Throughout life people are asked who they are. This is simple at first with people saying their name, address, and ages. As you get older and gain more responsibility your identity changes to your major in college, current or past jobs, and who you are dating. These changes, while small have a great impact on how people perceive themselves. The changes lead, to the problem that today’s society is having. Today’s society Identifies themselves as being apart of multiple systems where there is no defined stability like in relationship and employment.
When people are in a relationship they are supposed to love each other and they are supposed to date and marry someone that makes them happy. When someone has a relationship based on materialistic goods, instead of feeling, it can cause unhappiness in the relationship, which could cause a divorce. Statistics from Mckinley Irvin Family Law States there are 876,000 divorces a year. The amount of divorce there per year is affecting people psychological identity and sudden failure of the opposite spouses will change the personals ideals and point of view of themselves. The loss of am important relationship like a spouse from a divorce changes the other spouse’s point of view. They question their view of themselves as a graduate student to a husband to I am a graduate student and recently divorced. They question what they did wrong and what they could do differently and what negative effect happen in their relationship with their spouse. The break up causing them to losing their identity. When both spouses agree to the divorced there is still a a identity crisis. Both spouse have emotional damage and Identity damage.
People who are workaholic can lose their identity by fully investing their life into their work. If they fully devote their lives to a particular type of work they are more likely to have no other way to define themselves beside their work. Working hard at your job is not a bad thing. They have a higher chance of a raise, promotion, and the ability to network. It can still cause inner conflict with themselves later on in life. Jobs aren’t forever and when they retire from their jobs that they dedicated their life, what do they have? So much time of a person’s life is spent working to get a perfect job and once they get the job then the goal is to plan for retirement and to pay off student loans. They have little or no time for personal time and fun until retirement. Working in certain fields like medicine can cause a person to not have a chance to define themselves outside of work with eight to ten years in college and residency, While this could cause them to have a higher quality of life, it could also caused them to have a mental issue during like depression and anxiety with little to no outlet to let off stress. The fact that they don't have an outlet for destressing allow them to mentally have a breakdown more easily and lose themselves and who they are. So when retirement comes around they have no idea how to enjoy life because they don't know what to do because they don't really know themself.
The best way to stop people from losing one’s identity is to stop following the principles of the previous generation. Throughout history people lived and learned from the beliefs of the past generation. With each new generation there a new set of principles that are commonly shared with everyone in that generation .With having ideas for the previous generation being pushed down to the next generation in concern of relationship and jobs. Past generations has there after college experience be to meet someone and they get married and get a job and a mortgage in there early to mid 20’s. They had to take responsibility much earlier than the newer generation. While the principles changes thought out the generation the ideal stayed the same about wanting to be a good spouse and parent and being a valued member of their respective community. The difference from the two generation is a small change of the newest generation having the choice in there early adulthood. This choice caused them to be able to expression what they want in life before they have to be fully committed to a job. This is something that older generation like bosses and parents doesn’t really understand about the younger generation. These are not the only factor that caused people to lose their self-identity. In 2008 newly graduated college students found the economy in a recession. Student could not get any jobs during that time and this causing them not to know what to do with their life with no job employment in their field and. This made them not know how to fit into the world but these are factors that are man-made. We can all fix and change how we view society idea of a person self image. There identity, makes the next generation can become successful and healthy by the idea only they define their identity.
My goal for the paper was to look at member or two of the Islam community and Jehovah’s Witnesses community, and how their life was influenced by their corresponding religion. I feel that I have a lot of sources that give thorough context, but I feel as though I didn’t analyze the quotes to the best of my ability. I plan to get better at this skill in the near future.
