The New American Dreamers by Ruth Sidel talks about women and the changing world. The modern society has brought about the rights and freedoms that were not felt by women, especially those of different cultural backgrounds. The New American Dreamers represents women, who can now have a life much different from the women of the past. The equal opportunities in the workplace, politics, and many other fields of society and culture present endless possibilities. The New American Dreamers is a great illustration that shows the way the majority of time men were in power, both physically and mentally. The society exerted such pressure on women that for them to even think that things could be any different, was “a sin”. For a very long time women were oppressed and made inferior to men.
The fact that men were made physically stronger by nature was taken out of proportion and applied to every aspect of social life and women’s roles. No one ever thought that even though men were stronger physically, women are much stronger mentally. Numerous times it was proven that often, the world demands the strength of will and heart more than that of muscles. Women’s movement is the proof that after so many years of oppression they were finally given the full attention and credit that they deserved. But historically the view that men are superior has been supported for so long that it makes these stereotypes very hard to root out. The society of today still has a very incorrect view of women. Probably, because no attention was paid to women for so long, to the way they think and feel, no one really understood what makes a woman the way she is. It is still a mystery today, but the direction set by women is bound to bring on positive results in the future.
The New American Dreamers is filled with hope and prosperous future for the younger generation of the girls, who can reach the desired heights and be anything they want to be. Even though stereotypes are still very popular in human culture, the recent times have seen some changes between gender roles, and many things have become similar in the representation of men and women. There is a number of jobs that are made for women and where their dominance is clear. Commercials and cosmetics advertisements are filled with women, who want to accomplish great things. The whole fashion industry, modeling, and entertainment provide opportunities, which were non-existent before. The separation between gender portrayals is becoming more transparent, as women are taking on more professions in the society. The public demands are being heard, and the movie producers start including women in the roles previously dominated by men. The society is slowly getting used to the need to change its prejudiced opinions.
It is clear that many books and articles focus upon the young women’s lives and their struggles within patriarchal societies, where men’s and women’s roles are firmly set, and where ancient traditions are strong in the society. For a very long time, the social life of any nation has been set up according to the gender roles. The majority of the world was male-dominated patriarchy that centered all control in the hands of men.
Our Schedules, Our Selves by Jay Walljasper is an interesting piece of work about the time being a controlling entity in the everyday life. People have become extremely busy with their daily schedule and routine, so there is very little time to spend on relaxing and enjoying the moment. The modern American society is very demanding of people in their workplace. Very often, time spent at work is greater than that at home or at leisure activities. There are several reasons that offer explanations to such a trend. The way of the modern world, people’s personal goals and work demands, all lead to extra work.
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The society and the general population of a country are the moving force in the workplace. The author offers explanations that are related to the demands of the society and gives the ways to avoid being caught up in the workplace. Even though the wages stay the same, so there is no clear incentive to stay at work longer, individuals still contribute extra hours to their jobs. This can be attributed to the society and to the American way of life. The country is a very fast-paced environment, where industrialization has created many opportunities and avenues for people to work. There is a large number of professions that exist and so, people are able to choose any type of activity they like. This, in turn, leads to the replacement of leisure time by working hours. At the same time, a person can take pleasure and pride in their profession, and this is very much representative of the society. The education provided is very differential, which gives people a very diverse selection of jobs they can dedicate themselves to.
It is noted that not only has work become more interesting, but it is now a place of social life and self-representation. This is one of the possible explanations of work becoming dominant, but even when it is enjoyed, there is little time for other things, such as family and relaxation in the park or a nature setting. Of course, financial reasons and the natural pull of society to have more resources is another factor. As social life creates conditions that require more money to be spent on life, people feel forced to spend more time at work. Personal goals of an individual play another significant role. Psychologically, a person can be greatly focused on their job. It is a place, where they can practice and display their skills, gaining respect for themselves and from others. A determination to have a better way of life, to have higher quality of products acquired and services enjoyed will, without a doubt, lead to more hours spent at work. The technological age is often associated with a dream, where people are able to afford pretty much anything. The society allows for a great number of pleasures, and people are very attracted to the different activities they can participate in, which deprives them of free time even more. It is great that there are many things that can be done for enjoyment, but it is still takes a lot of time and people seem to have forgotten how to stop doing everything and just do nothing. This makes an individual become a victim of their own wants and, as a result, they spend more time making money for vacation and their favorite products instead of actually taking a vacation.
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The technology has also made it easier to work from a remote location. While on vacation many people are still very much connected to their workplace through computers or phones. It might seem that working while on vacation is not very demanding, but sometimes it interferes with family matters, which causes unnecessary stress for several people. Another negative reason why people must stay overtime and sacrifice their family and leisure time is the fear of losing they job. The present economy and market are very unstable, and people have to greatly rely on their jobs. Even if it is low-paying or has an increased amount of hours, it is much better than being unemployed or constantly seeking for a place to work. This puts great stress on a person and often there are health side effects.
Los Pobres by Richard Rodriguez is a story of a Mexican author, who recalls his summer work and provides insight into the new understanding he has gotten. Majorly, it relates to the fact that his father has told him that he would never know what the real work was, and would never become a “bracer”, which meant a migrant worker. This specifically relates to the hard physical work of the migrant Mexicans, who came to America to make some money. They were often used by the employer and were paid very little money for their efforts. This led to a whole culture of Mexican migrants, who would work in the harshest environments and in most physically demanding environments.
As the author notes, Mexican workers are often mistreated, as they come from poverty stricken homes and families. But they take this burden with silence, which is reiterated several times. This represents their strong will and the expectations towards their work. The environment they are forced to work in is unsafe and does not make their life any better. A contrast is made by the author, when he says that physical work to him was an enjoyment, and the pain from fatigue and physical labor were a pleasure. An even greater problem emerges, when the reader looks deeper into the context of the work. A whole culture is being represented by difficult physical labor without a chance to become a legal and full part of the current society. Mexican migrants have no names or even identities, as they stay “aliens”. All of these instances are regularly observed, and thus, inferences can be made about the validity of these cases.
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From one perspective, Los Pobres describes an experience and moral understanding of the author, but it also develops a direct step to change the worsening conditions and create the leaders, who can take control of the deteriorating situation. There is also evidence that improper work environment is leading to stress, and people are becoming affected psychologically, which is unacceptable in the modern world. The author is seen as part of the elite, the middle class American, who is so different from the people of the same Mexican background. The fact that such condition involves great parts of the population shows the true nature of things. It is understandable that economics, market value, and differences between the nations play an intricate role in the situation. The global crisis has added more negative factors, causing the system to become even more unfair towards the workers.
The story tells about the intricate relationship between culture and the society, which must be added to the equation. All these factors create threats to cultural values and employment, because there is a possibility that the measures will not actually change what they are supposed to fix in the modern world. Since people’s experiences are sometimes completely individual, as is the author’s case, and the construction of reality becomes relative, the results might not be used to explain behavior or attitudes of others. The author’s parents were right, because they were children of a different time, and the modern world is much different, so children and the younger generation will not experience certain things, and some will never even understand the concepts that were so familiar to their culture in the past.
The conditions that are predominant in the society and the interdependence within the population can be somewhat predicted, whereas others are not as clear cut. Differences between cultures, societies, and individuals will always exist, and it is a pity that some valuable experience will be missed by some individuals.
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