Summary

I think the day of leading the class went really well.
Breaking up into two groups was probably one of the best decisions, if mainly because it's easier to address a group that's smaller and more focused than a large one. It's also more comfortable, I think, for people to talk in a smaller, closer knit group, than a larger one.
The happiness group kind of focused on Ahmed's ideas of happiness, her argument for what is happiness and how it's possibly a duty, and then our conversation kind of turned into how symbols in our society kind of are determined to be the causes of happiness. For example, we talked about marriage and how there's a lot of heteronormativity in that institution and what it means that queers can't get married. We also talked about the image of the family a lot and how that can be made into a heteronormative situation and how it can also be queered. One person brought up the fact that, although he's gay, one of his goals in life is to raise kids with his partner, and how that, to him, would be happiness, even though there isn't necessarily a woman involved in the raising of the children.
We also discussed the clips a little bit and how children are almost always looked upon as an image of happiness. Their innocence is generally construed into a happiness ideal and people talk about how sometimes they wish they were little again so they could be happy.
When we came together to talk in a bigger group we discussed what the pros and cons were of Ahmed using a lot of pop culture references to get her ideas and theories across to her audience. I thought that her use of examples was really helpful in picturing some of the ideas and applying them to my everyday, but others thought that it was maybe a little bit too laid out. The concepts Ahmed discussed in her book weren't that incredibly complicated or too complex to easily understand so maybe the using as many examples as she did was unnecessary. I do think that it's a good idea though and I think that having more examples to apply the theories in other readings to would've been helpful in understanding them, especially some of Butler's theories.

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