Monday, February 28, 2011

How immigration is taught

I have found a website for a a high school in Massachusettes which has a overview of how and why they teach an immigration module. Shady Hill High School does teach a vast amount of American History and this includes the immigration that began in the 19th century or as they put it (the great waves of migration.) The module focuses on a range on nationalities such as the Irish, African-American, and the Mexican but it doesnt look at whether the Anglo-American's are immigrants. Instead choosing to focus on the more obvious immigrants who dont fit into the dominant ideology of being a white, english speaking person. This shows how the dominant use the schooling system to make some children feel left out, while the white children can feel superior knowing they were always there. The module then looks at the problems that have arisen for immigrants in the past to do with The Bill of Rights and Citizenship which suggests that the immigrants position is even more constested. The module also brings up the idea of boundires of the United States and the borders which the immigrants cross (sometimes illegally) in order to get the Ameircan way of life.

This school doesnt say that they teach or touch upon the issue's that many immigrants have or had to deal with day in day out such as the housing problems, the lack of jobs, the over-crowding and the discrimination that they recieved. Overall this sppears to be a very biased view of immigration, because although it is taught who immigrated and when, and for what reasons - it fails to refelct the difference in quality of life that was experienced between the immigrants and the Anglo-Americans. So although the children learn that immigratation is common and that many different nationalities live in America; it struggles to show the children that certain immigrants have a different way of living.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

The Lakota people of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe are located in South Dakota. Their three million acres of land of the Cheyenne River Reservation is home to four bands of Titunwan people. The Lakota Nation have their own government and take care of their own people with no or very little influence from the US government.
The aim of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is to “preserve our cultural resources”. The website has links to the history of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe for example the Battle of Little Big Horn and the Wounded Knee Massacre. The website also talks about their fight for religious freedom.

The website offers links to all the different services available within the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, from education to employment, law enforcement services, Tribal court, Accounting and many more. The website makes reference to the importance of community as it states “community is our culture, just as it has always been.....We are all one” and also “we know our future depends on the strength of our community today.” By working together the Tribe has remained strong and are able to share the stories of their Tribe not just with each other within the Tribe but with others who will listen, for it states on the website “listen to our story if you have been given ears to hear it.”

Ogala Sioux Tribe

The Ogala Sioux or Sioux tribe is one of the most famous Native American tribes particularly because of their fierce battles with the US army and the massacre that eventually ensued as a result of their resistance.

The Sioux website offers a detailed history of their tribe and offers a traditional story telling history of the historic events in the Sioux past. These re-tellings of events are labeled under headings such as "What happened at wounded knee: the true story of the US Army's massacre" Which offers almost a story telling perspective of the infamous battle which suggests other reasons why the massacre occurred other than that presented by the US military.

As well as the site offering a detailed history from a native American perspective, the site also functions on a contemporary level providing information about up and coming events within the Sioux community such as the recent election of the OST president. The site also provides information on how to donate to the reservation, employment options within the community and entertainment and artwork produced by the natives. There is also a tab which allows you to view a history of tribal chiefs.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Blog 3 Tribes

The shoeshone-bannock tribe is mainly located in south-eastern Idaho. It has 5300 members and seeks to preserve the fort hill preservation and still has a heavy presence there. 96% of the land still remains in tribal ownership. A tribal government is still in place. Certainly the idea of trying to hold land and protect it against development a fairly common idea and the tribe does have native American roots and shares their common objectives. Its government however seems to be set up professionally. Certainly they have specific roles such as chairmen, vice chairman and treasurers. These are roles you would associate with tribes but with a business.

Monday, February 21, 2011

American Tribes

The Klamath tribe is based in the Klamath Basin in Oregon. The website has a very traditional 'American Indian' feel to it. The first images that are seen are those of Indian head-dresses, with feathers and the images of nature. The Klamath tribes' website is extremely positive and upbeat about their future and position in society. There is talk about the future and the recognition they want to get from protecting nature whilst creating a profit. This is not the website of a tribe who feel threatened, instead they feel necessary in the community they live in. The Klamath tribe has a mission to

"protect, preserve, and enhance the spiritual, cultural, and physical values and resources of the Klamath, Modoc, and Yahooskin Peoples . . ."

