Hyperthymic Novelty—On Generosity: An Enhancement

Angela Mari

“What will happen to life when science identifies the genetic basis of happiness? Who will own the patent? Do we dare revise our own temperaments?…”

I once met a physics teacher who immediately recognized me as the main character in the play he was nearly finished writing.

“Absolutely EVERYTHING I remember is realLithium just added a layer of fantasy on it (which I could perceive even at the time).”

Born to Be Happy

After reading an article “Born to Be Happy“, I found myself emailing Hagop Akiskal, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the International Mood Center at the University of California at San Diego whose “work on dysthymia, cyclothymia and hyperthymia challenged the concept of personality disorders, led to the development of a new instrument (Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego (TEMPS-A)), thereby contributing to the worldwide renaissance of the temperament field.”

“Information may travel at light speed, but meaning spreads at the speed of dark.”

But being told that I was “hard wired for happiness” seemed a bit over simplified and “hard wired” seemed an insult to this interaction-designer-wannabe-cognitive scientist studying neurogenesis and neuroplasticity.

On “Rewiring the Real

“Digital and electronic technologies that act as extensions of our bodies and minds are changing how we live, think, act, and write. Some welcome these developments as bringing humans closer to unified consciousness and eternal life. Others worry that invasive globalized technologies threaten to destroy the self and the world. Whether feared or desired, these innovations provoke emotions that have long fueled the religious imagination, suggesting the presence of a latent spirituality in an era mistakenly deemed secular and post-human.”

Continue reading “Hyperthymic Novelty—On Generosity: An Enhancement”

Cultural Industries: Culture in a Cup

What are cultural industries? According to Hesmondhalgh’s texts cultural industries are defined as those which have “leisure, information, entertainment, media, and creativity” as their primary outputs. Others might refer to the cultural industries as simply “entertainment and the arts”.

What is missing in referring to the cultural industries is the required awareness of the impact such industries have people. Members of The Frankfurt School (Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse) warned about the difference between true needs and false needs. But of what concern are these to us? Continue reading “Cultural Industries: Culture in a Cup”

Feminism: Accessible and Actionable

“Feminism is anti-sexism.” — bell hooks

Feminism is a dirty word, or at least that’s what you’d believe from the reactions you get from people if you mention it. It conjures up images of radical women or lesbians with unshaved legs and armpits rallying outside abortion clinics, fighting domestic violence and rape, or gender equality. It is an image of a woman who you can’t relate to, she is one that you don’t know what to do with, and she is one whom you shy away from. Continue reading “Feminism: Accessible and Actionable”

Seductive Habits: Building Reality

“White privilege is best understood as a constellation of psychical and somatic habits formed through transaction with a racist world. As such, it often functions as unconscious: seemingly invisible, even nonexistent, and actively resisting conscious efforts to know this.” In Revealing Whiteness: The Unconscious Habits of Racial Privilege, Sullivan is trying to get us to think about and understand how white privilege can be unconscious when it is transactional because of the means by which that unconsciousness is formed through seduction by transference of enigmatic (meaning unknown to or hidden from both sender and receiver) messages from parent to child. Continue reading “Seductive Habits: Building Reality”

Rape: Victims of Pity

Razack argues that “we need a theory that can account for the structure of violent relationships in women’s lives and expose the social conditions that limit what can be said in the rape script [and that] the stories of women with disabilities must be told, not as stories of vulnerability, but as stories of injustice.”

In changing the rape scripts and incorporating the stories of violence into our evaluation of justice, we effectively “move beyond consent [as the salient factor in rape cases] to responsibility [of men as respects to women] and beyond pity to respect.” Continue reading “Rape: Victims of Pity”

Gender Persecution Cases

Razack presents her thesis as “how gender persecution, as it is deployed in refugee discourse, can function as a deeply racialized concept in that it requires that Third World women speak of their realities of sexual violence outside of, and at the expense of, their realities as colonized peoples… therefore further[ing] First World interests by obscuring Western hegemony and its destructive impact on the Third World.” Continue reading “Gender Persecution Cases”