The unwavering faith a person has in a divine being or energy that they cannot see can be astounding to some. A person becomes people that over centuries have formed groups based on their beliefs, resulting in religions. From these original religions, subcategories called denominations have come forth due to different interpretations. These groups have been judged at times based on misconceptions built out of scandals and radicalism, but when forming opinions about something, it is best to look at the facts, or in cases, the religious texts or beliefs of the actual people. How does religion really influence a person’s behavior or actions and what lengths will they go to to prove their faith? Well, let’s start by breaking down a religion not too many of people know about. Jehovah’s Witnesses are one of the many denominations of the monotheistic religion, Christianity. Its members believe that the creator of the universe is named Jehovah, and its core beliefs come from both the New and the Old Testaments. They acknowledge Jesus as a son of God, technically making them Christians, but they do not recognize the Trinity doctrine or Jesus as the “Almighty God” (“What Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe?”). After gathering this general idea of what the religion was based on, one may become curious about personal stories to get a first hand account of members’ upbringings and/or conversions. My father was brought up as a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and he spoke rarely of the door-to-door ministry, but I felt like there was more he was not saying. Then, I stumbled upon Walter Hudson’s story. He reveals, “[Jehovah’s] Witnesses are religious in the same sense that radical Islamists are. Their theology defines every aspect of their lives and dictates the most trivial nuances of their behavior,” (Hudson, Walter). After some digging, some intriguing rules were “You shall not celebrate birthdays,”, “You shall not lie, but you may refrain from telling the truth to those Jehovah’s Witnesses deem do not deserve it,”, “You shall not vote in political elections,”, “You shall not abort your child, even if it is medically confirmed that the child will be born dead,” and “You shall shun disassociated persons,” (“What is wrong with being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses?”). With these rules and pages more, one might run into some obstacles. Some of these rules could absolutely result in a small social circle at the very least and if you don’t get along with anyone in your religious community, a lack of friends. Steph Le Gardener speaks of being bullied when not saluting the flag during the Pledge of Allegiance, sitting alone during sports and holiday activities while others pitied her, and a loss of innocence during meetings at the Kingdom Hall (their place of worship) where no filter was applied for the young members when speaking of the gruesome deaths non-members would suffer during Armageddon. “My story as a Jehovah’s Witness child is not at all uncommon. As a matter of fact, I’d say it’s probably quite typical… It was demanded that I trade in my childhood dreams of becoming a ballerina or a gymnast for the dream of serving Jehovah 90 hours a month in the door-to-door ministry. I would have to knock on doors and peddle magazines for the prize of some day, being able to ‘play with a panda in paradise.’ I can tell you that the price was far too high, and the trade-off was not fair,” argues Gardener. Through her experiences it appears that this religion causes one to grow up too fast while simultaneously not being allowed to really be a kid. As those kids grow up they either stick with what they know or leave because of that nature of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and this results in the shunning of that person to the point where their own family is highly discouraged from speaking to them. Members also believe that the end is near, and go about preaching to save as many as they can, but with this mindset they are encouraged to sell their property and await Armageddon, resulting in homelessness. Society would look at this religion as quite extreme while devoted members believe that they are dedicating their lives to doing right by Jehovah and helping people to them who would seem educated, find their way through this religion and recognize that the end of the world is coming. A religion that is more well known is Islam. It comes from the word “salam” meaning peace, and the word itself means “surrender” to the word of God. The belief is that many prophets were sent to convey that Allah, the Arabic word for the one true God, is the only deity worth worshipping, also making it a monotheistic religion (“What is Islam?”). This religion speaks of improving oneself before trying to impact others’ lives, which is a profound lesson that seems to looks down upon arrogance. Some steps to self-purification are included in the Qur’an and the teachings of Muhammad: “Strive to increase your knowledge whether it be religious or academic knowledge. Endeavor to be an informed and active citizen,”, and “Improve your moral standards by cultivating integrity, conscientiousness, and right action,” (“Importance of Self-Improvement in Islam”). These statements are suggesting that by bettering yourself, you are bettering your community. One 31-year-old Chicano man talks about how he had used various drugs in the past as a means of escape from depression and was not even seeking to be part of a religion when he read the Qur’an for the first time. However, reading that religious text was a turning point in his life where through this religion, he reflected on the way he’d been living and how he could improve himself. “I have been a Muslim since 1997. I’m at peace with myself and clear in Religion….I think that Islam is the answer for the problems of the youth and society in general,” (“A Muslim’s personal testimony”). When people join religions, they don’t just join a group of people who believe in the same God, Gods, or energy as themselves, but they also agree to uphold a certain way of life based upon the divine beings’, prophets, or philosophers’ teachings. The Jehovah’s Witnesses rules are more like a handbook for life, giving strict directions that if followed will save you from Armageddon, while the Islam’s texts seemed to be more like advice on how to be a better person. Based on these texts people make sacrifices that they may not even be aware of or that they may painfully be aware of to do right by their God, God’s or energy. At the end of the day, these beings or energies that eludes our physical senses brings people together from all walks of life to form a sense of community.
