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11/11 Notes

platano's picture

-culture is constructed, other cultures seem “WIERD” to us

-children learn by active teaching = “WIERD” ; parents take active role

-teaching keeps you focused on one goal, doesn’t help w/ brain growth

-every book suggests that another book might give us a fuller picture (kgould’s post on the graphic novel Palestine)

-ckosarek: Ofed Grosbar’s “The Drama of the Suicide Terrorist”

western view: internal, personal, we would never die for a collectivist society, “private act”

eastern: collectivist, feel tied to culture

-Americans don’t have a unified culture to protect

-May not be the view from all of the western countries

-individual interviews, anecdotal

-doesn’t back up claims/generalizations w/ percentages, facts

-Berko divorces collectivism by speaking about individual groups, separates men vs. women, and dispatchers and the suicide bombers, puts them against one another

-conflict: being a Israeli woman interviewing Palestinians

-have been under occupation, suicide bombers are a way of fighting back

-more information from the women, but stressed emotions in men

-women as suicide bombers: fade in to the background, don’t call as much attention as men, clothes can hide bombs, men can’t search women

-in the book, women have conflict with families, and honor, and try to run away from consequences

-women as tools by other men

-can get more liberties while going through training

-gets respect

-challenges some social roles, but plays in to the ones that a woman has to sacrifice for the family

-don’t focus on the courage it takes to carry out a suicide bomb, something casual, machine like, don’t think about death

-emphasizes fear, marginalization

-brings out frightened adolescent story: familiar




English Majors (WIERD)

-Individualistic, interpret it on your own

-less aware of “WIERD-ness” of other forms of literature

-valorize the creative, idiosyncratic


Comp Lit Majors

-group canon

-bring in other perspective


Bio Majors

-collective, building off knowledge

-when you isolate something, you have to look at the whole


History Major

-collective, drawing larger conclusions about time and place



-collective, how society relates to the individuals

-how it affects the group, not individuals



-collective, different groups affect the city

-individuals matter in how they affect the whole


East Asain Studies

-collective history, language




-collective aims, individual approaches/focus (maybe too much??)



-collective, every society has its own distinct characteristics, but don’t look at them in isolation, comparative




-if you don’t apply math to anything, can’t understand it

-use math, to apply it to human life

-something outside of us, but we have made it around us, studies things that affect us


Arne Naess: life would be better without humans



-personal is political

-nothing outside of politics

-everything motivated, or interpreted through politics

-person’s life is affected by societal expectation, can’t escape that because society won’t back you up (need job, honor, etc)

-author says: personal is personal, looks for individual examples

-book implies but doesn’t exchange in political analysis

-but they can become suicide bombers because of cultural/social/political reasons


-large offset in data

-can’t interview successful suicide bombers, catch 22, can’t successfully understand them

-these people failed because they changed their minds when seeing victims as humans, child was present, malfunctions, couldn’t get through security checkpoints, guilt, fear, maybe some wanted to get caught

-if they would do it again, then they would serve that purpose, no way of knowing if they are genuine



-absent father figure

-mellow undertone, didn’t have fiery undertone of suicide bombers, detached, no responsibility

-Jewish friends, but can still become a dispatcher; don’t have to face the victims directly

-power, detachment of dispatchers vs. fragility, marginalization of suicide bombers


Work of Fiction


-changing stories

-personal reality becomes overall reality


What would be the next book:

-read on collectivism, opposite view, perhaps: graphic novel Palestine, history of suicide bombing, the Qur’an, get an idea of Israeli perspective, living in both communities, observing

-if you give an English major a book…many next steps

-everything changes the story


-any individual act is always scripted politically

-personal is personal but channeled politically,

-most readily available outlet for their frustration

-the bigger picture could be the Palestinian collective aims


-Palestinian kids ask army, vice versa

-understand how they live



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