This shows that the tribe see's there current position in society as important, and one of preserving their beautiful natural resources. This is re-enforced with the tribes logo on the webiste, which has many animal images on it enjoying the beauty of nature. There are also many energy effiecent agreements made between the tribe and government aswell such as the 'Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement' which aims to preserve nature. However moving around the website it is obvious that the current tribe also has another vision for the current and future situation; one of economic prosperity having "At present, with current enrolled membership around 3,500, the Klamath Tribes contribute about $25 million per annum to Klamath County's economy in the form of payroll, direct expenses and goods and services." This shows how the history and aims of Tribes have chnaged. They no longer want just to survive, but instead become part of Americas capitalist society and prosper.

The history is shown as one of struggle and friendship as the tribe stcuk together to survive. The tribe has been involved in the Modoc war, and has faced constant struggle against the federal government for recognition (like a lot of tribes) and they have been sucessful. The website makes sure that the readers knows that the have lived a hard life and have only recently found prosperity and gained the ability to live freely on their land. They believe that their constant battles and strenght of character to fight helps define them:

"We help each other; We will live good"

The history of all tribes in America is one of a rough ride; and the Klamath tribe is no different. There have been struggles in the past as the settlers struggle to accept that they can live side by side. However as the website states in 1986 we were successful in regaining Restoration of Federal Recognition for our Tribes. And the battle was won! This means the tribe is free to live; with many festivals and parties to show their off their culture and way of life.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blog 2 Women and work

This is certainly a very different representation of women. It shows a women serving in the army wearing uniform and carrying a gun. Serving in the front line of the military is commonly seen as a highly masculine job and is not a job assosicated with women. It therefore challenges the "traditional" steriotype of women that they should stay at home, look after the family and put food on the table. It now seems to be fairly commonplace for women to serve in the military.

This however is a more traditional view of women. The traditional stereotype that women should spend time in the kitchen, cook and look after their family. Of course this is far less commonplace today and the idea of women working for money outside the house is far more common. In some cases there is some role reversal with women being the main source of income in a house rather than men. This was unlikely to be the case 50 years ago.

Women and Work

This first image is from the 1980's and the caption reads “a career... a family to care for... gee! I've got it all!” this is clearly suggestive in that it shows that women are satisfied and happy with their lives of being a housewife or stay-at-home-mom. This is a generalization which has been shun by many women as an idea of the “perfect life” as there has been a huge increase in the number of women who have better educations and in turn better career's. In this picture it shows a woman stood in the kitchen with her hand on her hip (which is deemed as a feminine pose), holding an oven mitt and a towel hanging from her side, it also shows that the woman looks after her self and takes pride in her appearance as well as the appearance of the house, hence the cleanliness of the kitchen, the woman is wearing make-up, nail polish and a dress. This differs from Nickel and Dimed as the woman in the image is presented as doing the work Barbara was getting paid to do when she worked for The Maids, this woman seems to have married into a life where she doesn't need to go out to work as she is supported by her husband and her work is within the home.

This image shows three business women and one business man in a work place which displays the image that women play a bigger role in positions which are usually dominated by men. Also in this image it seems that the woman stood up looks like she is the one who is in charge which many people may see stereotypically the male as being the boss. This image is very different to the first image the women are wearing suits which are dull colours, not bright colours some may see as “girlie colours” like pink and yellow. The women still present themselves as taking pride in their appearance, they are smartly dressed, wearing make-up and have their hair done as well as wearing jewellery, rings, watches and earrings. In relation to Nickel and Dimed these women are a few that may have succeeded and come so far in life because they are well educated and that's why they aren't working in a diner or at Wal Mart because their opportunities in life will have been a lot different to a majority of people in society.

