Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Final Words

     As a final post, I decided to use a website called and make an image using the content of all my blogs so far. I think it is interesting to look back and see not only what the class was about but also what interested me personally. I really enjoyed this class and all the personal growth that I gained from it!

Family Abuse

     Family abuse is such an unfortunate problem in our society, and it saddens me that it is something so common that it is taught as yet another subject in a class about relationships. I personally think that is primarily stems from past experience of the parents. If the parents were raised in a loving, abuse-free home there is no reason they should have for abusing their own children. They would not have any experience to compare it to, and they should have successful parenting techniques that their own parents did use on them. Another factor that I think causes family abuse is substance abuse. Substance abuse lowers the abusers inhibitions and ability to think logically about a situation. It can bring out negative emotions and expand them exponentially. The third factor that I think causes family abuse is the need of the abuser to feel as though they have dominance or control. Perhaps they think that the person they are abusing needs someone to be a figure of authority and they do not know how else to provide for that need.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Eric Dishman

     The video we watched in class today was one with a man named Eric Dishman, and he talked about taking healthcare off the main frame. To be honest, I found the video difficult to watch. It seemed as though Mr. Dishman did not really have a lot to say, yet a lot of words were coming from his mouth. I do not even really feel comfortable giving an opinion on his opinions because even after watching the video again after class, I do not know what he wanted to get across. The majority of his speech seemed to focus on the company he works for and the expensive equipment that he wants to sell on a large scale; it was hard not to zone out during these parts from my years of being bombarded with advertisements and self-training to shut them out.
     However I did enjoy the class discussion that we had once the video had ended. Many of my classmates shared personal stories of their family members’ experiences in care facilities and I learned a lot about them that I had not known before. This is a topic that I would be very interested in coming back to so that I can learn more about it and form my own opinions on the subject.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Katy Perry from a Feminist Point of View

     Today we watched the music video for Katy Perry’s song Hot & Cold. Though I personally enjoy the video, I decided to view it critically from another perspective to gain a bit more understanding of it. From the feminist perspective, I think that the video is extremely degrading to women. It begins by showing a woman upset that a man is unsure of marrying her, as if she needs a man in her life in order to be happy. Then the stereotypical ‘bridezilla’ has a crying, screaming, crazy fit as if a woman cannot even keep her emotions under control if a man does not want to be with her. Then there is a bridge in the video while Katy is shown in various sexy outfits looking pretty, because you cannot have a good music video without showing a sexy woman. The video is then wrapped up by the groom deciding to marry her and of course this is the greatest news she could have- a man to take care of her. Now, I am not sure if this much thought was put into the making of this video, but it cannot be denied that it aligns with quite a few stereotypes that follow the female gender. I still enjoy the song and the video, but I think it is very important to view media critically and consider alternate meanings to the content we are exposed to. 
     I also found the following article that expands on the ideas of gender and gender roles in a few of Katy Perry's Songs:

Group Media Analysis- Katy Perry

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Future of Dating

     The discussion today moved from dating in the past to how dating may potentially develop in the future. I think that dating will continue to change and grow in the same direction that it has been moving. Socially, it seems that it is becoming more and more acceptable to wait until you are slightly older to settle down. Rather than dating one or two people for a couple years and getting married, many couple will date for 5 years or more before taking the plunge and get married and/or start a family. I think that the increasing amount of technology has also has a huge effect on dating trends and will continue to do so. Online dating has become extremely popular in the last few years. It began a bit iffy, something that only a few people would try and even fewer would admit to it, but in the past couple years online dating has become near as popular as most other traditional methods of meeting new people. I personally know a few couples who have met online and I’m sure that this trend of increased acceptance and use of online dating will only continue in years to come. I cannot help but even wonder what new and exciting technologies will exist only a few years from now. For all we know, we are on the brink of yet another revolution that could change the ideas we share about dating even further. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Evolution of Dating

     Today’s class discussion was focussed on dating. I think that dating has changed a lot in the past hundred years, although I would not say that that is a good or a bad thing. I think that as our society has developed, our dating practices have changed drastically yet at the same time the hint of old traditions continue to exist. The introduction of feminism had a major impact on dating, in my opinion. The women used to have little involvement in the prospect of planning a date, but today many women are unafraid to be the one to ask a man on a date or even plan the night’s activities. I think that the age at which people are willing to settle down has also changed the ways that we view dating. Young people used to meet each other at dances that were specifically planned for them to mingle and potentially find a partner. Nowadays, many people are not willing to settle down so young- they want to finish school and/or establish a career before they worry about finding a partner. While a lot of dating is still sparked at social establishments, there are still a lot of people who have grown out of the ‘bar scene’ but are still looking for that special someone. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Thoroughly Modern Marriage

     I am going to be honest, some of the couples in the documentary that we watched today, Thoroughly Modern Marriage, absolutely shocked me. The one that got me the most was the couple that shared their practice of an open marriage. This is something that I have heard about before, but never in real life and I have never heard anyone openly support it. Having had the chance to discuss and think about it, I do not actually have a problem with it being practiced by someone else. In fact I would be curious to learn more about it and ask questions about their decision. Yet I can also say without a doubt in the world that it is not something that is for me. I suppose that it is to do with being from a traditional family, but I am someone who believes in marriage and what it stands for. I think that if you are not willing to give yourself wholly and fully to your partner, then you have no business getting married. Open marriage goes against everything that marriage stands for, in fact the term itself sounds to me like a complete contradiction. I would not judge a couple for being in an open marriage, but I have no desire to try it for myself.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Family vs. State

