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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Wealth Gap - SOC 200 Blog

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvWC0brsJMg

The fact is that there is obviously a wealth gap (as in old money) between blacks and whites.  Now many sociologists view this as a problem/social issue.  The fact of the matter is, it is 2010 and anybody of any race can make something of their lives here in America.  Our "poor" people aren't really poor.  Now as a black person you may have a harder time being lets say "President".  Even though Obama won the election, that was evidence that anyone CAN become president, not saying it rationally will happen again soon.  Not that I care about the color of my president, just by statistic, its a big feat, and Obama is a champion for coming out on top, and so far I dont think he's done a horrible job, even though many disagree, the platform was pretty jacked up when he got there.  Anyways, there are plenty of poor white folk, so if were going to help poor black folk, we got to help poor folk everywhere, which sounds pretty damn Robin Hoodish to me.  Maybe a little to fairy tale.  This is real life, and Im not wealthy, but I know wealthy people arent going to just give their money away, and they shouldnt have to.  Im quite fine with chissling away and working my butt off for my own, and I know plenty of black people who are the same way.  So people need to get off the political cocaine and get back to the real world.  Just my "opinion."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

SOC 200 Week 9 Blog, Gender Inequity

I disagree with sociologists who say "Gender Socialization" is the only way people associate themselves with stereotypical gender identities.  I think Biology most definitely has something to do with it.  Its a fact on an above average basis men (due to the anatomical structure of the male physique) are usually bigger and stronger than women.  Not saying this is always true, there are a percentage of women who defy the odds.  & I believe unique circumstances usually accompany those women, and they do share more in common with men (at least in America.)  Yet that is a difference, not an inequality.

I hate to stick to statistics and "facts", because I believe they are self-fulfilling prophecies.  If you limit yourself to what past studies say you're allowed to accomplish you're never going to do anything different, therefore you're circumstances will be the same as past women/men.  In this day and age, it's pivotal to think outside the box (and textbook) to get ahead, whether male or female.  To say "Im a woman which means the odds are stacked against me", though it may seem true, by assigning yourself that "truth" you have now limited yourself.  Then all you can do is complain, and study sociology, become a sociologist, hoping the statistics you gather will change the world, which it most likely wont.  Hate to spoil your sunday funday.

I play hockey, and I definitely see the attitude towards women is different, but thats because there arent that many women hockey players, and the women who do play are usually not as strong, fast, or aggressive as the men.  However, I have seen a select few women hockey players, who dont allow the "facts" to hold them back, and they are as good, and sometimes a lot better than most of the male hockey players, and equally aggressive.  However, when it comes to "tradition" I can definitely see where a women will have difficulty being allowed the same opportunity as a equally talented man to, lets say, make an NHL team.  However, it isn't impossible, but this is something "sociology" itself cant change, only pure determination and commitment.  The powers that be may even be fully aware the woman is as capable as the man is, but will still discriminate for a multitude of reasons.  What do you do in that situation other than work harder, I dont know...  It would be quite a historic moment when a woman becomes an NHL player, even more historic when she drops the gloves with an opposing male hockey player, what will that do to the mentality of the hockey culture?  the gender stereotypes?  It may even be scary for some to think about.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Week 7 Blog for SOC 200 - Stratification

Do I think Social Class is important today?  Yes, it is important because the more money you have the more opportunities you will most likely have.  Money makes society thrive, yet I dont believe it makes the "world" spin, I believe human beings in general do that.  I was raised to not care how much money somebody has or to even care about somebody's social class, I just care about how nice you are and how we are able to relate to each other.  Not saying to ignore somebody's financial capabilities, but it shouldnt be a deciding factor on whether or not to associate with them, yet these days I see it a lot.  I also see people take advantage of people simply for materialistic purposes which is real sad.  Yet I think some people get carried away and only focus on money, not saying it doesnt matter cause it does, it can make life easier or harder, but a lot of people are out of touch with reality when they base all their decisions on money only.  People are complex beings and money simplifies us, materialism is a pretty simple concept.  I was raised middle class, although in some ways we have had our share of "new money" we still conduct ourselves as most middle class/blue collar families do.  Its important to be able to socialize with people of all classes, and get to know ppl in other classes than yourself, thats why I think being smack dab in the middle has its advantages, cause you have more in common with the top and the bottom.  You never really get solidified, you just learn how to relate to all people better, rather than fortifying yourself in wealth, or lack-of.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Week 6 Blog for SOC 200, Lonely Americans

Do I think Americans are more isolated in modern times due to technology? Yes and No. No because the web and cell phones and text messaging allows us to contact people we know and people we love (or people we dislike) at any given time. We can leave them voicemails instead of sending a letter by horseback, or trying to decypher morse code. Everything is EASIER these days, therefore it has become effortless to relay detailed info to others. We can let you know anything with a click of a button. We have our lives open for display on social networks (see video below).

