KW 11.4 School sports and prayers

Being the easy going person I am, I am open to and okay with others openly practicing their beliefs and in certain cases their religion (as long as they are respectful about it and respectful to those who do or do not believe in the same things or religious practices). With this said I also think that in the sense of fairness for everyone and every religion that I do agree to not allow religious practice in a public setting where not everyone can consent. If it is desired to be practiced publicly a group, club, church, etc. can be created to fulfill this, otherwise it should be mostly private out of respect for others. This I feel is the only way to make things fair. 

By doing these prayers I think that what they may be doing is trying to bring their religious meanings and intentions to a social level and try to construct maybe social unity of their religious realities. I think to many students the symbols really all mean different things but in a different stand point for those partaking in and agreeing with the prayer it could mean good luck, recognition of their religious realities, or even endorsement for their religion. What this implies about the appropriateness of prayer at public football games is that because it is so public and that or is not protected speech and thus it is not okay in this instance. 

On this issue a conflict theorist may say that the courts decision was deviant. they may think this because of the religion is accepted and is happening by the masses that it is the norm and that those who are practicing these norms are the elites and the court is deviant for not protecting this.

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KW 9.6 a (gendered) tour through a toy store

This weekend I went to a major toy store which I will not name and found some interesting difference in gender targeted toys. 

  1. The layout of the store had big item, big money, and popular toys in the front then miscellaneous toys and sections marked for boys (in blue) and girls (in pink) toys. 
  2. The toys most marketed toward girls are dolls, baby dolls, cooking stations, Barbie  and pink cars, and toys that can be played with inside. The toys most targeted for boys that I saw were Nerf guns, superhero dolls or action figures, trucks, Legos, Jeep or blue or dark colored cars, and toys to play outside.  
  3. For boys toys they used phrases or words like; strong, action, heroes, mega, huge, boy’s, ultimate, interactive, etc. For girls toys they often used descriptive words like; girl’s, little, fashion, creative, etc.
  4. There are not very many toys that indicate or suggest a gender either on the packaging or in the toy itself. The things I found that were the least gender associated were toys or plush dolls from movies and electronics. Although these seemed to be the most gender neutral toys they had there were still many that somehow hinted at an appropriate gender such as color or type of video/electronic game or the gender of the plush toy. 
  5. The toy I chose was something that I knew was mostly gender metal to begin with, a leap frog or other video game console like, Nintendo, etc. I found this toy with ease because like I mentioned previously I already had a gender neutral toy in mind and it was in the electronics department which besides the games, music, movie, etc. is mostly gender neutral. 

Based on my experience I think that toys are a part of gender socialization because they teach boys and girls how they “should act” or act differently from the other gender. Many of the toys directed toward girls are to teach them how to be homemakers, mothers, and how to be more feminine. Most of the toys directed towards boys teaches them how to be strong, work outside, be soldiers, and how to be manly and masculine. I think it teaches girls to act this way because society values women as being leaders than man, less strong, intelligent, skilled, bold, etc. Society also values women that can care for offspring, husbands, home chores, cooking, and looks. The toys that are targeted toward girls teach them how to care for baby dolls, cook, clean, and fashionistas, while being more petite, soften, nurturing, dependent, and lesser than their male counterparts. Boys toys teach them these values because society values men who are tall, muscular, strong, independent, skilled, good workers (especially with their hands), etc. Society also values men who are all these things better than their female counterparts. Boys (men) are supposed to be the hardworking and the breadwinners whole girls (women) are supposed to be their stay at home lesser counterparts. In other words boys are like the superheroes and women are their lesser sidekicks or the damsel in distress. 

How I’ve been socialized into my genderĀ 

Being that I am a female one would think that I was socialized into the gender roles of being soft, nurturing, small, emotional or other overly emotional, caring, complacent, less intelligent, nice, and pretty. the reality is that up until my late high school years and recently I have been what man would consider “manly” or “tomboy-ish.” 

As a young girl I never wore or painted my room the typical little girl colors like pink and people. Even as a baby my parents dressed me in little dresses but not of a certain “gender defining color.” Also this didn’t mean much to me I always hated wearing dresses until I was older. Then through out my childhood I have lived in the country so many of the things I did or the way I acted was not seen as manly nor feminine they were just things you ad to do if you wanted to love the life we live in a rural area. Sure I had some dolls as a kid but I’d much rather be playing outside in the dirt with my dad or brothers or neighbors kids. The only thing I did as a young child that would be seen as feminine was that my mom would take me to go get my nails done with her every once in a while. 

