Wednesday, October 21, 2009

the world is my oyster

Happy humpday lovelies. Sorry for the delay... as I was doing the reading for my Intergroup Dialogue class this week I came upon a very interesting article about oppression. Just to clarify, those that would be considered oppressed will be found in minority groups based on gender, ethnicity, skin color, first language, age , ability status, religion, sexual orientation and economic class. Unless you're a white middle-aged able-bodied man, I'd say that you fall into at least one minority category, in the United States that is. "When groups begin to empower themselves--by learning more about each other, by unlearning old myths and stereotypes by challenging the status quo--we make the difficult decision to interrupt the cycle of socialization." What cycle you ask? It's not showing up unfortunately, but it went something like this:

  • [CORE] Fear, Ignorance, Confusion, Insecurity

  • [The Beginning] Born into World with Mechanics in Place; No Blame, No Consciousness, No Guilt No Choice; Limited Information, Misinformation, No Information; Biases, Stereotypes, Prejudices, History, Habit, Traditions 
  • -->
  • [First Socialization] Taught on a Personal Level by Parents, Relatives, Teachers, People we Love and Trust: Shapers of Expectations, Norms, Values, Roles, Rules, Models of Ways to Be, Sources of Dreams
  • -->
  • [Institutional and Cultural Socialization] Reinforced/Bombarded with Messages from: Institutions, Culture, Churches, Practices, Schools, Song Lyrics, Television, Language, Legal System, Media, Mental Health, Patterns of Thought, Medicine Business (On Conscious and Unconscious Levels)
  • -->
  • [Enforcements] Sanctioned, Stigmatized, Rewards and Punishments, Privilege, Persecution, Discrimination, Empowerment
  • -->
  • [Results] Dissonance, Silence, Anger, Dehumanization, Guilt, Collusion, Ignorance, Self-Hatred, Stress, Lack of Reality, Horizontal Violence, Inconsistency, Violence, Crime, Internalization of Patterns of Power
  • -->
  • [Actions] Do Nothing, Don't Make Waves, Promote Status Quo
  • -OR-
  • [Directions for Change] Change, Raise Consciousness, Interrupt, Educate, Take a Stand, Question, Reframe

I hope you're able to understand it. I didn't bold [Action] but rather, [Change], because that is at the foundation of this blogging project. Hopefully I'll be able to achieve it to some extent.

In other news, I am currently working on a project for another diversity-related class, Race, Gender & the Media. We are creating a print publication on many of the topics we cover in class with inspiration from our own lives and growing up in or outside of the United States. Each of us are writing a feature article (about 1500-2000 words) about various aspects of diversity and the media. I'm focusing on SUabroad, seeing as I'm a bit familiar with it ;).  Are students who study abroad taking full advantage of their opportunity for cultural integration and self-exploration through their own efforts? Do students actually learn anything as far as a global and cultural perspective is concerned? Or is it simply a semester-long vacation? And, if so, once back in the United States how are their relations with international students in their own country?

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