16 September 2009

Culture Class

Of course you know I have to post some of the things my students write.  I think the great firewall of china will block anything they search on me so I think I'm safe.

So the latest lecture I gave in my culture class was about Political Correctness and Affirmative Action and how these relate to American culture. We spent 80 minutes defining these terms and giving examples-such as "In America we no longer say 'negro' or 'colored' because it is considered very offensive." (Their textbook uses the terms 'negro', 'colored', and 'the blacks' interchangeably). At the end of class I gave them homework. I had them write one paragraph stating their position/opinion on one of these two subjects. I will share with you some excerpts:

Affirmative Action by a variety of anonymous students:
Student #1
"Affirmative Action is the preferential treatment for minorities and women in education and employment. As we all know, politics should protect the people in short in society. In my mind and in contrast women and minorities are the short group in society so the government should pay more attention for them and make the Affirmative Action."
Student # 2
"The policy of affirmative action has a large benefit for American people, especially women and Negroes. Because of this policy, Negroes and women can have a peaceful life. Thus, in my opinion this policy is appropriate."
Student #3
"I think Affirmative Action  are always connected with positive, optimism closely. It seems healthy and normal and makes people happy. So Affirmative Action is a good thing."

Political Correctness by a variety of anonymous students:
Student #4
"Now in America, Political Correctness stands for the public social consciousness, not the country's political rights or will. If someone have serious and unsure political behavior, such as regarding Negro as chimpanzee, they will lose their jobs. Because the employers usually comply with the moral principle of in view of social pressure. Political correctness is a public behavior about moral manner. American is particular about forgive, decency, and gent style. People look down on taunting, defame, and disservice. So Political Correctness's active, social effect is to protect weak person. For example the public couldn't say Negro person as Black, and you can't insult queer, can't discriminate against women and so on. In America, people can discuss Political Correctness in public."
Student # 5
"Political Correctness or "P.C." is  the communal tyranny that erupted in the 1980s. It was a spontaneous declaration that particular ideas, expression and behavior, which were then legal, should be forbidden by law, and people who transgressed should be punished. It started with a few voices but grew in popularity until it became unwritten and written law with those who were publicly declaimed as being not politically correct and thus becoming the object of persecution by the mob if not prosecution by the state."

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