So that is the NO part of my answer. The YES part of my answer is I believe sometimes we communicate too much. I think rumors spread easier these days, friendships are more fragile since if your "best" friend today pisses you off, your chat-room bud in Tokyo may make your new "best" companion to confide in for a while. People get famous on youtube and next thing you know they are touring the world singing "BABY BABY BABY OOOOH" wow, yes technology can isolate an American. Quality friendships are hard to come by these days, but i dont solely blame technology even though i can see it as a contributing factor. Along with the increasingly "dog-eat-dog" American society we live in. People just dont trust anyone anymore, everyone has had their heartbroke, credit card stolen, popularity hijacked, and a less-than loyal significant other at one point or another, and its hard to find the "substance" and "deepness" in todays commercialized society, where its all about what car you drive and what store you shop at. Not about who you are as a person. Thats the main factor why i think Americans are so "isolated."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Week 5 Blog - Conformity vs. Deviance

Just watched this video, which was a PBS documentary, unfortunately only the trailer is available on youtube. The video really makes us question the reason why people really deviate from the law and go to jail. I reccomend the full video to anyone curious, it was really interesting, and definitely leaves you hungry for answers. I think our criminal justice system is flawed in our country. We imprison 750 people per 100,000 on average every year in America. Even the Russian Federation imprisons over 120 less people on average. I think our system is easily exploited and abused. It sometimes victimizes innocent people, when even 1 innocent person behind bars is too many. It also many times shows too much leniency to repeat offenders or people who committed serious and inexcusable crimes. Appeals many times are not shown the proper attention and judges/attorneys tend to generalize often, as well as operate strictly on the premise of finacial motivation, abandoning some pivotal moral principles. Cases aren't treated as uniquely and not investigated as adequately as they should be, mostly due to financial reasons. This is why I believe our system is flawed, but then again, what system isn't flawed? -in any country....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Week 3 Blog on Brittians view of American Entertainment

Judging by this video clip the teacher put on the class website. It seems the Brits' pretty much generalize and think our music is all the stupid, simple, bland, and red-neckish. I mean at least judging by this "comedy" video and this video only. Yet, it's probably all in the name of comedy, and we make fun of other cultures with our shows like Mad TV, and Saturday Night Live. So i dont think its anything to really judge too deeply. It was a simple skit, portraying a simple generalization, of what one would imagine a simple-minded American songwriter/singer to be in the UK. I dont think it really tells us much about how they view American music, there are many forms of it. & yeah, he got punched in the chest, so what, how tough can you be when you're a grown man, yet still have tea-parties every day like a 4 year old schoolgirl. C'mon, am I being punked?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Zam Tune of the Week

My musical tastes were somewhat concentrated when I was younger. I didn't buy many CD's and didn't own an mp3 player until recently when I got my first Ipod like 2 years ago. I listened to a lot of older rock and some hip-hop songs my friends were into more than me. Now that I have my own computer and money to buy CD's and MP3's, I've been exposed to a lot more music. I have to say I have a lot of appreciation for the Indie Rock genre, there are a lot of unsigned and signed artists/bands who are extremely talented and able to connect with people on a deeper level than the commercialized music on the radio. With the influence of some of my friends who put me on to the whole music scene, I've done my own research and found artists (some big names, some not so popular but still rock out) who I think have something unique and more authentic than "FM" music. Many of these artists deploy an intensely emotional substance in their music and lyrics. The artist I chose this week was a pretty popular band to those who follow the specified genre of rock music. I chose the band "Thursday" since I'm relatively new to their music and have been playing their albums on repeat in my car while driving throughout the DC Metro area. Below is a video & link of one of their concerts, performing the song "Autobiography of a Nation" live. If you're familiar with the band let me know your opinions of them, and if not familiar, let me know what you think of this particular song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuTAeAlKPwo

Here is the studio version for those who are hearing impaired. Or just cant understand the lyrics and want to read along like a karaoke bar. Either way, put your reading glasses on and turn the volume up grandma! ;-p
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u6cB_5fXEQ

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Week 1 Blog Entry - Who I Am.

Please read the subtitle, right under the big title saying "The Zamboni Ride" for my first paragraph.  No use in retyping the same thing.

Other than that, as expected some of my hobbies are playing hockey, coaching kids, jiu-jitsu, going to concerts and sporting events (especially my Caps, Skins, and Nats), writing songs even though I cant sing them, and I like to find neat quotes from cool people and post them all over facebook.  I like chasing girls, as well as doing stuff with the bro's.  One of my main joys in life is making new friends and accomplices and just fostering that connectivity.  I hate being lonely although sometimes it's healthy.  I'm more about the journey than the destination in life, deeply competitive (even with myself), I like to beat people especially in sports and video games, I like to earn things and receive awards.  I used to be real shy and held back my potential because I didn't like added attention, now I just accept it for what it is.  I used to be afraid to stand out too much, but i think experiences in life have given me a boosted confidence level now, and I'm less concerned with what the world thinks, and more concerned with what I think of myself and where I want to be.  Any questions, just leave a comment and ask, I'd be happy to chit chat. 

Oh yeah!  How could I forget.  If you want something fun to do/watch this weekend.  Come out to NVCC's Ice Hockey game this Saturday at 10pm vs. rival George Mason University Patriots @ the Ashburn Ice House. Heres a link to the flyer with time and address:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/photo.php?fbid=482776061132&set=a.161013116132.157904.161001436132 


*I have 2 fractured ribs right now so I might be on the bench-list, but if it heals quick, come game time you might just see #20 out on that ice dangling.  Right now I'm day-to-day.