Monday, May 30, 2011

"Old Glory" = Freedom For All

By: Shannon Hall
     Memorial Day. Barbeques, an extra day off from work or school, concerts, and other fun events. When I look around my friend's backyard (while he tries to pretend that he is Bobby Flay on the grill) I notice that his and many other backyards are decorated with the flag or the colors of the flag. Many people associate the flag with Memorial Day but do they really know the true meaning of the flag and what it really stands for?
     The American flag goes by many names, "Old Glory", "Stars and Stripes" and the "Star Spangled Banner". Whatever you want to call it the flag has the same meaning for everyone in America. Young and old, rich or poor, not matter what nationality you are, all Americans recognize the flag as America's symbol for freedom.
     Every Memorial Day and Veteran's Day flags are hung as a reminder of the men and women who have died serving our country and protecting our right to freedom. But how did it all come about? Who thought of the flag?
     In 1776 George Washington asked Betsy Ross to sew the first American flag. The colors were to be red, white and blue. When I was in school we were taught that the red stripes stood for the blood that was shed during the American Revolution, white stood for bravery and blue was for honor. The first flag had thirteen stars in the blue field, one for each of the original colonies. Today there are fifty stars, one for each state in the United States.
     Since that time the flag has been revered as our symbol of freedom. Betsy Ross sewed it, Francis Scott Key wrote a poem about it after it survived the bombing of Fort McHenry, songs have been written about it, children and adults pledge their allegiance to it. And most moving of all are the men and women who have it placed on their graves because they gave their lives for it. We have seen images and videos of troops laying down their weapons to pick up the fallen flag on the battlefield and carry it into battle. There are even rules for how to hang the flag, how to fold the flag, and how not to show the flag. For instance, you are never to wear the flag as a shirt or hat.
     Whatever the reason the flag was chosen as our symbol of freedom it is one that is known all across the country by people of all ages. I would like to thank all the men and women who believe in this symbol so much that they are willing to risk their lives so that I may have the freedom that makes America what it is.



By: Diane Mitchell

Deviance is "a state or condition markedly different from the norm." Sometimes we wonder why people act in deviance, but there are many reasons why. I can say that most people have acted in deviance many times without even knowing. Breaking the norm sometimes are very normal and sometimes it's more severe than others.

In a prison there were men that tattooed the white of their eyes. One man said that "it was different and that's why he did it." He wanted to do something extremely different from what the rest of society did when it came to tattoos.
This two year old toddler from Indonesia smokes "two packs of cigarettes a day." In Indonesia there are many toddlers that smoke at that age and that's because the government didn't really educated them about the dangers of smoking cigarettes. In our society a two year old toddler shouldn't smoke anything. They shouldn't even know how to light a lighter. We all know that Toddlers should be playing with toys and just being active in activities that will prepare them for kindergarten. There are lots of people that act in deviance. On Halloween, believe it or not people are acting in deviance because we are dressed in costumes to be something we are not. Sometimes when people go out to clubs they may act in deviance by dancing way too wild and getting very drunk. If a person is gay, they are considered deviant.

As you see deviance is not only seen in violence, it's more than that. We all in some point of our lives deviated. Even if we was just playing around by doing crazy things to make people laugh or to get someone's attention. People can act in deviance in many ways. So just because you might see a person deviating does not always mean that the person is bad. We have to remember that everyone is different in their own way.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

World Class Division Wealthy v. Poor

By: Deborah Crawford

    Their are so many subjects on which the world is divided. You are walking down a street and you see a homeless person. At that very moment what are you thinking. The average person's perception of this being, would be that this person is poor and doesn't want to do anything about it. Now you are walking in a wealthy neighborhood and you see a rich person. You think that this person was born into their money, or doesn't deserve it.  The world now has this renowned way of thinking, if a person isn't like you or in your situation they are outcasted.

