10/6/2014 04:34:56 am
While reading the new introduction of “Culture and Truth” by Renato Rosaldo, readers can be confronted with statistical information regarding how diversity in higher education has changed over time, and how it has changed little. One of the most beneficial results of having a more diverse classroom setting is how class becomes ‘”richer and more complex, if perhaps less comfortable, for its broadened range of perspectives” as Rosaldo notes. This is undoubtedly true. If classrooms consist of more diverse people from different backgrounds, students can learn far more from each other. Excessively homogeneous environments, more often than not, tend to breed ignorance. And this ignorance doesn’t necessarily have to do with a society’s general intelligence -- it has to do with a form of mental stagnation from being accustomed to not being introduced to anything other than what a person would consider “normal.” And, yes, it may be very uncomfortable – but this is a good thing. Rosaldo discusses “safe houses,” and a classroom is, more often than not, an ideal place for this type of discourse.
10/7/2014 01:00:39 am
In the portion of the introduction new to the 1993 edition, Rosaldo discusses how higher ed. has changed to be more inclusive and how that relates to the field of anthropology. He breaks down the changes in higher ed. in the last quarter of the past century and shows their limitations, including that the degree of change achieved was significantly less in positions of greater power and that the failure of institutions to more than superficially accept the presence of previously unheard voices led to people leaving soon after beginning (x). He then argues for the role of safe houses in cultivating “a sense of belonging” as well as offering “places where diverse groups—under the banners of ethnic studies, feminist studies, or gay and lesbian studies-talk together and become articulate about their projects” (xi). When more people are rightfully represented in decision-making processes, the experience can cause people who are accustomed to privilege to experience discomfort (xii). For the sake of saving space, the summary is that they need to get over it and adjust. Regarding course materials, he says “Looking in the usual places and in the usual ways will not produce change” (xiii). In a 2011 article about policy debates pertaining to models of ELL education, Lisa Dorner shows how people from different backgrounds alternately construe “community” to mean neighborhood, school, or cultural group (more like Glazer and Moynihan’s “interest group” that Villanueva invokes) and says almost the same thing as Rosaldo in reference to the responsibility of school districts to seek out the voices of marginalized parents to contribute to policy debates that affect their children’s education. I love the sentence toward the end: “the vision for change strives for greater inclusion, not an inversion of previous forms of exclusion” (xviii). This is a widely-held misconception around many social movements. People who identify as feminists, for example, constantly have to explain that they do not hate men but seek recognition of all people’s humanity. It is not about punishment but the need to “remake relations” (xiii).
10/7/2014 01:23:17 am
On the Rhetoric and Precedents of Racism by Victor Villanueva is a very interesting and eye-opener perspective on the racism social discussion. He claims that the society have been, somehow, ignoring the issue of racism and that it should be analyzed and not forgotten. Villanueva notes that “Racism continues to be among the most compelling problems we face. Part of the reason why this is so, is because we’re still unclear about what we’re dealing with, so we must thereby be unclear about how to deal with it.” (3) The fact that racism is not discussed and faced in a blunt and undimmed fashion makes it a confused concept to deal with. Throughout the article he provides some interesting statistical information about the participation of Latinos and Latinas, African American, Asian Americans, and Native Americans in higher education in the United States of America. These data show clearly a low percentage of participation in higher education, compared to the white population, of these minorities which does not allow the scholar world be, in fact, multicultural. According to Villanueva, many may argue that this phenomenon is due to “reverse discrimination”, but he firmly discards this idea since these minorities are still the poorer and unschooled with no possibility nor chance to reverse discriminate. He believes that by breaking the colonialist discourses and behaviors, which in his opinion “racial discrimination and racial prejudice are phenomena of colonialism” (7), and by giving the minorities chances to graduate, and furthermore to be published and teach he thinks that racism can truly be faced and fought.