Women at home and at work

Both of the images i have chosen for this blog task typically come from the same era which is during and post second world war. this first image i believe was used during the second world war when women were encouraged to take the places of men at work who had gone to war in order to aid the war effort on the home front. This pro feminist image is significant in representing women in the work place, the image shows that women are equal to men and to some could suggest that "we can do it" is in itself sugesting that women can obtain equality to men in the work place and are as physically equal to men, something which at the time was not common belief. Although the iconic poster was released after women had obtained the right to vote in the USA women were still expected to be house wives and not work.

The image itself is significant as the woman on the poster is not depicted in a way women were often depicted at the time. the woman is very masculine in both the pose she is striking and the way she is dressed. However because of this the image would seem to suggest that women cannot be women in the work place but instead the only way a woman could do a mans job would be to physically adopt masculine characteristics.

Despite this the 'we can do it' poster could be seen as a symbolic image for the begining of women's struggle to find equality in the work place.

This second image is of a typical 1950's house wife serving dinner to what is presumably her husband as he arrives home from work and the image contains the caption "Life can be wonderful"

There are two striking things about this image and theey are what is happening in the image itself and the tag line. to start this image of a male being served by his wife almost as if he were in a diner is what was expected of women during that particular era. it would seem most imagery from the era would typically depict women in the home cleaning or cooking something which would have suggested to women that is what they were meant to be doing and that's what everyone else is doing. This is then supported by the tag line which can be read in 2 different ways first off it can be read from a male perspective simply suggesting that on perfect occasion when you arrive home and dinner is already waiting for you "life can be wonderful". however the same tag line can be read from a femal perspective as "life can be wonderful" as long as you work hard at it like this woman and accomodate your man with a made table and dinner when he arrives home, as there is nothing in the image which suggests life is wonderful for the woman, she is simply fulfilling a subserviant role. This line which can be read from two perspectives may have been included to combat the idea of the desperate housewife, unsatisfied and unhappy with life by sugesting everyone else is happy, you just need to work harder at it. turning the lack of purpose in the womans life into something that is her own fault.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Women in the workplace

Women are represented in a number of ways and these vary depending on the time they were taken or the image they are trying to portray. For this blog i have chosen a magazine front cover of some of the Top 50 American Business women from Fortune magazine which is a global business magazine which has been in production from 1930. This front cover is from 1999, an age where women were becoming increasingly visible in the workplace and therefore more respected. However there must still be inequality because the cover has chosen to seperate the business men from women, suggesting they are different and still looked at spearately. This cover aims to show business women in a good light. The black clothing they are all wearing connotates a sense of seriousness about their work. This means that these women are not airheads or fixed on celebrity news. Their clothing dictates a serious side of their personality and shows an intelligence about them, which would disappear if they were to be wearing Barbie Pink for example. There are no short skirts or high heeled shoes suggesting these woman can compete in the tradition male game. Men wear black and therefore women wearing black shows a sense of equality. However the woman are attractive, and they are all wearing make-up in order to show aspects of their femininity. They want to appear beautiful and stay true to the representation that women take care of their looks. The necklace one woman is wearing is white which suggests that contrast of personality in her life between the strict business woman and the more traditional virginal look about women, that can do nothing wrong and are clean and soft. It is also intersting that the background colour that the women are placed on is pink, which shows that there are still those gender stereotypes with woman being pretty and men being tough. The positions they are in on the page suggest that women still need that closeness of a group (like the stereotype of not being able to go to the toilet alone) whereas a men would more than likely be placed apart on the page. With regards to Nickel and Dimed, these women must be in the minority in America, for it is still hard for women to progress to such a high lever in the workplace. The majority would be in supermarkets or cleaning jobs- however these women many have help a helping hand of education for example.