Equality Staring

Rights in law are fundamentally about seeing and not seeing, about the cold game of equality staring. Talking about women’s lives in the language of rights is a cold game indeed, a game played with words and philosophical concepts which bear little relationship to real life.” Continue reading “Equality Staring”

World-Traveling: Shirking off the Arrogant Perception

Lugones asks us, in Playfulness, “World”-Traveling, and Loving Perception, to open our eyes to arrogant perception as the barrier complicating issues in trying to love and understand women (and men) across cultural and racial divisions. She offer’s “world-traveling” as a solution to breaking down these barriers, as long as one might travel with playfulness and are open to exploration of what makes one at ease in the worlds that they visit. She asserts that to failing to love (or lovingly perceive) another is to fail to identify with them. This failure, therefore, can be overcome by “world-travelling”, the epitome of putting oneself in another’s shoes. Finally, she believes that seeing oneself as a world-traveler means understanding a pluralist self, that there is no one underlying “I”. (Incidentally, Lugones’ essay reminds me of the Apostle Paul’s statement in the passage of 1 Corinthians 9:19-22: “To win as many as possible… I have become all things to all people”. Was his premise the precursor to Lugones’ concept of world-traveling?) Continue reading “World-Traveling: Shirking off the Arrogant Perception”

Cyborg Madness: Information, Power and Dehumanization

Haraway, in her Cyborg Manifesto, is trying to get us to think about, from a social feminism perspective with a slant of postmodernism, a future with gender free feminism through the use of a “cyborg” that is all things while at the same time being none of them. Through this perspective she asserts that the control and flow of information define power and this power is used to turn everything into production, reproduction and communication as she terms “the informatics of domination”. Haraway is trying to get us to think about how hardship brings kinship, and that this can span across race, gender and class. There is room even in the foretold dark hour for reformation through “discourses of subversion and transformation”. Continue reading “Cyborg Madness: Information, Power and Dehumanization”

Popular Media Critique

Ms. Magazine covers national and global news relating to women’s issues. It features investigative reporting, political analysis, and content about feminist leaders, as well as issues related to women’s relationships, religion, civil rights, money, health, and the environment. Continue reading “Popular Media Critique”

Sociology of Family: Balancing Work and Family

With more than 50% of married women working outside of the home the ongoing discussion of balancing work and family continues to rage on. The need for work-life balance has turned to consider fathers as well as we recognize the value of a father’s active participation in a child’s upbringing. In this paper we’ll consider the challenges are for families in managing work and family, how those challenges differ for women and men and what solutions are available for managing work and family. Lastly, we’ll look to real life examples to illustrate these difficulties families face in managing work and family and the potential solutions. Continue reading “Sociology of Family: Balancing Work and Family”

Sociology of Family: New Era. New Bra. New Rules.

The article I am reviewing was called “The Secret Lives of Wives: Why They Stray” that appeared in the July 12th, 2006 issue of Newsweek Magazine. The article was written by Lorraine Ali and Lisa Miller of Newsweek with assistance from Vanessa Juarez, Holly Peterson, Karen Springen, Claire Sulmers, William Lee Adams and Raina Kelley. The articles description states “with the work place and the Internet, overscheduled lives and inattentive husbands—it’s no wonder more American women are looking for comfort in the arms of another man”. Continue reading “Sociology of Family: New Era. New Bra. New Rules.”

Sociology of Family: Toys R Us—Engendering Children Are Us.

When you walk into a Toys R Us store you can quickly see how toy stores teach gender through messages sent as an agent of socialization for children. The boy’s section of toys is separate and distinctive from that of the girl’s toys. Model cars, trucks, trains, building blocks, sporting goods and action figures stock the rows of boy’s toys and are brilliant and bold in their highly saturated colors of blue, red, and green. Meanwhile, Barbie’s, dress up dolls, house play sets, hair salon setups, stuffed animals and art & crafts supplies are flirty in pink, purple and passive pastel hues that cleanly segregate out the girl’s section. Continue reading “Sociology of Family: Toys R Us—Engendering Children Are Us.”

