Monday, February 28, 2011

Week 4: Nature vs. Nurture

My view on the nature vs. nurture debate is that people are more or less shaped by their environment. People generally are shaped by the environment in which they are born into, however it can “backfire” and someone can turn out opposite of how they were brought up. What I mean by this is that if someone is socialized in a ghetto and not taught the best of ideals and ways of living, they will either stay in the environment or continue to keep the social reproduction flowing. Or, they could see how others are socialized and attempt to change their social role in society as a whole.

Examples of people going against their social upbringing are people like Oprah who turn their struggles into fortune and help make the lives of other people better. Oprah’s “molding years” were spent in poverty and she could have easily stayed in this social situation, but decided not to. She’s a great example of someone who went against her social role and made something of herself.

An example of someone who has fallen off the deep end and gone against his intended socialization is someone like Charlie Sheen. Bothe his brother and father are straight edge celebrities who do a lot of things to improve people’s lives and are upstanding citizens. Charlie, I assume, had the same upbringing, and yet has made a mockery of the judicial system by getting out of his many arrests and somehow not being caught on any drug charges.

In my opinion, it’s all up to the individual when it comes down to it. They can either become complacent with their social role, good or bad, or decide through their own free will if they want to change their role, for better or for worse.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Week 3: American Culture to the Rest of the World

American humor can be rather silly or very harsh and attack other people or cultures. British humor is more satirical in nature. It was kind of startling watching a British actor make fun of Americans. I honestly got a little angry hearing the laughter at the word "America". I know if someone got on stage and sung a song only saying "England" I'd probably want him to get off the stage because of how annoying it'd be. However, if he played a piano, much like Hugh Laurie does, you wouldn't expect him to start saying one word on repeat, which is why I think the people thought it to be funny. I think the ending shows what British people think about Americans, they want us to be quiet and stop "tooting our own horn" about how great we are. The song itself, if sung by an American, just shows how patriotic and proud of our country we are, but because it's not an American singing it's satirical.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Week 2: Zimbardo's Prison Experiment. Ethical?

I believe the Stanford Prison Experiment was ethically sound at the time it was called off. However, if the experiment hadn’t been stopped I believe it could have become unethical and people could have been hurt mentally and physically. Although the students involved were allowed to still attend classes, and Dr. Zimbardo admitted the majority of the kids were in it for the money, I don’t believe they thought it would get so real.

If the experiment had gone on for the full period of time I think that the guards treatment of the prisoners would have gotten much worse. That kind of behavior, as Dr. Zimbardo admitted in the video, is typical when someone in a position of power has nothing to do with his/her spare time. As stated in the second video, this is much like what happened at the Abu Ghraib prison. However, there were other circumstances that led to those events happening. Those men and women who were abusing the terrorists have been through a lot being away from home fighting a war and they decided to take their frustrations out on the prisoners. While I don’t agree with what they did, I do understand why they did what they did and feel they were punished appropriately.

In conclusion, the Stanford Experiments were ethical in that they posed a question which was answered, much faster than they had expected. The researchers saw the potential for harm to the students, both mentally and physically, and had they not stopped the experiment, I believe something like Abu Ghraib may have happened, but nowhere near as bad as what happened in that prison.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Week 1: Intro

Personal: My name’s Drew and I currently live in Great Falls, Va. I graduated Landon in 2006 and went to Gettysburg College for 2 years playing football and baseball. I had originally intended on signing with Virginia Tech for baseball, but decided two sports was the way to go. I now regret that decision and have applied to transfer to Virginia Tech this summer.

I am a business major and am taking Soc 200 because it’s a requirement at Tech and it transfers down there. With a business degree I hope to either get into the professional baseball world or into high rise concrete construction. My family owns a concrete subcontractor that I’d like to one day take over, but my passion’s with sports.

For the past year I’ve been coaching several travel baseball teams for a private company in Maryland and would love to take that to the professional level someday. The winter months have been miserable without baseball and it’s beginning to pick up again. Besides coaching I am a diehard Redskins and Capitals fan. Along with that I couldn’t live without my dvd collection and my ipod.

Sports Teams: Capitals and Redskins

Bands: The Band, The Rolling Stones, Yeasayer, Rusko, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Motley Crue, Guns N Roses, Grateful Dead, Soundgarden, Bruce Springsteen, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, The Allman Brothers, Mickey Avalon, MGMT, Phish, Matt Pond PA, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Empire of the Sun, LCD Soundsystem, Pearl Jam, Passion Pit, O.A.R., BEARDO, Trombone Shorty, Sleigh Bells, Slightly Stoopid, DISPATCH

Movie: Green Street Hooligans, Boondock Saints, Forrest Gump, The Program, Stop Making Sense