Reading Analysis One: Placelessness of Political Theory
David Fleming, the author of City Of Rhetoric, writes a lot about modern philosophy, which is what caught my attention. Flemings carries Part 2 into a quite real environment, especially with what’s going on in the political world today. The Placelessness of Political Theory is concluded by saying we require social spaces. We need places that are “open to hybridity, pluralism, and mobility but still allow us to make a livable world for ourselves, where we can disclose our differences to one another but also solve our shared problems, where we can encounter conflict and opposition but still feel that we belong and matter. ” (Flemings 34). What kind of society is needed to create this and what does Fleming talk about in terms of how we are now?
I think Fleming’s main point is to tell readers that the role that politics is playing is proving to not work. He believes there are too many flaws and too many imperfections. Years ago things were different, however society needs to take control now. Fleming talks about liberalism on page 23. She says, “what we most obviously have in common is not some godlike reason but this experience, at once mundane and extraordinary, of being grounded in the physical world” (Fleming 23). After digging deep into what the passage of text means, it is safe to say that we share more than we realize, however what separates us are differences in gender, race, age, and class. However, Liberalism is the opposite of Republicanism. Liberalism relies on too little politics and politicians. Republicanism is different. Politics, according to Fleming, is essential and the most important part in everyday life. However, there is a problem. Because it is “too demanding” and “too consuming” (Fleming 25), there is little room left between the views of republicans.
I personally do not believe that our society fits the criteria or the standards that Flemings believes in. Our social spaces are not open to hybridity. We can’t seem to all work together. Expressing our opinions to others ends up poorly, especially in politics. Pluralism fits in the same category as hybridity, two or more systems do not coexist. A place that is open to mobility is a place that is open to change, but living in a country that relies its beliefs from the Constitution written in the late 1700’s, change does not seem imminent.
Every man and woman is put on this earth, whether it be by nature or God, and the people are given certain freedoms and rights. As ludicrous as this may sound, having certain freedoms and rights will come with a price. Although Flemings doesn’t write this, the readers can take a lot of negatives from what is written in this chapter. Citizens cannot publicly say what they want to say, regardless of what that may be, and regardless of how exclusive one’s life may be.
A space is anything. It could be “a building, neighborhood, city, state, nation, or the globe itself” (Fleming 35). These spaces are all difficult to be defined, which is what Fleming is trying to get at. There is no self identification due to the different views, different races, different genders, and different classes. It is necessary to have spaces that are grounded, unitary, and official so society can function together as a whole.
Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America. Albany: SUNY, 2008. Print.
Reading Analysis Two: Inquiry as Social Action
Jenny Rice, an author who titled the first chapter of a novel, Inquiry as Social Action, writes about the importance of the world coming together. The world as a whole is a network, everyone has a pathway of communicating, we are a group of interconnected people. Jenny Rice makes this very clear to us. She begins by explaining to us her experience during the BP oil spill. Because of the lackadaisical mistakes made by the workers who let this happen, and like many other people, she wanted to take a stand. She wanted to make an effort to fight back BP by boycotting them. An example of this is through a group on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/login.php?next=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FBoycott-BP-119101198107726%2F, which is titled “Boycott BP” is a group of people
coming together trying to help, a network in the hands of anyone. Through mass emails, web sites, letters, etc., she was able to make a difference, although that difference didn’t end up being what is important. The means in which she communicated is what is important. How word can get around to protest against a lazy corporation shows why our public can strive through inquiry.
Today, there seem to be quite a lot of protests, such as the black lives matter movement, legalization of marijuana, banning and keeping guns, but how do these groups form? This is something that I have not thought of until reading Jenny Rice. The Internet, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all other social media sites are the only thing I can think of which would round up a group of people. Jenny Rice explains how, as a network, we can come together, for the good and in some cases, the bad. Flyers and letters seem to be obsolete, and networking is the new form of communication.
Jenny Rice questions herself, she asks how we, as a network, can channel these powers of communication in our favor, “How can we encourage subjects who can make ethical judgments about those changes, and who can work to rebuild and reimagine spaces for public discourse?” (Rice, 163). Although we have already networked, we must act publicly to our advantage and “We must pursue inquiry as a mode of publicness … By transforming the kinds of subjects that public talk makes, we can transform the kinds of rhetorical actions those subjects make” (Rice 164).
Inquiry is difficult, but through the power and technology of people, it is increasingly becoming much easier. Without networking,
answers would be very difficult to find. Jenny Rice is looking to uncover the subject through inquiring, she does not believe that “the goal of inquiry is not always resolution” (Rice 169). So what is the goal? Why is Inquiry as Social Action so important?
I stated earlier in this analysis about how we (members of the network) can encourage and help make moral and ethical judgments. Jenny Rice ends this chapter asking how “our public discourse ethically address the problems of development” (Rice 196). Rice tells us that there are many answers to this question (apparently), but the main way to teach a more thoughtful development is through the classroom. Teachers will encourage students, which will lead to a more productive network.
