March 2011 Archives

Entry 1: Welcome

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Welcome to the Spring 2011 Writing 2  ACE Blog.

I will ask you to make comments on this blog.  These will be used as sources of class discussion and as repository for quotations for writing.

Please note: this blog is out in public space.  Anyone can access it.  If you do not want your name on this blog, be sure to use a false name when you post a comment.  Be sure to let me know what that name is...and we will go from there.

In the meantime, once again: Welcome.

Select a quotation from "The True Cost of Gadgets."  Please note this reading is online so you may cut and paste the quotation into the comment box.  Make it a longer quotation. Then say why you picked that particular quotation.

We will not discuss much the most important issues raised in this article, the ones concerning the affect of the consumer society upon the ecosystem.  But it's a good place to begin since it does illustrate in a broad way the importance of looking at the consumer society in some detail.

And some of the things the author has to say do relate to things we discussed last quarter.
Hi all:

This is a pretty easy and straight forward read on the early stages of consumer society.

Sort of interesting to realize how long the basic elements of it have been around, since probably the 18th century.

But, as we will see, it wasn't until the 20th Century that it came to full flower.

Pick a quotation from the reading, type it into comment box, and write about why you picked it.


Pick a quotation from "Setting the Course."  A minimum of two sentences.  Type it into the comment space below, and then say why you picked the quotation.

Did it tell you something you didn't know or hadn't thought about?
Was it unclear to you?
Do you find what the author says debatable?
Do you think it particularly important to the argument of the piece?

This is a rather long piece with lots of detail, some of it interesting, and ideas tucked in all over the place.  Pay particular attention to mention of the social organizational functions of consumer society.
Hi all:

"Why the Self is Empty" is an academic article.  It's too long, the print is too small, its full of citations and names you won't (and don't have to) know.

Forget that stuff and read for the main idea.  Cushman is trying to talk about how consumerism shaped identity as older and more traditional forms of identity formation slipped away.

Do as you did with the last blog comment.  Pick a quotation you find interesting and then write about why you found it interesting (you agree/disagree; something you had not thought about before; important to over all argument; no clear or confusing).

Thank you.
Hi all:

This article is by Zygmunt Bauman.  I have never had any heroes (except maybe for Micky Mantle and Bob Dylan).  But now Bauman is my hero, not so much for what he has to say about consumer society, but because he is still saying lively, interesting stuff at 85 years of age.  I can only hope my brain works as well as his at 85.

He is a pretty astute observer of consumer society.  Formerly an academic sociologist, he is widely read in sociology and other stuff.  In this article he brings up Nietzsche.  Not the usual sociological stuff.

You have to take time with his writing.  It's not fast food; you can't just swallow it down on the go.  You have to sit down and chew a little.

Again, as with previous posts to the blog, pick an interesting quotation, type it in, and write a few lines about why you picked it.  Or try to paraphrase his line of thinking.  You can of course include a quotation in this too.

I think this is a pretty interesting article.  We all want to be happy, I guess, and Bauman talks about the difficulties of finding happiness in a consumer society.

Hi all:

To get the ball rolling, write what you think might be the first two paragraphs of your paper 1.

Approach this writing as a rough draft.  These paragraphs may or may not appear in your final paper.

Post these paragraphs to the blog and be sure to bring hard copy to class.

Thank you.


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