Assignment #8

consumerism

See what I did there? The same picture as last week…slightly satirized…

Well, as you have seen already, many paradoxes exist within the framework of American traditions. For the next few weeks, we will be discussing some of these paradoxes, as well as traditions in the United States and in Poland in regards to the holidays. This is an excellent time of year to put a finger on the pulse of a culture. What principles are important to people? What traditions have survived and why? When we really investigate, and peel back the layers, what do these things say about us as a society? Next week will be a listening exercise done in class, so preparation for this week will be minimal. As attendance has been dwindling in the past week, this listening exercise, and the questions following it, will be counted as a quiz grade, and you must be in class in order to complete the assignment.

First:

I would like you to print out the article below, read it and bring it to class with 1-2 discussion points. The article itself is very short, but will help generate a conversation about consumerism, commercialism, and the holiday season.

http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/21/the-movement-toward-a-buy-nothing-christmas/

Second: 

The commercialization and consumerism of Christmas isn’t just an American phenomenon, it happens elsewhere as well. Please read and print the following article, and make SURE to watch the video, if you haven’t seen these things, you’ll be truly amazed at how people act.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/nov/28/black-friday-sales-police-attend-supermarkets-amid-scuffles

For this article, please also write 1-2 discussion points, or questions regarding the information you find here. These articles are meant to give you some background on our discussions in class, so even if we do not get to do a close reading on them during class, they will function as sheerly informational. That being said, I have taken to collecting discussion questions to make sure those who attend class are getting credit, and to make sure you are developing thoughtful inquiries into these subjects.

I want to also stress that this unit will stretch over the course of the next two weeks, and when we return from break we will finish up with crime and human rights. If you have any late assignments for me, the final day I will be accepting them will be the week of December 8th. Journals look great so far! Those of you who came in for grades, some have already received e-mails, and those who have not will have their grades in class this week.

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About melissamott

i can't believe i'm creating a blog, and i hope it's one i actually use. i probably won't though.
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