Changing the thoughts of society is never an easy thing to do. The best course of action is through micopolitical action. Dryzek advocates micropolitical action as the only way to politicize a “resolution” and create change. Change is created with the introduction of new ideas, which then lead to a mindset shift in a group of people, and eventually (hopefully) the whole society. Attempts to alter society can have drastic consequences- usually by being pushed outside of society. By the end of TAOHF Jim was neither “white” or “black”- he just was. HE lost his sense of culture, pride, etc without gaining a new experience. The assumptions of both races pushed him into the void that separates them, and, in the end he will have to end up choosing how he will be viewed. If he acts white he will probably get killed, but if he acts black (and like a slave) he will have lost what education and experience he had gained.
This is usually is the case with a minority. Again comes the example of gay marriage. A small percent of people agree (wholly) with the equality of gay/lesbian relationships or even as it being an appropriate sexuality. (Ignoring the fact that eons and eons ago it used to be acceptable). Eventually, society is slowly reaching out and accepting the idea of equality for alternate sexualities. However, society is not yet ready to accept the idea of non-heterosexuals as equal. The way to solve this is to change societies mindset through individual action which will result in the gradual change of societies perspeption of minorities.
Time: 1 1/2 hr
Research: ½ hr.
They ask why I am insistent on not conforming (inwardly) to the norms set forth by society. They usually don’t understand the answer. Maybe because they themselves conform, though they usually are not willing to admit it.
The best perceptions to break in Jim’s world:
Culture (witches, etc)
Social expectations: Huck turning Jim in
Religion: conscious decision to go to Hell
Morals: Family feud
Age: difference between Huck and Jim
Gender: Huck dressing as a female
Time: river versus land
Best stuff ever to break now:
Religion: agnostic or atheist
Race: or lack thereof
Gender: determined by self
Sexuality: continuum between gay and straight
Morals: change by age group
Appearance: degree of conformity
Social: lack of cliques
Economic: liberalism is the best way to go
Marriage: difference between marriage and civil union, but separate but equal doesn’t work. Marriage should be a religious aspect.
Music: rock. Preferably alternative.
1 hr. with help from a friend who lives a long way away who was kind enough to tell me exactly how weird I am.
1 hr research for updates for marriage. all is normal and slow moving.
Her name was N-/she was a rocker with a nose ring/…she doesn’t notice me/…like a bad movie/she’s looking through me/… “Girl All the Bad Boys Want”- Bowling for Soup
The ramifications of society on the individual are enormous. Society plays a leading effect in how a person views themselves, and often on that’s person’s mood, behavior, and morals. Things that effect how an individual sees themselves (or things that are dictated by society) are often mass produced and marketed, I.e.: Clothing styles and makeup: (the two that also happen to be the easiest to break, in my opinion). Clothing store ads stress the “individuality” of their products(s), while in reality mass marketing has made everyone- even the “punk” crowd looks the same. To escape that in easier than it sounds. The super easy process:
1. But a shirt slightly too big.
2. Find a pair of sharp scissors. Cut down the seams and rip the seams out. This includes the neckline.
3. Rip out more of the side seams.
4. Rip out more of the neckline. Also rip off the seams on the bottom (which can then be used to make a matching chocker and/or bracelets)
5. Find a LOT of safety pins
6. Pin the shirt back up so it fits.
7. Apply dark makeup to all those involved, focusing on eyes, lips, and nails.
8. Attach jewelry to yourself and others. Make sure the people you are with match you to some degree.
9. Leave quickly to go and harass old people (no offense of course intended, they just happen to give the best response).
Time: 45 min
Relient K- trademark- “It’s my/my trademark move/to turn my backon you…/to come crawling back…/to realize that you’d improve…”
Let’s take a look at the reactions of the people in the different places:
Makeup here was brighter but very exaggerated a more modern gothic. This was while I was dropping a friend off at work. When I walked in the door I got a couple of second glances from some older womyn walking by, and a scared little kid stared of me. When I was at the checkout counter the guy packing my bag glanced at me repeatedly, as though he couldn’t believe I was for real. This reaction was fairly universal. Like Jim acting becoming more equal in Huck’s eyes, one is left to wonder if society can handle such a change. After the other visits it was decided that society is unable to accept change because change uproots the norms and throws them on their heads.
School was just as expected. While there are minorities at Kamiak, they are not expected to be in some classes, especially the AP ones. Dressing out of character got second glances and mild (or, in Kristen’s case, a “Jenny! What did you do to your face!?!”) shock. The only class where no one acted in a shocked or appalled manner was art, where I was told I had a cool top hat (that I had just “thefted” from a friend a couple minutes earlier). School is similar to the South because it is largely homogenous in its beliefs and expectations of the rest of society. A different individual is treated as such. Huck commenting that Jim was “just white inside” to excuse his humyn qualities is the same way society accepts its members (or in this case doesn’t).
Friend’s Mom :
An unusual event in society, she is similar to the slave who is afraid of witches, or the womyn who realizes that Huck isn’t a girl. She didn’t questions our clothing or anything. This is how society should act. Society should accept the “other” and any oddities in stride. Doing so would not only allow freedom of expression but would also encourage more interpretations-and hence, the destruction of- the norm. Society should have an obligation to protect the individual rights- and no, I’m not talking about this society or capitalism, this is in my ideal society- instead of what might be best for society.
