I found this course to be very interesting and well worth taking. I learned a variety of new concepts that I can carry on with me throughout my academic years. I enjoyed doing this blog because I was able to elaborate on course material with my own input as well as using the texts. Like I discussed in my first entry, this is the first time that I ever had to keep a online blog for a class and I feel that I was able to express myself more. Also, I like the fact of trying something new and out of the usual academic writing.
There was a ton of vocabulary and concepts that I learned which I will most definitely use in my higher level sociology classes. One of which include the “obvious” concept explained by Peter Berger. According to Berger, the obvious is the “1st wisdom of sociology.” This term refers to how things are not what how they seem. The first step in analyzing and examining is to realize what “seems” to be “obvious.” In reality especially social reality; there are several layers of meaning and with each layer there are new perceptions and notions created by individuals. The whole idea of the “obvious” coincides with the term “debunking.” Debunking can refer to looking at the obvious and less-obvious to understand social behavior. These two terms are about unfolding and unwrapping the hidden truths and trying to understand as well as grasp a better idea of what certain things mean in life.The obvious is important reason being, we can not just look at the surface, there is more to it and we can not take anything for granted.
The concept of “obvious” has furthered my understanding of sociology as a whole. I am much more aware of how I interpret certain ideas and thoughts. I find myself debunking quite a bit; it has even carried on already into my other courses. This has helped me a lot by looking at everything from different points of view and not just going in with my own interpretations. This class has taught me that when looking at something from one angle we are not getting the entire truth, therefore I have to realize things are not what they seem as Berger suggests and I must take the time to look at opposing views.
When we learned about the “mean world syndrome”, I never heard this concept before and I was quite intregued to learn what it meant. When the media bombards us with disastrous and negative issues and does not focus on anything positive, people can be scared of the world. However, when learning about this in class, it is actually the media who makes people scared. They do this by pointing out the worse and really its only miniscule to the actual good news that is available. The media highlight terrible events and make it the only center of attention when really people should not be frightened of the world and understand not all is bad out there. By watching too much television news or hearing the radio can make one afraid. Not to say that all news is bad, however this is where the “obvious” can take place. “THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM!” I feel that these two ideas connect because people see these terrible occurrences around the world and take it as that. Whereas, society needs to understand that the media wants us to think a certain way to fit their agenda.
C. Dialectic Reading:
What question did the text/chapter raise? This group examined the four influential scholars on the topic of culturalism. They looked at the study of culturalism in the modern age where it was said to have begain with the works of Hoggart, Williams, Thompson, Hall, and Whannel. They also looked at high culture verses popular culture and described what cultural analysis was and what it consists of.
How did the text(group) answer this question? This group answered the question on “culturalism” by examing these four scholars perspectives then comparing them with differentiating views. They also analzye the various definitions of culturalism. At the end of this group’s presentation they created a class discussion by asking the class a few questions. Such as; asking what are some of the common day examples of high culture verses poplar culture. Also, they wanted the class to address in our own words what is meant by “cultural analysis.”
How does the answer match our own ideas and experiences? From reading this chapter on my own, then hearing a group present it in a different way gave me a better understanding of these concepts. I was able to identify with what they were talking about and they explained the scholars in more depth. I feel that I can agree with this group when they discussed how we are living in a “consumer society.” There is not much authentic culture left, I feel that everything or most things have become manufactured and altered.
A. Affective Reading:
What is the reading about? Storey argues that culture is a difficult concept to define. This group dicussed in their presentation how challenging the definition is and how theorizing culture has brought society to the present state of thought of what popular culture consists of. There are three arguments presented by Storrey in his text that this group raises. That includes; what are culture, ideology, and popular culture. The arguments presented by the author is created to understand the definition of culture and popular culture in society. While, trying to make sense of the interpretation of culture and popular culture.
How do I feel about the presentation I just saw?
I feel that this group did a great job of trying to define culture and popular culture and they gave the class insight on the three arguments produced by Storrey in this chapter. I feel that I do have a better understanding of these concepts and can apply them to when I further my research or analysis for my presentation.
What do I think about the presentation I just watched? I think that the group grasped the arguments that were being made by the author and they explained in much depth. They did this by taking examples from outside of the book and trying to tie in into their presentation to help the class make connections. I think that they were clear and straight to the point where it was easy to follow and it gave me a better insight on what the challenges of defining these concepts were.
What do I believe about the presentation I just watched? I believe that giving three explanations to culture is valuable and sensible. I like how this group talks about the three arguments by saying that culture is a particular way of life,and that it is a process of intellectual, spiritual, and aesthetic development. They took examples from modern times to make their presentation understandable and relate able.
What do I know about the presentation I just watched? I now know the five ideologies of culture which are : professional ideology, distorted ideology, ideological forms, myth connotation ideology, and lastly material practice ideology. This was interesting to me because I made more sense of what these terms meant. It was easy for me to understand what the group was saying due to how they presented this chapter. I know that there are numerous ways to define culture and popular culture, reason being it is always changing and evolving.
What question did the chapter raise? The chapter raised the question of how slavery in Europe and the Middle Ages existed and how slaves were used as an important European product of export.
How did the text answer this question? The text answered this question by discussing the “transatlantic slave trade”, as well was explaining the concept of African slavery. There was the shipment and auctioning of slaves and slaves were working in the “Sugar Production” and they did “Cotton Picking.” This chapter also discusses the period of abolitionism which joined into the rise of racism.Abolition promoted new stereotypes of blacks.Where, the abolition movement helped to “humanize images of blacks.”
