantly have to say something about me. Either it be about my looks, or size. A very famous model, Cara Delevingne, had this to say, "When you model, there's no way you can't notice yourself. Do you know what I mean? Because you're constantly surrounded by people saying, "Oh she's too short, she's too skinny, she's this, she's whatever.' And you're right there. They're talking about you, and you're right there." This quote is so accurate and completely relatable to me. One time, when I was out with my group of friends, I walked past a group of girls and they immediately started talking about how I look anorexic and that I probably don't eat so could fit in the modeling industry. They were purposely talking loudly so I could hear them. I was appalled by the things that they were saying about me, so I went up to them and said that they shouldn't judge a person by their appearance. They don't know who I am, they don't know what extracurricular activities I am participating in in my life. Even though I am a model it does not mean that I starve myself to fit a model's standards. In fact, I actually eat a lot I just have a very fast metabolism. You see all these models on social media of their bodies looking overly skinny, looking anorexic, when in reality they eat three meals a day, like they're supposed to, and snack throughout the day. I hate the stereotype that models starve themselves just to become a famous model. Not all models do that. Some of them are just blessed to have a slim figure, and others just take care of their body by working out on a regular basis and eating healthy. People are very quick to judge others based on their physical appearance or even the things that they're doing in life which create broad stereotypes. People don't take the time to actually sit down and get to know a person, instead they create opinions and false accusations. For example, in class we saw a video about a boy named Aaron Fotheringham. He has a birth defect of the spinal cord, which resulted in him having no usage in his legs. At the age of eight, he wanted to show others that just because he was labeled as "disabled" he wanted to show that he could do anything that anyone else can do. In this case, it was skating. He would skate at a skate park with his wheelchair. He would accomplish various tricks, such as doing a backflip with his wheelchair. This backflip didn't happen with just one attempt, he had to practice practice practice. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Aaron has a passion for what he does, not only is it a lot of fun, but he wants to change the world's perception of people in wheelchairs, as well as helping everyone see his/her own challenges in a new way. Aaron's appeal is universal. You certainly do not have to be disabled to be inspired by what he is able to do. If more people stopped jumping to conclusions based on their appearance or even their life, there would way less stereotypes and discrimination.