Http://www.greenliving.com/pages/Aboutcom-Green-Living/159341904163569. “Should You Boycott
BP Over the BP Oil Spill?” About.com Home. N.p., 2013. Web. 02 Nov. 2016.
Fjelddalen, Tina. “Inquiry-based Learning.” – Kongsberg International School. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2016.
Reading Analysis Three: Genders of the Future
In my opinion, sexuality among college students is currently one of the most controversial topics. More and more teenagers are increasingly feeling more self-conscious of themselves because they either haven’t discovered who they are, they don’t know if other people will understand them, or they are simply being ridiculed because of their decision. We need a more diverse society or it is going to be too late.
The author, Suzanne Tick, describes how “masculine and feminine definitions are being switched,” but this can only be the beginning. Tick is not only providing information to the common person, she is showing them a tunnel to what will be the future. This is not supposed to be bad, you are naïve if you do not believe in a person having the ability to decide who they are.
The term, “tomboy” seemed to be a hot word when I was younger. A friend of mine was considered a tomboy, simply a girl who dresses and acts like a boy. That seemed to be the extent of words if gender roles were being switched. However, that has changed in this day and age. So why do I view this article as a tunnel towards the future? The answer seems to be simple, because that future is almost here. It started well before the fight for same sex marriage, however that is the step that America needs to make toward a more beneficial and safe spaced future. Everyone is part of the next generation while others were part of and dwell on the past. Looking ahead to see a movement of equality is what our Founding Fathers wanted, which is what Suzanne Tick is indirectly getting at.
Given the fact that we’re in a country founded on freedom of speech, identifying yourself as something that others may not agree with is definitely within your rights. Who is to say what you can and cannot be? If that were the case, we would all be living in a world where our country’s motto is null and void. There in an interesting article on the USA Today website, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/10/20/future-gender-may-not-what-you-think/92470428/, which talks about one of
the most iconic women for students of my generation, Miley Cyrus. People hear her name and say how messed up she is now, but they do not see the bigger picture. Suzanne Tick would agree that Miley Cyrus is someone to look up to. Not many people who see Miley as someone who is sane, but if you look at her, she looks happier than she was 5 or 10 years ago.
This is the country that we need to strive for. A country that is cultured and open minded about anything in this world, because anything is possible. Tick is providing our continued entry to what our future is going to to resemble. Changes must be made in this world in order to achieve equality, whether that is through race, gender, or religion.
Dastagir, Alia E. “What Our Reaction to Miley Cyrus Says about the Future of Gender.” USA Today, Gannett, 23 Oct. 2016,
“His &Amp; Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society.” Metropolis Magazine
Reading Analysis Four: Learning Spaces on College Campuses
Kathleen Scholl, the writer of Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces, dives into the literal use of areas on college campuses. Since the creation of attending two or four year institutions, colleges and universities have progressively adapted to make the use of college greater for each student and faculty member. Scholl writes in the second paragraph of her article how “Today’s university must be resilient spaces in which the learning environment encompasses more than technology upgrades, classroom additions, and its academic buildings – in fact, the entire campus, including its open spaces, must be perceived as a holistic learning space that provides a holistic learning experience” (Scholl). She is expressing to the readers how it is more than what we (the students) learn from the classrooms. As we go through each semester, we progress and expand our knowledge in certain subjects like writing, economics, political science, and mathematics however the real takeaways from attending a four year institution are the valuable lessons that will shape us to be individuals and leaders in the future.
The use of buildings, plants, photos, or any aesthetically pleasing objects do more than just act as what they are. Human interaction can take place in multiple settings such as indoor, urban, fringe, production landscape, wilderness, and specific species (Scholl 55). Within these settings, human interaction can take place in multiple forms, “indirect (experiencing nature passively even though not physically present in it), incidental (chance encounters with nature via other activities) and intentional (purposeful activity)” (Scholl 55). Kathleen Scholl continues to talk about these three interactions into a more in depth table:
Looking at the three examples of student-interaction (incidental, indirect, and intentional), I believe it is important to decide which one is most important. Utilizing the most effective form can help students be more effective in and out of the classroom. Out of the three, I believe the most important form of interaction is incidental. Sitting in a classroom, the library, a dorm, or a common space while surrounded by beauty, whether that beauty are murals or a view to the outside area, will help a student concentrate more as they will feel as if they are in a more comfortable situation.
Although Scholl did not specifically talk about what she thought was the most important, I believe it is a good idea to understand the differences between the three examples. Looking at the table above can help, but truly understanding how each one can affect a student is what is most important. As time goes on, schools will begin to change, more so than they have already. They will adapt and soon become a place where learning will be improved for each student.
Scholl, Kathleen. “Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces | Scholl | Journal of Learning Spaces.” Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces | Scholl | Journal of Learning Spaces. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.