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aybala50's picture

I found this on one of my friends facebook page. I thought it was pretty interesting, but it's also interesting to me that it seems so gender-biased. The group of people standing there are wearing all the same clothes and they are all wearing suits. So is this directed only for men? Or only for people who enjoy wearing suits? 


Katie Randall's picture

the myth of individualism

This brought up something I've been thinking about for a while, but haven't been able to articulate well. Humans are social animals. We form groups-- when I'm in a class that deals in giant abstractions like "society," or double abstractions like "American society" it's hard to remember sometimes that what we're really talking about is the structure of the group. I've been in several classes that pointed out the extreme individualism prized in American society, the myth of "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps." And the more I think about it the more I notice a deep paradox.

We are all part of a society that emphasizes individualism. We are a part of a group that scorns open reliance on the group. In order to belong, we give lip service to the idea that we'd be fine on our own, anyway.Our embrace of individualism is a group myth, and only the group can sustain it.

This poster is a creepy, satircal example-- the identically suited skeletons marching along through the same steps, repeating "we are free." For me, the "freedom" referred to here is individuality-- the one thing none of them have.