D. Augustin – Week 7 – Course Conclusion

I think Mean making was evident in many of the final weeks. It was evident in Week 4 where we discussed the system of relationships in the readings that discussed the differences in the definition of kinship due to cultural differences. The principals and regulations that surround different relationships is often contingent on your background which this week highlighted. I think the bit about what life would be like without women and the variances in people’s definition of gender identity. I think each culture and community defines both of those differently and each has their own values. Mean making was also evident in Week 5 where the topic was making a living and a life. This detailed the different types of interactions between varying groups in a community with varying classes and cultures. Each culture had their own opinion on the regulations of production, distribution and consumption. In essence, they added their own meaning and definition to it and that is what they abided by. In week 6 the class focused on globalization and the interconnected world. The topic focused on how a lot of cultures are becoming intertwined due to the globalization of the economy. With this week in relation to mean making it makes me think of how the United States operates. America is composed of a lot of different types of people and culture, which means “American culture” reflects that as well. As a country we have somewhat redefined ourselves to be more inclusive and encompass a lot of different rituals and morals from a lot of different cultures. This lends itself to the description of a “melting pot” that many people give the United States. Overall, I think we have done a good job of honoring a lot of different people in American culture and created our own meaning of what it means to be a community.

3 thoughts on “D. Augustin – Week 7 – Course Conclusion

  1. Dear Augustin,
    I just wanted to first start off by saying that I thought you did a wonderful on your blog post. I too chose to write about the mean making ways that we talked about and after reading yours I can tell we had a lot of similar ideas on the subject. A topic that you discussed in your blog post that I wish I would of was globalization. Globalization is a major part of the world we live in today simply because of the fact cultures are becoming more and more interconnected with one another. If you think back about fifty years ago till now, different ideas and ways of life are taught to cultures that normally weren’t apart of their ways at all. A good example of this would be the different types of therapy athletes use to treat their bodies. The usual American way was to ice, massage and even take painkillers for soreness. Now techniques like cupping are being used, which is a historical technique to the Chinese culture. Again great job on your post!

  2. Hello,
    I really appreciate the way you identified and defined the theme of meaning making. You gave the phrase meaning. I chose not to write a post about meaning making because I was not sure how to approach the subject. However, from your explanation I find that “meaning making” in many ways coincides with the idea of “system of differences”. You mentioned the excerpt, “Performing Gender Identity: Young Men’s Talk and the Construction of Heterosexual Masculinity” by Deborah Cameron and I recall approaching the subject from a systems of difference standpoint. Reconsidering the theme, the excerpt really highlights our quest to justify what’s presented by culture and society as separate entities. Everything, for example, that a man does is related to his discrete identity as a man rather than a woman. So, when we characterize a man through his personality, looks, tendencies, and likes/dislikes we must give meaning to this dichotomy of man versus woman.
    Enjoy the duration of your summer!
    -Victoria

  3. Great examples of meaning making, it was definitely evident throughout the entire course. I’ll add to your list with some I included in my blog post. In week 4 we read Bourgois’ “Poverty at Work: Office Employment and the Crack Alternative”. In this article one of the main reasons that Primo and others in his neighborhood chose to instead become crack dealers rather than work business jobs was respect. To work a service job they would have to strip themselves of their individuality and their culture. Those who “turn their back” on “who they really are” are looked down on and disrespected by their peers. So Primo instead chose to become a crack dealer because in his lower income environment it is seen as more respectable because he is no longer pandering to someone wealthier than him for a job. Another example of meaning making I used was the El Silbo from La Gomera from the video “Languages Lost and Found” in week three. The island practices a form of whistling that to outsiders does not seem all that intricate. But to those who practice it, it is a very useful communication tool.

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