Thursday, 2 August 2012

China and the US

China and the US

China and America are two massive world presences, both integral to the economic health of the world. This article discusses the complicated relationship the two countries have had over the years and foresees major tensions in the future. I think this is a valid prediction as while America has been the central country in the world for a long time, currently it is suffering extensive financial problems. On the other hand China is flourishing. The problem is that they are so different in their government. China may be benefiting from economic success but its people are oppressed and poverty reigns in many areas, many experts predict a massive uprising in the future and America is known for its interfering ways. China, a massively private country is not going to appreciate America’s ‘butting in’. Obviously this is but one aspect in an extremely complicated relationship, but i think it is one of the bigger ones.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Digital America

Digital America
The invention of the internet has changed many things in the world; business, media, communications, even romance. One of the most recent impacts the internet has had is on personal identity. Nowadays nearly everyone has an online presence, whether it’s through Facebook, Twitter or even blog sites such as this one. People now almost have two identities, their real-life persona and the image they present online.

Is everyone the same online?

People are always different; this is a fact regardless of whether you are talking about real-life or the digital world. In both worlds there is the need to fit in, to be normal and therefore many people act similar. However I think what the internet offers is the opportunity to realise that no matter what you like, how you dress, who you find attractive, there are always people who feel the same. In a way this means that people have more freedom to be different through their digital identities, they will always be accepted. So no, not everyone is the same online, but there are common social groups.

Impact on identity in the future  

I think the shift into the digital universe is going to have massive ripple effects on identity in the future. Already you see stories about people who have met partners through virtual worlds, and the dating scene (which is all about who someone is) has flourished online. People put up profiles of themselves; what they like, their personalities etc, in short they sum up their identities online. In the future I can only see this gaining in popularity, the reason for this is that people live such busy lives these days that online dating becomes convenient and timesaving, it clearly takes less time to create an online profile that others can look at while you’re at work or walking the dog, then meeting someone by chance or being set-up. It also increases the chances of finding compatible partners, if of course, people are honest...
This whole concept of quick, easy communication is what makes having a digital identity so appealing and I feel this can only grow.

Class System and America

Class System and America

This website discusses how the class system has changed over the years and how people who live in America feel about class boundaries.

One of the most integral parts of what America stands for is the American dream. This is the ideal that no matter whom you are and where you start, with hard work and the right attitude, you can progress to a better life and become successful. The interesting thing is that while this article shows that it is still possible for individuals to better themselves, in actuality mobility has stagnated, with some experts even suggesting that it has started to decline. This is shown by this interactive table: Tellingly most Americans still believe that it is easier to improve their lives, showing the strength of the American dream.  

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Sexual Orientation in America

Sexual Orientation in America

This video consists of a panel of three people, a Transgender, a Bisexual and a Homosexual. The format is a combination of discussion and callers questions. It’s an interesting video to watch as it shows the thoughts of people from all sexual orientations (there is also a straight woman) who currently live in America. The topics range from sexual health, awareness of one’s sexual orientation, ‘coming out’ and how people respond. One of the most telling discussion topics, that in my opinion says a lot about the current state of America, is that of public affection. Russell, who is the panel leader, brings up the fact that there are still many barriers that homosexuals have to face when out in public. For example holding hands, kissing etc is still viewed with distaste when homosexuals are involved; however it is perfectly normal for heterosexual couples. Indeed the Bisexual explained that while her mum encourage and welcomed the presence of men in her daughter’s life, they were allowed to sleep round etc, this was not the case when she dated females.
I think the most important thing to draw away from this video is that there are many problems faced by Homosexuals and Transgender individuals, however the very presence of this video indicates change. There is no doubt that even ten years ago, individuals would be comfortable enough, let alone allowed to talk this openly about their sexual orientation. While there is still a lot of resistance to people who vary sexually from heterosexuality, it is becoming more and more acceptable. A large part of this is due to people like Ellen Degeneres, ‘coming out of the closet’. Well known people such as Ellen have vast influence on the way people think, especially in such a media-driven culture as America. 

Faith and America

Faith and America

I chose this website due to its intense focus on Christian America. The website is filled with quotes from the bible, in fact looking at the ‘About us’ section, the whole content is formed of direct quotes. To me this highlights the extremity of their beliefs. The main argument they put forward on the website is that America was formed on Christianity, and therefore this IS the identity of all Americans, they believe this is shown by documents such as the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. I think this website is relevant in relation to its values. To me, religious freedom is the freedom to believe in your individual beliefs, and yet this website argues that religious freedom is threatened by atheism and that the only way is the Christian way. This is to me, a damaging view point. 

Critique of Nickel and Dimed

Critique of Nickel and Dimed

A review I strongly agree with, this article draws attention to the limits of Ehrenreich ‘investigations’. It highlights the fact that for all her good intentions, Ehrenreich failed to fully immerge herself into the social group she was attempting to study and therefore was unsuccessful in fully comprehending their world. Whether this was deliberate for political reasons (as suggested in the review) or simply a lacklustre exploration by a somewhat silver-spooned individual is unclear, however it is important to note that Ehrenreich is a socialist and therefore a tad biased.  It is true that the minimum wage earned by these women is almost impossible to survive on alone, the important thing to note, is that they don’t do it alone. These women have husbands, boyfriends, social networks that are massively integral to how their society works. They help each other. The problem is that Ehrenreich failed to make use of these social guards and this was what made her experience less then realistic. It also meant that the book primarily focused on her and this is not what we want to read about. While it is interesting to see how she handles the day to day life; the use of extra money, the lack of inclusion in social groups and her general attitude, mean that in actuality we, as the reader, are not getting the truth behind how these women live. In my opinion and that of the reviews, she would have done better to talk to more about the members of this social group and divulge how THEY survived, what THEY thought and how THEY lived. While I admit we did have some life stories from the people she met, there was too much of her (an intruder in a foreign environment), and not enough of the REAL people.    