     Based on today's reasoning, many people would view this photo the same way. The poor man has struggled all his life to not only provide for himself, but for his family too. On the other hand the wealthy man doesn't have to struggle. You would view the weight difference too. The skinny man has worked himself out trying to get to where he wants to be, while the bigger man has never had to work for his wealth. Someone in the poor man's position wouldn't have to know anything about the poor man but they would be routing for him, and would be against the rich man. What the artist didn't show in the picture is that that poor man is now the bigger man. Now that he has gotten where he is going, he is going to eat and be happy. The wealthy man has worked hard for his family and deserves to live a good life after hardship. 

In the picture u, the artist wants you to see that money buys you anything. Based on this she would be hated for what she has, and that is how the world teaches people.

     In the end people only see what they want to see. Everyone is judged acording to what is in the open. Work, determination, preserverance, and sorrow is not counted. No one wants to be reminded of the situation they are in, and hate people who aren't in it.

Act's of Piracy in the 21st Century

By Faith Smith

Conflict Theories of Deviance
"Because some groups of people have access to fewer resources in capitalist society they are forced into crime to sustain themselves. Conflict theory posits that the economic organizations of capitalist societies produce deviance and crime." pg 159.  
Sociology the Essentials

Meaning people who are poor and have less available resources tend to turn to a life of crime as a means of survival. Statistics prove this to be a fact. Yet in today's society a lot of crime is committed by white coller workers. Embezzlement, Money laundry and Tax evasion. However these crimes are considered to be crimes of best interest when committed by members of the corporate world. Mainly because they blame their actions on doing whats best for the corporation.

Would you consider Pirates just another name for an organized gang?

In fact Pirates are group of men who rob ships and boats. They follow their own code and even have rules. Even though it's deviance in nature when you look at the history of piracy almost all members were said to be ex-military men, escaped cons. During the era of slavery when men would escape bondage if they found there way to a pirate ship the ship became a safe haven for those who once were captive on slave ships. Without racial discrimination Pirates took them aboard and made them members of their crew. All of these men were once outcast of their societies so they formed a brotherhood of bandits doing what they had to do in order to survive.

Swashbuckler's are back packing machine guns instead of a sword. Putting the focus on a vintage crime in which officials feel may encourage terrorist.

Stormy Sea's
In November 2005 the cruise liner Seabourn Spirit fought off pirates along the East Coast of Africa. Fortunately only one person was injured. However in the pirates attempt to board the ship they tossed grenades, and shot rounds from their machine guns. Sources say the pirates we're Somalians and the failed mission to siege the Seabourn was not there first act of piracy. Yet it was the pirates first attack on a cruise liner in over 10 years.

According to the International Maritime Bureau
  "Pirates attacked 205 ships in the first nine months of 2005 compared with 251 during the same period a year prior." IMB's Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships Report.
Although officials report a decrease in the number of attacks off the coast of Somalia. Jayant Abhyanker deputy director of IMB said "Since the early 90's crime on the high sea's has resurfaced."
Other hot spots are the Indonesian waters. Some say they hold the most danger with reports of 61 occurrences within the first nine months of 2005. Also 93 ambushes on record in 2004. According to the IMB. Also the Malacca Straits (between Malaysia and the Indonesian island of Sumtra) Nigeria, Bangladesh, Iraq and the North Eastern coast of South America.
Sources say pirates normally work in chains yet they prey on different targets. Boats, yachts, barges, and cruise liners in attempts to find hearty loot. Some may hijack ships for cargo yet others may try to kidnap the crew for ransom. Reports say that boats are easy prey specifically off the coast of countries like Somalia were rebellious revolutionist exist or maritime security is not in strong force.

Could terrorist learn from acts of piracy?
Concerns of some experts is that terrorist may use piracy as a means of kidnapping ships crews and it's passengers. Unitel a maritime security firm suggest,
"all ships have armed security personal on board or have armed escorts in power boats." abcnews .com
IMB feels this would do more harm than good. Also some countries don't like the thought of foreigners disrupting their space.

So can we feel safe in booking that cruise?

