Jessica Claire

1) Violence in culture is about as old as culture itself, from cave paintings of hunting to human sacrifice in religious rites, and controversies over that violence probably aren’t far behind. With that in mind, are there particular dangers (whether or not they’re new) associated with the kind of violent representation described in this week’s readings?

Growing up when we ask our parents what is sex they usually respond with “Its the love between a man and a woman”. But as we get older what we see in movies and pornography, they lack the whole idea of love. This weeks readings have shown us how porn has become violent and inhumane ways people treat others. One example of an incident of sexual violence is the incident in Nanjing also known as the rape of Nanjing where thousands of women were sexually tortured by japanese soldiers during the forgotten holocaust of World War II. Today there is a new form of sexual violence that seems to have become a worldwide problem  and that is human trafficking. 

Human trafficking is a profiting process of people selling women and children to, usually men, for sex. If you dont know much about human trafficking you might want to watch the movie. What scares me the most is that in third world countries, parents sell their daughters to men for money. Most of these women and children dont escape the system and instead of the police helping them, they are charged for prostitution and believe they cant be helped. This relates to violent content in porn and the sex world because men pay to do whatever they want with these women and children and watching pornography that are violent gives them fantasies that they would like to act out too. I’ve been to Bangkok, Thailand and I was shocked of how movies that depict Thailand of having a lot of prostitutes does not stray far from what we see. Through my experience of watching Human Trafficking and going to Thailand it scares me of how the pornography has somewhat corrupted the meaning of sex.  Walking the streets I witnessed very young boy prostitutes that I dont think were even sixteen years old and men flashing photo albums of prostitutes pictures they can bring to you. The violence in what we see through these media outlets has a strong influence on our views of sex and can also have a big affect on younger generations.

Aug 5
Week 9 Question

Sarracino and Scott claim that their book is neither pro-porn nor anti-porn. After reading a substantial amount of their writing, do you believe this claim, or is it simply there to defray criticism? What evidence do you have for their pro- or anti- inclinations?

I agree with Sarracino and Scott that their book is neither pro-porn nor anti-porn, though they clearly state they don’t choose sides they look more into the what makes porn such a big part of our culture. This book does not pick sides but speaks what others are too uncomfortable to talk about, how sex has been introduced through basically every media and how it has shaped our culture. “But the mainstreaming of pornography, with its shaping influence on American life and culture, is more complex and subtle than simply the evolution of the pornographic movie industry.” (18) The book also mentions that through decades sex has been available to adults and Hollywood is a good example of how America has more and more so accept sex.

Through outlets such as playboy, created by Hugh Hefner, America has found a more glamorous way to promote sex, though  sometimes in the Porning of America it does seem that the article could be anti-sex by explaining how sex is being distributed to children. “With increasing frequency, [the Olsen twins] were photographed in clothing that was tight and revealing but still maintained, if only marginally, their personal as sweet and wholesome girls.” (25) The authors later discuss that in their teens the photography gradually became more sensual. However the authors don’t pick sides they discuss the growing need to express yourself “sexually” and what the audience see as the glamorous Olsen twins others see them as a huge dollar sign that can add to the interest of sex and porn.

Today, sex is a big part of American culture and with expansion of porn and media that promote sex, it will cease to die. Sexual content can be seen through many outlets besides the media, it can be seen through clothing and even dance. Porn has become mainstream and it is neither promoted or discouraged in this book but just a way for people to understand the relation of porn and sex, and America. 

Jul 29
Discussion Question Week 8

“There’s a concept in sociology called “homophily.” It means birds of a feather stick together.” Trying to keep up with these “technological advances” many people don’t think that the reason for switching from Myspace to Facebook has anything to do with class. Again Myspace and Facebook is another example of differences, inequalities and segregation.

This article interests me because I never thought about Myspace and Facebook like the way Danah Boyd explains in his article “Facebook and Myspace Users Clearly Divided Along Class Lines”. I support some of the reasons that the other interviewees said like how it is easier to use and more friends are using another site than the other.  “social-networking sites, there’s almost no networking going on. People use these sites to connect to the people they know”.  It is another way people are separating themselves from one another, and about choosing a site that you are able to find people just like you. “Social stratification is pervasive in American society (and around the globe). Social media does not magically eradicate inequality. Rather, it mirrors what is happening in everyday life and makes social divisions visible.” These sites were generated for social networking but they have only created an online way of somewhat of different classes

With all different ways of separating ourselves from people who are different its hard to break down the barriers of social class. “What we’re dismissing are the values and cultures of people who are different”, Every person has their own reasons for switching from one site to another but these sites are adding to the growing wall that is breaking apart our society. Thus people are already divided, and understand that people of different cultures live in different environments from one another. Boyd says “we cannot expect technology to automatically integrate people and generate cultural harmony”, that these sites that specify in bringing people together to meet new people and is the playground of social networking is not as it seems. These sites show us the inequalities we continue to face today and what we should be doing to create unity among all people.

Jul 22
week 7

 When discussing culture and globalization, how do we distinguish “cultural exchange” from “cultural imperialism?” These are value-laden terms, which provoke emotional reactions. Is the difference simply in the eye of the beholder, or is there some basis on which we might evaluate international cultural trade to determine when each of these modes is operating?

            Globalization has affected many countries in different ways but mostly has given many countries access to foreign products, better access to external financing, political development, etc. When countries deal with ones foreign to them they do more than just trade products but share their cultural differences. Cultural exchange is the exchanging of students, athletes, tourists between countries to promote an understanding of different cultures. Cultural imperialism is when one culture dominates another forcing their policy’s and ethics on them.

            I believe that it is not in the eye of the beholder it is rather those two cultures decision and feelings of the interaction. If both countries agree upon letting their people communicate with the other and explore each other’s home it is cultural exchange. But if one country goes against the others will then it is cultural imperialism. For example when westerners/missionaries came to Hawaii, Hawaiians were somewhat accepting and agreed upon meeting and interacting with them. They explored each other’s cultural differences and found themselves very different from one another. But as more and more westerners came to Hawaii they found that the Hawaiian monarch was not what they were used to. They introduced government and religion to the people of Hawaii that eventually replaced Hawaiians natural way of living in Hawaii. This is an example of Cultural imperialism and today Hawaiians are still trying to maintain and recover their culture but with the influences they have endured it makes it very difficult for them. I don’t believe it is in the eye of the beholder but on how countries feel about the interaction if they agree then it is cultural exchange if they disagree it is cultural imperialism.

Jul 1
Week 4 Question 1