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Assignment 22 Read Hayakawa Chapter 16 -- Rats and Men
[Note: This is not a mistake, nor have I forgotten Chapter 15. I'm just doing them out of order]
1. Hayakawa talks about "insoluble problems." Describe another example of this kind of viscous cycle?
2. The concept of "cultural lag" describes what Hayakawa calls "institutional inertia," where a people view the traditional way of doing things the only way of doing things. What current condition do you see as an example of cultural lag?
3. Describe some of the reasons things don't change, according to this concept. What are some of the ways we prevent change (see the section, "The fear of change.").
4. How would the extensional approach differ (or the scientific approach) from an institutional inertia approach to a social problem?
5. Ask anyone (or yourself, if you like) their reaction to this suggestion: "We should investigate the idea of a single, national, health insurance system that covers everyone in the country for all medical and health needs." Describe the initial reaction of the person you ask. Would you characterize it as generated by institutional inertia or extensional orientation?
Assignment 23 Read "Reification" (ß download reading here - word document)
(My thanks to Professor Christine Nystrom for numbers 2 and 3.)
1. Objectification: Select a word you think is commonly objectified. Why do you think it is so easily reified?
2. Most of us would have a hard time taking a photograph of someone we love and pushing a needle through their eyes. To make it easier, imagine it's a photocopy of the photograph, not a "nice" photo that you would want to ruin. It doesn't make it easier, does it? In order to do this, you would have to remove the symbolic part of the picture from your mind and see it as simple a cheap piece of paper with ink on it (or whatever that "toner" is in copy machines) and nothing more. You would have to believe that nothing you did to the picture would have any effect on the actual person. How would you account for your own inability to do this? What implications do you see for human behavior and society?
3. Imagine you are stranded by a plane crash and have been surviving for 15 days without food. Several passengers have died, and among the survivors are two young children who are near starvation. Could you recategorize the bodies from "people" to "meat" and consume them? Why or why not?
4. Take your age and divide by two. In what three ways would you say you are "a different person" from who you were then?
5. When have you been the victim of bureaucratism?
Assignment 24 Engel, chapters 18-23
Complete the chart you’ve been creating for chapters 18-23. Please bring the entire chart to class (although you only have to hand in the 18-23 part for the assignment).
Assignment 28 Read Hayakawa Chapter 15, "Seeing is believing."
In this chapter, Hayakawa makes a number of claims about television, some quite provocative. For example, everything on TV appears to be true, since you are actually seeing it., even though you know it's staged. It seems realistic.
1. Descript some situation with which you have become familiar only through television. How realistic do you think your version is? Why. Could it be entirely different from what you think you know? Be prepared to discuss.
2. In "The world through a keyhole," Hayakawa claims that the TV picture is an abstraction. How can this be? How does it fit the definition of abstracting? (Hint I see one big reason and five possible examples).
3. In "Into America's Living Room," Hayakawa makes the case that TV is emotional and immediate. It is excellent at making us feel things, especially horrible things like floods, fires, etc. He seems to claim that TV news causes terrorism. Suppose all news organizations conspired to never report on terrorist activities. Ever. Would that put a stop to it? Why or why not.
4. In "Film at 11:00," Hayakawa gives some examples of where because TV images are at a high level of abstraction, very generalized, it's easy to show things like cars on line for gas during a shortage. But hard to show things like policies for reducing oil dependence. Suggest a pair of related ideas of your own, one being easy to visualize and the other difficult, impossible, or boring.
Assignment 29 Continuing with Hayakawa Chapter 15, "Seeing is believing." (So numbers are continuing also)
5. The point of television is selling, says Hayakawa. Not only selling us, the viewers, sociological values and actual products, that's only a part of it. Mostly, it's trying to get an keep out attention and sell that to advertisers. This is a tough assignment: watch a (commercial) program which you enjoy and also watch the commercials. Try to keep in mind the entire time that your attention (the ad industry actually calls us "eyeballs") is the product being sold. How does that make you feel?
6. Take a quick guess: what are the most popular professions in the US, according to television.
7. How does television support the two-valued orientation, according to Hayakawa?
8. Why do you think all of the presidential candidates will, at some point in the next election, speak at a high school in, say, Iowa, even though most High School students can't vote?
Assignment 30 Academic Language: On line reading, your choice. Look on line for these questions and cite the source where you find answers.
1. How would you define academic language? How is it different from everyday language? (Here I am not referring to overblown, pompous, speech or sophistry, but what we might call "good" academic speaking and writing.)
2. Why did I use the word "sophistry" in the last question? (I know you didn't know what it meant then. But I assume you do now).
3. What is "APA style?"
4. What constitutes plagiarism? How is it avoided. (Be careful not to cut and paste, and therefore plagiarize, your answer to this question!)
5. Mark Cripin Miller wrote something which Hayakawa used as an introduction to Chapter 15, which you probably didn't read. A) why didn't you read it (if you didn't). B) what do you think of it, now that you have?