Push Critique

Critique of Push
After reading Push by Sapphire I felt like I wanted to go out and do something positive and uplifting because the novel was so intense. However, when I read Push the second time; I realized that I missed many of the hurdles and problems that Precious was able to overcome. So I started thinking about what made this possible for Precious? What are some lessons that can be learned and applied?
I recognized 15 factors that helped Precious overcome; I hope this will inspire you to overcome your problems and inspire you to help others to do the same.
1. Precious had a desire for better:
I really want to learn. Everyday I tell myself something gonna happen…I’m gonna break through or somebody gonna break through to me—I’m gonna learn, catch up, be normal, change my seat to the front of the class.
2. Precious experienced genuine affection:
I try to turn away from her Mississippi self but she in the bed now pulling my chest and shoulders into her arms…I feel warm kindness from her I never feel from mama and I start to cry…I crying for me who no one never hold before.
3. Precious found her ticket out and persevered:
I is ready. Ready for school. School something…School gonna help me get out dis house.
4. Precious did something different. She took a risk and conquered the fear and limits of her past experiences:
The whole class quiet. Everybody starring at me, God don’t let me cry. I takes in air through my nose, a big breath, then I start to walk slow to the back. But something like birds or light fly through my heart. And my feet stop. At the first row. An’ for the first time in my life I sits down in the front row.
5. Precious’ strengths were recognized:
“Everybody do something good”, Ms Rain say in soft voice. I shake my head, can’t think of nuffin’ I’m staring at my shoes. “One thing.” Ms. Rain. “I can cook.”
6. Precious took the necessary first step although it was small:
The longest journey begin with a single step, as said by Ms. Rain. Precious’ first step was to learn the alphabet and its correct order. A small step but this step helped her with subsequent giant future steps, leaps and bounds.
7. Precious worked up the courage to voice her areas of need so that she could get help:
I struggle for air. “I…the pages look alike to me.” I breave in deep, there I said it.
8. Precious had someone who believed in her; recognized her potential and was relentless about seeing her succeed:
I think I understand you, Precious. But for now, I want you to try, push yourself Precious, go for it.
9. Precious received positive reinforcement:
“What’s that word?” I say “Ate.” She say, “Good! Almost! That word is “at.”…I want to cry. I want to laugh. I want to hug kiss Miz Rain. She make me feel good.
10. There was high expectations of Precious:
Everyone that Precious came in contact with prior to Ms. Rain did not expect much from her and saw her as dumb and treated her as such. Ms. Rain recognized the potential in Precious and expected a lot from her because of it.
Rhonda say out loud, “How we gonna write for fifteen minutes if we can’t spell?” What we gonna write if we could spell, I wonder. Miz Rain say, “Write what’s on your mind, push yourself to see the letters that represent the words you’re thinking.”
11. Precious recognized that she is someone of value:
I = I somebody.
Inside I thought was so beautiful, is a black girl too.
He my shiny brown boy. In his beauty I see my own.
12. Precious recognized that the abuse she suffered was not her fault:
I don’t feel ashamed—Carl Kenwood Jones freak NOT me!
13. Precious had one person she could trust:
Precious trusted her teacher Ms. Rain and turned to her in her most helpless moment in life when she had nowhere to go. More importantly, Ms. Rain responded and did not let her down.

14. Precious had a good support system:
The girls in Precious’ class were there for her and had similar experiences. They were able to share their stories and help each other heal.
They (the girls) and Ms. Rain is my friends and family.
At least when I look at the girls I see them and when they look they see ME, not what I look like.
Precious also had good community support. She found help through the abuse support group and the HIV Positive support group. Both groups helped her connect with and talk to others who could relate to her problems; consequently Precious did not feel alone.
15. Precious acknowledged when things were beginning to go well and moved on:
I’m alive inside. A bird is my heart. Mama and daddy is not win. I’m winning.
Rita say forget the WHY ME sh@# and git on to what’s next.
Are you ready to PUSH?

I found this review really interesting as it suggests an attitude gained from reading the book that was so completely different from mine. The author of this review has been able to take positives away from ‘Push’ where, to be honest; I felt there were next to none. While it’s true that Precious goes on a life-altering, inspirational journey, that drew me in and made me root for her, I found the over-all message to be one of desolation, depression and hopelessness. It was emotional to see Precious reach so high, start to make something better of herself and her son, only for her to find that there is a death sentence hanging over her head. Was it not enough for her to have been raped and impregnated repeatedly by her father, physically and sexually abused by her mother and have her mentally and physically impaired child taken away from her? While I understand that it was not Sapphires intention to write a ‘happily-ever-ending’ story, there is realism and then there is the equivalent of a Shakespearian tragedy devoid of any of the romance, joy, and hope that make it bearable. What made the book even more heart-breaking was the lack of any real message, all that could be drawn from this oppressing novel was that no matter how hard you try to escape your beginnings, they will forever shape who you are and how your life will turn out. Interestingly this is in direct confliction with the American Dream.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

"We Are Not All Created Equal" The Class System In America

The general consensus of this article is that the United States is approaching a state where it has a fixed social structure, where one's place in society is pre-determined by birth rather than work or talent.

It argues that the class system is "clandestine" because of the convictions held by the upper classes that they are there because they worked hard and the refusal of the lower classes that their poverty is permanent.

The article ends on a despondent note, saying that America's social immobility is irreversible at present due to immensity of the problem.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

"It's O.k. To Be Gay". Contemporary Gay American Identity.

N.B. I'd strongly urge that you wear earphones before you watch the following video. Also, don't feel obliged to watch the whole thing, I've done that for you.

It's OK To Be Gay, by Tomboy.

Tomboy's "It's OK To Be Gay" music video on the surface appears to be a humorous and exaggerated take on Gay identity, with many 'features' of homosexual identity on display; such as bright colours, wearing makeup, cross-dressing, and an emphasis on male bodybuilding.

However underneath the kitsch exterior there is a story being told, in the beginning of the video we see a young boy in bed who is awoken by a fairy (the word fairy having negative connotations in regards to homosexuals but here being used in a positive light) and taken to his closet, where he is transported to a world full of homosexuals and is shown that, as the song repeats like a mantra that it is "OK To Be Gay", and by the end the boy is seen bursting out of a chained up closet, "coming out of the closet" is a very significant part of a homosexuals life, for it is the moment they confirm that that they are gay to their friends or family.

In this regard therefore, the main emphasis of this video, if it wasn't made obvious by the title, is that homosexuality is acceptable and people should not be afraid to confirm their sexual identity.

Friday, 30 March 2012

China and the US: A Unique Relationship

China is one of the oldest civilizations with the biggest population, and the United States, one of the youngest civilizations with one of the strongest economies. It is significant not only for the two nations but also for the future of the whole world for them to get along. The article considers the similarities and differences that these two strong nations seem to have giving a good view as two why they sometimes do and don’t get along.

