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July 17, 2007

July 17th english blog

I think Nickel and Dimed was a well written book. ( I had to actually read the whole book a few years ago for a sociology course so I'm already familiar with the book.) I think Barbara Ehrenreich did a good job writng for what she is talking about. Since the book is about her experiences at living at minnimum wage, it makes sense that most of the information is only her observations while on the job. After all, that was her research. Instead of looking up other stories about working for minnimum wage for research, she was out there herself gathering it through actually doing it. Overall, I think she did a good job writing about a hard topic in a professional way thats both, I think, a true and interesting insight to living on minnimum wage. ( obviously I say that since I have read the whole book and its hard for me to specifically focus on the 1st chapter only.)

The introduction to the book is good because it gives you an exact knowing as to what shes trying to accomplish with this book. It also gives her a place to introduce her subject and add some factual statistics about low income families and minnimum wage. Plus those statistics also play a good role as hooks to get people to want to read further into the book. For example, she mentions that for a one bedroom apartment, you would need an average of $8.89 an hour and that the odds were 97 to 1 that a welfare recipient will land a job that would pay that much. It kind of drags you in to see what happens to those that can't get that much do to get by. The introduction also serves as a place were she could explain her limits. Since alot of the research that she gathered was through expericence, she had to put some rules in effect so that the reader would know exactly what she was doing. Finally, I think the introduction was good because it gave a place for Barbara Ehrenreich to introduce herself. Since most of the research was done by herself, I think it was good that she mentioned working for a well known magazine (Harper's) because it gives her more credablility as a journalist.

July 12, 2007

July 12th english blog

I think the paper 'Jihad vs. Mcworld' was a pretty good research paper all around. I think the subject matter maybe warranted a bigger paper since democracy, to me, seems to be a big subject. I think the author did a good job none the less. He throughly explained what he meant by both Jihad and McWorld. You could tell quite easily that this was written by a professional writer. His vocabulary seemed quite extensive, in fact I had a little trouble understanding all the words. He did a good job of putting them in context however so I could deduce what it meant. for instance, near the end he mentions that the former Soviet Union could become a "democratic confederation" or it could become a "weak conglomeration of markets for other nations goods and services." I don't know what "conglomeration" means but in the context I can assume it means something like a group of different things. I guess what I'm saying is that even though there were terms I didn't understand, I could deduce them just from the paper. I liked how he contrasted McWorld with Jihad. I think that was probably the best way to do a paper like this. The only thing I could think of to maybe complain about is that he seemed to use other sources very sparingly. Maybe too much so. It might have helped if he pointed out other people that supported his thoughts on the subject. Alot of it sounded like just his own idea without any other person thinking the same thing.
The subject matter is debatable enough I think. I can see where hes coming from but I don't know if I really agree with what hes saying. He seems to be pointing out two extreme cases that could happen in the world and its hard for me to believe that either will turn out completely true. I guess I could agree a little more towards the end when he says its not impossible to have democracy in a type of McWorld or Jihad.

July 3, 2007

July 3rd english blog

I liked the article on the five disney movies and how the portrayed the heroines in the movies. I could understand what the authors were saying about how the early disney movies had the girls be like the "perfect girl", always gentle and kind and pretty even though they have to face huge hardships that could bring anyone down. I mean what kind of girl in real life would be like that? But like the article mentions, society kind of expects females to be like that. Its just like the practically unattainable beauty standards our society has for females. I did like how the article showed how the disney movies have progressed with there female charcters. Like how in later years with heroines like pocahontas, they had females who made their own choices and followed the path they wanted to. Finally the heroines have been given a personality in the movies. I think disney has been moving in the right way over the years. I think a good example would be the movie Mulan. That movie actually has gender roles in society as the main plot in the story. The fact that Mulan chose to defy the whole culture and join the army even though it was illegal for women to join was totally awsome. Whats even more awsome was that by the end of the movie, she totally kicked butt. Like most disney movies she ends up with a guy at the end, but I think in this movie thats ok because it showed that even though Mulan was different then most women and that she wasn't the 'perfect girl" she still got her happy ending.