Of course as long as you choose a pirate safe territory such as Hawaii, Alaska, and the Caribbean.
"Cruising is the safest way and there is no reason why that is not the case today" says Michael
Crye president of the International Council of Cruise line.
Crye says all passengers along with their personal belongings are screened with addition to the 20 trained security officers on board at all times. Surveillance cameras and advanced communication to ward off attacks.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Into the Dark Side

By: Kennia Martinez

We have all seen them. They interest us all yet, repel us with their style and ways. Who are these people who dare to be different  and at times, scary? They are the Goths, and I am sure at some point, we have all encountered them. The Goths or Gothic people are a counterculture against the ‘norm’. A counterculture, of course, being a subculture that is created against the values or beliefs of the dominant culture. Society looks down upon these unique people and find their style quite repulsive, and this causes stereotypes. A stereotype is a simplified judgment of a certain group of people that categorizes as something that they might not be and sometimes are not at all.

They are known for their dark clothes, heavy make up and depressive attitude. It first started as a form of music in the 1980’s in England and has since evolved into a form of expression, fashion, and music. In this picture below there are examples of the various stereotypes society has come to believe about Goth people. Like all stereotypes some may be true, but usually most are not, as shown in the picture. It is the style that scares others into believing such things. (See second picture) Fun fact: Goth is not a religion.

Above is a picture of  how a Goth is a counterculture. Obviously a human being, still her style sets off disapproval. Someone would remark her as a “weirdo” because it looks hot outside, yet there she is in a black dress. Other may say that she is a devil worshipper because they do not understand why someone “normal” would wear such a style. In truth, Goths embrace their difference and take pride in it. Furthermore, they believe in a darker view of the world, but that does not mean they worship the Devil. They see the world in a different perspective than everyone else. Some of the best ideas and people have come from seeing the world in a different perspective. Why judge what you do not understand? Has not history taught us many lessons in this field?

The next photo is of a friend of mine who is known to be Goth. Though her style may turn parents off you could not find a more loyal, funny person. People tend to judge her and her kind based on how she chooses to dress. She’s nothing like what society thinks of Goths: she doesn’t worship the devil, she’s not mean (unless provoked), she’s not evil (she’s actually very funny and a good friend), and she’s a normal human being.

My intake in Goths is that they have a different taste in clothes and music and maybe even beliefs (certain Goths), but this is the factor that makes them interesting. This counterculture is growing rapidly and society need to at least give them a shot. People will always break off from society, but remember they were once like you and me. And seriously stereotypes are most of the time wrong. Like these: Puerto Rican are crazy and will stab you, Jewish people are cheap, all Cuban men are controlling, men with clean finger nails are jerks, etc. As we know there’s an exception to all stereotypes. I take offense to being called crazy, when I’m not. So, next time when your ready to stereotype another group of people remember that you might be offending them and that your judging them without even knowing them. Besides, the weirdos make the best friends.

Pros/Cons of Being in an "In-Group" or an "Out-Group"

By: Kristoff Crawford

       Power is having authority or control over a situation and/or people. Privilege is a special advantage enjoyed by a particular group. Oppression is exercising authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner. Power, privilege and oppression, are all factors of the “in group.” Being rich and popular are also factors. Skin color can sometimes determine if you are part of the “in group” or “out group,” depending on other factors.

        Having colored skin is a disadvantage in America, therefore if you are a “colored” person, white people have more power than you. However, if you have light skin, it is an advantage. This privilege allows people to be more trusted, accepted, and easily assimilated with the dominant group. Other privileges include education level and sex. Education level can determine what kind of life you will have, as far as where you live and what schools your children attend. Depending on the situation being a female or male could determine if you are apart of the “in group” or “out group”
Being in the “out group” also has factors. Theses factors include age, physical ability, ethnic, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, poor education and low income. 
The “out group” has its pros and cons. Pros include not being followed by paparazzi and being able to live a private life because if you are a celebrity, you are automatically apart of the “in group,” since you are popular and would not be able to live a private life. The cons of the “out group” include, not being able to have the same privileges as everyone else, such as being able to live a nice neighborhood that allows your children to attend the best schools.
The “in group” also has its pros and cons. Pros include being able to support yourself and your family with not only necessities, but also wants, being recognized by everybody, and living in a great neighborhood that allows your children to attend the best schools. The cons are trying to be “perfect” because you never know who is watching and also everyone knows your business, if you are a celebrity.
Some people may enjoy being in either groups. The pros and cons determine what group you are in. However, it is sometimes something that you cannot control.