     Today we learned about the 3 types of families that Zimmerman came up with. He talked about the trustee family, the atomistic family, and the domestic family. I found this subject very interesting, especially his idea that when the family is strong, the state is weak (and vice versa). I had never considered this before, but now I am sure that he is right. In the case of a society with a trustee family trend, the state is bound to be weak because they have little responsibility and therefore little control. In the case of a society with an atomistic family trend, the state will be strong because it has to be to support the people, but the individual family is quite weak. I think that there are certain issues that must be dealt with by the family, and other issues that must be dealt with by the state. Though the family may be strong and the state weak, there is no way for the family to stay indefinitely strong without eventually requiring outside help. For example, in the case of a serious medical emergency a family can do the best they can, but they have a weakness in this situation that they cannot solve on their own. In a true trustee family society, a very ill person will have to care of a trained healthcare person in their extended family; however they will not be provided the same care that a large hospital funded by the state could give them. I think that the solution to this is a society of domestic families. If both the family and the state have a portion of the responsibility and control, then both can be strong. In fact I think that by working together, the family and the state are both stronger than they would have been on their own because together they fill in the gaps that the other left out. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Intergenerational Change

     The discussion in class today focussed on intergenerational continuity and change. As I have mentioned in my previous posts, I come from a pretty traditional family. In fact from what I have been told, the family I grew up with is nearly identical to the one that my father grew up with, and likely the one that my grandfather grew up with as well. The men in my family come from a long line of traditional, strict, and stubborn farmers. My father has great respect for my grandfather and that way that he was raised, and he carries on an identical parenting routine with my brother and I. My brother sees my father in the same way, and I am positive that when my brother has a family of his own the cycle will continue. I find it very interesting however, that both of my aunts (my father’s sisters) have family routines much different from the ones that they were raised in. Similarly, I have never had any intention in following in my father’s footsteps and raising my own children the way that I was raised. I have always wondered if this is a matter of personal opinion or if it is a gender difference. I cannot help but think that it is too much to be coincidence and is fact a matter of how females are treated in our traditional family. I personally do not feel like I was treated badly as a female; however there are certainly specific gender roles within my family that do not cross. I hope that when I have a family of my own I am able to teach my children that even though many traditions from the past, such as respecting your elders, are still very important in our modern society. At the same time, I want my children to value gender equality and put less focus on specific gender roles than my parents did for me. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

World's Strictest Parents

     In today’s class we watched a film called World’s Strictest Parents. I really enjoyed it because in many ways it reminded me of my own family. I come from a generally strict household and I believe in many of the practices that the strict parents had. The video seemed to insinuate that there is a problem with contemporary parenting practices. Though one should not generalize, I think that many can agree with this idea. I think that there is a trend with new parents to try to befriend their children rather than present themselves as a figure of authority. Though parents should maintain a personal and open relationship with their children, there is still a need for structure and balance that cannot be filled by a friend. Children need someone to look critically at their choices and help them choose the path that is best for them because one of the primary characteristics of being a child is a lack of experience. The film definitely favors traditional forms of parenting, but in my personal opinion I am not sure that that is necessarily the answer either. I think that a healthy blend of both traditional and contemporary parenting techniques will benefit a child the most. Many children will not thrive in a very strict environment because they need the nurturing and understanding from a parent figure. Though I am not a parent myself, I firmly believe that a child will flourish if they have a good balance of structure and understanding in their home.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


     Today in class we watched a film called Shyness. When you look at the film from an empirical analytic perspective, you see the perspective of the psychologists who undoubtedly made the film. When they see these shy children, they see a child with a problem that needs to be fixed. They assume that if a child is having troubles making friends at school they are destined to a life of loneliness and sadness. First of all, I personally think it is silly to make such assessments so early in the child’s life. The child has barely had time to assess their personal situation on their own. I firmly believe that shyness is something that can be overcome or at least worked on at a personal level. I was very shy growing up I I reached a point in my life during my early teens that I decided I wanted to make a difference in myself and start to make an effort to overcome it. I will not deny that it was difficult, and there is still a part of me that is shy today, but I have been able to really come out of my shell of my own accord. This seems to be the case of many people; people who were shy children but were eventually able to open themselves up to others when they were ready on their own. Now, not only did the psychologists in Shyness believe that the children needed someone to intervene before they had a chance to grow on their own, but they believed that it was the fault of the parents that the ‘problem’ had occurred in the first place, and it was the job of the psychologists to intervene and fix them. I find the time period in which this film was made very interesting, because it is in a time that many social institutions are very new and for some reason society is becoming convinced that professional intervention is necessary at every bend in the road. Though the film portrays the problem of shyness from an empirical analytic point of view, I think that there are many ways that shyness can be looked at and it is important to view films such as this one with a critical eye.

Monday, January 9, 2012


     I am very eagerly looking forward to this class. I think that I am most looking forward to learning about relationships between families. I have a traditional nuclear family, yet I do not think that my family dynamics are quite as traditional. I am interested in learning about what may be causing some of the relationship traits between members of my family and even perhaps ways to approach problems within my family. As a future teacher, I also think that much of what I will learn in this class will be applicable to my future students. I am interested in learning about situations that exist that I have not experienced, so that I will be prepared to assist my students with their own problems even if I do not have personal experience in their shoes.