AN acquaintance was telling me about the joys of rediscovering her ethnic and religious heritage. Well, not "none," I backtracked. Scottish, English, Irish -- that was something, I supposed. Too much Irish to qualify as a WASP; too much of the hated English to warrant a "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" button; plus there are a number of dead ends in the family tree due to adoptions, missing records, failing memories and the like. I was blushing by this time. Did "none" mean I was rejecting my heritage out of Anglo-Celtic self-hate?

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Commented by Mark Noh - Thursday , 7 March at In Barbara Ehrenreich's "Cultural Baggage," the author argues that an American is someone who chooses to create an identity rather than to accept a cultural, historical, religious, ethnic, familial, occupational, or other inherited tradition.

In other words, Ehrenreich thinks people build their own identities not something elso decide who they are. In effect, I agree with the author's argument because of my personal experence when I was in middle school. Each individual has his or her own identity, and it can be defined using many different ways. For example, people themselves can define their own identities, or they can be decided based on their ethnicity, religion, or even their cultural traditions.

In her essay, Ehreneich says that Americans should decide their own identities not by other factors. I agree with Ehreneich's argument because of my experience in middle school, which made other students to believe I am different from typical Asian students and identified me as an unique person. Reply to this comment. Commented by Liulu Tan - Thursday , 7 March at I agree with the author's idea, because I think in modern society, people choose to create their own identities and have appropriate life styles.

Conclusion: Everyone has the right to live his or her life, troditional or modern. However, the society is developing and people also need to meet the change. Having stated the statements and examples, we come to a conclusion that we do not have to live in the way that our progenitors once did, and we can live our own lives.

Commented by Jingyuan Liu - Thursday , 7 March at In the article "Curtural Baggage", Barbara Ehrenreich recalled her personal experience in her early life as an American with "no ethnic background". In her childhood, she was surrounded by a family without attention on anything special of their family, which make her could not accept "tribes" paragraph 6. Nevertheless, she found having some backgrounds, ethnic or religion background is actually some precious heritage to extend.

But, "none" paragraph 10 , as her children answered, would still be the choice of many in USA. Based on what I've seen and experienced, it's extremely hard to be completely independent from any cultural group. The author's experience shows her complicated emotion and thoughts about "tribes", but whatever she says, completely stay away and without feeling of isolation is something hard to touch: sometimes you will feel like a released kite.

Introduction: In the article 'Cultural Baggage', which is written by Barbara Ehrenreich, argues about Americans nowadays try to create identities of people instead of accepting it.

From my perspective, I do agree with author's opinion due to the circumstances I have seen recently. I believe Americans are trying to create their own way in order to achieve a more harmony life.

Conclusion: Every single person is unique and irreplaceable. In author's mind, Americans choose to create their own identities, just as I mentioned before, main ideas from three examples. Only if we can insist who we are, we can create a better society by ourselves. Commented by Danh Nguyen - Thursday , 7 March at He exemplifies his argument by comparing the cost and benefits of the leaf blower and the rake. Bell claims that raking and blowing accomplishes the same task and that the rake has long existed before the leaf blower.

He considers that raking can provide for the general exercise that the twenty-first-century bodies are lacking. Although everyone has that feeling of longing, whether it is seeing love ones or, in this case, to recreate an experience that is losing its grip in society, we must not forget to linger in the past.

Indeed, the rake and the blower gets the same job done, but it does not necessarily mean the rake allows for greater exercise and holds a more worthwhile experience. At some point in our lives, we must give up that toy that we cherished in our childhood or let go of the children that we raised and begin to embrace change. Because the past will always be the past, but the future can be changed by the choices we make.

Commented by cherry - Friday , 8 March at I disagree with her because I believe that a person can not create a brand new identity without absorbing anything from his or her past or from the outside world. I will demonstrate it through analyzing Chinese history and illustrating my younger brothers experience and my own story.

Conclusion If people have a bad experience of their cultural baggage, they might want to deny it, and consider it as a burden. However, there is a better way to deal with our cultural baggage: accept it and live it. Just as the way that China do with their economy and the way that my brother and I deal with it. In addition, we may change the way we act or the way we live, and we may change our identity, but we can not create a new identity as Ehrenreich says because it is the cultural baggage defines who we are.

Without it, we are nobody. Commented by Vivian Wang - Friday , 8 March at Being too much in Love with Technology Intro Ed Bell argued that Americans should use technology more discriminately by comparing the uses of raking and leaf blower. He thinks that leaf blowers are unnecessary because people needs special equipment in order to use it and it can be very noisy.

