Eating your friends is the hardest

Survival of the (mentally) fittest.

This isn’t the first time that survivors of some traumatic trek had to eat the weaker of the bunch. The very place we live consists of our own very gruesome story. The Donner Party in the 1940s is considered one of the most bizarre and spectacular tragedies that have ever occurred in California history as only 48 of 87 members survived a brutal winter and harsh happenings due to having no other choice than eating their dead. In Henslins book, “Eating your friends is the hardest” is a similar story of survivors of an Andes plane crash in 1972. Only, in this story, we get to read the steps and their rules that brought them to the point of having to eat their dead friends. Out of just over 40 passengers, 27 survived the crash but only 16 made it off the mountain after waiting 70 days for rescue. As they struggled both physically and morally, in the end, they grouped as their own new society and made the hard decision to utilize the meat of the bodies that did not survive the crash. This story is broken down to 22 different sociological aspects as to how we can learn about the growths and constructions of societies. It shows that when norms are defined and actions are justified, humanity is able to continue on cohesively and that ground rules are a necessary part of our life together. Foundations, boundaries, rules, and a baseline of beliefs is essentially what makes it possible for societies to live harmonously with one another.

Requirement: Winning the Race Lottery

Note: I was out sick  for the exercise and I got very little and vague information about the activity so I’m just going to wing it…

There’s 242 years worth of reasons why I own Broadway, and you’re still stuck in the corner jail with hardley any monopoly money to pay your rent.
In the beginning of when this Country was founded, it was overtaken by white men. Whites took the land; whites made the rules and whites had the monetary backings in order to build their own little societies. Those societies were created and built to accommodate their ways, for their offspring, and for the Whiteman’s benefit. And because it was set up like that, whites are still reaping the benefits. Even though, we are becoming more consciously aware of equal rights, there is no doubt that the trickling down of white power still exists to this day. The typical black family today has approximately 1/8 of the assists or net worth of the typical white family. This is due to the opportunities and inheritances and stability that whites have had since the beginning that blacks and other races have not been blessed with from the start in this country. But the economic differences between blacks and whites are substantially bigger than any other race, so for this writing, I will use the two as the examples. The difference gap of black vs. white asset and property ownership has actually grown since the civil rights movement. The reasons for the gap goes back throughout history because wealth (unlike income) has a strong intergenerational component which is consistently passed down and leveraged in areas that go much further than just immediate family but effect society as a whole.(specifically, white society) The wealth has been used for schools, banking systems, legal institutions etc. that are geared and set up for the continual success in a way that replicates the system of our founding fathers, (which again, we are talking whites,) and it builds up over time like a snowball effect. So the saying, “it takes money to make money” is not only true, but the effects from that belief cannot possibly apply to races that had to start with nothing. Therefore, being white is like automatically winning the lottery of life in that there are far more opportunities that have been set up that other races simply don’t have here. Whites have had a huge head start in our society that continue to leave blacks behind. Monopoly is a great example of how this works because if the rich guy fills the entire board, and he’s holding all the money and equity, it’s impossible for the next guy to come in and buy him out. Therefore, the one who gets the head start on purchases and opportunities will almost always stay in first and leave everyone else behind.


Required Entry: Wedding Dreams

Starting Off is Stressful

I was a rebel and eloped when I was 18. We went to the county courthouse and I was so nervous and scared that I giggled the entire time. Right after I was married, my then husband became extremly abusive and almost killed me on two occasions, in addition to the countless other times he had beaten me. Yes, I said countless, because what most people don’t admit is just how easily the art of brainwashing is. Not only did I forever regret that marriage, but I also regretted the thoughtless way in which I got married.
So, when I married my now husband, we put a lot more thought and expense into our wedding. I tore apart my mothers size 2, 1950’s dress and remade in into my own size 12. We had a 1950’s hop theme which allowed my groomsmen and bridesmaids to purchase everything from top to bottom for less than $150.00 and I made all of the decorations by hand. I ditched the flowers and made all of our boquets out of vintage buttons, so they would keep forever. Both my husband and I took all of our hierloom gold from our grandperents, that would never be worn again, and never worth enough to sell, and melted it down to make our rings. My diamond came out of my deceased fathers class ring, which he had taken out of his deceased fathers wedding ring. It’s smaller than my friends diamonds, definatly not as fancy but far more sentimental. I had never really had a specific dream of a wedding growing up, which is how we wound up throwing together a 50’s style shin dig in less than 6 months, but, even still, it was extremly stressful, and by utilizing my moms old dress, I can look back and see that I was more trying to please her, than myself, and it was absolutely not worth the sress and anxiety that completely remaking such a delicate item had caused.
We had 1950’s finger foods for dinner and a 1950s band that cut us a deal, and even though the ceremony took place at a church, it was far from the typical white christian wedding that all my cousins had. Which- is probably why I chose NOT to go that route. In my oppinion, the energy should be spent into creating a relationship and not a wedding and the money should be saved to make memories by traveling. Our society focuses way to much on the first day of marriage instead of what it actually takes to make it through a lifetime of marriage. Theres way to much emphasis on weddings which in reality are just superficial celebrations.