The factors influencing the China-US relationship include economic, political, social and cultural elements. Undoubtedly, among them the economic factor is the most important one. Economic interests are at the heart of China-US relations. In 2001, trade volume between the two nations hit US$80,400 million, 8.1 percent higher than the previous year. Tempted by the colossal Chinese market, the US has become China’s biggest investor with an investment of US$4,858 million in 2001 and an accumulated investment of US$35,548 million. Since many American companies who have invested in China are multinational corporations, any fluctuations in China-US economic relations may affect the global trading and financial system, and may in turn exert
influences on the two countries’ political and diplomatic decisions.

Interestingly, China and the US have common interests. The White House needs China’s assistance and influence to handle North Korea and non-proliferation issues. America also needs China’s cooperation in fighting terrorism. However, Foreign policy is one of the reasons for misunderstandings and difficulties between the two nations. Both sides should realize the necessity to further understanding and respect for each other’s cultures, which, unfortunately, often has been neglected.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Xi calls for stronger trade relationship between China and US
Here is a link to an article published in February of this year which looks into the trade relationship between the US and China, and calls from the Chinese Vice President for a stronger trade relationship between the super power that is the US, and China which is an up and coming super power. The Chinese Vice President has labelled this as "new type of relationship between major countries". These calls were made at a luncheon event that took place in Washington DC. As this was a diplomatic visit taking place in the US and not in neutral territory, the Chinese would be likely to say statements that are aimed at pleasing and appealing to an US audience. What is needed is a stronger trade and military relationship in particular between these two countries.

The article mentions that ' relations between the two sides have been fraught with tension over trade and economic issues -- as well as diplomatic and military issues'. A range of aspects in the Chinese - American relationship are being highlighted in the article and how these have been over the years as well as the current situation between the two countries. Further in the article, future opportunities have been pointed out "the United States and China have a tremendous opportunity to build stronger economies and improve the lives of people around the world". This quote taken from the article was made by Muhtar Kent, chief executive of Coca-Cola Co. and chairman of the US-China Business Council. Two major world powers can create more of a positive impact in the world if they work together and combine their power, than they would separately.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Digital Identities Online: Social Networking, Being Who You Want.

My interpretation of the phrase "Digital Identity" is the identity you choose to belong to, whilst in the digital world. In today's highly digital society, things like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, MySpace, Blogger, Bebo and everything else are very common.
Every day, a huge number of us use a social networking site, and the best bit about it, is that we can choose what we want to broadcast - we can create our own personas online, because we can be who we want.
This, obviously has it's upsides and downsides.

A particular upside I wanted to focus on this week is Tumblr. Tumblr is a blogging site, in which people can post pictures and clips of things that express their personal choices, styles and the things they like. I believe Tumblr is a clever way of getting teenagers and other people use to the idea that it's okay to be yourself; expressing what you want, in your own way. Being who you want because you can, because it's allowed, accepted and encouraged.
Similarly, the same idea is Twitter, twitter is mainly used for words, phrases, quotes, daily musings etc, whereas Tumblr is more likely to be images etc.

Now, on the other hand, even though sites like Tumblr and Twitter, even though they give you the option to express yourself entirely, they also give you the choice to create a new identity. This is where the digital identities become dangerous. If I can be whoever I want to be, whose to say someone can't be someone they're not? This is where chat rooms and false accounts on social networking websites become dangerous, for reasons I'm sure I don't need to get into, which is why Facebook invented the "private page" mode.

Are we all the same online?
No. I'm not even the same online as I am in real life. Online, I'm more confident about my beliefs, more expressive and more carefree. In real life, I may hesitate before telling someone I like Green Day or support Gay Marriage.
However; collectively, we could all be the same online. Class is eradicated online, unless you choose to make it very obvious. And there isn't any pressure to fill in what sex you're interested in, what sex you are, or what race you belong to.
In that sense of identity; you can be who you want, revealing how much or how little you want.

Digital Identity

Digital identity has become extremely important in the modern world, particularly with the birth of social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace in which people are encouraged to share their experiences with members alike. Communication which was once shaped by spoken and body language has transformed into the world of technology, which at times can seem highly efficient what with faster communication between individuals and the ability to hold contact with someone you wouldn’t necessarily, due to simply being ‘friends’ with them on facebook and receiving their daily updates. However digital identity does have a negative side. Through the evolution of technology it has allowed individuals to become isolated from reality. Something seemingly harmless such as an Ipod, can be viewed as having a negative effect on someone’s life which is illustrated in the article ‘How technology effects us’. The author writes ‘by putting in your earbuds and immersing yourself in music while in public, you are disconnecting yourself from the real world’. This means that the individual is separating themselves from everyday life, we are not experiencing new things, making personal relationships and our brain is often not working to its full potential through problem solving and the like. In the extreme case, it disallows us to fully function as adults in society, and could create a number of problems, particularly for generations to come who will be immersed in this evolving culture more so than we are now. Technology is the new way of life, and with it constantly evolving, it is steadily becoming harder and harder to live without it. Digital identity could create problems for us in the future due to increased unawareness of the dangers technology can bring. Traditional forms of identity such as gender, age, race and so forth are becoming less important, and this can be seen on social networking websites such as Facebook where often these identifiers are disclosed by the member. You can almost exist anonymously within the world of social networks if you choose to do so. Because Facebook is so familiar to us, we do not realise the potential dangers in treating people such as this as if they are safe. Would we share so much of our life with someone we had simply met on the street? The world is becoming a lot more open and with the encouragement of less social interaction is set to become the leading source of identity of society.

Friday, 23 March 2012


Twitter is an online social networking service and micro blogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, known as "tweets". It was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, with over 300 million users as of 2011, and in mid February 2012 Twitter had reached an estimation of over 500million users. In 2011 reports suggested that the company generated over 300 million tweets and handling over 1.6 billion search queries per day. Twitter has been described as "the SMS of the Internet”.

Twitter is without a doubt the best and quickest way to share and discover what is happening right now. Twenty-seven minutes before mainstream media broke the news of Whitney Houston’s death on Saturday night, the story was on Twitter. A tweet— sent at 4:57 p.m. PT from the Associated Press that confirmed Houston’s death which was retweeted more than 10,000 times. However, the first tweet to reveal the news was sent at 4:30 p.m. PT. The tragic news of Houston’s death spread fast on Twitter. In fact, about 2.5 million tweets and retweets occurred in the first hour, amounting to more than 1,000 tweets a second.

