Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Project Text Essay(Portfolio)

Steven Lee
Professor Dinsmore
English 114B
25 April 2012
Identifying Ourselves Through Clothing
Identity is the most crucial part of being human. It reflects who the person is and how they are identified in life.  Everyone has a unique identity and they are known by their identity. Identity can define a person based on their race, gender, status, age, and class. The most common way to identify a person is by their clothing that they wear because it is the first impression that the human eye catches. Identity construction is easily done when it involves clothing because the clothing the person wears tells a lot about them. Clothing expresses a person’s identity in many different aspects and could show a person’s affiliations, status, and habits.
           Companies, Pop Culture, and Music, we recognize the clothing that the person is wearing is related to something bad. The attire that are expressed is sometimes used to represent a gang, but it became linked to the fashion world as a trend.”Clothing has been closely linked to violent and sometimes deadly situations. Kids may be at risk because of their clothing choices” (Hethorn).  It is dangerous to express identity in a certain way if the identity you are trying to pose is not what you are suppose to be. Clothing that represents this violence, is a huge identity crisis because it leads to trouble.  Gang identity is very easy to spot and we recognize people with gang attire to be in gangs. The first impression of these clothing gives fear to people instead of a friendly gesture because the fact that they may be possible gangsters.
           Depending on where you are, the gang attire could mean different things. The identity shifts from the “ghettos” to the new trend in the fashion world. “To wear a red “rag” in one neighborhood may be a clear symbol of gang affiliation, but in a different area, the same item holds no meaning except as a head covering” (Hethorn, “Gang Identity or Self-Expression?”).    Wearing gang related attire in a gang affiliated neighborhood means you are identifying yourself as trouble, wearing gang related attire in a safe community is just fashion. Two different spaces, but the same clothing means different things: “The boundaries between gang style and street styles are blurred, the more so as gang identifiers are quickly absorbed into fashion” (Hethorn).   This means that clothing gives an impression of who we are, even though the identity of the clothing could be ruthless and dangerous.
Clothing affects more than affiliation, but also the social class as well. For example,“In preindustrial times such as the Colonial Period, clothing was synonymous with a person’s position in the social structure. It not only revealed your social position and gender, but your occupation [each one had its own costume], religious affiliation, and regional origin, as well”(Gilmore). From colonial past, clothing already had a big impact on identity. It was used as a way to express their wealth and their accomplishments. The clothing that the rich could afford made it nearly impossible for the poor to acquire. That is what made clothing identity in the colonial period very accurate in determining a person’s wealth. Compared to modern day, clothing is much easier to get, but the fashion world of the upper-class is still impossible for a middle class salary. A middle class person could not afford an Upper Class Clothing because the Upper Class person’s clothing could be worth the amount of a low income paycheck.  "The display of status through one's clothes and other means of adornment appears to be a universal phenomenon” (Kaisert, 49). The plainness of clothing reflects the identity of being simple and cheap, the special design of clothing that people values are more complex and expensive. Even though modern day clothing is not as strong as an influence on social class as the colonial period, we still have brands like Banana Republic, Gucci, and other expensive brand names that reflects the person’s social class.
Space is also involved in changing the identity of the person with their clothing. It depends on who you are appearing to when you decide to pose your identity. Wearing expensive clothing in a public space expresses power and richness and wearing the same piece of expensive clothing that you own to family events just makes it look like you are only trying to be someone who you are not.  Identity is easily given off my clothing and the impression gained is the identity given by the public.
           The clothes we wear reflect our habits because of the appearance it uses as an impression toward other people. Changing our clothes more than three times a day means a lot because it shows the habit of caring too much about self-image. An example of this is a consumer who may throw on an outfit without much thought in the morning, but your choice is strongly affected by your mood. That means if the person starts out their morning wearing unmatched clothing or something that does not fit the day; it means they just don’t care about today.  There are clothes that women categorize as happy-clothes, and clothes that they wear on a normal basis. “The study found that 'happy' clothes -- ones that made women feel good -- were well-cut, figure enhancing, and made from bright and beautiful fabrics”( "Happiness: It's Not In The Jeans." ). Clothing that reflects our mood has some detail on our identity showing some sign of incompleteness.
              Clothing identity also affects the daily habits of people who are over obsessed with their image. “There is nothing new or radical about people in western culture constructing an identity via consumer items.” (Sandell).Going shopping for clothing and accessories is similar to shopping for an identity. Referring to project web’s book , “The Surrogate,” people in the time era also had the same idea where identity could be bought. The only difference between the book and reality is that the book offers a better way to buy your identity in a better technological difference by purchasing Surrogates. People who have the habit of going shopping a lot have a lot of trouble with their identity. They are constructing their identity and it is always changing because they are unsure of who or what they want to be.
              Clothing is very important when it comes to a person’s identity. It is the first thing a person spots because it is part of a person’s exterior view. There is countless amount of clothing in the world; they could be cultural, religious, fashion, or anything that is used to cover a person. Different types of clothing gives people different types of impressions. “Clothing is also heavy with significance and symbolism. Sure, we might need clothing to protect us, but as humans, we love to add meaning to things that have no meaning, and so the costume – and the identity wrapped within it, is born” ( Morrigan). Adding meaning to ourselves with clothing make us unique, just like how everyone has a distinct difference.   Identity is easily constructed and altered with clothing because you could practically be anyone based on the way you dress.  Clothing reflects a person identity because it shows many details about the person who is wearing it.

