Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Oral History: For the Qualitative Researcher

Oral history has great value. It can provide many new and different outlooks on a piece of history because of the way it is obtained (usually from memory), and presented (orally). This makes the content capable of being much more rich and meaningful as compared to other forms of history. This is really a cool project because of the interaction I had with the person I interviewed. It was very personal, and I thought it was really cool to get a first hand explanation about her life. I'm doing this post now, trying to catch up, so I wanted to just give a little thought at this time: after I have already done the interview.
I interviewed my girlfriends Nana. She is 97 years old. I really enjoyed doing this interview and learning so much about her life. She is a very interesting lady with a lot to say. I hope you like reading my interview! I got it down almost word for word, so it's very authentic.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


In the article called Oppression by Marilyn Frye I will talk about a few quotes that bring up discussion.
"It is common in the US that women, especially younger women, are in a bind where neither sexual activity nor sexual inactivity is all right."
This is referring to the idea that women are shunned when it comes to the topic of them being sexually active. They are shunned, or seen in a bad light when they ARE sexually active, and also when they ARE NOT sexually active. They can't win. They have a much harder time in gaining respect in this area - either way that they act. How other people perceive them is actually the opposite of how people perceive men in the same situation. If women ARE sexually active, than (at first thought) this is seen as a bad thing. For men, sexual activity is a good thing. But it is kind of a bad thing (or negative thing) for both sexes, to be sexually inactive (men moreso).
I think that "touchy subject" is just part of being a woman, and a lady. Sexuality to women is just a much more sacred thing than it is to men. It is something that is very deep and fragile in respect to what it means to them. And they should feel this way because what it means to them classifies, or says a lot a bout them - in most cases.
This is definitely something that effects all women on a regular basis, but they should try to look past the oppression and take it to mean that women are simply given a separate set of rules than men because they are much different and should be treated much different than men. They should be happy that everyone sees them, and treats them differently then men - because that is what makes a woman a woman: that she has a whole separate context. Women should be proud to be woman, and proud to have this which sets them apart and accounts for the fact that they are so much more complex and thus, admirable to those of less complexity (like myself for example!). Women have all these separate rules because there is much more to account for - men are much more simple in nature.
Then later in the reading, "Men will impose themselves awkwardly and jostle everyone in order to get to the door first." Maybe in some cases it's really this extreme and obvious, but I think overall, this action is not really a big deal and is a simple, meaningless gesture of politeness and friendliness for anyone to hold the door open for anyone (male/female). Since it is a part of our culture for men to hold the door open for women I don't think this really carries any deeper meaning. Its just a nice thing to do. Personally, in my life and my experiences, holding the door open for the person behind you (regardless of sex) is simply good manners. And maybe I'll go out of my way now and then to hold the door for women, but its only because I was taught that you're suppose to treat women with respect and care - and that you should be nice and gentle to them. It's not that I think they're less capable of opening the door themselves, but that I admire them, so I like to help them. I think that's the case for all men. They simply want women to like them, so they try to help them. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

People Like Us

"If poor people behaved rationally, they would seldom be poor for long in the first place." Quoting Lawrence Mead, this claim might come across as kind of offensive to some poor people. They may be born into a poor family and they themselves could have no control over how rich or poor they are. But still, even if that is the case, these people could indeed act rationally and focus on doing what they have to do in order to prosper. In the film we watched in class there were many different people in many different situations, but all of them had the same solution available to them: they (and really anyone in life) have control over what they make of themselves, and it is really up to them to make it happen. It all comes down to who you are, and how bad you want to do well and make something of yourself - if you have the intuition, knowledge, courage, and determination to do so. 
Another point that makes me disagree with Mead in some ways, is the fact that a lot of people in this film were simply doing the best they can with what they were given, or what they have. And it is a lot easier to prosper in life and become successful if you are educated and intelligent - which, some people are more than others. If you are uneducated than you may honestly not be aware of a possible way, or thing you could do to become successful. A lot of poor people continue to stay poor because they can't see out of the box; can't understand what to do, or how to do it. I personally think that everyone, no matter who you are or what you start from, does in fact have the power to make something of themselves. Not to say its takes an equal amount of effort for everyone. Some people are much more fortunate than others and have a much easier time becoming successful.