Summer 2009 Retreat

Summer 2009 Retreat

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Journal 15 (Norms)- Ashmi

I think it's really hard to say what exactly creates these mythical norms. I feel like society perpetuates characteristics that are present in a majority. For example, there are different norms in different countries because there are so many factors that shape ideas and notions of normality such as culture, race, and socio-economics. I think everything listed in the picture to the left characterize what is considered "normal" in the American society. Institutions are what establish and perpetuate them. Institutions include the government, media, religious establishments, etc. I think these social norms create a lot of injustices in our world, like racism, discrimination, and violations of rights. Stereotyping low-income students has become a norm. The stereotype that low-income students don't go to college and instead will work in fast food restaurants to make a living. This is a stereotype that has become normalized. Many schools have stopped focusing on providing students of low-income and opportunities the resources needed to pursue higher education. Many of these students start internalizing that they are failures or that they aren't meant for college.

Everyday we forget that normal can mean a million different things. Nobody can define what normal means. Normal can mean eating dessert before dinner, or wearing your shirt inside out, or eating ice cream with a fork. Normal is never definitive and I a lot of times I personally forget that. Many times I feel like I need to be conforming to society because if I don't, then I feel like the odd man out. I realize that I do this though and I try to make an active change in the way I see myself in society. I am not sure where I fit into society because even though I fit into the "norms" in some respects, I also challenge them. I challenge my parent's traditional beliefs all the time by asking them to volunteer abroad, or go to school away from home, or even pursue high school 17 hours away from them. I feel like I am in two different societies. One is the American society and the other is the Indian American society. I am trying to find a way to fit into both of them and sometime it requires that I settle for the norm in one society to challenge the other.

1 comment:

  1. Really like all the pictures you include in your posts ^^ -george