Expos Assignment 6 Final Draft

Expos Assignment 6 Final Draft - 1 Francis Arcede:...

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Francis Arcede: Assignment 6 (Final Draft 11/28/07) The Omnipresence of Context In an active and dynamic society, changes in socially accepted norms, traditions, and current policies are inevitable and bound to happen. These changes in culture can be sparked by various events; more specifically, acts of violence, discrimination, and sexism. Beth Loffreda’s essay “Selections from Losing Matt Shepard: Life and Politics in the Aftermath of Anti-Gay Murder ” displays the complications that arise in a small Wyoming town after the murder of a gay man, and the attempt to provide differently-opinionated people with answers that make sense. Running on a parallel with regard to discrimination, “The Naked Citadel” by Susan Faludi highlights a revolution induced by an anomaly in an all-male military academy and the difficulty to accept change over tradition. Finally, in “The Power of Context”, Malcolm Gladwell reveals underlying themes that make polarizing the issues in a murder impossible. In a complex society, issues such as revolution, violence, and progress are multi-faceted and understanding the three is at the mercy of surrounding context. Simply looking at outer appearances without considering different and deeper contexts leads to inaccuracy in judgment. In the Citadel, Faludi describes an alternate reality in the women-free environment of the military academy, “The absence of women makes us understand them better… In an aesthetic kind of way, we appreciate them more because they are not there” (145). One would be more inclined to judge that the lack of any particular element in an environment, especially if it is an opposite counterpart, would create a lesser understanding of that particular thing. The only way to begin to know a person in a social setting is to convene and speak more with that person. Similarly in dating, in order to better know a potential mate, normally they are required to be around a lot; the underlying context in the absence of women at 1
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the Citadel however, requires examination and deeper scrutiny. In much the same way that merely glancing at the appearance of the Citadel skews the impression it intended to make, Loffreda’s account of the media jumbling the real significance of Matt Shepard’s death account highlights the complications in creating a news story, “a broadcast existence… nourished less by facts, and far more by the hyperboles of tabloid emotion” (317). What exactly however, can be considered fact in light of the various issues the Wyoming town of Laramie faced in the aftermath of the murder? The news reports themselves were inaccurate with such reports of Shepard hanging like a scarecrow after his death. Yet, however untrue the accounts turned out to be, people believed it and failed to consider the context that even the reporters were as emotionally rattled as the people were. Furthermore, drawing a parallel to the inaccuracies of the media, Gladwell recalls the glory given to Bernie Goetz after he gunned down four black youths
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Expos Assignment 6 Final Draft - 1 Francis Arcede:...

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