Social Meaning and Cultural Codes in Communication

Culture is a pattern of rules, premises, meanings and symbols constructed socially and passed through history. For example surfers define a culture by means of their unique pattern of rules, meanings and symbols that have been socially constructed and passed on. “Dude, hang ten!” Continue reading “Social Meaning and Cultural Codes in Communication”

Cultural Codes in Communication Key Concepts

Code: a system of values and rules which names what is significant in the world and expresses the nature of those things it names.

Culture: a socially constructed and historically transmitted pattern of symbols, meanings, premises, and rules.

Cultural code: a code that is socially constructed, historically transmitted, distinct among codes, and socially consequential; a system of values and rules people use to make sense of and judge the actions of themselves and others. Continue reading “Cultural Codes in Communication Key Concepts”

A Brief Ethnographic Commentary: Waterlily

Waterlily is a captivating story of a young Dakota girl growing up in the Sioux culture of beliefs, social conventions and ceremonies. We learn, alongside Waterlily, the concept of kinship: “achieving civility, good manners, and a sense of responsibility toward every individual dealt with.” These kinship rules are the crux of the Sioux culture, as they “held the people together, impelling them to sacrifice for one another”. Within the tiyospaye, Waterlily learned to navigate the relative obligations that are at the core of kinship rules. In doing so, she was to become a child beloved and an exemplary woman, all by means of that careful observation of kinship rules and her joyful and selfless execution of gift-giving rituals. Continue reading “A Brief Ethnographic Commentary: Waterlily”

Social Drama Reveals Cultural Codes in Communication

Social dramas are a handy means of revealing cultural codes of communication because they usually distill arguments down to cultural perspectives through emotional arguments. What I mean is, people are stripped of their generic beings and the cultural values and beliefs at their core shine through while their emotions play into the drama. For instance in Daley’s speech he immediately turns to the revered symbol of a mother, and artfully twists the professor’s challenge into an accusation of Mrs. Keane and of how well she raised her son. This happened because gender and place are key themes of the Teamsterville spoken life, and this argument was suddenly about an offense both to her in her female role, and his station as a mother raising a son fit for office.

Continue reading “Social Drama Reveals Cultural Codes in Communication”

Cultural Codes

Cultural rules or codes of communication are at play in any interaction we observe. It’s interesting to see that it all comes down to the showing respect, or displaying authority and power (or so it seems). The same components of these rules are throughout (respect, slang/jargon, cursing, and attentiveness) just used in different ways depending on the culture and context. While interviewing co-workers, all agreed that the use of cursing in meetings would appall their mothers, however completely acceptable in the workplace. Then it was noted that if you were in a presentation to a higher up (Steve Ballmer or Bill Gates, say) or for customer (at a conference) you would refrain from cursing. This is reminiscent of the Teamster’s who’s behavior was modified in cases of asymmetrical relationships. Continue reading “Cultural Codes”

The Influence of Advertising on Magazine Journalism

Please, just call me Ms.

Ms. Magazine was the first U.S. magazine to feature prominent American women demanding the repeal of laws that criminalized abortion, the first to explain and advocate for the ERA, to rate presidential candidates on women’s issues, to put domestic violence and sexual harassment on the cover of a women’s magazine, to feature feminist protest of pornography, to commission and feature a national study on date rape, and to blow the whistle on the undue influence of advertising on magazine journalism. Continue reading “The Influence of Advertising on Magazine Journalism”

Gender, Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation and Class in Popular Television

Sex and the City‘ has been known for pushing the edge of ‘real’ on television. You might imagine with this greater breath of freedom that they would use that position to promote positive images of women, people of color, gay and lesbians and those of different classes. However, that is just not the case. Women are portrayed as being absolutely consumed with the pursuit of men, love, clothes and shoes. Little do we know of their jobs, and even less time is spent discussing them. The main cast is white American’s, with few ethnic characters appearing in a single episode. Carrie and Charlotte have ‘best’ gay friends who serve as fashion accessories. Stanford is the prominent gay character, and together with Anthony, these men serve up flamboyant gay as if it’s going out of style. Finally, issues of class aren’t approached at all… everyone is well-to-do with an amazing apartment with only one financial concern – how many of the new season’s shoes you will be able to purchase.
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Ethnicity, Gender and Communication: Privilege

