Eachother”, Basic Books, New York, NY., 2011
Short Academic Response #3
3 April 2017
The Real Story of Fitness
The worlds concept of fitness and what is attractive in terms of body size is as volatile and ever changing as the weather on the coast of Texas. Since the 1800’s, body size and the opinions as to what is deemed desired has changed dramatically and for some, not for the better. In the report ‘The Inner Corset’, written by Laura Frasier, the explanation of what image used to mean in the late 1800’s compared to today’s standards is outlined and explained in a well thought out, and sufficiently supported article. Frasier’s style of writing and using the history of the woman’s body type, their ideals of what is wanted by men, and what makes them feel beautiful, allows her to come across non-bias in her report and allow readers a more detailed depiction of what it was like before present day society. When utilizing the facts of various writers, magazines, and pictures, readers are given the chance to better understand things from both sides of the spectrum.
Everyone knows when writing a report on a controversial subject matter, it pays to do the research and obtain information from reputable sources. Laura Frasier achieved such an informative and educational article on the topic of body image by doing just that in the form of six different sources. Her integration of all the information she presents to readers, is done so by providing some background facts on that specific subject line, sharing a story, or an experience to set the audience up to better understand the quotes due to be given within the article from those sources. “While often pictured as a veritable Frankenstein, born of and breeding disease, sure to ride its processor to death sooner and later, is really a most harmless, healthful, innocent tissue” (Hutchinson, 1894, P.395), is just one of the quotes utilized by Frasier within her report. Frasier goes on to explain that contrary to growing popular belief; fat is not something to be ashamed of and is relatively common among vast majorities of women. (Frasier P. 776) Furthermore, she quotes Hutchinson again stating “The fat man tends to remain fat, the thin woman to stay thin-and both in perfect health-in spite of everything they can do”. Forcing the ideal that Hutchinson felt strongly about the fact that despite all efforts to be thin, only a small percent of diet will affect the individuals body size. As you embark further into her text, you find other sources such as notes from Margaret Mackenzie, an anthropologist, that states “the status symbols flipped, it became chic to be thin and all to ordinary to be overweight”, as well as quotes from authors Susan Sontag and Lord Byron. After presenting the two quotes, “For snobs and parvenus and social climbers, TB was the one index of being genteel, delicate, and sensitive.” written by Susan Sontag in her book ‘Illness as Metaphor’, and the quote from Lord Byron stating “A woman should never be seen eating or drinking, unless it be a lobster salad and champagne, the only truly feminine and becoming viands” (Schwartz, 1986, P. 38), the reader gets a bigger and clearer mental outline of both sides of the conversation and how vastly different many people felt about body image. Frasier’s integration was smooth and her resources very enlightening. Upon completion of reading Frasier’s article, the reader should have a better understanding of image, beauty and how far forward, or back, depending on the individuals outlook on it, that society has come.
Frasier, Laura, “The Inner Corset”, : America’s Obsession with Weight and the Industry That
Feeds on It, New York, Dutton, 1997
Hutchinson, W., “Fat and Fashion”, The Saturday Evening Post, 1926, August 21
Schwartz, H., “Never Satisfied: A Culture History of Diets, Fantasies, and Fat”,
New York: The Free Press, 1986
Sontag, Susan, “Illness as Metaphor”, New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1977
Short Academic Response #4
18 April 2017
For the assignment pertaining to the Visual Rhetorical Analysis, I have chosen to complete my paper on the 2000 American Civil Liberties Union picture. Slavery is the ugliest part of the history of this great nation. The only topic to come in at a close second is the hatred and discrimination the African American’s endured following their “freedom” in 1863 with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln. Martin Luther King Jr. knew this and tattooed himself into the history books and the hearts of all African American’s with his “I Have a Dream” speech given on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.. Unfortunately, even within present day society, racism and stereotyping occurs on a daily basis by a wide range of people, up to and including the police officers of this great nation. I have chosen the 2000 American Civil Liberties Union picture because it signifies more than just the color of people’s skin. It signifies everything that the blacks have gone through to gain the freedom and rights that they have today. It offers intriguing insight into how African Americans still feel today as it pertains to the police and how they have been treated over the course of many decades by law enforcement. I find it worthy of analysis because this isn’t describing a problem that can be fixed by changing the design of car, or how a song is played, or even how big a young woman’s butt is in a Nike ad. This is a description of a problem that negatively alters good peoples’ lives daily, and has been known to historically create situations where African Americans lose their lives. The belief that blacks are more likely to commit a crime and should be stopped or investigated simply because of the color of their skin must change. What immediately jumped out at me from the ad was the familiar face of Martin Luther King Jr.. He is an icon in African American history and made a stand for every man, woman, and child whose skin was too dark for society to accept. Martin Luther King Jr. depicted next to the face of mass murderer Charles Manson is legitimate clarification that it is not what is visible on the outside that matters, it is what is inside that makes a person. For the purposes of my Visual Rhetorical Analysis essay I will be including a preliminary thesis statement for instructor approval immediately following this sentence. The contrasting faces of a black Martin Luther King Jr. and a white Charles Manson, coupled with the two men’s histories and the straight forward words at the bottom of the 2000 American Civil Liberties Union ad, communicates to audiences about the ongoing problems associated with the profiling of African Americans by police officers in the United States.
