Summer 2009 Retreat

Summer 2009 Retreat

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Journal 15: Mythical Norm--Aimee Liwanag

The "mythical norm" is all around us.  It is what we see
everyday. It is how we judge people before getting to
know them. It is because of the mythical norm is life
and interactions with others the way that it usually is.
In American society, there are several characteristics
that make up the mythical norm. Certain characteristics
include: gender,race, sexual orientation, age, religion,
ethnicity, etc. Although it isn't proper for one to judge
a person based on a particular aspect of their identity
whether it be because they are Jewish or because they are
a woman,the mythical norm enables us to do this. Since the
United States is a melting pot filled with various cultures,
identities, etc. we don't always know how to interact with
one another, especially if they are of a different identity.
To know more about a different identity, many of us do not
go up to a person and learn about him or herself, for that is
too time consuming and involves a lot of effort. Instead we
judge them based on what we hear about them, and not about
what we know. This relates to everything that we have
discussed in class, especially when it comes to education.
For example, since the mythical norm of asian students is that
they are very intelligent and excel especially in Math, it is
normal for one to attribute an Asian's success in one's math
class to the fact that he or she is Asian, without even
attributing one's success to the fact that the student has
studied hard. Although Asians are seen to be great students and
great at math, I feel as though I fit into the "mythical norm",
but at the same time I don't. Even though I would like to deem
myself as an intelligent student, I can't say that i fit into the
norm for I am not good at math. In fact, math is one of my
weakest subjects. The fact that i do not fully fulfill this
mythical norm, it is one step in breaking this assumption for it
enables people to realize that this norm is false and that one
should not assume that one is a certain way because of how
society generalizes and makes them out to be.

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