People here tended to assume we were older then we are in real life. We were seated immediately by a hesitant hostess who, surprisingly, didn’t sit us out in the back away from the rest of the crowd. The people in the restaurant gave us interested glances, and more than a few disturbed glares. The big difference here was in perception based on gender. The men in the restaurant didn’t tend to be disturbed- or not as worried- by our appearance. It was the womyn who shot us second-and third or fourth- glances. We won’t remark on their makeup, as I can assure you I had a LOT more fun putting on my black lipstick then they did with their bright red (and it was still on six hours later almost in its entirety)! They are the classic example of society. If you were to take a pie chart to and put each person in a category, most would be in the same piece as the restaurant. They are shocked by the counter culture, physical culture, and/or alternative culture in the same way that society is unwilling to accept that Jim can be equal because of the fact that he is black.
Much like QFC but more relaxed (but not as much as the Mom)
time spent: 1 1/2 hours
The first step of any social experiment is to make sure you can properly gauge the population reactions in a variety of settings. This is accomplished by ripped clothing, dark exaggerated makeup (black lips are the least of it) and preferably sharp metal jewelry- think prong collar and the like. We decided it was important to gauge the reaction of a variety of people, and choose various locations based on the intended population. The places are:
QFC: based on its mixture of people, ages, and races from worker to shopper.
School: My age and peer group, and is used to seeing me dressed “normally”. For this it was decided that full on gothic wouldn’t work nearly as well.
Friend’s mom: Known to be pretty easy going about appearances, just usually warns us to be safe.
Restaurant: Conservative, filled with older people and innocent looking waiters/waitresses. Place has a reserved air to it, and is something of a family place.
Movies: All types of people again, but mostly adults in their 20’s and 30’s, they should be (more) used to people dressing in an alternative fashion.
Time: 45 min.
“Seems like my insides are on fire/and I’m looking through the eyes of someone else”
In an attempt to prove that society dictates how an individual is viewed (by society), I got together with two of my friends who also enjoy living and acting on the fringes of society and reality. The first friend is about as liberal as me, into deep ecology, and holistic medicine. The second is an artist, no longer in high school, and somewhat shy. They, like me, so not bother to waste time writing down something that does them no good, or completing a project that only lets them look at things from inside a narrow little box.
We were bouncing ideas off of each other as to what we could do to prove that society dictates how the majority see individuals that fall outside of expectations. We settled on a gothic appearance in a conservative area.
(total time so far since last post of time: 1 1/2 hours writing process, 1/2 hur discussion. And don't forget the 12 hours I spent gothic...which will be discussed more later)
Society views itself as one entity- a living being if you will, that is filled with individuals. When an individual is a minority (see the handy list below*) they are viewed as an outsider. This was the cause for segregation in America’s past- why Jim couldn’t bee free even in the mind of Huck. This is also why gays/lesbians are not allowed to marry in today’s society, though they are a rather large percent (some say up to ten percent) for a minority. Society defines how the individual should act, and how or why certain emotions are acceptable. I.e., it is acceptable for a girl to cry but not men.
*Gay, Lesbian, Transsexual, Bisexual, Older, younger, opposite gender then the rest of a group, race/ethnicity, morals, religion, job/working conditions, money earned, appearance etc.
I know it/its a shame I can't show it/I can see it now/....don't want to talk about it..."Little Black Backpack" By Stroke 9
It’s the question of the day- or rather; it appears to be the question of the century. Its been debated by philosophers, professors, economists. It’s been addressed in art and literature alike. (See Free Words
for a discussion of Gift economies. Nickel and Dimed also indirectly addresses the issue). Have you figured it out yet? No?!? Well then. Maybe it is time that you learn about how society and the individual affect each other.
The stage has been set. Let the examiniation begin. In the words of Tongue First
: it's an experience in physical culture.
( Tongue First
is a very good book btw but should only be read by a mature reader.
She wrote me a letter from San Diego/...But i think ill stay stuck/...I woke up in a car...
SOmething corp.- I Woke Up in a Car.
The post below really says all that needs to be said on the subject, plus its the coolest button ever. I found the button on "When Knititng was a Manly Art". It is now being added promptly to my (other) blog next to the iraq war counter. For those who don't recognize the rainbow, it stands for homosexual (and the acceptance of), and it used in everything from the Pace flag to "QueerKnits"- a list of blogs that support or are run by bisexual or gay people.
Which begs the question, if people aren't willing to take a stand can you truly say they suport an issue? In the same way that Huck wouldn't/couldn't take a stand on slavery being bad, proving he was unable to change away from society, individuals in society today seem to be unable to take a clear stance on right and wrong. They don't have a clear opinion, which means they can 1.) know what they want 2.) Support it with proof both philosophically and emp. 3.) Be willing to discuss.
I.e. while I may not be gay, I do beleive that all animals (including humyns) are bisexual, in a continuum between straight and gay . People who refuse to take a stance on right v. wrong are just as bad as people who are homophobic because they are saying that gays (or minorities- though they reall aren'ts) aren;t worthy of consideration. It leaves you with a pit in your stomach to hear that individuals aren't as good as another. Really leaves you speachless, the shock of it.
time: 45 min