Commercial Ethnic Stereotype… is it all in fun or taken too seriously?

by Astrid Beato

A stereotype is an over generalized belief about a particular group or class of people. For example, all black people are lazy, all white people are racists, all Italians are in the mob, all Hispanics are illegal aliens, etc. 
Commercials based on ethnic stereotypes should be a concerned because of the negative, offensive message that the commercials are representing or is it all just for fun and humor and shouldn't be taken personally? In today’s society we all know or should know at least that we shouldn’t judge or treat differently people of color or where they are from or what race or ethnicity anyone is, etc. Seeing the big picture there are racists, and discrimination does happen but not as frequently as before. Society is changing and so is how people think, so why can't some of us joke and laugh about funny ethnic jokes that are presented in commercials without being offended. For example here is a commercial aired at the Superbowl that people claim to be racist.

From my experiences there are days when I hangout with friends and we sometimes make fun of each others ethnic background based on typical stereotyping. For instances, Dominicans eat plantains everyday and raise farm animals and Mexicans only eat tacos and cleans people houses. Sometimes you can’t help yourself from laughing or giggling because sometimes the jokes are true, but not to an extent where “they” always do that or "that" always happens, but of course it all depends with who and how close you are with your friends to make racial jokes.
Racial stereotypes are even in places that people don't even notice that is happening. For example, in children’s movies racial stereotypes are not attended to offend any race. Here is a link where of this source. (might want to skip the first minute of the video.)

 Here is a video of contradicting stereotype. When people think of Scotland they think of white skin people with red hair, but in this video they are Asian descended but are from Scotland which in a stereotype world doesn't make sense.

In conclusion we shouldn’t take any of these commercials personally, in my opinion because it’s all in fun plus these commercials are clearly a little too exaggerated. Also stereotyping is everywhere and it is inevitable so might as well get a little chuck out of it, even if it’s your own race.

Outsourcing of American Jobs: Good or Bad?

By: Emmanuel Kollie

People in America get so angry about losing their jobs. Some blame outsourcing because they think it is not fair to the citizen or the native born that don't have a job in their own country. people say outsourcing is not a good thing and this video make you believe it too. There are people in this country that believe that they need help, but they are not getting the help that they need, because company take their jobs and give it to the outsiders.

what is outsourcing? outsourcing is the taking of American jobs to another country. outsourcing also lets companies focus on other  jobs and businesses while having the details taken care of by outsider experts. outsourcing is a smart way that companies make more money, because it costs less to get the same work done. As we can see from this video, many of  our service jobs have been move to India. Many manufacturing jobs have  moved to China (Walmart).

is outsourcing a bad thing? outsourcing can be a bad thing because it affects working class jobs the most. people lose their houses, their families, and sometimes their communities die. outsourcing creates the racism practice, for example if you had a job that was paying you 10 dollars an hour, and then some one in India is willing to work for 9 dollars an hour, that make you mad and angry at Indians.Outsourcing can also cause products sold in America to be poor quality, example are toys and toothpaste from China.

Is outsourcing a good thing?  The  people who benefit are the owners of the company (stock holders) who get the work done cheaper, yet by still charging the same price, make more profits. We consumers benefit from cheaper goods and services.  Outsourcing also forces people to get a better education and also lets companies to focus on higher paying jobs. 

People say that outsourcing is bad for the country because the citizens lose their jobs, houses, communities and sometimes their families.  I think outsourcing is a part of the American dream because it is all about making money.  Outsourcing is a bad thing for people who live in America and a good thing for people who live outside America because I can feel the effects in my neighborhood.

Bureaucracy- Bad rap or full of crap?

By: Raimundo Rivera Jr.