The second image i have chosen is an advert for a popular tv show in America and England 'Desperate Housewives.' Like the previous image the woman have a sexual aspect about them which suggests that the common image of woman doing work is that it can somehow be made sexy. For me it means women try and get by and up in society by looks rather than the hard work which the previous image suggested. They seem more than happy to emphasis the feminine aspects of their body is this because it is a typical womans workplace? The previous image acknowledged the feminine aspect to a lesser extent suggesting the business world is still predominantly for men. This is a far cry from what Barbara experienced- the cleaning job at the Maids for example was blood, sweat and tears rather than laid back casual hoovering. The woman are all holding a typical household item and this relates back to the more traditional concept of woman having their job in the household, doing the chores. One woman is brandishing a rolling pin which implies that the house is not where these wives will be staying. This representation of women as housewives is not the norm now and woman continue to find thier place outside of cleaning and housework and learn and experience the world. The work that these women are doing appears to be fun and quirky in comparison to the business world, as the colors used are feminine and the background yellow implies a sense of having a good time. The bright colors suggest fun and are a far cry from the feeling of being held in the workplace, these images suggest that these women enjoy their job. It could be argued that this is a better place to be with a rich husband; instead of living in poverty with a job that forces you into hard manual labour and injury? Women in poverty would surely prefer this lifestyle...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Masculinity in America

This blog post is from a man named Ray Williams who discusses a loss of masculinity in American in the work place and in education, he states that it is having a “huge impact on the male identity.” Williams uses quotes to illustrate the rise of women in employment for example “forty percent of family's primary breadwinner are now women” and “women now make up more than fifty percent of the nations workforce.” Nowadays women are being employed for roles men would traditionally undertake but women are now educated and skilled to do these jobs and also some women may have a better education than male competitors hence why there is a decrease in masculinity in the workplace. Williams also states that the “number of women in government continues to rise” he later states that the last male dominated roles are in the military and in politics “although even those areas are slowly being eroded” this indicates that Williams feels that these areas are being spoiled by femininity and there will not be much left to offer up once the masculinity of these roles have been washed out.

Williams discusses the reasons for why masculinity is under threat and that is because of the way men are portrayed in the media. Williams claims that images and stereotypes used by the media are giving men a bad name making it hard for them to maintain their masculinity and their role in society. Williams also states that the “negative portrayal of men in the media, along with the feminization of men and loss of fatherhood in society has caused confusion and frustration in younger generation of males as they do not have specific role models and are less able to define their role in society.” Here Williams is saying that the younger generation of makes are going to grow up having more of a feminine outlook than a masculine outlook on life because of the loss of masculinity within society and the family home, as Williams states that “forty percent of family's primary breadwinner are now women” and also there are more stay-at-home-dads than there was ten years ago which shows that the roles have changed.

Williams states that “it has been difficult to know what it means to be a man and even harder to feel good about being one [....] and men are groping in the dark for their identity” Williams also quotes Guy Garcia as he states “as a group, men are losing their way” this shows that men think masculinity is under threat of being a thing of the past and that they have no way of knowing how to reclaim and maintain their masculinity for the future generations of men.

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Elizabeth & Kirsten - we need your posts!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blog 1 Masculinity

The article above was taken from the New York Times in 1005. It questions whether masculinity is to blame for various school shootings including that of the Minnesota teenager Jeff Weise. The article claims that there have been 29 shootings since 1982 all by boys who have been teased and bullied for not being masculine enough and not following the expected stereotypes that men should be strong, sports orientated etc. "Was the shooter teased and harassed as unworthy, incomplete or failing as a real man. It is claimed that boys need to be freed from their "emotional straight jackets".
The article raises many interesting points. There is no doubt a large amount of pressure on teenage boys to fit and follow an unofficial masculine code. Anything else could be rejected as not normal and wrong. Many teenagers have been bullied for not following these trends and in some cases there have been disastrous consequences including the murder of Jeff Weise in 2005.
Contemporary Masculine Identity

The first article i have chosen which analyses contemporary masculine identity is an academic blog post which in some detail discusses the current male identity of Americans. The blog post argues that Americans have lost their masculine identity through something commonly referred to as the He-Cession caused by the recent economic down turn in America.