This isn’t the first time news a large-scale death announcement was first reported on Twitter. A computer programmer in Pakistan inadvertently live-tweeted the military raid on the Osama bin Laden compound. “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1 a.m. (is a rare event). His message later received global media attention following the news of bin Laden’s death.
A new Twitter record was set in 2011 during the MTV VMA after Beyonce announced her baby news the singer kicked off her performance of "Love on Top" by telling the audience, "I want you to feel the love that's growing inside me." After the song, she unbuttoned her coat and rubbed her five-month baby bump. Beyonce's announcement set off a tweeting frenzy that saw 8,868 tweets per second that’s the most tweets per second ever recorded for a single event.

Twitter is a multi-million dollar company which everyone has seemed to jump on the band wagon. Tv broadcasters like Channel 4 now hashtag their Tv shows at the bottom of the screen so people can tweet about them and then they will gain a rise in popularity. News Broadcasters also now have twitter so they can rise in popularity but also people then can follow them and gain insights into journalism and broadcasting. Celebrities have been the main reason why Twitters population has increased, as many people like celebrities and are interested in their gossip and it’s the quickest way to entertain their gossip hungry minds is by following them on Twitter.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Digital Identities

Since the dawn of the 21st century, America along with the rest of the developed world has well and truly entered a digital age. This has been helped with the creation of social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and Youtube to name just a few. Whilst Myspace may now be considered to be a thing of the past Facebook and Youtube are still very much incorporated into the every day lives of those classed with the identity of 'Digital Native'.
The concept of 'Digital Native' has been used by academics such as Marc Prensky. Presnsky who has written an article entitled 'Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants' has looked at the impact of what digital technology has had and will have on the education system. The principle issue here is how are teachers (digital immigrants) supposed to educate students (digital natives), when the students are more advanced in their understanding of the technology that they are using 'the single biggest problem facing education today is that our Digital Immigrant instructors, who speak an outdated language, are struggling to teach a population that speaks an entirely new language' (Prensky, 2001). Here Prensky has mentioned language which is something that helps define our identities. The digital language is not limited to one country but is worldwide. Digital language is only foreign to the digital immigrants who fail or struggle to adapt to this digital technology. To overcome this barrier in education, teachers who are digital immigrants need to be more open minded and forward thinking, in order to effectively teach and captivate a generation that has taken on a digital identity.
Social networking sites such as Facebook originated in America, so it could be said that America is leading the way in digital identities. Our online identities are all controlled by those writing them and decided by ourselves. We have complete control over what information about ourselves we put online, and it can even be made up. People only see what we want them to see.
Could our digital identity be affecting our real life identity? An article which I found on the Guardian called 'Facebook's 'dark side': study finds link to socially aggressive narcissism' (an article I found coincidentally via facebook) looks at a link between social media and networking sites and how it is impacting the way we behave in real life. In regards to digital identity 'Facebook provides a platform for people to self-promote', this supports the idea that digital identity is what we create. The idea of a digital identity can seem appealing as we have full control over it whereas we have no control over where we are born or who our parents are, which are the more traditional definers for identity. What this article suggests is that since we can control who we are digitally we are becoming vainer in real and more self obsessed. How we look and come across to others online is becoming more important. This would suggest that digital identities are more important than real life identities such as ethnicity to those of the digital native generation.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Importance of Class in America.

The website above is an article posted by Tim Egan a New York Times correspondent, in which he talks about America’s new class division – Universities. I found it particularly interesting as it highlighted the importance for an American, to be of a middle/higher class background in order to succeed in life, showing us the importance of class in today’s societies. Egan says in the article that ‘nearly 60% of people who ten years ago chose not to go to university now work as labourers or in the service industry-also known as “would you like fries with that burger”. These figures are an example of the better social status and earnings of those that go to University, which often working class families can not afford. The mocking comment of “Would you like fries with that burger?” is interesting as it shows how the lower class are viewed. To hold a job such as this is menial and beneath them it seems.
The importance of class lines is outlined a lot in the article, particularly when talking about his daughter. He talks about the ways in which he brought up his daughter, believing he did not raise her into thinking success comes by a top class University. Egan says ‘Here, one of the guiding principles is that we left behind, in another time zone, old society pretence about class and privilege’. Yet, a new generation has surfaced in which class matters, and this centers a lot on University as it is something that represents wealth and superiority through further education. Evidence that is shown in the article to support this is ‘The gap – in earnings, social standing, and comfort – between Americans with a university degree and those who never went beyond their senior year of high school has nearly doubled over the last 25 years’. With pressures such as this placed on society the class division is being projected on to the youth, and this in turn widens the gap between the classes of society.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Class System

When reading many articles about America’s Class System the major thing that kept reoccurring was that it’s very much a touchy subject, which many people have views/ opinions on but are sometimes reluctant to talk about unless probed or asked.

‘When, recently, asked what I am writing, I have answered, A book about social class in America, people tend first to straighten their ties and sneak a glance at their cuffs to see how far fraying has advanced there. Then, a few minutes later, they silently get up and walk away. It is not just that I am feared as a class spy. It is as if I had said, I am working on a book urging the beating to death of baby whales using the dead bodies of baby seals.’

This is a very interesting topic that some people have a hard time addressing as some people tend to shy their heads away from it or stick their heads in the sand and try to act like something it’s wrong with America’s class system. Actually, you reveal a great deal about your social class by the amount of annoyance or fury you feel when the subject is brought up. A tendency to get very anxious suggests that you are middle class and nervous about slipping down a rung or two. On the other hand, upper-class people love to topic to come up: the more attention paid to the
matter the better off they seem to be.

‘If you reveal your class by your outrage at the very topic, you reveal it also by the way that you define the thing that's outraging you. At the bottom, people tend to believe that class is defined by the amount of money you have. In the middle, people grant that money has something to do with it, but think education and the kind of work you do almost equally important. Nearer the top, people perceive that taste, values, ideas, style, and behaviour are indispensable criteria of class, regardless of money or occupation or education.’
In America they lack a European system of inheritance titles and ranks. The society changes faster than any other on earth and Americans seem to be almost puzzled about where, in the society, he or she stands. The things that confirmed class in the 1930's - white linen, golf knickers, chrome cocktail shakers, vests with white piping - are, unlikely to do so today. Belonging to a rapidly changing rather than a traditional society, Americans find knowing where you stand or what class you belong to harder than the Europeans, something that they don’t like to be reminded of as they see themselves as ‘a shining city on a hill/lighthouse beacon to all other nations’.