How does the answer match our own ideas and experiences? I am thankful in terms of how our society has and is becoming accepting of different races and ethnicity. Though, we still find some groups who are opposed of those from a different race, we have come along way from the days of slavery and abolition. From my own experiences, I am lucky to say that I have not had to go through any negative times where my race was used for entertainment and belittled. The Africans and other races during the prior eras endured more than anyone could imagine and it is crucial to remember those who have suffered in order to make our lives better. People who were part of the slave trade were manipulated and used as products of disposal.
Summary of reading: Chapter two is about the science of race and how savages have played a key part during the sixteenth century. Also, savages are added amongst other themes in which people were compared to the features of animals. This chapter discusses the concept of race and the “formation of European images of Africa and of Blacks. These themes provide possible explanations to how the west has adopted these images of Blacks. The term savage is explained in this chapter where it came from the Europeans. We also see how the introduction of anthropoid apes and Negroes to the Englishmen of this era have an impact on Western popular culture.
Select 5-segment sentence: “There are other distinctions which are papered over with the label racism. It is a composite notion. In a strict sense the term refers to race as a biological concept, but in everyday use the umbrella of racism extends over phenomena which bear little relation to race in a biological sense. The theory of the Aryan race, for instance, the most influential form of race thinking up to the Second World War, brought together elements of discourses: from biblical discourse.” (p.51)
The term “race”can be seen as a notion that has been tampered with and altered throughout time. Race refers to a biological concept however; for everyday language and use, race is distinguished differently. The “umbrella” of racism has extended over phenomenons over time that have little relation to race in a biological note. The term has been replaced with its true meaning in biological terms and now has been given a negative connotation that has been labeled into “racism.” Racism has become the way of describing races in an inappropriate way where people who may be part of a certain race get demeaned and degraded due to their color and background.
Why did I chose this segment? I chose this segment reason being, it puts a lot of emphasis on what race means and stands for and how racism has taken over that. It is necessary to learn why the term “racism” has been created and used to depict stereotypes of particular groups of people. The concept race that was originally used for a biological sense does not seem to be understood that way anymore. This segment captures that and attempts to explain how the so-called “stronger” races from the past centuries have had an influence on the terms race and racism.
What is the reading about? Chapter one in “White on Black:Images of Africa and Blacks in Western Popular Culture”. is about presenting images of how Blacks in Africa were depicted during the middle ages era. This chapter talks about the wake of the exploration of America and the coming of the Europeans. The Europeans during the sixteenth century, had their own images of the world where they put an emphasis on “euro centrism.” This put a barrier between Blacks and Europeans due to the race difference. This chapter shows from start to finish how this imagery of euro centrism came to be.
What do I feel about this reading? After reading chapter one, I feel that there has been a visible change of how Africans were treated during the medieval times all the way to when the settlers and missionaries arrived. I feel that Blacks have been depicted throughout the West as servants, entertainers and caricatures that are used for entertainment.
What do I think about the reading? I think that the reading was interesting and it gave me a lot of insight on how Africans were treated during this time period. As the reader, I got an understanding of how their stereotypes came to be that have seemed to linger onto the contemporary era.
What do I believe about the reading? I believe that the reading I just finished presents us with images that have a direct and dramatic impact on the blacks and the Western world. It is important to see how these negative stereotypes of Africans have impacted them and what made them the target of being stereotyped and used for mere entertainment.
What do I know about the reading? I know that there has been many changes in Europe’s images of Africa over a course of time. After reading this chapter, I never knew what “Ethiopianism” was or meant and now I do. I learned how African’s were used as slaves and were used as part of trading deals. This chapter goes beneath the surface and explains what life was like for Blacks during this time frame and why they were treated as they were.
1)Summary of the chapter: This chapter focuses on the concept of racism, what it is, and where did it stem from. The author uses debunking as a technique to deconstruct “racism.” The question of what is race and the social historical construction of race is put in the light. There are different forms of racism such as: old vs. new racism, biological racism, and racism as culture. The author tries to explain why racism occurs when most people know it is bad. How racism slips intentionally and unintentionally in education. He also emphasizes how there should be anti-racist education where it should be dialectically oriented by flowing through classrooms and communities towards all enthno-racial groups.
2) Five sentence segment: P.63 “Fighting Racism in the 21st Century”
“Victims of racism cannot fight this malady alone. The healing process must involve both whites and blacks. Like a parasite, racism needs a host to thrive. To heal society of the disease of racism, both the parasite and the host must be treated. Racism is dialectical; it affects the victimized and the victimzer, both of whom must also be conscious of and alert to history and the changing realities of today.”
In this segment, the author discusses how those who are victims of racism cannot fight this ongoing constant battle on their own. In order for people to heal from the past, present, and better our future, it will not involve only blacks or only whites. Rather it includes both. People must be conscious of racism and the history behind it to prevent it from occuring in the future. The author uses the imagry of racism where he compares it to a parasite and its host.
Why did I select this segment?
I chose this passage because I agree with the author’s point on how victims of racism are fighting this war but they can not do it by themselves. It is important to acknowledge that racism affects the VICTIMIZED and the VICTIMIZER. People must be aware of “today’s changing realities” as stated by Charles and how people are being portrayed negatively due to their race. Racism is everyone and occurs all the time. However, we have the skills to put an end to it by leaning about “racism” and bettering the future.