The theory is that the recession has caused many men to lose their jobs, more so than women the article argues. but the difference being is that when a man loses his job he is effectively robbed of his masculinity especially men working in the lower tier of of society, in working class, blue collar jobs. This is because when a man loses his job and is unable to find another he has lost all of his male responsibilities to his family. The man is no longer the bread-winner, he is no longer the role model to his children or the respectable figure to his wife. at least this is what the article suggests.

Because a man has lost his job he essentially becomes worthless in his own opinion and with out purpose. This then may result in the woman of the family becoming the primary source of income, further emasculating the man.

The problem with this article is that in my opinion it has a very traditionalist view point which is not relevant in contemporary America despite being written about contemporary America. The author appears to believe that the average American family is working husband and house wife and that the reversal of this in modern society is the cause of American men's loss of masculine identity. in essence the post argues that the progression of women as equals has caused the downfall of the male identity. this is shown through the articles initial stating of statistics about the amounts of men leaving college with degrees compared to women and how it is falling every year.

The second article from The Chronicle bares a small amount of significance as it has a few suggestions as to where the American Male's identity has shifted due to the He-Cession. And that is to the few male dominated areas left in American society, contact sports and video games, although not exclusive to men, the article suggests that a man is now the subject of his sporting talents and his appreciation of violent video games, particularly as what used to make a man a man in America is now no longer male dominated, again employment is brought up and the loss of industries in America such as steel. All that is left for the American male is video games, guns and sports.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Contemporary Masculinity

I have decided to look at the ever growing number of men in America who are becoming stay at home dads, whether this be down to the recession is not clear, but for whatever reason they have given up one previosuly masculine activity (being the breadwinner) for a more tradtional female role. However, in the article i looked at the idea that this is feminine in anyway is ridiculous! It starts with "Not only are stay-at-home dads macho, but all dads who show up for their kids are macho." From the first sentence their is no mistake about the man feeling any lose of masculinity, in fact he feels very masculine which suggests that there is more than one way to define the male in the 21st century. Men can show their masculinity a number of ways. Men no longer have to go out to work in an office to feel like they are contributing to the family in the traditional masculine way. Instead staying at home is found to be just as masculine.

The article deals with the problems the stay at home dads have, and the challenges they must overcome in order to earn the right to feel masculine in their dad position. This like any other job has a 'purpose', and you must suceed in this in order to show your strength like nay other man- a binman would be no good at his job if he couldnt lift bins, and similarly a father must learn how to look after his children in order to gain that feeling of sucess in a job. From this article i feel like it is the sucess in a job that creates the masculine feeling, similar to any man in a high corporate position who earns a bonus pay check because of his sucess- it is juts a different reward. Although this is still a fairly new role reversal, while researching i found numerous websites and blogs devoted to stay at home dads and a lot of support for the men, suggesting that this is an aspect of masculinity which needs to be encouraged. Women, especially in the 21st century are gaining higher positions in the workplace and are climbing higher up the corporate ladder than before; meaning this type of masculinity will only become more visible in daily American life.

However there are problems with stay at home dads. For these men meet challenges daily being called 'sissies' which has to be endured. The film 'Daddy Day Care' with Eddie Murphy in some respects challenged the traditonal masculinity by putting the male in the child care role, which was refreshingly nice to see- however the plot finished with him creating a business out of childcare, subverting back to the traditional money- making, strong man that history has taught us men should be.History tells us the man will be responsible and work for his family, and the stay at home dad must do the same. It is just as easy to care for your children day in, day out and still feel like you are earning; but instead of getting macho money to buy 'boys toys' you are getting to 'makes up for time lost in prior generations' as this article suggests- and this makes it sounds a lot more rewarding.

Masculinty in this article is defined as stepping up to the task in hand, and putting your all into it. Previous generations and images have told us that it is masculine to teach a child how to cook a barbeque, how to hold a gun and how to attract women but this generation of men suggets that there are many more masculine activities a male can do with regards to children, and still feel the masculine strength they need.