Coontz, The American Family

Leaving Leave It To Beaver Behind

The ideas of we have grown up to perceive as the typical American family have greatly been altered and expanded over the last 10+ years. The family structure in America has been reshaped and revolutionized over the last decade in a multitude of ways for numerous reasons. These current concepts give us new insight to the recognition and expansion of the family form. As we glance back in time, our views of how family was thought to be structured, usually paint an uncomplicated picture of the typical nuclear family with a mother, a father, and two to three siblings close in age, growing up in a single income home. The average American family in the 1950’s was a majority of only biological parents to the children in the home. Living with extended family was rare as couples began to move far from their own parents and away from the immediate involvement of the guidance and authority they had grown up with.
According to Stephanie Coontz in her research based article, this seems to have initially had benefits as marriages became more harmonious in general, without interference of parental opinion. Coontz also adds that 60% of children were born into single income homes during this era. Fathers were the sole breadwinners and because homes and luxuries were more affordable at that time, mothers were not only able, but expected, to stay home with children. Coontz calls attention to the newly fresh atmosphere that the 50’s brought on as families upon families alike, joined together to create entertainment communities amoungst themselves, building up strong bonds between groups of peers. Siblings were steered towards the same interest which knitted together memories of time spent and joy created together, not only of the singular families but of the neighborhood proximity as a whole. Although these ideas are only of the bright side of the 1950’s, it gives us a precise visualization of a very different time in comparasion to the some of changes we’ve seen in regarding the American family the last 10 years.

           There is a broad variety in the family structure today as opposed to generations ago, partially due to the ever-evolving changes in society as a whole. Families now have a multitude of assorted living situations inside the homes across the Nation. The diversity of cultural expansion that has become prevelant, has granted foreign heritage, habitats and ideas of family, that have drastically changed our view of a typical configuration.The array of the widened possibilities we are becoming more and more aware of, is an exciting time for families and children as the weight of prior generations restrictions are lifted off our society.For the benefit of humanity as a whole, we must adapt and accept these ever changing conditions. A concrete approach to the situations of varying lifestyles will lead us to understanding of one another in a more harmonious direction.The awareness of these newly valued forms of family has reshaped and revolutionized us over the last decade in a multitude of positive ways.It is foreseeable that the awareness of family beyond what we once considered the norm, will only allow for more expansion of greater possibilities in the future, benefiting the well being and cohesiveness of families across the nation.




White Wedding/ Marriage and the Family

My only question is this: when my daughter marries her girlfriend, who’s responsible in paying for the wedding?

As stated in Johnston, Cairns and Baumanns chapter on “Dreaming of a White Wedding: Marriage, Family, and Heteronormativity”, “The white wedding is a powerful cultural ritual that symbolizes ideals of romantic love and promotes heteronormativity. (noting or relating to behavior or attitudes consistent with traditional male or female gender roles and the assumption of heterosexuality as the norm.) On a material level, this ritual is part of a multi-billion dollar “wedding industrial complex”; one wedding commodity that has drawn criticism is the diamond ring, yet sales continue to rise. Ideals of marriage and family have been, and continue to be shaped by structural forces. Capitalist industrialization created a dual sphere model of public sphere roles for men and a feminine cult of domesticity.          Now that many women work outside the home, marital roles and expectations have shifted, although equality remains elusive. Micro sociological research helps  understand how individuals make sense of the white wedding ideal, and how this ideal is negotiated between couples. Macro sociological research has shown how rates of marriage and divorce differ across class, race, and level of education-patterns have been dubbed as “marriage gap” and the “divorce divide”, and which show how marriage is linked to social inequality.”
With as much information the world now has on the treatment of diamond miners, it would seem that humanity would collectively become more conscious of superficial hype and consequences of some ancient traditions. Unfortunately, that is not the case and the big business of weddings is only expanding rather than taking responsibility for the effects caused by this superficial “American dream.” To spend more money than one has in equity, is not the exception- but rather the norm in our society. Even when families forgo cars, appliances or family vacations in hard times and economic crisis, they will continue to spend big bucks on big weddings. The industrial complex of the “I do” is sadly more thought out than the actual marriage itself. From the veil and train to the after party- the bigger the better and its what separates a couples starting status apart from the average Joe. There is no fading out of the ideas of bigger and bigger weddings as little girls are being trained up to want it, expect it, and sacrifice their parents livelihood for it. As we see the elaborate high society weddings on TV from the presidential daughters to the Queens royal family, the desire to replicate that for ourselves may seem unrealistic, but a generic version is not far out reach as our brainwashed society is bound and determined to make it happen for their own “sweet little princess”.
In the end, after the cake, and meal planning and dresses, hair and make up expenses, chapel and hall rentals, music, dj, caterers, stationary, its typically the flowers that create the most expense. In any “typical” $70,000 wedding, the flowers will usually take up approximately $5,000 of the bill. This is more than double most mortgages, and all for some greenery that will only last a few days. This isn’t even including the ring yet, which only costs the couple an average of  $20,000 and some little African kids arm.