10/7/2014 04:10:43 am
James F. Blandino - 10/7/14, Cultural Rhetoric, Critical Response #5
10/7/2014 04:30:29 am
I enjoyed reading Culture & Truth: Remaking of Social Analysis by Renato Rosaldo. It brought to mind a conversation I had recently. I was talking to a friend about running and how I run best when I’m angry or happy and I run terribly when I’m sad. He told me that most people are unable to differentiate between the emotions of sadness and anger, often confusing anger for sadness. In this piece we learn that the Ilongot men are impelled to kill other human beings out of rage that is “born in grief”. Unlike the discussion with my friend about my experience with these emotions and the experiences of others in our culture, the Ilongot are aware that one emotion precedes the other and know what the eventual outcome will be. When I first read this, I had to stop, take a second to see if my “what the f***k” reaction was an overreaction… but no, it was entirely accurate. It’s pretty much what Rosaldo was getting at; we can’t fully understand something if we’ve never experienced it. I was blocked by my own cultural views and I still am. I get why they do what they do and it makes sense that this is their norm so why should they think it is wrong. Personally, I’ll pass on experiencing something so horrible that I am full of rage and want to kill someone, but I can see how if I was in that situation I would be able to relate and therefore allow myself to imagine what the rage they feel in their bereavement feels like. At this point in my life I can’t do that but one day (hopefully not) maybe I could. However, I do feel that personality plays a role in it. I mean, I was going to join the navy (don’t look so shocked) but I know that if it came down to it, I would not be able to kill someone; I would let myself be shot. Maybe I’m an idiot or maybe I’m way too empathetic and try to understand others too much, but most likely I’m probably just an idiot (stop it, I jest). This is directly related to what Rosaldo says, which is, “after being repositioned through a devastating loss of my own could I better grasp that Ilongot older men mean precisely what they say when they describe the anger in bereavement as the source of their desire to cut of human heads.” Maybe I would be able to kill someone if I was so broken and hurt inside that anger was all I had left. Aside from that, I really like the idea of repositioning yourself. You rework your mental framework in order to better understand an entirely different perspective; you’re looking at a situation but with another cultural view. However, the ability to ‘reposition’ yourself comes down to your experiences which provide you the tools to actually understand something as intense as the rage felt by these people. In the introduction, the sentence, “Human beings always act under conditions they do not fully know and with consequences they neither fully intend nor can fully foresee” stood out to me. I’m pretty sure that this is relevant to every person’s life; at least it is to mine, which is obviously unrelated to this topic. I digress. We are disconnected to our emotions on so many levels and it’s because we are told that certain feelings aren’t appropriate or should be suppressed. In On the Rhetoric and Precedents of Racism piece by Victor Villanueva, I was shocked to read about the non-white students’ feelings that, “they no longer wish to be reduced to wearing white masks if they are to succeed in the university, that the denial of their being of color affords them nothing but their silencing.” I don’t think that this is as big of an issue at our university, but the fact that people still feel this way is a huge problem. No one should have to hide who they are, nor their feelings like in the first piece we read, in both the educational institution as well as in everyday life.
10/7/2014 05:55:04 am
Ailton Dos Santos
10/7/2014 06:32:16 am
On the Rhetoric and Precedents of Racism, by Victor Villanueva, is a “wake up” call for equality and identity preservation. The article starts by presenting the impositions, in terms of beliefs and mannerisms, made by the Spanish to the Incan people. The Europeans believed that their Gods, Kings, and their education should be the only foundation upon which the Incan people should stand and assimilate. Nonetheless, the Incan people also had their own history, Gods to worship, things that were part of their identity. For the Europeans, the only identity worth knowing was their own, and the Incan people ought to embrace this new identity whether they wanted or not. Villanueva then “jumps” to a more contemporary time, addressing ethic and racial discrimination in the United States (U.S). He uses the examples of the Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans, as being the minority groups in the U.S, and who are deprived from the same opportunities and treatment as the White majority. In Schools, the discrimination is more evident since the number of people from the minority groups who graduate is more insignificant. This is more evident because the people of power in schools, the faculty or administration, are not representative of these minorities, therefore they cannot understand or “defend” the minorities. Villanueva also does not seem to understand how people, even from the minorities, do not seek the literature from the Latinos, Asian, etc., when they need to talk about these minorities in order to tell their own story. “ Whe are so locked into the colonial mindset that we are now turning to the excolonials of Europe to learn something about our own people.”
10/7/2014 06:32:31 am
“The Culture and Truth” according to the author, it focuses on recent development in higher education and then to address the role of anthropologist in these changes. The author discusses the changes that have been occurred in the educational institutes. The book celebrates the multicultural, the diversity and narrative experience of the author. This passage called my attention “we are all equal partners in a shared project of renegotiating the sense of belonging, inclusion, and full enfranchised in our major institutions”. People of color, Latinos…may not feel as a part of a certain society. The idea of belonging, inclusion and emancipate can be abstract; some situation may lead people to have a sense that they do not belong to a certain place, they are not a part of it and they are not entirely free. The author points out the importance of consider ourselves equal partner so that we can renegotiate those truths.
2/8/2021 04:00:56 pm
Hello mate niice post
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