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April 24, 2007

Living Space as Product of Culture

Suburbs to Cities

The cities are huge and beautiful. The night is often lit with lights from the buildings and filled with music, cars, or people. The pollutants and homeless people are greater, or at least more obvious. People are often busy or in a hurry to get somewhere. In the cities there is something to do past 10PM and you don’t need to have a car to get places. The culture is much more diverse with a broader range of ideas. The culture and SES gap is much more extreme. The jobs are also much better in the cities. There is very little nature except for decoration on the side walks. The cities are more of an every man for themselves when you walk alone on the streets. Also, there is much less eye contact with others. There is the choice to be alone or not, because it is much less likely you will know the people around you.

It seems that quite a few things I feel other people from the suburbs agree on, as well as people from the cities. In my evaluation of the cities, I often looked at the black and white comparisons of the cities and suburbs that are either evident from personal experience or from the media. I don’t feel that I said anything that was significantly wrong, but of course that is because I said it. The biggest reason I came to the cities is to get away from the “close-knit? atmosphere that the suburbs carried, and I have found the cities to be pretty much everything I had expected it to be. I have visited the cities many times before, which is probably why I have an accurate depiction of what I was in for. I may change how I feel in the future when I get an actual apartment instead of living in the dorms.

April 10, 2007

Advertising and People of Color

I feel both ways on the advertising issue. I do not believe that people are trying to hurt other people to profit off them, however, the are trying to profit off them. Many of the things that they do are subliminal and they are not recognized as racism, and I don’t think they should be. I feel that many stereotypes may be unnecessarily reinforced by commercials and advertisements, however, it’s not like they weren’t already there. I feel that many people overreact to commercials racial statements. Also, I feel that the commercials made when the article was made are more likely to be racist than they are today. I cannot think of a commercial that struck me as clearly racist, however I often see my friends pointing silly things out that I feel are negligible. One of my friends was looking at a catalogue with me, and he saw a little Asian girl holding a panda bear, while the little Caucasian girl was holding a cat or something. He got all angry about it, but I don’t find that particularly offensive. I think that when it is in a context like that, it shouldn’t be looked at too closely. I often see many advertisements trying to avoid things like making statements about one race by putting every race they can find in a bunch of the advertisements together. It’s often very obvious to the point where it’s kind of funny. It might just show how out of the ordinary it is, for that to be obvious, though.

Honestly, though, I don’t think that if there were no advertisements, that there would be no stereotypes and racism. Furthermore, I don’t think that advertising does that much bad compared to good. I feel that advertising gets a lot of bad rep because of the idea of “subliminal advertising,? but if people just take the time to actually think about things, then they’ll be less likely to be controlled. It’s not like advertising is trying to destroy peoples lives, it is just trying to sell us a product.

April 3, 2007

Construction of the Female Self

On one hand, I believe that it is very important to look at what Disney, a leading children's entertainment business, is putting into their movies that may negatively persuade children into unhealthy or self-limiting ideals. I often feel, however, that feminists are highly over reactive of many things they "read" into. Although many of the Disney movies do use white females as the stars of the movies, I think that this was the original target audience when many of the older movies were made. Even beyond that, I feel that the Disney movies will not have nearly as much of an effect on girls as when they hit puberty and go through peer pressure, idols, teenage movies, and advertisements.

Another thing is that Cinderella has many versions in almost every culture. My dad owns a collection of books of all the different Cinderella versions from different cultures, which adds to over 50. All of those cultures star their own race, and I believe that Disney’s Cinderella chose white because it was once again, the target audience of America. Although it could have been viewed as politically incorrect, I don’t understand what else they could have done.

I’m glad that the article concluded that Disney has been improving, and I do agree that the newer Disney movies can be seen as more acceptable today’s culture. I feel that looking at old movies, though, is not always reliable because culture is ever-changing with time, and the older movies were made at a less culturally diverse time in American history than today.

In the end, I don’t personally feel affected by these movies. I personally saw the characters being portrayed as neutral when they were white, but maybe that’s me. I don’t know how to explain it; it’s probably not politically correct. I just feel that I looked more into the morals of the story, since as children that’s what we are asked at that time in our lives.