Sleeping Epidemic in Low-income

This research experiment was held in 2012 based on sleep problems and amount of income one makes. It was found that adults in low-income areas experience sleep problems. Such a problem is due to how much one has to work to have enough money to provide for themselves as well as their family. It is a very formal and extensive experiment that observed participants over a couple of years. The abstract of the paper provides information that the average public can connect to and understand without having to think much about the diction. While in the actual study itself, the words and explanations become more extensive and connect a lot with other scientists who may be in the same field. It showed that although stress if found throughout all income ranges, the ones who suffered the most were those who basically had to worry about when their next pay check was going to be, leaving them tossing and turning throughout the night. The idea of the type of mattress wasn’t truly mentioned in the paper, raising questions whether or not this could also be a cause of sleeping problems in low-come families. There were well informed tables and graphs to provide a visual of the data collected and helped the reader fully understand the difference in numbers between the wealthy and poor and their relate sleep problems.

Citation: Stranges, S., Tigbe, W., Gómez-Olivé, F. X., Thorogood, M., & Kandala, N.-B. (2012). Sleep Problems: An Emerging Global Epidemic? Findings From the INDEPTH WHO-SAGE Study Among More Than 40,000 Older Adults From 8 Countries Across Africa and Asia. Retrieved October 20, 2016, from Sleep: A publication of the sleep research society.

 

-Racheal C.

Monsters Under the Bed

In the article, Chris Thomson is able to bring the reader back into their own memories as a child and how strange and terrifying it was to think there was a monster lying quietly beneath their bed while their parents closed the door softly behind them. He brings in a quick history about where the monster most likely first appeared, through the bogeyman. He goes through different variations of this bogeyman such as the Sack Man who captures children in many Latin cultures. He brings up the question of why children are afraid of what’s not there. In reality, being afraid of the unknown is ingrained into every being’s conscience. The fear “comes from a lack of understanding of the world around them and their quickly-expanding imagination.” This article is good in depicting the culture that revolves around mattresses and shows how ironic a bed could actually be. Though it’s made for comfort and sleep, people almost become afraid of it when it comes time to actually fall asleep amongst the folds. A question that could be brought through after reading the writing would be how long this fear stays with a person. One never really think about elders being afraid of the dark, but there very well could be that fear, entrenched since childhood, lurking in the back of one’s mind, the itch one feels when they think they’re being watched. Could this fear be avoided? Or is it, in reality, a fear one is born with, regardless hearing stories being told?

Citation: Thomson, C. (2016, March 16). The History Of That Monster Who Lives Under Your Bed. Retrieved November 9, 2016, from Dreams.

 

-Racheal C

Mattress Culture

This article depicts the epidemic that happened and may still be happening in China, published in 2006. Chinese workers were being worked to extremes that bureaus began providing their workers with mattresses so they can stay at the office to continue their tasks. Because the employees were being paid so low, they took the offer and ended up killing themselves as they pushed their bodies too hard for extended periods of time. Geoffrey York brings up how only until the death of a former athlete had succumbed to such fate. Through York’s writing, he provides a sense of urgency but also an unbiased stance, relaying information the public needs to realize the problem, but not pushing the reader to accept a certain side. Though there was an outrage in the country, it seemed as though the government did nothing to help the problem. Should the government be more involved in how much companies should be paying their workers? This article also shows a bit of the culture surrounding the mattress. That a mattress is no more than just something soft to sleep on for a couple minutes and they don’t really think about what the body does while it is sleeping. And that although having a mattress can be helpful in providing a better sleep, only taking quick naps will not provide the body enough time to recover from the daily exertions of everyday life.

Citation: York, G. (2006, August 22). China’s ‘mattress culture’ takes sometimes fatal toll on employees. Retrieved November 14, 2016

 

-Racheal C

Annotated Bibliography|Edited Anthology Thomas Mann Short Story

Mann, Thomas. “Railway Accident.” The Story: A Critical Anthology, edited by Mark Schorer, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1959, pp. 6-20.

 

In this short story, written by Thomas Mann, the author recounts on his experience with a railway incident. As Mann prepared to travel to Dresden to visit a few of his friends, he boarded a train, as well as observing all of the other passengers. While enjoying the pleasures of a free first-class car, the narrator described the characters that also chose to spend their peaceful trip in the luxurious first-class car. A few peculiar individuals stuck out as they acted in such specific manners; for example, one man of higher social class, who ironically lacked any form of class, caused ruckus by disrespecting the ticket master. Shortly after decided to turn in for the night, the narrator was jolted as all the cars experienced a shocking jerk, resulting in luggage launched within the cars. Confusion and slight hysteria ensued as passengers poured out of their respective cars into the hallways. Later the train attendant announced and commanded the passengers to evacuate the train because it had been derailed and now rested in the path of a different set of tracks. Once outside the train, the narrator realized how serious the crash was, as he was later informed that a “great catastrophe” had been averted because the engine driver pulled the emergency brake “at the last possible moment.” Without his heroic act the train would have launched itself into a nearby embankment, instead of ramming into the latter part of a stationary freight train. Finally the displaced passengers were placed in another train; however, the author did not enjoy the same previous comforts as many passengers upgraded to first-class cars in a futile attempt to feel more secure.