Work Cited
Gilmore, Ardeth. “Fashion Trends: A Reflection of Our Political Culture.” Upenn, Web. 24 Apr        
Gowda, Abhava. “How Fashion Reflects Our Personality and Individual Tastes.” H2O               Magazine, Web. 25 Apr 2012.
Hethorn, Janet. “Gang Identity or Self-Expression?” University of California: California               Agriculture, Dec 1994. Web.  24 Apr 2012.
Housiaux, Julie, et al. “Beauty And The Beast: Study On The Relationship Between Clothing               and Social Status.” Muohio, 19 Mar 2001. Web. 24 Apr 2012.
Kaiser, Susan B. The Social Psychology of Clothing: Symbolic Appearances in Context. New               York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1990. Print.
Sandell, Jillian. “Shopping For a Change.” Bad Subject Collective, 1994. Web 25 Apr. 2012.
Morrigan, Leah. “ Clothing,Costume, Identity, and Lack of Thereof.” Wordpress, 17 Dec. 2010.     
              Web. 25 Apr. 2012.
University of Hertfordshire. "Happiness: It's Not In The Jeans." ScienceDaily, 8 Mar. 2012.               Web. 25 Apr. 2012.
Venditti, Robert, et al. "The Surrogates" Marietta: Top Shelf, 2006. Print.

Society's Gender Role (Portfolio)

Steven Lee
Professor Dinsmore
Eng 114B
9 May 2012
Society’s Gender Role
Identity plays a big role in modern day life. It symbolizes who you are and how people think about you. No matter what people say about, “Don’t Judge a Book by its cover”, it does not matter because in our minds we judge people. We give them names based on their identity and we remember them based on their identity. The movie, Gamer and the graphic novel, Surrogate are two excellent sources that portray identity as a role in life. Society is a very cruel place when it comes to gender, if you are a woman you must be a sentimental human being, if you are a man you must be masculine. The ideas of women being inferior to men have been going along for centuries. These are common gender roles that society demands and expects people to follow.
The graphic novel, Surrogate shows a good example of how gender is portrayed in society. In the book, people lived a life where they could be anyone they want to be. They are represented in society as artificial humans who could live life having a different identity. The CEO of the Surrogate Company, Victor, is really a surrogate who is controlled by a woman named Victoria. The nature of this proves that as a woman, she believes that being a man in society gives her special privileges and  being a CEO of one of the biggest company that should be well taken care of. Victoria used Victor as a source of having a bigger voice in the company’s actions. Even in a world where everyone is perfect, she still uses a man as the symbol of power. The business world today states that, “although women make up over half of America's labor force, as of 2009, only 12 Fortune 500 companies and 25 Fortune 1000 companies have women CEOs or presidents”(Gettings). This shows where the power belongs in modern day civilization because in the book, their timeline is not so far from our time. 
Despite Harvey being emotionally strong, on the other hand, Margaret (Harvey’s wife), does not believe in going outside without her surrogate. She is living the fantasy that every woman wants, staying young and beautiful. This does not last forever because when Harvey turned off all Surrogates in the world, he goes home finding out that Margaret committed suicide. Society in Surrogate is trying to explain the nature of women, saying that their image is very important to them, they are very sentimental and weak, and they depend on men. These are all stereotypical things that relates to how society views men and women.
Harvey’s and Margret’s incident brings up the topic of the reason of why a specific gender cares about their personal appearance more than the other. The stereotype about women caring more about their looks than men is true because men seek women for their looks. This works more like a supply and demand way, but in society’s point-of-view. If men are looking for looks that means women are looking for personality. These kinds of stereotypes are all picked up from the media because we believe that in life, women are seeking a man who would protect them. If women are supplying the demand of men who are seeking the appearance of women, then this sums up the solution of which gender has the power in society.
In reality, from past to present, women are sometimes controlled by men both figuratively and literally. Both, the movie Gamer and the graphic novel Surrogate had scenes where men control women as another identity. In Gamer, a place called Society existed, people could only control other humans if they can are wealthy enough. A scene in Gamer showed a man controlling a woman, and he is having her do stuff beyond imagination. This kind of act is worse than chattel slavery because she is less than property that could be sold; she is basically controlled to do his bidding. In Surrogate it is a different story because the man who was controlling the woman was controlling a surrogate. Both of these examples are trying to tell us something about society in reality. Men want to be the superior gender in the world. They dominate women by controlling them.
There are many assumptions about gender roles, and they are very stereotypical when people talk about them. Taking a look at wiki-answer, there were some opinions about the life of a woman and the life of a man. “Men’s Instinct is to breed with as many women as possible, and to make sure they are having “his” kids. This kind of statement reflects on nature and the role of the male species. This applies directly to nature because life is all about reproducing and to do this they must have some sort of feature to “impress” the female, so this might be a relation to power.
In one of the most common religion, Christianity , the bible states that ,” The Genesis account of God’s creation of the first male and female gives a clear picture that is extremely different from evolutionary views in our culture. God designed both the man and woman in His own image equally “(Holy Bible,Genesis 1:26–27). Even though the majority of society are followers of Christianity today, the role of a female is still far inferior compared to male.  The bible is counteracting what is says because submission commands such as, “submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (Holy Bible, Ephesians 5:22–23), states that women are suppose to be inferior to men.  The history of religion promoting gender roles has changed the view on women and their role in society on whether they should be inferior or equal to men.
From the very beginning in civilization, society has a gender role and purpose for humans. Through time, these roles change, but some roles still stay specifically intact. Women are still inferior to men though. Although it is cruel and the stereotypes that are made about the opposing genders are very inaccurate, it is only a mere question on why we still think this way. Having an identity means you will be judged, not out loud, but it is from another person’s perspective. The gender we have is just an identity that reflects our image and is something to be used as a sub category of being human; the details are what counts. Male or female, gender is just an identity and it could be altered because it is based on appearances and external qualities.