The Importance of Being Beautiful; Katz

I’m sorry, but that position was just filled this morning.


“You cant overestimate the importance of being beautiful” is a statement by Sidney Katz who takes a look at how society often values looks and appearances over skill, talents and knowledge. The advantages of being attractive will open doors for one that a less attractive person may never have the opportunity to know. While intelligence and talents do matter, when compared to one who may be slightly less intelligent but striking in appearance, the more attractive one will be chosen first.

Not only will they be chosen first, but also they are viewed as actually being more talented, sociable, trustworthy, and successful than less attractive people. Not only do teachers and caretakers favor the more attractive children, but even parents tend to show more affection towards their better looking children. They are categorized as better genetic material and even that they themselves accomplished a greater deed when producing better-looking children. The teachers of the prettier children show preference to them and see them as more promising. But because they are given more attention, this often creates them to be more promising than those who are ignored and left on their own to learn.
The more attractive woman has a higher chance at being called back for job interviews than a more homely looking woman and Katz states a fact that exceptionally tall men are paid higher than one with average features. Attractive employees are considered to be more valuable to the companies they work for and will be taken more seriously with more respect as they give input to the company.

Also, when charged for crimes, attractive defendants are less likely to be perceived as guilty and are given lesser fines or leaner sentences. Attractive people are felt as less of a threat. This inevitably leads to attractive people to have a more judgmental or opinionated personality that may not be so nice due to the fact that they naturally get away with more. The qualities that a less attractive person is often known for, are intelligence, kindness, hard working etc.… partly because they’ve been forced to go above and beyond in these areas due to the hardships that society has created for them by consistently putting them second.
Katz claims to believe in his conclusion that we can change human nature by addressing these the bigotry against the treatment of the less attractive. However, it would be difficult to do so since it is not common practice to state whether or not one is less attractive in the first place. We can address the injustices of race and gender because we can verbally label one as black/white/Asian and LGBT, but how are we to verbally label the ugly? It’s not going to happen therefore it won’t truly be addressed in public society, but only talked about behind closed doors with those that are morally responsible enough to recognize their own prejudices.

Required Entry: Gender Socialization Situations

My name was supposed to be Mark.

Gender Socialization is the ideas and ways we train up the children of our society. In a nutshell- blue vs. pink. Although there are multiple ideas of masculinity or femininity, these ideas typically only vary from culture to culture in which each contains a “norm” for child raising. Being born in 1971 in white christian America, there was “A” standard of girls vs. boys and not a whole lot of flexibility in the expectations. Dresses were a nearly every day part of my life until the 3rd grade. In comparison, when my daughter was born in 2000, when she wore dresses, she almost always wore her ripped up jeans underneath. She did this until 5th grade. Where as my own mother would have never allowed anything but new white tights under my dresses.
There were many occasions I can think of regarding situations that socialized me into my gender from birth. However- I will say that my parents thought I was going to be a boy so I did actually have a lot of blue and yellow outfits for the first 6 months of my life. But, of course, a bonnet and fluffy blanket was added to conceal the mishap. I grew up with squishy pink curlers in my hair every night, and as I grew older, I did have a couple pairs of bell-bottoms but they had to have ruffles or lace at the bottom. I was lucky in the fact that my mother was an artist, so I did not ever own Barbie’s, and all my dolls were multicultural since she had kind friends who brought me back various country representative toys and dolls. (I still have them.) She also filled my time with crafts and paint and sewing activities that kept me creative and busy. And I was lucky in that my accountant father, who did not believe in toys at all, provided me with thinking games and puzzles to play with. He also owned a racetrack and built cars so that was very much a part of my life. However, it was clear that I was never going to be allowed to be a driver. And even though tire and oil changing was a necessity, if I were going to be on the track, it would only be as a “trophy girl.”
It wasn’t until I was 12 do my biggest gender specific events take place when I was forced into etiquette school and modeling class. I learned what to wear, how to wear it, what to say, how to say it, who to say it to… Crossed legs, high heel walking and appropriate lady like standing was strict. I remember hating every minute of it and feeling so extremely out of place. I had zero interest in how many forks to use at the dinner table and appropriate table settings, cup holdings, and when it was and wasn’t ok to drink coffee or tea. However, I have to say, that there actually has been a few occasions in my life when those rules have come in handy, but that world isn’t particularly where I’d ever choose to spend my time in.