One of my favorite parts of this course is the interactivity and collaboration that is encouraged in our class discussions, as well as within these blog posts. These interactive environments allow us to easily share ideas with one another and be creative in doing so, which greatly enhances the learning process and understanding of the material. Additionally, by design this collaborative approach exposes us to perspectives other than our own, which can not only help to deepen our understanding of a given topic, but can also help to deepen our understanding of each other. I feel that this skill is very useful and can be applicable to many different contexts.
I also found some of the ideas in the Snead article to be very intriguing. Specifically, the quote that we discussed in class, “transformation is culture’s response to it’s own apprehension of repetition”, was very interesting to me. I feel that what Snead is trying to say is that while most would like to deny it, repetition of the past is inevitable in certain domains of culture. The reasons for this phenomena lie within the necessity for people to have recognizablility, and the fact that culture is not a reservoir of “inexhaustible novelty”. I find this most interesting because I see a clear application to racism today, in that the racism that certain minorities experience is not novel, but rather a “transformation” of the past. Many people like to think that we have overcome racism, considering the extreme progress that has been made since the segregation era, for example. Yet it is this very perception that feeds into the institutional racism that is still present today, and ignorance of this is frequently referred to as “color-blindness”. Those who have a “color-blindness” perspective claim that in this modern age, we have progressed so far that race does not affect one’s life chances, ability to climb the social ladder, or vulnerability to negative circumstances. This however blatantly ignores the institutional racism and inequality that is very much present in terms of unequal distribution of resources for minority communities, higher incarceration rates for African Americans, among others. Thus, while we may feel that on a social level we have overcome racism, we have only “transformed” racism into a masked, less apparent form that diminishes the potential for minority groups.