Work Cited
Gamer. Dir. Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor. Perf. Gerald Butler. Lions Gate, 2006. Film
Venditti,Robert. The Surrogates. Marietta:Top Shelf Production, 2006. Print
Gettings, John. “Wonder Women.” InfoPlease. Web. 9 May. 2012
Metzger, Bruce Manning. The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version Containing the Old      and New Testaments and the Deuterocanonical Books. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson            Bibles in Conjunction with Oxford UP, 2005. Print.

English 114B Reflection Essay(Portfolio)

Steven Lee
Professor Dinsmore
English 114B
9 May 2012

Reflection Essay
Identity plays a huge role for humans; they reflect who you are and your place in society. The construction of identity is a very thorough process that requires a lot of thinking. There are different types of identities; it could be influenced through physical appearance, your heritage and clothing. With the ability to alter identity, a person’s identity is not usually accurate and during a person’s teenage years, it is very common to switch identities and express it through clothing.  The concepts of project web, project space, and project text, shows different ways identity could be constructed. Identity is the most significant role in life; it separates everyone by distinguishing their differences.
               In Project Web, the idea of constructing identity through surrogates was a perfect example because it is a full change from the actual physical appearance.  The book, Surrogates by Robert Vinatti shows a world where surrogates roam the streets by replacing human interactions to create a better world. The identity that everyone held was a complete false identity. Reading the graphic novels also brings out the true nature of society’s role, such as gender roles and the stereotypes of society. Even though the time frame exist a couple of years from present day , the problems are still the same as today.
               Project Space is the idea of how space influences a person’s identity. Space is defined by the place where you are at. The book, Persipolis by Marjane Satrapi is a graphic novel that revolves around a main character named, Marjane, who lost her grip on her own identity. Her life was destroyed by war and as she faces the different aspects of space, her sense of style and way of thinking slowly changed. The thought of how space influences a person’s identity is very powerful, for example a person’s identity would change when they are surrounded by a majority of a different culture. He would then become a minority. This kind of feeling makes a person feel uncomfortable with the atmosphere because they are not affiliated with the others. This could relate to Persepolis in many ways because she lived in a whole different environment where she was the minority who came from a completely different country. The space affected her thoughts a lot and caused her identity to shift. Marjane’s identity in Iran is different compared to her identity in Vienna, Austria.
               The book “As Nature Made Him “, is used in Project Text. The idea of changing a person’s idea by testing the theory of Nature vs. Nurture is brought out into reality as scientists and psychologists battle out the idea of how a child’s mind is constructed. David Reimer was the result of a failed experiment after he lost his penis through a failed circumcision. The idea of changing a person’s identity through appearance was not possible because scientist believe that gender is written in the gene. Dr. Money did not believe this theory was true, and he was blinded by the cost of human sanity, and caused the destruction of David Reimer’s childhood and life.
               Identity is a broad subject to explore, and there are various ways to alter identity. Identity is used in every aspect of nature and the modern world. For example, we use identity as a first impression, because a person judges another person’s identity based on their appearance. Being able to identify yourself in society is way to keep your sanity and to help know your place in the world. To serve a purpose in the world is to be identified by who you are and how you are portrayed.