31 March 2017
Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele’s report on Monsato’s history is an informative article that educates the reader on who the company of Monsanto is, the past from which they were built upon, and how they operate as a company. Some educative examples from the article that shed some light on the history of Monsanto are those relating to the original owner, the year of its creation, and how the original owner managed to create such a large company. Without Barlett and Steeles’ report, many people interested in the company would have otherwise never known that “Monsanto was founded in 1901 by John Francis Queeny” (Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear), that Monsanto was his “wife’s maiden name” (Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear), or that the one company that helped keep the original Monsanto in business by purchasing its goods was, “a new company out of Georgia named Coca-Cola” (Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear). Information such as those small details help interested readers get a sense of how far Monsanto has come within the industry and where the article is heading.
For some writers, it can be extremely difficult to keep readers’ attention when covering a dry subject such as agriculture or chemical plants. However, utilizing various stories of those directly influenced or affected by Monsanto, it keeps the audience engaged, learning, and leaves them feeling as if they have obtained new knowledge that they did not have prior to reading the report. The case of Nitro, a small town in West Virginia where an explosion of one of Monsanto’s chemical plants left a town covered in Dioxin and many citizens injured, is one example of how Barlett and Steele managed to keep readers engrossed within the article. That story of Nitro, along with the case of the PCB polluted waters and soil in Anniston, Alabama, and the case of the “Milk Wars” (Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear) involving Jeff Kleinpeter, all help to keep the reader informed and interested in the topic of conversation. The most interesting of the previously mentioned subjects is that of the “Milk Wars” and how ruthless the milk industry is. The constant lawsuits and threats, coupled with the unrelenting attention focused on what is written on the outside of a milk carton, presents itself as baffling and over the top to any reader who takes the time to read the report.
Reports also need to corroborate the statements made within by the backing of evidence and to ensure the evidence given is convincing to the audience to whom they are writing to. Barlett and Steele achieved this by providing exact names, cities, dates, pictures, and even quoting witnesses themselves. Even without the assistance of graphs to relay certain information, the report still manages to inform and educate the readers from start to finish. However, by including graphs, Barlett and Steele could have illustrated the percentages of people affected by the pollution from Monsanto’s plants, or the number of people injured or diagnosed with cancer compared to today’s numbers from today’s chemical plants. This would have assisted in showing the severity of the accusations against Monsanto. They also could have shown the affects or differences between Kleinpeter and Monsanto as it pertains to milk sales and how the writing on the cartons influenced the numbers directly. Monsanto’s accusations on the subject could have had some clarity given the use of graphs. Clarity on subjects such as these can often sway readers into supporting one narrative or another.
Upon reading the article, readers will likely begin to pay closer attention to who produces the product or food and what is in it. Everyone wants to be cognizant about what they bring into their homes. Reading labels, and place of origin on all the products we consume as food or use as cleaners is a good place to start. The continued use of chemicals to process milk, meat, and vegetables, along with the genetic modification of many of the seeds used by farmers today, has prompted myself and many others to closely track what is put in the basket while at the local grocery store. Although, the evidence suggested by the FDA states there are no health concerns with the use of growth hormones, it is hard to trust the opinions of a foundation run by individuals that use to work with or for Monsanto. The saying “better safe than sorry”, applies here more so than any other situation. When it comes to your health, your children’s health, and the longevity and quality of life that is desired, throwing caution to the wind could potentially be a recipe for disaster.
Donald L. Barlett & James B. Steele, “Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear”,
Everyone’s an Author, 2nd Edition, W. W. NORTON AND COMPANY,
New York & London, 2016
8 April 2017
Controversial Police Work
Since the 1970’s, the ideals of community policing have been evolving and actively implemented within departments across the U.S. and abroad. With tensions between police and citizens on the rise, departments were frantic to find a solution and engage the public on a more personal level in an effort to reduce the issues associated with the publics lack of trust for the police. “The proactive nature of community policing encourages officers to interact with citizens to address the needs and concerns of the community and find long term solutions to crime problems” (Glaser and Parker). The question as to whether or not it actually makes a positive impact within the relationships between the police and the general public still remains to be completely unanswered and continues to be the topic of many controversial conversations.