Understanding The Class System In America

I chose a website this week, which posts blogs on a regular basis, called Joe Bageant. I chose to specifically look at their essay "Understanding America's Class System."

He starts off by comparing Chelsea Clinton's 15K wedding, and the political elites to the "cheap seats" and those who favor "gas marks and waxy little squares of toilet paper."

Joe makes valid points about "Washington's political elite being as upwardly removed from ordinary citizens as the ruling class from the political class." "For instance, they do not work for a living in the normal sense of a job, but rather obtain their income from abstractions such as investment and law." Joe then goes on to explain that the ruling class does infact not work at all.

The ruling class is here meaning the 1% of Americans that own 50% of America. The top one percent of Americans own more wealth than the bottom 45% of Americans combined.
I have seldom met an American who thought this a good thing, and seldom met one who understood how the ruling class got so rich. Simply put, it was through constant cultivation of bigger and more labyrinthine government, creating legal and technical complexities to sluice money nationally and globally in their direction."

So overall, this simply edited website, with little multimedia inserts apart from Joe's essays, holds an essay in which the ruling class is completely torn down and picked apart by a self-confessed Redneck author who actually died last month.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Kasama Project

The Kasama project is a communist project. Their slogan is 'the emperor can burn down villages, the people are forbidden to light a candle'. They are seeking to put communism not just on centre stage in America, but internationally as well. Kasama is intended to act as a catalyst in order to achieve this.
What initially drew my attention to Kasama in relation to class struggle within in America, was an essay that features on the site, ( This essay focuses on a particular area of America in regards to class struggle and inequalities, that is in Arizona. Between 2006 - 2010, Arizona had between 20.0 - 29.9 percent of its population living in poverty (U.S Census bureau, 2006-2010 American community Survey).
The essay by Joel Olson which is entitled 'What's It Like To Live In Arizona Right Now' states that Arizona's economy if founded on 'copper, cotton, cattle, citrus, and climate (tourism)', these are known as the '5 C's'. Three classes have been defined; the elites, white middle class and the working class. Not only is class struggle an issue raised in this essay, but also a divide between the different ethnic groups. This is noticeable in as much that the middle class have been defined as being 'white'. There is also mention of the working classes being predominantly 'largely Brown, largely poor, largely poorly educated, largely ignored'. This would suggest that there is a link between ethnicity and class in Arizona. In general terms the ethnic minorities are in most of the low paid, low skilled jobs. It has been pointed out that many ethnic groups such as Latinos, Blacks, Chicanos and Native Americans are denied higher paid jobs based on their ethnicity.
Another class struggle that is brought up in the essay is the arguments between the elites and the middle class. 'The frayed alliance between these two classes has created the political mess this state is in today'. Olson has suggested that the middle class are there for the elites to have a 'junior partner to dominate'. In terms of this so called alliance fraying, whilst this is happening the working class meanwhile are, turning to grass roots democracy and operating outside official political channels. How Olson has described this is as, 'This path they are carving is quite possibly a model for working class struggles throughout the nation.' What is being argued here is that the working classes are being ignored as the elites and middle classes are too busy arguing amongst themselves on various issues such as health and education, that they are ignoring the working class.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Pentecostal Religion and Identity

I have decided to look at Pentecostalism as they have quite a lot of influence around America especially in the southern areas and it does seem quite interesting. I have also just looked at a Pentecostal Church in Florida.

Pentecostalism can be seen as a renewal movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks. For Christians, this event honors the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the second chapter of the Book of Acts. Pentecostals tend to see their movement as reflecting the same kind of spiritual power and teachings that were found in the Apostolic Age of the early church. For this reason, some Pentecostals also use the term Apostolic or full gospel to describe their movement.

The Mission of Pentecostal Church of God in Christ of the USA, Inc., is to equip individuals through biblical teaching, preaching, and demonstrating the life of Christ resulting in transformed lives being lived out in the Spirit of Excellence and their vision is to see transformed believers actively doing the work of Christ by reaching the lost, strengthening the weak, and encouraging the faithful. The group PCOGIC seems like quite an intense religious group as they have their church trademarked and incorporated which suggests that they make quite a lot of money from their organization; also they have a page on their website for members only which supports that view. They have 6 ministries all over Florida which suggest that they take their religious view very seriously and that they want to spread the word of God all around. They also have an official Logo which has been copyright protected and consists of a Lion and Fire. They have then provided reasons and scriptures from the Bible as to why they choose those 2 pictures.

Latter Day Saints & Mormonism in America.

After initially looking for a minority faith in America to look at this week, I eventually chose to look at American Mormonism, on the LDS News Website. It turns out the Church of the Latter-Day Saints and Mormons make up the fourth most popular Christian denominations in the United States.

Headquartered in Salt Lake City in Utah, the LDS Church considers itself to be a restoration of the church founded by Jesus Christ.

On January 8 of 2011 an article was posted on the LDS Church News website which brought attention to the number of LDS and Mormons present in America's government; The majority leader of the US Senate and the most senior Republican senator are two of the 15 church members serving in the 112th United States Congress this year - these members were sworn in on January 5th.

The religion itself has an official website, which plays biblical videos and modern day videos which back up their beliefs on a constant loop.
The website also looks into depth on subjects such as the first presidency message "Why do we need Prophets?" as well as keeping the Mormons up to date with the latest general conference.
There is an events section; which allows Mormons to get involved in a varied range of events including a general young women's meeting.

However the website does stray from religion and move onto a more marketable approach occasionally; the online official LDS store for example. Where one can subscribe to magazines, order LDS clothing, music, media, art and the equivalent of what looks like Mormon-written self help books.

The website encourages the teaching and spreading of the religion with sections entitled "visiting teaching messages" or "prepare a lesson or a talk". The LDS also offer services in "teaching the gospel" as well as becoming missionaries for the "humanitarians".

In the interest of the growth rate of the religion, it would seem that the National Council of Churches has named the LDS Church the second fastest growing church in the US. However, it did take a full 117 years, until 1974 for the LDS to grow from the initial six members to a staggering one million. Still, missionaries were a feature of the church from its earliest days, extending to Native American lands, then Canada. Then in 1837, England. The religion then spread across Europe.
According to the website more than 50, 000 missionaries are serving missions for the LDS Church at any one time. However, most of them are under 25, which makes the majority of them men; men can serve from 19-25 whereas women can only serve from 21+.