“What Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe?” JW.ORG, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/jehovah-witness-beliefs/.
Walter Hudson. “My Childhood in the Cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses.” Faith, PJ Media, pjmedia.com/faith/2016/05/31/my-childhood-in-the-cult-of-jehovahs-witnesses/.
“Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Rules - avoid jw.Org.” Jehovah’s Witnesses, 9 June 2016, avoidjw.org/en/changes/jehovahs-witnesses-rules/.
“My Life as a Jehovah’s Witness Child.” Watchtower Watch, 16 May 2013, watchtowerwatch.com/blog/my-life-as-a-jehovahs-witness-child.
“What is Islam?” Facts about the Muslims & the Religion of Islam - Toll-Free hotline 1-877-WHY-ISLAM, www.whyislam.org/islam/what-is-submission/.
“Home.” The People of the Book, www.thepeopleofthebook.org/why-bother-to-share-with-muslims/a-muslims-personal-testimony/.
PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/teach/muslims/beliefs.html.
The skills we learn in school can be often be used in our daily lives. However, not all of those skills can be used. For example, as you get older the math you learn in school becomes less and less usable in daily life. The only real acception is a career that has a lot to do with math, like engineering or something involving physics. My main point is that school can’t teach you everything, and not everything you learn will be usable later on. The goal of school is to increase your understanding of different topics.
There are kids that lack things like social skills, and a school is not really focused on developing social skills. That is where the scouting programs come in. Scouting helps develop social skills even if the scout has Autism, which makes it harder for someone to develop those necessary social skills. I know because my older brother has aspergers and scouting has helped him to be more social. He still struggles with those skills, but his social skills are much better than they were. Scouting doesn’t just develop social skills, it also develops skills a scout may need to react to an emergency.
On October 11, 2017 the Boy Scouts of America made an announcement that starting in September of 2018 girls will be allowed to join Cub Scouts, progress into Boy Scouts, and earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Most people, like the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh, agreed with the decision, and thought it was a great idea. “‘The values of Scouting—trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example—are important for both young men and women,’ said Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh in a statement. ‘We strive to bring what our organization does best—developing character and leadership for young people—to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders.’” However, the decision also received backlash from both Boy Scout and Girl Scout leaders. “‘The need for female leadership has never been clearer or more urgent than it is today—and only Girl Scouts has the expertise to give girls and young women the tools they need for success,’ the Girl Scouts said in a statement.”
I agree with the decision made by the BSA, and think it is a good idea. Like Surbaugh, I think the values that the BSA teaches are important for all people. The BSA’s main goal is to teach the scouts how to be better people. The Boy Scouts does a great job at making sure each scout leaves the program as a better person. Just like an Eagle Scout I remember from when I first joined my troop. His name was Christopher Alvelo, and I had only known him for a short time when many news reports like this one came out, “A teen Eagle Scout, killed in a car crash, is being hailed as a hero for taking the wheel of his stepfather's SUV after the man suffered a medical emergency. The teen's actions saved the lives of the man and two other passengers.
17-year-old Christopher Alvelo, his stepfather, 51-year-old Joe Snyder and two friends were driving home from an Eagle Scout trash clean-up project in Pennypack Park on Saturday when Snyder suffered a medical emergency shortly after 12:30 p.m.” The friends in the SUV were two scouts also in my troop. Here is what happens next, “Alvelo, who was in the passenger seat of the 2007 Ford Explorer, grabbed the wheel and tried to take control of the SUV.