I thought about what I would be posting for this particular idea and decided to shoot from the hip and be honest. To get started, here is the definition of Bureaucracy: 

Bureaucracy- A body of nonelective government officials,
                         An administrative policy-making group government characterized by 
                         specialization of functions, adherence to fixed rules, and a hierarchy of authority

                         A system of administration marked by officialismred tape, and proliferation

Now when most people read this, images of corporate suits and cubicles may come to mind while others may begin to see "The Man" and the system trying to oppress us. Aside from any political views we may have, this word "Bureaucracy" is a thought and in some cases an emotion provoking one. Is it those government officials "covering up" events and spinning stories to keep us in the dark? Or is it something else entirely? Here's what it really is:

"The purpose of a bureaucracy is to successfully implement the actions of an organization of any size (but often associated with large entities such as government, corporations, and non-governmental organizations), in achieving its purpose and mission, and the bureaucracy is tasked to determine how it can achieve its purpose and mission with the greatest possible efficiency and at the least cost of any resources."-Wikipedia

There you have it. Corporate, Government, Organization. All the words we have come to hate as freedom loving americans. Its hard to believe that it had a positive connotation before things started getting out of hand. Before you had to wait in line at PennDot for three hours or ever had the pleasure of waiting in the financial aid line or being on the phone with your friendly-neighborhood college.
What do you mean, "You can't find my verification worksheet"?!

He's having a great time isn't he? This is usually how we feel when we have a head-on collision with the charms of Red tape. So it turns out that maybe it isn't a good thing all the time. We may even hate it. But it does keep things running somewhat smooth and efficiently. It gets you in and out of the places you hate going to in the most effective way possible. So the next time you want to strangle a worker with a Twizzler, remember that they are all working to HELP you. Even if it doesn't seem that way. So I leave the decision up to you: 

Has "Bureaucracy" gotten a bad rap or is it just full of crap?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Status in a New World

By:  Tyree V. Reese

I hope to touch on a superficial topic such as ''Status'' in this blog, to hopefully figure out why so much enfacise is placed on something so materialistic in this society. The definition of Social Status is the honor or prestige,  attached to one's position in society (one's social position). I never seemed to understand why so much Status and time are given to some of the most trivial people. The people that American's place on pedestals and fawn over is completely beyond me. Those celebrities are so fake and superficial that they go to extremes to keep the public's attention if only for just a mere second. Americans run to stores that they can't afford to be seen in the same shoes, car or just possessing the same items as ''Celebrities''.

Our society is losing its ability to think on its own. The average American family is hurting with this rescission, yet more than most will spend money on item they know they themselves cannot afford, just to be able to say that they brought it. 

This is why I believe that other cultures are more advanced than ours mentally, because Americans spend way to much time looking at a persons social status and what that person owns instead of their real addition to society as a whole. We as a people are to wrapped up in materialism to see that were drowning as a society.  Can any help me to fully understand why Americans are willing to risk life and limbs to be the first to say ''I brought it!'' When will this society start to value real accomplishments instead of glorified stupidity? I really want to know am I alone here in thinking that society's views of Status are messed up?

Does Status Matter?

By: Michael Rothenburger

People all over the world reside on varying levels of status, a prestige and class ranking based on ones level in society relative to another. I would believe that most people would prefer to be at the top of these rankings where honor and prestige is assumed and expected; unlike the lower ranking status, which is less desirable because of the negative associations that go along with it. But how much should your individual status, in relation to others, matter to your personal happiness?

There are two positions in which status is viewed; ascribed status, what we were born with and achieved status which is earned. Regardless of how you attain your status, the question is; why do you have one? In America, there is a passage in the first sentence of the 2nd paragraph of the Declaration of Independence that states, “…all men are created equal...” So, why is society still categorizing everyone into varying levels of rank, class and ultimately, status? Although, we may never know who started it or where it came from, the fact of the matter is, as a society, we judge one another.  And when you stop and really think about it, who are we to judge what level of status someone is in? Look at the following video.Do you buy in to Robert Bucci's philosophy? 