There is also a section on clearing up some common misconceptions, the most prominant and heavily debated of them all:
1. Mormons practice polygamy.
- Joseph Smith, the original mormon did, however now in the 21st century, polygamy is not practiced.

Religon And Identity: Mormons.

The religious group I chose to look at was the Mormons. The Mormon religion is a denomination of Christianity, they believe in Jesus and God, but also have the ‘Mormon book’ which is described on the website as a Holy Scripture, with form and content similar to that of the bible. From their website it is clear to see that religion is a central part of a Mormon’s identity as it is the most important part of their life. Faith controls their live it seems completely, through being told how to live. Mormons believe that there are different levels of kingdom in the afterlife, and depending on their level of commitment to the religion and how they act will determine which level they will end up on. They also believe that any human can become a god in the present life, through equal commitment and hard work. This shows how Mormonism rules over their lives, for a Mormon religion is highly important as it chooses your status and what kind of life you will have after you are dead, which is highly important to a Mormon.
Community and family values is another central part of their lives, and this can be seen on the website through ‘chat to a Mormon’, ‘Meet Mormon’s’, and various searches to find Mormon churches and communities near you. This shows that religion is such a central part of their identity as Mormons find it important to find other people of their faith, as it what connects them and it is them who they want to converse with. On the website there is also a lot of focus on families claiming that ‘The family is central to God’s Plan’. The family aspect is important as it shows that Mormons find it important to pass on the teachings to their children, to teach them the correct way of living, denying their children the freedom of choice. This represents religion coming before any other American value like their freedom of choice, showing its importance to their American Identity.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Anglican Province of Christ the King

The Anglican Province of Christ the King is protestant faith group in America. It was formed in 1977 and is a body of the Anglican church. They have over 40 congregations across the country and are committed to practising a traditional form of doctrine and liturgy. Their slogan is 'Apostolic Christianity in the Anglican Tradition'. A point of upholding family values is stated on the site. Family values are an important and popular aspect across America, with many politicians stating that they stand for good family values. There is also the notion of the 'all American family'.

As it is an Anglican denomination it has its roots based in Britain. With this being the case, the faith group had organised an Anglican Heritage tour of England and Scotland last year. The tour lasted 10 days and consisted of visiting sites mentioned in Ecclesiastical history of the English people (Venerable Bede, c.673-735), as well as tours around the cathedrals at York and Durham.

This faith group focuses a lot on the 1928 Book of common Prayer. Rev. Larry Shaddix has described this book as 'a tool well suited for children in the establishment of morals and as an evangelical tool for teaching adults'. this fits in line with their emphasis on upholding strong family values. It is clear that this faith group is very family orientated. Evidence for this is shown in the fact that they have annual youth summer camps and annual family summer camps. By including and having a lot of activities and events aimed at families and children, it helps to ensure the survival of the faith group for future generations, as the children will grow up with the church.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Push. A Negative Critique.

A review by Amazon user V. T. Maiden

"We have become a culture that loves to wallow in every kind of dysfunction, psycho-emotional trauma, and human pathology. The more shocking, the more depraved, the better."

The critique I chose for Push is a one star review from's (US) website. It is highly critical of the book as a gratuitous shock-fest which portrays a horribly depressing picture of American life which feeds a dangerous "celebrity-obsessed, gossip-rag devouring, dime store psychology-consuming culture". There is very little criticism of the book on the grounds of literacy, character or plot, focusing instead on the very intense and explicit descriptions throughout.

In fact most of the review is a diatribe against the prevalent shock-culture of the United States. Which he (or she) criticises as being disingenuous and is little more than "take[ing] profoundly disturbing issues like child sex abuse, morbid obesity, and illiteracy, and exaggerate and sensationalize them to the point of grotesque circus fun-mirror caricature." Which is justified "by reminding ourselves how important it is that these important "issues" be brought to the light rather than swept under the rug." Maiden criticises this for turning people's misery into entertainment for "white folk" but also perpetuates stereotypes:

"These writers have become rich and famous, sought-after on college campuses, and are now considered authorities on African-American life and the hidden truths lurking within the tormented black psyche. In fact, the incestuous black father has now become a stock character of contemporary fiction (and even film -- remember "The Cider House Rules"?). Some may consider that progress. I consider it crass and cynical exploitation."

Personally I would not call this a book review seeing as it does not really criticise the book Push but rather it's themes and related literature. It is as I said a diatribe on American culture, and whilst I agree with it's sentiments I also feel that shocking gratuitous fiction designed to raise can sometimes help (such as The Jungle in regards to the meatpacking industry). However I do agree with Maiden's point that this sort of literature (and as television such as The Gerry Springer Show) is mostly viewed as a freakshow/shock-fest for the better-off.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Gay On Gay?

In this video, Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) and Ellen DeGeneres (host of: Ellen) talk about the new additions to Harris' family.
Harris has always been very open about his sexuality, especially since his rise to fame.
It shows how far we, as a society, have come forward in terms of discrimination. Previously, in times passed, a lesbian who wanted to be a talk show host would have been laughed at and shunned for even daring to think she was anything more than diseased, and now to think that millions of viewers worldwide watch The Ellen Show either live, or online support Ellen in everything she does. Ellen is also the face of American Express along with stars such as Kate Winslet and Beyonce.

Not only the fact that a gay talk show host has one of the most popular TV shows in America, Ellen is also interviewing NPH about a very sensitive subject; his children. In the 50's, a gay man having children, or even the right to have children, seemed diabolical. in todays society it is applauded. NPH is unafraid to go into details about the conception of his two beautiful children, and details about his relationship with his partner, David. The fact that NPH feels comfortable enough to have this conversation with a woman, let alone a female talk show host is incredible, based on past discrimination of gay men.
This, personally, shows the growth of society in relation to sexuality.