Because of all these things many would think that I could later be confused about my gender but I always knew when to be a lady and when I could get away with playing outside with other boys in the dirt or do “a man’s work” along side my father. As I moved into junior high and high school I started dressing more appropriately for my gender and attending school dances. This is when I realized I liked dressing nice and being more feminine. To this day I most commonly fulfill the roles of a woman but I still enjoy doing some things that wouldn’t be seen as feminine. The difference is that I know better now when and where I should act or be more or less feminine. 

Showing my color & the racial mind (Henslin 360- 376)

It is known that race and segregation have always been issues in our society. There are many things which I found interesting in the chapter “showing my color.” For instance I thought the part where they said that they almost lost their color was interesting. This is because I’ve actually heard this from people before. As the book says this is meaningful that they almost lost their cool. I have heard many things like this from both colored people and non colored people alike. 

I personally have never experienced racial segregation myself and I would say I’m handful for that despite the AC tat I am not colored. I feel that as time goes on we see and hear less about racial segregation, but some racial issues persist. I think that as of today we mostly all have the opportunity to start out the same and have similar chances. Yes, some may seem to be a little better off then others but really we have come pretty far and pretty close to equality of opportunity. Although I say this I do not ever believe that we can completely reach equality (equality of opportunity) or equity (equality of outcome). But I do think that most people of color have us to as good a chance of some people not of color. I fell that all you have to dgo to eat successful regardless of race, color, or sex is that you just have to be willing to really work for it. 

also as the book says, mmay people like to think of America as a melting pot and I agree with the book that it is not a melting pot. As we talked about in class I think that the salad bowl view of race is more like what we have here in America. Everyone is of different race and ethnicity, color, age, sex, etc. and yet we all comingle but if we are “taken out of the salad” we are still individually different. 

In the chapter “the racist mind” it starts off saying that colored and noncolored people experience everything differently in our day of day lives. I do and also do not agree with this. I agree with this because there are certain things I believe that are eexperienced differently but everyone experiences things differently. I do not agree with tthis because I think we have created a time where most people are color blind in the sense that they do not care about your race or color only who you are as a person. 

The chapter mentions a group which chants a song of sorts and it is mentioned that in it they often use the “N-word” I found this interesting because often times this word is seen and used negatively. This is the only name or order we seem to hear about that has a negative connotation. this is not true, there are many names for many races and colors and they can all be but they are only hurtful or meaningful if you make them. I have been all education many derogatory names used for white people but I am never offered by them because they are just stupid words and they mean nothing to me. 

The chapter also mentions that the racial movement sometimes gives some a temporary sense of meaning. This can easily true for many and for any race. But mostly what we hear about is the oppression and fight for minority races, but realistically all races struggle with mostly all similar things. the book says that “people will find some way to make their lives meaningful, and if nothing richer is the hand, racism (or religious fanaticism or nationalism or gang membership) will do” and this applies to every race. 

KW 8.8 Your Family and Issues of Race

1.     From a young age my parents have been split one living in the city and the other living in the country. Having lived in both I’ve always noticed a big difference in race; in the city I was friends with mostly non-whites, and in the country there was hardly any other race but white. From neither of my parents or parental figures have I heard much about racial issues. My father never really seemed to care about race only personality and my mother was serverly I’ll so she never got to be with me much and because of this is never heard anything about race from her growing up. Racial issues were never really discussed in my family. If it was it was never brought up in a serious discussion just in play or as a descriptive factor to identify someone. It wasn’t until my late teens that my family really ever mentioned or joked about race. It never seemed important to my family only sometimes comical, and never in a derogatory way. I don’t believe that the discussion of race was a thing of color blindness in the sense that they don’t care about racial issues or they just swept it under the rug but that they were colorblind in the sense that they don’t care about race only who you were. I was never discouraged from asking or talking about racial issues instead we just never did because race was not an important factor to us. 

2.     My family is predominantly white with some racial mix like some Native American and Syrian and a few others. I do not think that my racial make up has any influence on how me or my family discuss race or racial problems. If or when we discuss race we discuss them with equality, meaning we speak of every race in a similar tone including those that make up or family. 

3.     I think there are many more things in my life that make me feel the way I do about race other than those discussed in the questions or in the book. I think that the book has some interesting information but in all I feel that it does not apply much to me and my experiences with race. I’m a very easy going person and as I mentioned before do not really care about race but only who you are as a person dispute your skin color or other “racial features.” I think that because of this the book had little impact on my views on race, immigration, and racism. Although I do feel this way I think that the information giving on immigration was surprising to me because I didn’t know how it fluctuated and how it has dropped in some areas or ethnicities. Also besides the fact that I feel this way I don’t think I fully understand racism and I think this is because I do not like nor agree with racism seeing as how it is unnecessary and in my view “stupid.” I feel that regardless of race if you are a good person I will be cordial to you and like and if you aren’t I will not be as kind and I feel that it is about what kind of personality you have not the color of your skin or the race you’re identified as. 

