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.

June 26, 2007

June 26th english blog

The article on racial stereotyping in ads was kind of interesting but at the same time, it stated much of the obvious. I think its safe to say most of us have seen ads that stereotype minority groups. Even though I know those minority groups thinks its wrong to get portrayed in such a manner, I don't really think all such ads should get changed. The article mentioned ads for Aunt Jemima. Sure she might have been a stereotyped "Black mammy" but I don't think they should get rid of that because its very iconic for that pancake company. I would hope that in this day and age, we could get past seeing it as just a stereotype. We shouldn't get rid of such things because it is a big part of our cultures. Many companies like Aunt Jemima have been around for many years and in a way I think they show our history better then any textbook could.

The articles on including a multiracial box on the census were quite interesting. I don't think they should put that box on because I agree with what Ellis Cose said that it would be more confusing as it would but black-asians with native americans who are also white and that just doesn't make sense. Instead I think they should allow people to check more then one box on the forms. That I think will be more accurate.

June 19, 2007

June 19th english blog

The articles this week were interesting. Expecially the "Weasel Words" article. I loved how some words you hear all the time in ads were pointed out to mean almost nothing. Like the word 'virtually'. I must admit that I have fallen for that word many times before. In fact, I had not even thought of its true meaning until I read this article. Once I found out that it simply means "in essence of effect, although not in fact" I about hit myself. It always seemed synonymous with "almost". Since these "weasel words" were pointed out in this article, I've started to notice them in almost all the ads that I've paid attention to recently. Its almost funny when I think back at how I percieved an ad before. I noticed that many times I give meanings that were never actually there. Then again, thats what the ads are trying to do and I fell prefectly into there traps. Still, I think that even though this article brought up good points that I should be on the lookout for in ads, I can't help but feel that I will still fall for advertisers tricks. Hopefully though, I wont fall for them as much as I did before! I think eventually people will start to catch advertisers tricks and not fall for them. But by the time that happens, I'm positive advertisers will have a few new tricks up there sleeves. I guess the lesson here is to stay sharp and catch there tricks so you can't be pulled in by the hallow ads. Then again, sometimes I like to be pulled in; sometimes its nice to think that something so simple as a cleaning product or air freshener can make my house perfect! Until of course, I find all my money wasted on 50 different air fersheners.

June 14, 2007

Reading Response for "The World Is a Text: Introduction"

The introduction to "The World Is a Text" brought up an interesting way to view the world. I, like most people I know, already see the world as "readable" to some extent. Because I see the world like that, it makes sense that I would try to "read" it and so I find the concept of this book very appealing already. To see the world as a text is a brilliant way of digesting all that we see around us. I really like the way they broke down the Tommy Hilfiger ad. It just goes to show that if you delve into what ads are actually portraying, they suggest so much more then what you consciously take in at first glance. In fact, many things in life give off particular messages that we may not at first be able to put our finger on but that you can feel. By treating such things as formal texts, you can start to take that intial feeling you get and convert it into knowledge as of why you are feeling like that. I think in a parctical sense, learning to think this way can help you avoid getting lured in by advertisments. Also, it will help you more fully discover yourself and what you truly like. Doing this can ultimately bring more joy to your life and perhaps more meaning into your life!