Privilege is an advantage, right or perk that is not available to everyone, but only an elite group. For example, my boyfriend and I work for the same company, his group reimburses a portion of his cell phone expenses, while mine does not. He was complaining when they took that benefit away. I explained to him how he cannot complain because it was a privilege, not a right. He should be happy for the benefit while he had it, because others just as deserving did not get the same perk. Continue reading “Ethnicity, Gender and Communication: Privilege”

Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness

A Guide for ESL Tutors

As a tutor, you will be working with students from other cultures. You will gain an appreciation for different cultures by providing the student with an atmosphere of trust and acceptance. Encourage the student to talk about his/her family and country. If you are asked about American customs, be sensitive to the tutee’s viewpoints. What is socially acceptable in the U.S. might be unthinkable in the student’s culture. Most foreign students are eager to talk about their country and traditions. This interaction might be a valuable learning experience for you. Continue reading “Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness”

Savage Inequalities

The inequalities described in Jonathan Kozol’s Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools seem to paint a picture taken from a third world country, appallingly however; these are scenes from modern day America, the realities of inequalities and their pervasiveness. Continue reading “Savage Inequalities”

Walking in the Ghetto

When I was young, probably about 12 or 13 years old, I would do volunteer work in the “First Ward” neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina. I always felt awkward and so completely out of place. As a white girl with fairly nice clean clothes, I couldn’t help but wish I didn’t stand out so much in a way that accentuated the advantages I had versus the severe disadvantages that the residents of First Ward had. Racial and educational inequality is rampant and increasing in America. The photo of Lloyd’s kitchen in “Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago” page 190, of two children sprawled on a filthy disgusting kitchen floor is a haunting memory from the time of helping my mother as she visited Charlotte’s version of the projects. I can’t imagine what it would be like today, after another ten years of disintegration and destitution. Our America is not one and the same with “their” America. Continue reading “Walking in the Ghetto”

“There goes the neighborhood.”

The phrase easily conjures up a picture in your minds eye… A white family standing on the porch of a picturesque house wearily eying the new neighbors moving in as “they” are the darkest color found in this sunny scene.

Inequality is defined as “unequal opportunity or treatment based on social or economic disparity”. Racial inequality is still seen today in the picture painted above, and in one example, stems from the residential segregation of neighborhoods across America. I grew up in the South where some neighborhoods were somewhat interspersed with various color and ethnicities, while areas remained faithfully “white”. It wasn’t until I had moved out of the South and lived in both Dallas and Seattle that I ever comprehended how pervasive residential segregation was. Continue reading ““There goes the neighborhood.””

Interpersonal Communication: Self Disclosure Exercise

You will need to find a partner to complete this exercise. Although it is possible to do this experience online, I think you might enjoy it more with face-to-face communication. Your partner could be your spouse (significant other), a friend, or family member. Each person will ask the other questions from the list. Participants in this exercise are encouraged to go in to detail with their answers and avoid 1-2 word responses. Either party may choose to pass on a question, but that person must not ask that same question of the other party. You do not need to record your responses. Continue reading “Interpersonal Communication: Self Disclosure Exercise”

The Other Box that Changed the World

It’s been called a phenomenon. It’s been praised as a piece of highly desirable innovative design. It’s been regarded as inferior and hard to use. It became an instant pop icon and has changed the streets of every metro city in the country. Beyond its significant price tag, substantial amounts of money is spent accessorizing this accessory. It’s sleek and smaller than a breadbox, it’s about the size of your hand. Its translucent white case with stainless steel back lays the foundation for its undeniably powerful brand.
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A Beginners Cheat Sheet to Psychology


  • The scientific study of mind and behavior
  • Social/Behavioral sciences
  • Principles are based on research
  • Psychology has its foundations in philosophy and biology
  • For tips on how to study and other information about the field of psychology, visit http://www.psychwww.com
  • Psychology is a behavioral science
  • Because it is a science, all of the principles of psychology are supported by someone’s (or several people’s) research. Continue reading “A Beginners Cheat Sheet to Psychology”