The teen was able to steer the vehicle off the road and into a parking lot for the North Philadelphia Jet Center at Northeast Philadelphia Airport along the 2800 block of Red Lion Road. However, he couldn't get to the break and the vehicle slammed into an unoccupied Paratransit van.
Alvelo died at the scene.”
These tragic events happened on October 26, 2013, but if Chris wasn’t a scout he may not have been able to react the way he did and save three people’s lives. At that time I had just started Boy Scouts and Chris was one of many scouts in the troop, so I didn’t really know him. However, I do know that at the time that Chris died he wasn’t technically an Eagle Scout. In order to earn the rank of Eagle Scout the scout must have a certain number of merit badges. Then, the scout must complete a service project they come up with and supervise. Lastly, there is a ceremony acknowledging that the scout has earned the rank of Eagle.
There never was a ceremony for Chris, but my Scoutmaster and my dad, the Assistant Scoutmaster, decided that Chris met all of the requirements needed for the rank and that he lived the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. So even though Chris wasn’t there to receive the Eagle Scout award, he saved lives and he truly earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
Opposition is a driving force to many empowerment movements. What is there to fight against if everyone is on your side? That very idea has become a downfall for the modern feminist movement. Today, more and more people are calling themselves feminists. This is the result of equality being pushed to the forefront of society and feminism being sold and marketed as “trendy”. Either way, feminism has begun to lose some of the “toxic” buzz that used to surround it, and has gained followers in the process, but this hasn’t turned out to be as good as it may seem. Feminism has no strict definition. That means that if you believe in female empowerment, or income equality, or reproductive rights, or trans rights, or sexual assault awareness, or any other form of liberation for women, you can call yourself a feminist. The word is open and fully customizable, an appeal and weakness of the cause. People whose views would not have identified them as feminist 10 years ago are now claiming to be, which alters the meaning of the word. Those strongly opposed to feminism are becoming less common, and more common are the conservative feminists who are shifting the movement from the inside. With more and more people claiming to be feminists while lacking a uniform message or goal, the strength and meaning of the word is diluted.
Feminism first began as an in-your-face stick-it-to-the-man empowerment movement, often associated with radical suffragettes, hairy armpits, burning bras, and furious campaigning. These women, over the course of 3 waves of feminism and many decades, set a precedent for the rest of society and aimed to change the standards of gender rights through laws, cultural shifts, and increased opportunities. A timid society built to protect the patriarchy was quick to push these bold fighters into a category of radicals that were not to be associated with, even by women who benefitted from the feminists’ efforts. Titling yourself a feminist had substance, and was worn with pride by those who dedicated their lives to earning it. Today, feminist culture has shifted. Corporations and brands have begun to use feminism as a selling point and a way to gain “cultural clout”. Jia Tolentino from The New Yorker says that “The inside threat to feminism in 2017 is less a disavowal of radical ideas than an empty co-option of radical appearances—a superficial, market-based alignment that is more likely to make a woman feel good and righteous than lead her to the political action that feminism is meant to spur.” Being seen as “woke” is of the utmost importance to the online-activist types of our time, and phrases such as “the future is female” and “girls just want to have fun-damental rights” are easily marketed to that crowd that craves validation. These campaigns, while true and empowering, focus less on tackling the modern problems facing women and more on making those who buy into them feel included in the solution without having to prove it. Tolentino sums all of this up by saying, “the decline of feminism is visible in how easy the label is to claim.” Buying into the feminist brand without having to earn it is creating a generation of activists with very little stake in the cause, and this opens the door for a wide range of feminists to walk into and change the conversation.