Sexual Identity - Ellen Degeneres

Ellen DeGeneres, recently named ‘Most influential gay person in America’ by Out magazine, is an openly gay comedian and talk show host. She is also a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign’s Coming Out Project, and speaks out about numerous issues that effect homosexual people, on her show. Because she is so influential amongst the gay public, she has become a role model and is therefore a perfect and interesting example of gay identity in contemporary America.
The video I looked at in particular was ‘Ellen addresses Her JCPenney critics’ which involved Ellen speaking out against an organisation called ‘One Million Mom’s’ who disproved of Ellen being a spokesperson of the clothes store JCPenney. They stated that ‘By jumping on the pro-gay band wagon, JC Penney is attempting to gain a new target market and in the process will lose customers with traditional values that have been faithful to them over the years, The majority of the JC Penney shoppers will be offended and choose to no longer shop there’. The fact Ellen speaks out against the backlash she receives is an acceptance of the situation, and a statement of being proud of who she is. She refers to the ‘haters’ being her ‘motivators’ which I feel sends a message to Gay America, in that they are going to get ‘haters’ within society, that unfortunately discriminate against them because of their sexuality but it can be dealt with and used positively. I think this can be related to society through the growing number of people coming out as gay each year as opposed to the smaller figure of the past. This shows that gay people are seeing themselves reflected positively through celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, which gives them the confidence to come out. More than 100 gay parades and festivals take place in America every year, which shows people are proud of who they are, through the widespread celebration of sexuality.
The attribute of Ellen’s I found the most interesting was the humorous elements she gives in response to the backlash. For example in the video, Ellen mocks the ‘One Million Moms’, and making fun at herself at the same time, for example “If you’re just tuning in for the first time, its true I’m gay, I hope you were sitting down”. This shows her light heartedness at the situation, in no part does she become spiteful or aggressive which I think stands true for American Identity amongst the public. People watching the show will see Ellen as a positive role model, in her cool nature in the face of adversity and therefore strive to live by her example.
The video ends with Ellen stating the values she lives by, she says “honesty equality kindness compassion, treating people how you want to be treated and helping those in need, these to me are traditional values”. I think this is particularly insightful as she is showing the public she is just like anyone else someone who holds true moral values, despite some people thinking her sexuality is immoral. I think this shows the ridiculousness of the prejudice situation, in the fact that it shouldn’t matter what sexuality someone is, as long as they are a good person, which Ellen displays. This rings true for the American population who as a minority, are subject to many obstacles in their life such as having no right to marriage. When comparing two morally correct gay people in love, to say someone who has had numerous divorces and can still marry, it doesn’t seem fair. However the fact that these prejudice issues are being discussed openly like Ellen does, it allows the spread of awareness, therefore the level of acceptance and understanding of gay people should be increased.
All in All through Ellen’s strength through adversity it has made her into a gay icon one of which has influenced Gay America. Although we cannot generalise Ellen’s ‘gay identity’ to the general gay public we can accept that the minority is made up of a diverse range of people. However, we can appreciate Ellen’s influence she has over Gay America, through her dedication for gay rights and comedic value, which may cause gay people to aspire to be like Ellen.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Sexual Identity- Gay Marriage Attacked

This video commercial was made by Nation for Marriage and is about Gay couples wanting Gay marriages and it argues against this. However, it should be noted that whoever posted the video is for gay marriage as they title the video ‘Gay Marriage Attacked in Retarded New Commercial’. They focus and portray the views of ordinary people like doctors, parents and priests. By doing this they try to make the watcher believe that these are the thoughts of everyone. The organisation refers Gay Marriage as a terrifying storm that has the power to change and cause damage. The storm or Gay Marriage is something that people should fear which is reinforced by one of the actors saying that she is afraid for the
future. The commercial says that everyday people’s freedom will be taken away, people will have to choose between their religious beliefs and their professions, churches will have to change or suffer the consequences from the government if they don’t accommodate same sex marriages.

They put forward the case that same sex marriages is not okay and the commercial tries to play at people emotions buy acting out a defenseless parent who has to allow her child to be taught that gay marriage is okay. The commercial tries to portray people who oppose same sex marriage as being helpless and that
there is nothing they can do unless they support ‘Nation for Marriage’ as they will give them their voice. They say they do what they do to protect the sanctity of Marriage and that without peoples support if Gay Marriage is allowed then it will ultimately ruin it.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The military sucks - women and homosexuals destroying U.S. superpower st...

This video argues that homosexuals should not be allowed in the military. It also states that women should also not be allowed in the military. The reason for being against homosexuals in the military is due to seeing them as feminine and that the military is a place for so called 'real' men, as it takes a man to protect their country and women. This video clip is a homemade piece of propaganda based on no factual evidence, claiming that 'homosexuals make the military weaker'. Where is the evidence for this? Surely homosexuals in the military would add to their numbers and give them more strength, as they need all the military members they can get, especially at a time of war which America has currently been involved in since 2001.

It should be noted that this video was uploaded in 2009 a time when the policy of 'Don't ask, Don't tell' was still in practice. It is likely that this video was made in response to support for dropping this policy. However this policy still technically allowed for homosexuals to be in the military, just not officially. A comment posted on this video a year ago states 'now we have homosexuals openly serving expect an even weaker military now'. Some how it seems that if a person is open about their sexuality it makes them weaker yet if that same person is quiet about their sexual preferences they are just as capable as a heterosexual male in the military. It is only when they are open do they suddenly become incapable of fighting. This is probably due to homosexuals being seen as 'feminine' as another strong message this video is trying to portray is that women also make the military weaker. As what stereotypes would have us see, the similarity between women and homosexuals is that they are both feminine, which is supposedly a weak characteristic, hence why it would 'supposedly' make the military 'weaker'.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Nickel And Dimed Critique. By "A Customer"

First review from the top.

"I bought this book thinking it would be thoroughly, if not exhaustingly, researched. I was terribly disappointed."

The critique I chose was overwhelmingly negative in regards to the book's execution and specifically the lack of empathy/effort/research put in by Barbara Ehrenreich. Whilst the review is void of quotations from Nickel And Dimed the complaints are still valid if viewed as being levied against the book as a whole (and because it was on the conduct of reviewing books is populist rather than professional). Personally whilst the review is skeletal (which in my opinion helps it get to the point) and lacking in direct literary quotations or criticism I do agree with the author's ("A Customer") sentiments.

As mentioned the key aspect of A Costumer's critique is that Ehrenreich was very lazy in the conduct her project ("Each [job] lasted no more than a month."), failing to delve deeper into the mindset of a person on the minimum wage and subsequently live like them ("For instance, she never shopped at yard sales or second-hand stores"). On both of these aspects I agree with "A Customer" I felt that doing three months (divided into three places) of being "Down & Out" were woefully insufficient to really give a good insight to life on the bottom rungs. The fact that she also had her safety net of $1000 and a car didn't help matters; so many times when reading I felt Barbara should have just roughed it out a little more, spent maybe a year, even two living below the poverty line, which would have been far more scientific and accurate in gauging minimum wage life. I felt that Barbara just wanted to get the project over with as soon as possible to return to her comfortable life-style.

