Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tim Wise Connections


As I watched the radio interview with Tim Wise I totally saw a connections between what Tim was saying and Lisa Delpit's view of the culture of power. Wise was saying that just because Barack Obama won the presidential election does'nt mean that the United States is racist free. He says that Barack's win counts as a win agaisnt racism 1.0. He describes racism 1.0 as basic bigotry. Wise believes that Barack won because he was an educated black man. He says white people in society can get away with being  mediocre and therefore white presidents can get away with being mediocre presidents.White people can be very articulate of really stupid and they still have a shot at president. Colored people are put on a pedestal when they are try to get into power positions.
This reminds me of the culrue of power because Barack Obama had to be the culture of power in order to become president. Wise explains that a mediocre black man could not become president and he goes on to say that their that plenty of intellegent colored people, but they may have a different style than Barack. Barack Obama's style is very "culture of powerish". Some colored people's style may not be as "culture of powerish" therefore they would not appeal to the average American. Wise believes that the only way we will be able to tell if racism is cured is if we see a mediocrely intellegent colored person become president.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In the Service of What?

In the article "In the Service of What?: The Politics of Service Learning", Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer argue that there are two types of services that "draw from two different assumptions about political socialization and what it means to be a citizen." When referring to the service-learning program, Kahne and Westheimer argue that each type of service have varying personal and social outcomes when in practice.  The first type of service is a charity-based service, where the person volunteering their time as a form of civic duties. The idea behind charitably giving up a students time to help others in need is just to let students have an outlet in which they can perform their "civic duty" of helping others.  Kahne and Westheimer when referring to charity base service learning say "Volunteerism and compassion for the less fortunate are the undergirding conceptions of political socialization associated with this vision".
The second type of service learning is designed to get students to move toward a "strong democracy". This type of service is on a move "change" bases. The idea behind a change based service learning experiance is that the students will use critical reflection about social policies to help develope their own experiance opinion on certain matters. This form of service learning combines "critical inquiry with action" in an effort to get the students to see what the "real world" is like an to base their opinion of the "real world" on their experiance, which can helps promote a healthy democratic society.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us Reflection


I was first introduced to the idea of "media shaping social norms" my junior year of high school by my old English teacher. While reading the "The Handmaid's Tale" my teacher related something that happened in the text to the movie "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer". He believed that the movie "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was written to expose to the general American public the exclusion of Jews in holiday celebration at Christmas time. My teacher showed us many instances where this idea could be seen. He explained that a common prejudiced insult against Jews in the 1950's was to refer to them as "Hooked-Nosed Jews", this related to Rudolf because he was a "Red-Nosed Reindeer". My teacher also related Hermy the elf, to gays in American society; because Hermy didn't want to make toys instead he wanted to be a dentist. For this reason he was exiled from Santa’s workshop and treaty poorly by the other elves, the same way gays get treated like exiles in our society.

When I first heard this I thought it was funny the way something so seemingly childish and innocent could hold such a deep sociological bottom line. So I started talking to my friends about it and the opened my eyes to so much more instances where things like this happen. One of my friends recently did a project on the media’s conception of the ideal woman and way women get portrayed in advertisements and movies. He pointed out how great portions of American men have a similar taste in women because they are subjected to the same media influence through advertisements and movies.  He also pointed out the way the women that are subjected to the same media influence strive to look like the ideal woman and often go to great lengths to get the “perfect” body.

This whole idea of subconsciously teaching social norms to children through media is interesting because it makes me think "What if we applied this same strategy to everyday teaching?". Who's to say we can't teach children math through hidden messages in everyday cartoon and advertisements. In a way, that if one were to ask a child where they learned something they would reply "I don't know... I just don't know".

I really liked this article because it was something that I could really relate to. It’s interesting seeing the things you find when you look into media a little deeper.