 

Mann’s short story is yet another example of negative depiction of trains and railway transport, with the inclusion of a stereotype. While introducing the topic of his short story, Mann prefaced his story with the statement that “[the accident] was not really a first-class one—no wholesale telescoping or ‘heaps of unidentifiable dead’—not that sort of thing. Still, it was a proper accident, with all of the trimmings, and on top of that it was at night” (Mann, 6). Beginning in the introduction, the tone of the story has a flair for the dramatics and will exploit the fears of the public in order to gain notice of the audience. Riddled with aggrandized diction, such as catastrophe, the recount evokes a vivid depiction of the events as well as a strong emotional response. Stories like Mann’s result in the publics lack of trust within trains and railway transportation, fearing that a similar accident may occur when they use this mode of transport. In return for a more attractive story, the reputation of the railway has been damaged, resulting in a decrease in usage. Questions that arise out of this source include: How factual was this account of the accident? Did the author exaggerate in order to produce a more exciting piece or was that his genuine experience?

Annotated Bibliography|Edited Anthology The Railway Train by Emily Dickinson

Dickinson, Emily. “The Railway Train.” American Journeys: An Anthology of Travel In the United States, edited by E.D. Bennett, General Drafting Co., Inc., 1975, 6.

 

In this literary piece, written by the well-known author Emily Dickinson, trains and railway transportation are the focus of the poem. The narrator of this short poem describes the process in which the train takes to arrive at its destination, using vivid descriptors that help the reader envision the journey.

 

Dickinson creates a rather rare positive depiction of trains in her work The Railway Train. Throughout the poem, Dickinson utilizes personification, giving human characteristics to the train, which in return actually gives the reader a deeper insight into the human condition. Making the material more relatable, the use of personification allows the reader to be more inclined to take away a positive perception of the trains and subsequently the railway system.

 

As the audience follows the progression of the train throughout its journey, they experience all the dangers, hardships, and emotions that the personified train encounters. Snaking its way around mountains and “peer[ing] in shanties by the side of the roads; and then a quarry pare,” the audience is a first-hand witness to the perils that could result if the train is not secure in its tracks (Dickinson, 6). The juxtaposition of the train with the shanties shows the contrasting qualities of the two entities. As the train is new technology and the shanties are elementary and crudely built, Dickinson highlights the advancements of trains as a positive quality, a luxury even. Characterized with positively-associated diction, such as docile and omnipotent, Dickinson emphasizes her perspective of the train in a constructive-lighting. As the train does a difficult job, seen the stanzas of the poem that read “to fit its sides, and crawl between” and passages that include “prodigious, step around a pile of mountains” it always fulfills its duty in the end.

 

This source helps refute a false train of thought (pun slightly intended) that all creative works, whether that be movies, novels, or poems, depict trains in a negative light. Although there are far more sources that portray trains and railway transport as a hazardous system, there are sources that to a small degree counteract those stereotypes. Dickinson’s poem has been useful because it adds to the cultural perspective of trains and what society views the positive attributes of the system are. Questions that arise out of this text include: Where did the inspiration of Dickinson’s poem come from? Was it from a first-hand experience that she had with the railway system or merely a romantization?

How Canada Handles the Vending Machines

Jennings, Laura. “Public Fat: Canadian Provincial Governments and Fat on the Web.” The Fat Studies Reader, edited by Esther D. Rothblum and Sondra Solovay, NYU Press, 2009, pages 88-96.

Laura Jennings evaluated how different provinces in Canada viewed obesity and eating choices in relation to being healthy. She found that Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia viewed obesity as an epidemic and excessive fat as dangerous. British Columbia and Ontario’s views are that people should fix their behavior to improve their health and Quebec support fixing the structure of society so everyone can be healthier. In her review, she notes that Ontario removed junk food from elementary school vending machines.

Laura’s primary argument is that being fat is not really a problem, obesity is hardly an epidemic, and governments should focus more on those that are underweight in addition to overweight individuals. She looks into Canada’s most populated provinces to see how much they are doing “right” from her point of view, in comparison to the US and its very anti-fat stances. It seems flawed to analyze a government’s actions from such a biased and countercultural point of view and rather unfair. Jennings is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina.

I can use this analysis for my paper when I discuss vending machines and their promotion to increase the obesity epidemic.

What is a Subculture?

Cohen, Albert K. “A General Theory of Subcultures.” The Subcultures Reader, edited by Ken Gelder, Psychology Press, 2005, pages 50-59.

The Subcultures Readers is an anthology discussing different small cultures that counter the thoughts of the general society. Albert Cohen writes about how a subculture gets started. He says that everyone views the world from their own frame of reference and rarely will see things differently than the way their culture tells them too. When multiple people have similar problems, though, and they find a solution that counters general ideas, the people are willing to group together and go against current beliefs and create a counterculture of their own.

Countercultures are an interesting way of understanding why some people think that “bad” things are worth doing. Understanding that one person is rarely going to diverge from the mainstream but many people struggling similarly will create their own path to feeling successful and right is an important concept and helps to understand why people will steal from others, or shorten their lifespan with chemicals, or break other serious laws. Albert Cohen was a well-respected criminologist with a special interest in the subcultures of gangs. He was a Harvard graduate with multiple awards for his thoughts on subcultures.

Subcultures are a good way to approach the topic of vending machines because you can analyze the subculture of alcoholics, nicotine addicts, fetishists of minors, kleptomaniacs, obese and overweight individuals, and many other groups.