Week 3-6 field notes Evelyn Xu
January 30th – identity formations
1.In an exploration of different behaviors expressed by the crowd, Ralph Turner and
Surace (1956) concentrated on the actions of a crowd in the demonstration. According to their
research, the personal characteristics and behaviors were hidden and the expressed factors were
uniform. While in a group, the individual variations are concealed such that a common attitude is
expressed by all participants. According to this theory, the only way to identify and bring out the
particular attitude of every member is to introduce an unambiguous symbol. This diverts the
crowd from the common favorable situation and they act independently. The varied connotations
lead to a delayed communal action.
2.The issue of cultures and their significance to the geographies of a place are discussed
in this document. In his research, Paul Gilroy identifies the emergence of some cultures as a
result of a discontinued history in different groups of people. A good example is the Black
British culture which is as a result of under- and overdevelopment. This cultural formation led to
a bi-lingual group and a politically controversial society which had a combination of blacks and
whites, masters and their slaves, all combined into one peaceful and united community. This
brought a new meaning to a cultural group.
Feb 1st – Bodies and Sexuality
1.Judith Halberstam looks into a culture from a gender perspective. She identifies the role
of the feminine gender in the entertainment world, especially in videos and drama. Since the
invention of these items, a woman has been a critical part of the show where they get paid to
entertain the viewers. A time came when the men also joined and they received the same
treatment. This also came with the acceptance of gay practices which go legalized in the United
States. Men became essential tools in the video performance and drag arenas. This is a culture
which never existed before.
2.A country’s democratic environment can be likened to various scenarios. It is under
such circumstances that Douglas and Adam came up with the graphic demonstration concerning
the concept of AIDS to illustrate the issue of democracy. In their writing, they focus on two
activist groups which handle different issues affecting the society. Their focus is to bring change
to the social arena. The contents of their book can be likened to the relationship between
democracy and those controversial factors such as elections, feminism, education and incurable
diseases. The concept of art is expressed in this book as a cultural factor.
3.The behavior expressed by a community could be associated with the way the outside
world describes them. Some cultures are thought to have been formed through removal or
erasing of various factors from the original society. Debra Ferreday ventures into identifying
various issues which could have been part of a community but are no longer there. These are the
common behaviors such as eating disorders. The best way to understand and identify such
situations is to have the members speak out their conditions for you to come up with the best
conclusion. This prevents the outcry by these people as they face rejection and intolerance from
Feb 6th: Autobiographers and self-documentation
1.A population can be easily controlled by coming up with statistics which directly
relates to the general issues surrounding them. This happens in regions where there are huge
companies willing to take control over the interests of the people around them. Such influence is
outlined in a 2014 article by Dawn and Sherman as they explore the effects of big data to the
society. The population actions can be easily monitored and directed by such data since it forms
part of their daily interests. This includes issues such as business affiliations and participation in
the public domain for common issues.
2.Culture has been discussed in a rather specific way by Gary Wolf. He identifies that
people are controlled by timers in most of their lifetime. It is unlikely to find a person who is
completely free to do what they like at their desired time. The reality of life is that there is a
programmed timer which works to remind a person of their next activity. A data on life activities
have formed a common part of the current society. This prevents us from keeping track of the
simplest things that occur in our daily lives or in the lives of those around us.
Feb 8th –Fans&Fanatics
1.A timeline of a culture is used in a rather positive way in bringing out the importance of
that society. This is in the line of production history and theories surrounding the activities of the
subterranean groups. The use of zines and underground research helps Stephen Duncombe to
discover that there are several productive cultures which have made a significant contribution to
the formation of the present society. The values and rules which defined such societies and
cultures happen to be different from those present in the current societies. This effect can be
traced back to the transformations which occurred in such groups of people.
2.A youth culture has been discussed by the use of a common activity which is carried
out in most countries. Skateboarding is currently used as a leisure and entertaining activity. Also,
it is a sport through which people venture and invest a lot of their resources. Iain Borden
researched the history of this activity. He traces the event as an early youth culture in the urban
regions. It has gone through numerous modifications and inventions to fit in the current world.
This culture has made a significant contribution to the lives of young people and the government
directly and indirectly.
3.A difference between people who are exposed to the technology and those who are not
has been identified as a contributing factor to the development of various attributes. There are
those who feel that they need to have the global connection for them to feel the connection. Lisa
Nakamura explores the subject by looking at the introduction of technology in the early times.
The difference between the old and the new culture in the wake of new technology is highly
observable. The personal image and character got affected while the political views were
diversified. This led to the formation of yet another culture of the elite.
4.Amateur manga is a subculture that has emerged in Japan among the young generation.
The activities contained in this group are only fitting for the young due to their explicit and
vigorous action. This subculture has introduced various characteristics which were nonexistent in
the previous history of this land. Sharon explores the effects of this formation to the general
public and the community’s future. According to her assessment, the culture is so strong among
them due to the influence they get from each other and the free acts exhibited in their gatherings.
These include homosexuality and teasing actions.
Feb.13th- Activists &Hacktivists
1.Nancy Macdonald explores the culture of writers. This is a group which is involved in
the expression of ideas through writing. Every writer has their own interests on a given topic.
Also, they might have contradicting views on a particular issue. Their battle is expressed through
putting down their views on paper and submitting it to their audience. This struggle and battle of
wits could escalate into serious issues due to mere misunderstanding. Such a culture can be kept
alive and important to the society if the participants can be brought together and made to reason
in a better way whereby they understand each other.
2.The rise in the use of social media and other related technologies has caused a dynamic
change in the political issues. The research by Biagioli seeks to identify the nature of effects
which have emanated from this invention. There has been a lot of anonymity in the social media
in matters which directly affect the running of political affairs. This culture has greatly
influenced the development of a society which is using the social media to table the governance
issues as well as making the anonymity factor a political concern. Therefore, politics have gained
an entanglement with the ethical and accountability issues in the society.
Feb 15th: Paranoia and Conspiracy Groups
1.A conspiracy has an effect on the position of a society on a certain issue. This can be
seen in Knight’s research of 2008 concerning the attack on Germany. The majority of the young
people in this country held a strong belief that the United States was to be held responsible for
this act. Whether there is truth in the issue or not, there is a possibility that some conspiracy has
been formulated by various authorities. Such issues have a strong effect on the beliefs of people
due to the possibility of a revenge plan. The government has a role to play in the development of
such ideas to the people.
2.Richard Hofstadter identified a political crisis existing among the American people.
Although the situation seemed normal, there was a sense of the impending course of action
which would escalate among the citizens. A group of minorities felt that there was a kind of
disintegration and un-cooperation activities happening with the government. Therefore, there
was a tendency of forming a reiteration act which would lead to violence. The minority had such
style of mind which Richard describes as paranoid. The thought of being left out and being cut
from the others was not in the plan of the larger politics of the country.
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