Archive for May, 2008
The editorial committee of e.g., UW’s online journal of 100-level writing, is pleased to announce the winning essays for 2006-07:
Bilingual Education and its Threat to the Nation Form
The Future of Tomorrow Struggling with Domination
The Manipulation and Exploitation of Nationalism
“Man Law”: Perpetuation of Stereotypes Online
Persuasion for a Better Cause
Growing up I was raised in a cultural environment that had very few people from my ethnicity; instead I was a black sheep in a herd of white sheep. Being that I experienced this, I was able to feel and see a loss of culture that overtakes an individual’s identity and heart. This happens particularly in the youth or those individuals who are part of the 1st or 2nd generations to be born in America. From this, I, like many other individuals, was presented with two choices. The two choices were to identify with our native language and cultural background, or lose our culture and shape our personal identity around the dominant language in the country that is Standard American English (SAE). This situation is becoming problematic and should be addressed not only by communities but also by the academic realm because if this situation continues to happen then the “melting pot” that American is known to be will cease to exist. Schools should also address this problem being that the domination of English in school especially is causing a lack of programs designed for those individuals who do not speak English fluently to be scarce.
Facebook.com is a social networking site, a virtual version of the facebook that some colleges give incoming freshmen. The site allows users to create online profiles that list their personal information such as age, gender, birthday, hometown, e-mail address, class schedules, interests, musical tastes, and political and religious views. Site users can view others’ online profiles, and interact in a variety of ways including joining common interest groups and posting photos, links, and videos. Facebook was originally created for college students, and college students continue to make up the majority of its users. More than ten million people now use the site, and they make it the seventh most-trafficked site on the internet (Zuckerberg). One of the features of the site is the ability to create and join “common interest” groups. Groups range from the serious like Gay-Straight Alliance and Cancer Awareness groups to the silly “I Will Go Slightly Out of My Way To Step on That Crunchy Looking Leaf.” Especially at large universities, this allows students to stake out a niche in their university community and network with people who share their interests. Although many of these groups are intended to be fun or silly, other groups like “Man Law” reflect the fact that cyberspace still exists within the limits of societal norms and stereotypes.
2006-07 Winner: “A More Mobile Campus: A Proposal for a New Mobility Map at the University of Washington” by Jessica Vu
In an era in which civil rights laws have strived to create equality, many societal practices and perspectives continue to segregate individuals who are considered “different,” such as people with disabilities. William J. Brennan, Jr., an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from 1956-1990 said, “…society’s accumulated myths and fears about disability and disease are as handicapping as are the physical limitations that flow from actual impairment” (qtd. in Guiduli 1167). Brennan is acknowledging that while faced with physical impairments, negative perceptions of disability make life more difficult for people with disabilities. Often treated as second-class citizens, they face dilemmas every day. One of the issues they must overcome is accessibility, whether to buildings or an education. An analysis of university mobility maps gives insight into how individuals with disabilities are accommodated. For example, at the University of Washington (UW), a mobility map depicts an aerial representation of the campus with symbols showing routes and entrances. Because the map abstracts details of the campus, it is often rendered useless for navigation and denies people with disabilities adequate access to an education. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 forbid discrimination on the basis of disability and provide for equal access to education (U.S. Department of Justice). If the UW does not provide sufficient services to allow individuals with disabilities to navigate the campus, then disability rights are infringed upon. As such, it is important that the university improve its mobility maps to ensure equal opportunity and accessibility to an education.
Alan Gross, professor of rhetoric at the University of Minnesota, proposes two types of rhetoric that authors use to strengthen their arguments: logos and pathos. These rhetorical strategies can be found in many articles, including those of scientific texts. While scientific texts are thought to be objective, the presence of these rhetorical strategies is proof that most texts are actually subjective. Logos is an appeal to logic through the use of facts including mathematical, scientific, or statistical data to support an argument. Pathos is an appeal to emotion. These two rhetorical strategies are effectively used in Peter Piot’s piece in Scientific American titled: “AIDS: A Global Response.” In the article, Piot argues that there needs to be a shift in focus on research and funding from developed countries to developing countries regarding the HIV/AIDS epidemic currently affecting the entire globe. This paper will first address how through detailed statistics regarding the spread of the disease, Piot convinces readers that their attention needs to be refocused to stopping the spread of HIV in developing countries. Then, I will address how through pathos, Piot communicates a sense of urgency to his readers and involves them personally in an issue that they are geographically detached from. This is significant because it opens up the genre of scientific writing to subjective arguments; the article wields both facts and appeals to emotion in order to reprioritize scientific research.
The need to call a place home is a very familiar desire. National citizenship can be thought of as a unique status which offers people unbridled access to this peace of mind. Because the nation is the source of this comfort, it is not surprising that people take pride in it. But nationalism stems from the abstract, purely ideological form of a nation. This concrete-less nationalism has been a key facet in the American government’s decisions about the economy, domestic spending, and most notably, foreign policy. Many, if not most, countries involved in wars during the last century maintained public support through nationalism. However, nationalism not only has arbitrary roots, but in the case of politics, it is often falsely fashioned in the minds of citizens so that governments can forcibly impose political will. The United States is certainly no exception; rather, it is right now, the perfect example. This paper will explore how what I will call artificial nationalism is encouraged through democratic rhetoric, and how George W. Bush uses artificial nationalism and moralistic rhetoric post 9-11 to legitimize certain foreign policies to the American people.
The United States has often been called “the nation of immigrants” and “the melting pot of cultures.” Americans consider themselves members of a diverse and welcoming culture and pride themselves on that fact. National holidays celebrate the efforts of civil rights leaders and the national anthem praises the “land of the free.” However, when considering immigration laws, one could say that the United States is not as free, diverse nor as welcoming as it may appear. This is evident in how quickly “foreigners” are strongly encouraged, if not socially forced, to assimilate to American culture. For example, consider how third-generation immigrants rarely speak the language of their heritage (Gort 32). Through society and the education system, the United States is actually undermining diversity rather than promoting it. This is to ensure the success of what Etienne Balibar calls “the nation form,” which depends on establishing the uniformity of all people of the nation. By examining the works of Antonia Darder and Mileidis Gort we shall explore how the current nation form is threatened by bilingual education and a bicultural society.
- 2012-2013 Winner: “A Defense of the Legalization of Homosexuality in China” by Junmeng Zhu
- 2012-2013 Winner: “Does What You Like Define Who You Are” by Malie Fujii
- 2011-2012 i.e. Winner: “The impact of tangible evidence” by Rebecca Eskildsen
- 2011-2012 Winner: “A Virtual Exchange of Basketball Culture” by Ameen Tabatabai
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