Reactions to privilege exercise

The other day we did an exercise demonstrating privilege. For most of the exercise I was able to predict most of the division of the class depending on the question. What I found interesting though was how no one exactly fit the “perfect” persona of privilege to the T, and yet many would consider themselves or other more privileged then others. Although I was not particularly shocked by any of the questions, amount of people who fit into certain categories, or touched by any of them I do think it was nice to see how many people think they are alone in so many of these things when in reality they are not. On that note it was also interesting to listen to people share afterwards because even though many were in the same group they all had different stories or reactions. 

One of the times that I thought got me the most the feeling I got when walking or standing on the other side of the room with the rest of the people who hadn’t moved looking right back at me. Although I do not know most of my classmates I felt more comfortable being at the starting side of the room with the rest of the class. I felt like our starting point was my home and every time I left I was being watched not so much in a bad way but in a way where I just wanted to go back “home.” 

Also, what we had talked about later and was the first questing was about gender; if we were a woman we needed to go to the other side of the room. During the exercise this question didn’t mean much to me but when we talked about it later I realized and began to remember things that had happened to me just for simply being a woman. Many times I have been and continue to be a victim of cat calls, cooing, ogling, and even sexual harassment, just because of my looks and gender. But just because I have experienced these things because of my gender does not mean I’ve ever felt underprivileged because of my gender. 

All in all this exercise was interesting for me, and doing it showed me that most of the time we don’t realize how privileged or underprivileged we are. I personally have never really felt privileged or underprivileged, I just feel diverse. I know there are people a lot better off then me and there is a lot of people a lot worse off then me and I am mostly just happy to be where I am and happy to have what I do. I think that the way I feel about most things is unique and that is why I was not so surprised or impacted by this exercise. 

The U.S. Upper Class (Henslin ch.35, p.395-406)

The upper class, known to many of us as the 1%, they carry different attitudes, means, and everything down to the way they walk. According to the chapter The U.S. Upper Class, in Henslin’s book “Down to Earth Sociology,” the upper class is a group of solidarity, equals, who tend to side Republican and have much different lifestyles than their counterparts (lower classes). 

The upper class even goes as far as a social register, and you may only be a part if they deem your lifestyle upper class worthy. This is an attempt to separate themselves from the rest of the classes, and it aids in this by confirming who is “in” or who is “out.” According to their social register if a person’s wealth runs out and they cannot keep up with the lifestyle they are demoted in terms of class. In other words when someone like MC Hammer lost all his money and filed bankruptcy  he also fell out of the upper class (more like social elite 1%) and probably off the social register. On the other hand class and social order are not completely dependent on wealth (but mostly).

It is prevalent that class has a role to play and is usually coherent through generations, and possibly more so through generations of the upper class families. This starts in private schools which can be seen as a surrogate for the family empire (provincial family surrogate). The way a private school like this can cater to the upper class is by making tuition so high that only those of the upper class can afford it. Also within the school the principles of the upper class were structured into the school in a sort of hidden curriculum way. Because the schools are structured and only really open to the wealthy, those are the only people the children socialized with. Donald Trump once attended a private school and was raised in, and continues to be a large part of the upper class. His father was a wealthy man and because of his wealth and status sent his son Donald Trump to a prestigious school. In this institution he was almost guaranteed to be taught upper class values and only exposed to those deemed acceptable. 

Similar to upper class quality private school this is similar with prestigious colleges, being; Harvard, yale, and Preston. Whether upper class or not everyone recognizes these schools as prestigious. This is because a lot of the time acceptance into these schools is not based on ability of mind but on status, name, or money. For instance not to say that I couldn’t be smart enough to attend one of these schools, but I do not have a well known prestigious name, a high social status, or a lot of money. What is also widely recognized as prestigious is many sororities, fraternities, or eating clubs. Some of these groups or clubs can be seen as a sort of social hierarchy or a class system itself within the school. There is one club which former president George Bush was a part of and seeing that Bush is a part of the elite he was easily omitted. These clubs are a way for the elite to establish social solidarity and  connections with other elite. In other ways it also gives them an upper edge (not that they need it) by establishing these relationships and because they have the prestigious names of the school and club behind them. 

There are other things that support the lifestyle of the elite or upper class. Things like religion, debutante balls, and the previously mentioned social register. Religion has a tie with the wealthy dating back to the Anglican protestant time of the church. Debutant balls have always been know to be prestigious because the people are screened to ensure upper class quality, the also often cost a lot of money making them only feasible for the wealthy. Lastly the social register like all these other things are indicative of social isolation for the wealthy. A lot of what the wealthy do and are seen for is in their own interests; social isolation, values and beliefs of the elite, and their solidarity.