As feminism becomes more commercial and the number of feminists rises, so do the number of viewpoints. With no set book of laws to filter them out, no idea can be easily labeled as “wrong”. This has lead to people, who would once have been seen as directly opposed to feminism, strategically joining the movement and stating their views from the inside, which Claire Fallon of the Huffington Post argues, is more dangerous that blatant anti-feminism: “Feminism has grown too mainstream, too broadly accepted, and even expected, for vociferous anti-feminists to be taken seriously in any debate about women’s rights, even if they are women. More useful to the opposition are women like Roiphe, feminists in name only.” The “Roiphe” she speaks of is a women who labels herself a feminist but stands for things that seemingly undermine the movement entirely. She can say whatever she likes, even things that would previously have never been called feminist, and keep her title, all because there are no rules that can say her views go against the movement. If she claims she is a feminist, she is a feminist, and no one has the power to take that away from her or force her to prove it. This blind acceptance is allowing previously opposed viewpoints and uninvested members to be welcomed into the circle of feminism, thus adding those views to the never ending list of the feminist agenda, and effectively changing what the movement stands for just by being a part of it. All of this raises the question: is bigger always better, and if so, can and should it be controlled?
The answer seems simple; everyone should consider themselves feminists and support the greater good for all people, but nothing is truly that simple. Female empowerment author, Jessica Crispin as quoted in Tolentino’s article, points out that, “Somewhere along the way toward female liberation, it was decided that the most effective method was for feminism to become universal, [And the people who decided this] forgot that for something to be universally accepted, it must become as banal, as non-threatening and ineffective as possible.” That means that in order for feminism to become a norm, it has to fit everyone else's needs and be watered down along the way. Well, if feminism can not be for everyone all at once, who gets to decide who the feminists are and whose views to follow? Again, there is no easy answer. There is much debate over the non-binding guidelines of feminism. Some think the leaderless movement should, similarly, remain lawless, and that censorship of any kind aids in the oppression of female thought, (Crockett). Others believe that allowing too many views under the umbrella of feminism surrenders the message to counterproductive change, and that “without some boundaries for claiming the word feminist, it becomes meaningless” (Valenti).
It is hard to say which side reigns true or what form the movement will take. Some supporters are turning the title into a platform for their pro-establishment agendas while others are bashing victims for coming forward with sexual assault claims. Limitless followers stand ready to use feminism as a convenient defense and flaunt it for their benefit. Millions are turning out for marches when they gain attention, but there is seemingly no energy to fuel the fight against less publicized hurdles. Still, none of this is technically un-feminist. As of now, the movement refuses to damper anyone who claims the name but will eagerly scorn the shrinking number of people without it who stand in their way. Will a day come where every person on earth is a feminist, but equality still does not exist for all? If feminism fights those who oppose and endanger the movement, will there come a time where they must attack themselves in order to stay alive?
Valenti, Jessica. “When everyone is a feminist, is anyone? | Jessica Valenti.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 24 Nov. 2014, www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/24/when-everyone-is-a-feminist.
Crockett, Emily. “Can you be a "pro-Life feminist"? The Women's March on Washington offered some insights.” Vox, Vox, 22 Jan. 2017, www.vox.com/identities/2017/1/22/14335292/womens-march-washington-abortion-pro-life-feminists.
Fallon, Claire. “The Fake Feminism Of The #MeToo Backlash.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 31 Jan. 2018, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/metoo-backlash-feminism_us_5a621cf7e4b01d91b2552f26.
Fallon, Claire. “The Fake Feminism Of The #MeToo Backlash.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 31 Jan. 2018, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/metoo-backlash-feminism_us_5a621cf7e4b01d91b2552f26.
Tolentino, Jia. “The Case Against Contemporary Feminism.” The New Yorker, The New Yorker, 19 June 2017, www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-case-against-contemporary-feminism.
This is an essay I am proud of. For this paper, my biggest goal was to make sure I understood the project and developed something I knew was quality. There have been instances where I have written a piece, but realized later that I didn’t follow the directions at all and had to start over. An area for improvement though was the amount of editing I did, and how I didn’t end up changing a lot from my rough draft to final.
Each person has a hidden identity. No one is a completely open book; everyone will have their secrets. You see a lot of examples of hidden identity on social media, but you don’t notice it for what it is. If you look at somebody's facebook feed or Instagram page, you’ll see that they will only share what they want others to see. Everybody with a social media account wants to craft an identity for themselves online. However, it isn’t an accurate representation of who they are. Think about it. How would you feel if there was an accurate representation of your emotions and activities on the internet for all your friends to see? Would you want people to see the depths of your personal life online? People will only post about things in their life that they would want everybody else to see as well. Social media isn’t even just about sharing your life, it’s about bragging about it and crafting an ideal persona online.
