According to Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Russell Hochschild “A number of young women and girls, due to dire poverty, are, knowingly or unknowingly, forced into prostitution. These trends are another part of the current globalization process.” The issue of sex work has been problematic throughout history and is still present today even though many try to deny the existence. Although slavery has long been abolished, many people still find themselves enslaved due to economic and social circumstances. Sex work is a major problem, in which many refugees seeking a “better life” end up at the mercy of those who are supposed to be helping them. Social classes are difficult to escape, especially when the lower classes have few options when it comes to education and other resources. Most of these countries are set up to make it easy for the rich to get richer, but it is much harder for the poor to climb out of poverty. I believe, that Sex work becomes not only an issue of gender but of class.
Fashion is something we see everyday. Where we see different trends, and styles some people tend to express themselves threw fashion. What I find extremely interesting about fashion is the constant change within the fashion industry. Even though some people may say they do not care for fashion what they wear may say a lot about how they feel or who they are. We often see how trends are constantly being advertised with new fashion ideas from magazine, television, music, videos, and cosmetic surgery. Whether it is someone’s new hair color or new shoes we are incorporating fashion. Simmel also argued that “From the fact that fashion as such can never be generally in vogue, the individual derives the satisfaction of knowing that as adopted by him it still represents something special and striking, while at the same time he feels inwardly supported by a set of persons who are…actually doing the same thing.” This is true sometimes we hear others say “I have my own style” but usually they have seen it somewhere and copied it and have embraced it to express themselves. After Watching the video about South Korea and how the young girls keep up with fashion and style I was in shock. The way these young girls undergo cosmetic surgery as if it is a normal visit to the dentist. I found this article called “How South Korean Plastic Surgeons Make Passport Photos Worthless” it mentions that the South Korean plastic surgeons are highly skilled at their jobs. Because the “people in neighboring countries like China or Japan visit South Korea to have work done. But when they’re ready to go home, they might face a problem: due to their passport pics.” This form of plastic surgery creates a problem for immigration officials.
After watching the videos, on “Wealth Inequality in America” and “Land of the Free, Home of the poor” its extremely mind blowing what I learned. But I’ve always thought that wealth in America has always been distributed unequally even before time. While watching these videos it reminded me of a book I read The Other America by Michael Harrington he points out “that poverty is not just one social attribute among others; it is an encompassing condition.” The individuals that have experienced poverty made them feel “hopeless and passive.” I still believe that this is the case today and history repeats itself. Yes our economy has changed a lot but there are people in this country that still are suffering and struggling due to different factors but I believe it has to do with the wealth inequality in America. When the Haitian women spoke about the ideal American dream I agree with her it is pointless because its like you are running on a treadmill but in reality you are not moving forward. I ask myself all the time what is the ideal American dream? Sometimes I think to myself is it all going to be worth it; all the loans I’ve taken out so far. Am I really going to be wealthy someday since I’m investing money and time into my education? Looking back on these videos and what I truly think about wealth inequality in America I could relate it to Karl Marx’s theory on capitalism we basically do not have a choice but to work hard because things are not going to get paid on their own.
In Durkheim’s exert of The Division of Labor in Society (1893) he made the discrepancy between two types of solidarity: mechanical and organic. Mechanical solidarity “is typified by feeling of likeness. Mechanical solidarity is rooted in everyone doing/feeling the same thing” and rely on societal unity. (103) The individuals in this society create their perceptions according to others based on same beliefs and actions. On the other hand a community forming a complex web of cooperative associations, in which each person is interdependent with everyone – is known as organic solidarity. I read a book called All Our Kin, Carol Stack observes such families, who make up a community called “The Flats.” The Flats that Stack observed was a close-knit community of people who helped each other. Since the established government institutions failed to protect members of The Flats community, the community established its own institution of kinship and solidarity to help and protect one another. Due to insufficient support from government institutions, the black community of The Flats worked together to support one another. Stack notes, “Alliances between individuals are created around the clock as kin and friends exchange and give obligate one another. They trade food stamps, rent money, a TV, hats, dice, a car, a nickel here, a cigarette there, food, milk, grits, and children.” Each individual in The Flats knew his or her part and created moral obligations to live up to the society’s demands. Since government institutions were inadequate, families turned to one other and relied on kin networks in order to survive.
Individuals in society for many years have tried to conform to the social norms of sex and gender. Society forms socialization patterns associated with gender, assigning roles and expectations to each; these roles are ingrained at a young age, through gender-specific toys, cultural values, and stereotypes. Such definitions begin at birth or even earlier – when a pregnant woman finds out she is having a boy, the tendency is to automatically stock up on all things “boy,” from blue items to trucks and action figures. All aspects of society reinforce these gender ideas. Parents and teachers segment children by the clothes and activities associated with their genders and throughout life we continue to reinforce those same norms within peer groups. Ferree and Hall, believe gender socialization is “ongoing, multi-level processes of social expectations, control, and struggle that sustain and subvert gender systems” (Ferree & Hall). The expectancy goes even further in forming the way we express ourselves based on our sex.The the way we speak and the careers we want to pursued is routed by our society and based on our gender.
, it is all navigated by society without any rebellion