To further his argument "A Costumer" gives a short life story describing how he (or she) came from a minimum wage family and was "the first in my family to attend college". Whilst this segment initially seems to be a attempt to garner sentiment for the review it goes on to point out that "A Customer" worked the minimum wage life and "went on to higher paying jobs". Of course this part of the review may have been fabricated to add legitimacy but I doubt it, as it stands however, it does show that the reviewer has experience in the life Ehrenreich tried to replicated and so he would have a good perspective on her failings. However one could argue that because "A Costumer" is so deeply connected to minimum wage life he or she lacks the perspective to the large picture, I do not think this is the case.

"A Customer" then points out that s/he agrees with other Amazon reviewer's opinions that Barbara looked down on her co-workers, "they were stupid drudges, victims of the system and selfish affluent people" and that she (Barbara) wrote herself as being 'right' ("but - not to worry - enlightened Barbara to the rescue"). Here I can only partially agree with "A Customer"; whilst there are occasions where she (Barbara) looks down on her co-workers most of her negative sentiments are against the system and the corporate bosses, whilst she does occasionally portray her fellow workers as simpletons she always makes them sympathetic characters.

Finally "A Customer" says that the book had potential but failed because of "A Agenda", unfortunately she does not elaborate on what Barbara Ehrenreich's "Agenda" is but I imagine it was to shock and spark debate. "A Customer" declares that the book failed to do that but I disagree, Nickel And Dimed, whilst indeed very flawed for the reasons given (and they are good reasons) it has sparked a discussion about minimum wage, much in the same way Upton Sinclair's The Jungle sparked discussion about worker safety in the meatpacking industry, though shock value, Which is ultimately what I feel was Ehrenreich's intention.

So in conclusion whilst I feel that "A Customer" makes very good criticisms that I personally agree with they ultimately are unimportant because the book was designed not to give a scientific account but rather a populist and easy to read article to push for worker rights. Something I agree on.

Nickel and Dimed Critique

‘I might get skewered here, but I couldn’t stand this book. The author seemed so self-righteous and was so puffy about working conditions. She was horrified that these people didn’t sit down for breaks and tried to get through their work quickly. I do remember the maid story about how someone hurt their ankle and refused to go to the doctor. What were they supposed to do? Money is money. When you are poor you need it. It’s not fair, but life isn’t necessarily fair. I have had plenty of jobs where taking a lunch break wasn’t possible, I was yelled at constantly by coworkers who thought my job wasn’t important, but work is work. You do what you have to to survive. I think it’s fine to be outraged about working conditions, but to me her outrage just came across as whining rather than righteous anger. She seemed more upset that she had to quickly dust and vacuum and do little Wal-Mart cheers than anything. By the end of the book, I just wanted her to go back to her middle to upper-middle class lifestyle and shut up. I know that’s mean, but I just didn’t find what she had to say effective. Too much whining about having to get her hands dirty and not enough actual information about the working poor.’- Carin

This is generally a negative critique on the novel and the writer (Carin) does brings up questions which are in the readers mind but some of her comments are a little harsh and undeserved.

I do agree with some aspects of this critique because she (Carin) does propose a valid argument that the book does seem to be a book on complaints in the workplace. Ehrenreich does complain about all the jobs she is working at and how unfairly she feel is treated however, by doing so she can come across as being whinny. Many people in the real world do suffer with the exact if not worse conditions Ehrenreich faces at work, but to make money and pay bills and rent you do have to do these types of jobs and not complain. The fact that she doesn’t even complete her goals and quits does make the reader question how deep she wanted to write about the working class or did she really just miss her life luxuries and leave early. She also doesn’t show a full aspect of the working poor as she gives little information about their lives but instead her main focus is about herself and her day to day tasks. Also she uses her car in the novel and she has a ‘safety net’ (money and credit card) to fall back on if things don’t go head to head. To make the reader a bit more sympathetic to her case she really should have given them up and lived properly as a working class woman.

Nonetheless, Ehrenreich has successfully managed to make the reader question working conditions today in America and has highlighted the unfairness working women face in menial jobs. The fact that she tried to see if she could make it and failed just heightens the sense and need for change. I also believe that if she hadn’t of written this book no one else would have, which makes the novel a good starting step for change. However, she could have done so much more and actually explored and gone into detail with some of the people she meets on her journey.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Nickel and Dimed Critique

Here is a review by Kya Ogyn from 2005. In this review of Nickel and Dimed, Ogyn has argued two problems in which they have with the book by Barbara Enrenreich. These being that; one the way in which Enrenreich classes the personalities of low wage earners 'although she writes, "low-wage workers are no more homogeneous in personality
or ability than people who write for a living, and no less likely to be funny or
bright," she comes to the conclusion that Barb, who works for Wal-Mart, is
"meaner and slyer" than Barbara the writer, and "more cherishing of grudges, and
not quite as smart as I'd hoped." Although poverty can have a brutalizing effect
on some people, there are demonstrably grudge-holders among the rich and
powerful who are not very smart.'
Ogyn's second issue is Enrenreich's comments or attitude towards obesity. 'It is unfortunate that a political writer of her caliber has not only not
examined fat hatred, but has contributed to it.'
In regards to the first criticism, the job identity and persona is being highlighted. When working you have a different persona to the one you have when you are at home as you are taking on the role of the job which you are doing. Certain jobs may change a person and I feel that Ogyn is being harsh in their criticism, as to survive in the world of low paid jobs you need to have a certain toughness about you. Whilst Enrenreich may not be the nicest person when working in Walmart, I don't blame her due to the circumstances she is in but the are plenty of examples of her showing kindness, particularly when working for 'The Maids' in Maine.
As for Ogyn's second criticism which basically describes Enrenreich as being vain, I do agree with for the most part. However it is my view that Enrenreich was thinking like that due to being so fed up with that working environment. If that was the case then I feel in part, a bit sympathetic as that working environment was bringing out the worst in her.
In this review there are some agreements such as when discussing the purpose of the working class. In as much that the working class make life easier for the middle classes. Whilst this may not be the intentional purpose of the working class it is inevitably the way things have become. This is not necessary a fair thing but after all America is a capitalist society and a communist society may sound all well and fair in theory, the practicalities of it are just not realistic. A degree of unfairness needs to happen in order for society to work as a whole.