In the opposite side, raking is more timing-saving and environmental friendly. People also can get more exercise out of it. Conclusion The development of technology does improve our living quality; however, massive use of technology will not only cause people lazy but also waste extra energy.

We should avoid relying too much on technology like smartphones, cars and GPS. We need to discriminate the uses of technology and invent new things that are really necessary in the future. Commented by Michelle Kim - Friday , 8 March at People might say it's because it saves time or it's more efficient. He explains how raking is more beneficial to us because it doesn't cause disruption and require goggles and masks to keep us safe.

He emphasizes on how we rely heavily on technology such as leaf blowers and we end up with consequences like destroying our environment. That's why I strongly agree with the Bell's view on how we should use the technology when it's necessary. Conclusion: If we compare and contrast between the use of leaf blowers and rakes, we can see more positive aspects of using the rake than the leaf blowers.

Bell shows us that leaf blowers are more dangerous and less beneficial than the rakes. His example calls our attention to use technology carefully and when it's necessary and I strongly agree with his view. We should avoid "being too much in love with technology" and concentrate on the deeper issues of our society like poverty and diseases.

We can invent better technology to fix these necessary issues, not just invent the ones that are just merely practical values to us like leaf blowers. Usage for Technology. Commented by Tanya Huynh - Friday , 8 March at How we do we use it without a purpose? We think of technology as an easy gateway to time efficiency—it is part of the exact opposite. Not all technology has a detrimental effect on us however.

If we know how to successfully map out how to use technology to our advantage, then the scale of pros will outweigh that of the cons. Technology does have its negative attributions on us. It can contribute to bothering society and be harmful to many aspects in our life.

Our dependency on technology has insulated from using technology wisely—especially time efficiency wise. On the other hand, using technology can promote self-purpose because it allows us to believe that we can finish things faster. We become less lazy. It depends on how we want to drive the bus—either recklessly or safely. Commented by Lanzhou Wang - Friday , 8 March at Intro: Nowadays, identity has become an integral part of ourselves.

Everyone has a different origin. In the article,"Cultural Baggage", Barbara Ehrenreich claims that we should be new ones instead of doing what our ancestor did. I strongly agree with the author's opinion because the motion to make the society keep moving on is to trying new things. Con: We have our own rights to live in the world and we can choose the way we survive.

Above all, I suppose we should try to find new ways to develop the society instead of staying conservatively. Commented by Yumeng Li - Friday , 8 March at Intro: In the article, Barbara Ehrenreich talks about her own idea on ethnic background and personal identities.

Her thinking on ethnic background was triggered by a question from an acquaintance who learned about her ancestors proudly. She was taught that new things were better than the old throughout her childhood instead of learning about the past. Conclusion: Sometimes cultural background is just like bondage or baggage as the author referred.

However, the American idea encourages everyone to build up personal character and create self identity in contract to describing a person with a fixed cultural tradition. This broadly accepted view help form a harmonious society with integrated cultures and other traditions without any segregation.

Commented by Weiran Zhang - Friday , 8 March at In the passage, the author presents several scenes to illustrate a long-held american idea that an American is someone who choose to create an identity rather that to merely accept a tradition.

She points out that American people like try new things rather than old ones. From my perspective, I believe such thought is superficial -- human beings evolves gradually just from learning the history and then create new things based on requirement of daily life and possibilities to avoid disadvantages. Conclusion: Although sometimes it's possible to create new things by one's own, as a historical trend, people can't make difference or novel stuffs without knowing situation through the time.

Commented by Yikai Wang - Friday , 8 March at Introduction: Ehnrenreich described her experience as a child craving for roots and stated that American is a nation who roots from "none". And people should think more about themselves, and ask why. I firmly agree with such idea.

The author, professor Ehrenreich was raised with "none". Although people inherit their nature from precedents, new things should be explored. People should be who they are rather than who they should be.


HERS; Cultural Baggage

Commented by Mark Noh - Thursday , 7 March at In Barbara Ehrenreich's "Cultural Baggage," the author argues that an American is someone who chooses to create an identity rather than to accept a cultural, historical, religious, ethnic, familial, occupational, or other inherited tradition. In other words, Ehrenreich thinks people build their own identities not something elso decide who they are. In effect, I agree with the author's argument because of my personal experence when I was in middle school.


“Cultural Baggage” by Barbara Ehrenreich


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