Social media also changes the genuine expression of emotion from people. While Facebook is a place where people vent about their siblings and show their video game high scores, they also will tell all of their Facebook friends that somebody close to them passed. In my personal experience, I feel a certain level of guilt if I see a status update like that and I don’t like or comment. However, this does not feel genuine to me at all. If somebody close to me lost a loved one, I would make sure I am showing support in person, and not through a Facebook comment. I read a Time Magazine article on mourning on facebook. It introduced the idea of if Facebook is the right place for important issues such as loss, depression, death, etc. A quote from the article read,“There’s no ‘right’ way to mourn, but I question whether Facebook — which seems more and more like a junkyard of complaints and raw emotions — does justice to our feelings about meaningful things like death if we discuss them on the same platform as complaints about our cable company.” This quote raises a really good question on the topic of worth. Can somebody’s death really be dumbed down to a social media post? Death is a massive topic, that cannot be just summed up with a speech, a funeral, a gravestone, and especially not an Instagram post. If a funeral doesn’t give justice to somebody’s death, then how can a post on social media?
There was a relatively well known local musician named Brian Nowell, who recently passed because of a drug overdose. It was a very sad event, and I did see and feel the effect of it on people around me. But not in person, it was all expressed on Facebook or Instagram. I never actually heard anybody who involved themselves in sharing or posting about his death, speak about it in person. It was uncanny, to get texts, facebook messages, and more about this tragedy, which made it seem very sad. However, without anybody actually talking about it, made it seem very fake. This is because, without a real connection to the person, a person doesn’t feel as much remorse as somebody close to the tragedy. Somebody can feel sympathy, but won’t feel the same way as somebody who was close to Brian. Just from my perspective, it felt like many different people were putting this persona of themselves on social media to make the tragedy about themselves, and to show that they care, and not to actually show support to the ones truly hurt. Sharing and posting about a tragedy like this can help craft this ideal online persona, one that is not only busy, smart, and having fun, but is also caring and supportive.
People end up crafting different identities because they want to create a persona they find ideal for the public. There are different reasons for this, whether it’s to feel more important, seem caring and supportive, seem popular, and much more. People use different ways to craft ideal identities for the public. This can be done with social media, by sharing things that will make you seem like somebody more interesting or popular. People will also often utilize their hidden identities to seek attention, sympathy, or approval. This isn't something that can really be addressed, but it is an issue. Considering how important people's social lives have become to them, an online persona can influence your personality greatly, and change you for better or worse.
Zneimer, Lia. “Social Media: How to Mourn on Facebook After Someone Dies.” Time, Time, 6 May 2014, time.com/47252/mourning-social-media/.
The goal of my paper was to analyze the streetwear culture and social media’s influence on its growth. I wanted to understand and attempt to explain both sides of the argument of culture vultures, and I believe I did a good job in my attempt. I believe I did a good job in establishing the relationship between social media and streetwear and analyzing the argument of those who criticize culture vultures. One area I do think I could’ve improved in was my overall argument. I feel as if I repeat my argument one too many times in certain areas and that is in part due to my lack of word variation.
Social media has created a virtual global village that connects people from all over the world. An influencer in London no longer only has influence in London, but has influence from places like Zhuhai, China to Jonesboro, Arkansas. This global reach has given power to the influencer and has accelerated the rise of trends. Trends can blow up in a matter of minutes on the internet. One of the booming trends today is the rise of streetwear and brands like Supreme. However, unlike your favorite 6 second vines or meme, it is a trend that hasn’t gone away. As the streetwear culture is just starting to hit the mainstream market, there has been backlash from those who believe the culture is losing its authenticity. Those who consider them “original” streetwear enthusiasts have criticized adopters of the brand, however, Supreme’s rise is due to social media and the natural growth of clothing brands.
