Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A subculture of violence

As we have been learning about the powerful effect of culture on each of us, we have also touched on the idea of subcultures. One subculture exists for thousands of Americans who live surrounded by poverty and violence everyday of their lives. This environment has profound effects on individuals as evidenced by the horrific video of the beating death of a teenager in Chicago. This story has been in the national news and even international news. The Chicago Tribune has done a series of article analyzing the violence. It is facinating and disturbing to see the impact of the schools and neighborhoods on these students. Many students feel a sense of ingroup -outgroup mentality that affects how they perceive the kids from different neighborhoods. Some have criticized the city for taking kids out of their own neighborhoods and making them travel to a different neighborhood to attend school. Chicago Public Radio had a facinating interview with residents who have faced violence in their own neighborhood. It reveals a lot about the powerful effects of culture on their mindset. I know most students at our school don't face this type of violence, but this story does illustrate how ingrained culture can become and how strongly we are shaped by our environment. How are you shaped? Can see through your own fishbowl to understand how culture is shaping you?

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