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Group Projects (Follow Up)

Once again, I was really impressed and excited by the presentations to class last night. It looks like every group took interesting photographs and found evocative images in the database to compare and contrast to them.

In addition to opening up a forum for any additional comments, I left class with my head full of questions after looking at all the images. Mostly, I'm wondering what larger arguments we can make after comparing student life now to that in the 1930s and 1940s. How do we explain the seeming move from formal dress to increasing informality? How do we interpret the seeming increased role of technology in everyday life on campus (and the uneasiness about it)? Do we have evidence, as several of you suggested, of a move from community to individualism? Several people mentioned the overwhelming preponderance of "choice" in contemporary photos, and I'm wondering if we might make a larger argument about how "choice" and its analog, "freedom" (thanks for the idea, Hussein), are essential to making sense out of our contemporary world. How do people feel about all this choice and freedom?

Comments

I think overall, everything has moved from formal to casual; now a lot more people are doing many more things, giving the impression that whatever they are now doing is not longer that special. (WOW)

Email for example, we do it so many times during the day, that it becomes very repetative and casual...maybe we are becoming lazy?

I just get the impression that after you do something for a while or that everyone is doing it loses its affect:
-EX: Gophers losing...doesn't even bother me now.
Dress after the first day of school....sweats.
Bars: twenty two now, not as exciting as it was when I wasn't 21.

I agree with the comment by John. Repetitive actions cause people to dull their senses to the things that displease them.

The same goes for the issue of violence on TV and in the media. The constant battle of how violence is shown in the media and how it "dulls" our senses to violence coincides with the freedom of information. I believe that technology is the biggest catalyst to how everyday life and media has changed our views on these subjects. Censorship should be carefully considered by parents of today.

The internet alone has billions of websites, bias and non bias. Incorporating education and banking, to fun things like movies and games... all of which can be violent, sexual and/or racist/bias. People must educate themselves on how to find and trust reliable sources, because there are so many out there today that it can become confusing. Technology is ever changing, therefore we must constantly educate ourselves and our children on how to effectively indulge in the wealth of information being passed around through all sorts of media today.

In relation to formality, I think it was said best in class about "Bringing your home with you". I know I for one never leave my apartment without my iPod, otherwise I feel like something is missing all day. All these devices can sort of be used as a "crutch" or a way to escape our hectic lifestyles of multitasking. Technology is helping people have this escape.

When thinking about a person's own choice and freedom I feel it is taken for granted. I really don't even think of some day to day things I do as a choice or freedom. Think about being able to go to school. These days college is a choice for many with so many options with scholarships and loans to pay. Years ago it was only for those who could afford it and who were not needed on the farms at home. We pretty much get to plan our own lives out however we please and have the freedom to decide what we want to do during our life. Years ago people had their lives planned from their parents by helping with the farm, etc. This is just one example of thinking how the lives in the US have changed from planned to our own choice.