Supreme started as this exclusive club meant for only the most authentic and raw of skaters and artists in the New York Area. As Alex Williams from the New York Times stated, “For much of its 18-year existence, Supreme was confined to the in-crowd, a scruffy clubhouse for a select crew of blunt-puffing skate urchins, graffiti artists, underground filmmakers and rappers.” The store represented the culture of its city and thrived in this space. If you walked into the store and didn’t pass the “authenticity check,” you were looked down upon(New York Times). This was true for most underground brands such as Palace and Thrasher. Brands like Supreme established this ethos that they are anti-culture and different from the norm, however, one could argue that they are the new norm. As streetwear has gone mainstream, its ethos has lost some of its grunginess.
Social media has undeniably provided a platform for individuals to create careers and cultivate huge followings. Anyone who denies this can be pointed to Kim Kardashian’s Instagram. As of March 16, 2017, brands have to pay up to $500,000 for an Instagram post to her 94.8 million Instagram followers (Talia Ergas). On a smaller scale, social media has established a pipeline for the growth of streetwear. Leo Mandela, most notoriously known on Instagram as Gully Guy Leo, is one specific individual who used social media to his advantage. Leo Mandela grew up in Warwickshire where the most streetwear thing to do was wear skinny jeans. Due to the lack of inspiration in his community, he turned to social media where he found inspiration from individuals like Jaden Smith, Kanye West, and Justin Bieber. Once he reached around the age of 13, Leo Mandela started finding the money to purchase clothes that were considered “hype.” From there he was able to build up a following on Instagram and currently he has over 590,000 Instagram followers. He models for brands such as Converse and and is flown out to fashion events all over the world. He hangs out with major celebrities on a consistent basis, doing all of this at the age of 15. His free to sign up Instagram account has opened doors that wouldn’t otherwise be possible at his age.
Leo Mandela has also been heavily criticized for his following. Dubbed by many as a “culture vulture,” he is viewed as one of the many that are ruining the culture. However, there is an argument to be made that Supreme’s growth as a brand is inevitable, and social media is only speeding up the process. Brands like Nike, Clarks, and Stussy all started off small. They did not have overnight success. It took the consumers to express their enjoyment from the brand to fuel their growth. Social media just makes it easier for the consumer to spread their enjoyment with a certain brand, thus speeding up its growth. Social media’s reach has fused Supreme’s urban sensibility and suburban mainstream, drawing a fine line between those who wear the brand because of its urban authenticity and those who wear it because it is hype.
As our world becomes more and more connected, the popularity of different art/expression/culture/niches will grow too. This is becoming an issue as people are quick to protect a part of their identity and keep it a secret from the masses. All it takes is a couple of minutes to find like minded individuals or to find a niche you are interested in. What were once subcultures are being thrust into the spotlight and there is no longer a boundary for its reach or influence. More and more people are facing the fact that what they consider unique about themselves is quite common when looking at grand scope of things, and it is up to each individual to decide whether it will affect them or not.
Ergas, Talia. “Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian Make Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars for Instagram Ads.” Us Weekly, 16 Mar. 2017, www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/kardashian-sisters-make-how-much-for-instagram-ads-w472080/.
Williams, Alex. “Guerrilla Fashion: The Story of Supreme.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Nov. 2012, www.nytimes.com/2012/11/22/fashion/guerrilla-fashion-the-story-of-supreme.html.
Davey, Jacob. “How Gully Guy Leo Harnessed Hate to Become the Coolest Kid on Instagram.” Complex, Complex, 1 Feb. 2018, www.complex.com/style/2018/02/gully-guy-leo-converse.
The goal of this paper was to try and make sense of why working class whites in America have the beliefs and prejudices that they do. I attempted to do this without insulting or vilifying them, though I’m not sure if I succeeded. While I’m overall content with the essay, I find that I repeat myself a little too often and that my analysis is quite long-winded.