With the implementation of community policing gaining momentum into departments across the U.S., more and more studies are being performed to gain insight into the specific areas where community policing has had the most success, how it works, and why. The concept of community policing requires a more proactive approach from the officers themselves. Mark A. Glaser and Lee E. Parker stated that, “the proactive nature of community policing encourage officers to interact with citizens to address the needs and concerns of the community and find long term solutions to crime problems” (164). This means that officers would have to vacate the solitude of the police cruiser, and walk among, and visit with, the citizens they are sworn to protect. By building rapport with the numerous individuals they encounter on a day to day basis, the trust and confidence in the police from the public is expected to grow and prosper. Since the inception of community policing, data from the “Uniformed Crime Report (UCR)” has shown a decrease in crime on a national basis since the early 90’s (Glaser and Parker / FBI). It is said that community policing has had a profound impact on the fear of crime and the citizens’ overall happiness and trust of the police services. However, on the contrary, some professionals would lead you to believe that it would be impossible to ascertain that the decrease in crime was due to community policing alone. Research suggests that economic factors, jobs, and a recovering financial system within the country was to blame for the decrease in crime. “Generally, community policing without a clear focus on specific problems has not been found to be effective in preventing crime” (Sozer and Merlo). “These studies lacked a valid and reliable measure of program implementation and outcomes, and they consistently failed to address competing explanations for observed effect” (Sozer and Merlo). With research studies such as these remaining inconclusive, it leaves room for more intensive studies to be performed in the future as community policing continues to gain popularity across the nation.
Another aspect in need of consideration to gauge the effectiveness of community policing is that of time and money. Every city across the U.S. has budgets, and every budget has a specific allocation of the funds within it for not only manpower, but for equipment and extras as well. Community policing, although arguably effective, comes with costs that strain departments of resources and funding. With the present economy in shambles and still in recovery mode, many departments have downsized to cut costs. These types of cutbacks encompass the use of older equipment, longer shift hours, and dissatisfied, over worked, and unhappy officers. The more unhappy the officers on the street are, the less apt they will be to be fair in their decisions, and the eagerness to engage the public to build relationships will fade over time. These types of outlooks from the officers and citizens can and will cause turmoil within the community. Distrust and suspicion of the police has created multiple use of force situations and officer involved shootings that otherwise would not have happened had the citizen felt safer in the presence of the officer with whom they dealt. Andy Bain, Bryan K. Robinson, and Jim Conser noted that “people are far more likely to comply with local law enforcement agencies when they perceive the local service as legitimate and fair” (271). In order for the departments to justify allocating resources to engage the public on personal levels and see positive results, they must first ensure that the officers they are sending out to do the job of bridging that gap are in the correct frame of mind to do so.
Although the satisfaction among citizens with the police officers within their community has seen a rise with the implementation of the community policing ideals and philosophies, the data does not show it to have any effect on crime prevention in and of itself. Even though community policing variables from LEMAS data are, at best, a weak indicator of community policing, they are the only available national-level data on this issue (M.A. Sozer and A.V. Merlo). The research data shows community policing to in fact have no positive effect in lowering property and violent crime rates. Consequently, the more prevalent face to face contact between officers and the public becomes, the higher the chance of crimes being reported directly to the officer. That unfortunately is a catch 22 situation. On one side of the spectrum officers are building trusting and lasting relationships between law enforcement and the public. Yet on the opposite end of that, the percentage of crime goes up due to the newly revived willingness of the citizen to engage the officer and report those crimes. This makes the numbers contradict what many suggest about the data decreasing due to community policing. In contrast to the crime reduction expectation, community policing appears to be associated with higher crime rates (M.A. Sozer and A.V. Merlo). Given the information provided, the effect of community policing on crime rates has shown to be inconclusive.
Bain, Andy, et al. "Perceptions of Policing: Improving Communication in Local Communities." International Journal of Police Science & Management, vol. 16, no. 4, Winter2014, pp. 267-276. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1350/ijps.2014.16.4.345.
Glaser, Mark A. and Lee E. Parker. "The Thin Blue Line Meets the Bottom Line of Community Policing." International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior (Marcel Dekker), vol. 4, no. 1/2, Feb. 2001, p. 163. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=8711185&site=ehost-live.
Sozer, Mehmet Alper and Alida V. Merlo. "The Impact of Community Policing on Crime Rates: Does the Effect of Community Policing Differ in Large and Small Law Enforcement Agencies?." Police Practice & Research, vol. 14, no. 6, Dec. 2013, pp. 506-521. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/15614263.2012.661151.