I believe Robert Bucci is selling happiness as much as his product; he equates great wealth with an easy, happy, and care free lifestyle. While I would admit, owning a yacht would be wonderful, I don't believe that simply owning one will make me happy. This video is a perfect example of the mindset that I believe to be detrimental to our culture. How society determines status depends on different factors: wealth, education, and level of career attained are some generally accepted benchmarks. However status is determined, the fact of the matter remains, attributing status in this manner is equivalent to judging someone’s life based on superficial things, what they have, verses who they are.  

Basically, all I’m saying is judging is inappropriate and status should be irrelevant in everyone else’s eyes but your own. Allowing others to judge and label you is an issue that can cause you to go to great lengths for something so meaningless, you might as well have a status bar elevation coupon tied to a stick and held out in front of you to get you going; just like what is happening to my donkey. 


By: Sheena Jeffrey

          As parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles just family in general, we do not understand how much of a part we play in building a child's self esteem. Everyone has a need to feel wanted, to feel apart of a group, to be loved and this is very much the same for little children. Sometimes it hard for a parent to notice when they are showing favoritism to one or more of their children. This child tends to be the center of attention for everyone, the one taken every where and/or the one that get more clothes and toys. My friend has two children a little girl who is two and a little boy who is three and sometimes I feel guilty because I know I naturally am drawn towards the little girl. I realize now that this is similar to the topic of in groups and out groups and how much this can affect a childs' self esteem and how they can feel like an out group or like they do not belong.

       The following picture shows how parents show their favorite child love by surprising him or her with more gifts than the other.

         The following video shows a mom playing with her baby boy and when the older brother trys to get in between to hug her she pushes him away and returns her attention to the baby.
        In groups and out group are not just found in school among teen, or at the workplace among co-workers, It can be found also in the home among brothers and sisters, sometimes we may not mean to show favoritism to children, but it happen and this can be classified as in groups and out groups.

Groups and Organizations

By: Shanarra Johnson

We as people don't realize how much groups and organizations effect our ever day lives. In almost everything we do a group or organization influence our decisions. Think about voting, when we vote we do so because the government says we should and the decision we make will effect our life. The goevernment is a organization designed to help the people.

Groups consist of two or more people who interact and share the same goals. We don't realize how much groups determine what we do. The power groups have over us is stronger than we think. Risky shift is when you do something with a group of people that you wouldn't do alone; its an effect groups have over us. For Example when im at a red light alone i wait for the light to turn to green to cross but, when its a group of people waiting and its no traffic and they cross and make it i hurry up and run across the street. I wouldn't have done it when i was alone especially since i was hit by a car im more cautious, but because the other people made it across i decided to take a chance.

The image below shows how a groups actions have an effect on others.

In Conclusion groups and organizations rule the world in there own way. We may not realize it or even want to admit it but we do not fully think on own everthing we do is influenced by something else.



     Socialization is the process by which we learn from other interact wikth people of different cultures and learn how people think and do in their culture. You receive and get information when you socialize. It leads you to some friends that will be an eye opener in a field that you  are not aware of. Socialization is the process by wich children learn from their parents by learning what their parents do. Socialization begains at a very early age. During early stages of socialization we learn by observing how our parents and or family socialize with society.
     Gender Socialization In Liberia
In Liberia West  Africa, there are two traditional schools, the Sande and Poro Bush. In the Sande Bush girls learn how to take care of their husband, home, children, sing, dance, cook, and braid hair. This is also followed by female genital mutilation, usually a traditional ceremony. Elders argue the procedure is a rite of passage into womanhood. Preparing a girl for marriage, and curbing her sexual appetite and helping to socialize her, But medical studies reveal circumcision causes pain and trauma.

In the Poro Bush , boys learn how to hun, beat drums, dance, and how to be a good husband for their wife or wives. They also learn leadership.

My analysis supports my ideas that this culture is unfair to gender and the socialization of certain parties of society. For example, some kids would go to Sande School at a very young age and would then not remember the things they learned there. I am also opposed to female circumcision, it is cruel and unjust.
In conclusion, socialization of genders differ as we move from one culture to another. For instance, the United States as opposed to Liberia, such acts as circumcision would be met with severe punishments.