March 9, 2018
The election of Donald Trump has ignited the discussion of a very important question: how did this happen? The answer lies in many places, but one key factor in his victory lies in a previously unexpected region of the United States. Known sometimes as the “silent majority”, America’s rural communities are rarely regarded when considering massive social and political change. This past election, they proved to be a driving force behind Trump’s seemingly out of nowhere victory. Trump, or rather his campaign staff, manipulated these people by exploiting their fear and their inner rage against the “urban elite”.
The best way to manipulate people is through fear and rural, working-class whites have a lot to fear. Their main source of livelihood, mostly low-skill manufacturing jobs, have been on the decline as more and more companies ship their business overseas where labor costs are cheaper. They believe to have been passed over by their government, left with no representation. They’re led to believe that other races of people receive “special treatment” while they’re seemingly forced to fend for themselves. This leads to them creating extremely insulated communities where everyone shares a similar mindset. Without any new ideas coming into the community, they continue the same way they always have, which only serves to worsen their problem. The typical conservative viewpoint tends to come from a place of ignorance. Racism, xenophobia, pro-gun beliefs, anti-abortion beliefs, and so-called “conservative family values” are harder to find in more densely populated urban environments because there is a far greater concentration of people with different beliefs from different backgrounds. This exposure to different ideas makes one more accepting of change and more open to new concepts. In a place where everyone is the same race, has the same worldview, has access to the same limited information, and have all lived there for generations, progressive opinions are hard to find. This creates an echo chamber where misinformation is repeated from source to source until it becomes fact.
That’s not to say that these people are monsters. A part of their fear and hatred stems from wanting what’s best for their communities. People who live in rural areas pride themselves on their resourcefulness, their grit, their status as American citizens, and the strength of their communities. They believe that most problems can be solved with determination and hard work. This leads them to perceiving other oppressed groups as lazy. They don’t understand the effects of systematic oppression because they don’t experience it, at least not obviously, nor do they know anyone who has because minority groups are regularly regarded with contempt and mistrust. These people have been fed misinformation for generations and are so steeped in their own way of life that they fail to see the world from any other viewpoint aside from their own extremely limited perspective.
In a USA Today interview with several Trump supporters, a man named Zach Broullire gives his reasons for supporting such a candidate. “Right now, our immigration system is not working for the American people, and our trade isn’t working for the American people. Really, I support Trump because our government is not necessarily working for the American people and more for their agenda, whatever that may be. I want American first policy; any American citizen, that’s who our immigration policy, our trade policy and every other policy should be working for is American people.” This is how people like Donald Trump get elected. Working-class whites feel ignored by the government and are looking for anyone willing to speak to their beliefs. They are willing to ignore and excuse a great deal of problems because they are desperate for representation. Any politician claiming to have an “America first” policy has an easy time gaining their favor.
Instead of looking for ways to help these people, politicians abuse their predictable responses and generally limited educations to garner support for their campaigns. As Adolf Hitler stated in Mein Kampf, “All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Propaganda must be limited to a few simple themes and these must be represented again and again. Here, as in innumerable other cases, perseverance is the first and most important condition of success.” One can observe these tactics used time and time again. By utilizing a limited vocabulary and catchy phrases like “America first” and “drain the swamp”, propaganda appeals to these people’s identities as Americans and gives them a clear and simple goal to fight for.
It is important to remember that these are still people. They may say horrible things, they may commit horrible acts, and sometimes it’s impossible to forgive them, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t hope for change. If the root of the problem here is caused by ignorance and the manipulation of said ignorance, than the education of these people is of utmost importance. If we ignore the white working class, they will only withdraw further into their isolation, and the situation will only get worse.
Capehart, Jonathan. “Opinion | Working-Class whites can't handle their status as 'the new minority'.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 20 Apr. 2017, www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/04/20/working-class-whites-cant-handle-their-status-as-the-new-minority/?utm_term=.b8e5c6c1f1d6.
Glasser, Susan B. and Thrush, Glenn, et al. “What's Going on With America's White People?” POLITICO Magazine, www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/09/problems-white-people-america-society-class-race-214227.
“Trump Nation.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, www.usatoday.com/pages/interactives/trump-nation/#/?_k=4y2pq5.Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf. Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017.