While driving through Hollywood on my way to work, I was prompted to take this photo (while stopped in bumper to bumper traffic of course) because it triggered my memory of several important theorists that we have studied in this course. Goffman, Marx and Marcuse all came to mind as I watched these proletariats hanging off the side of a skyscraper on a rickety scaffold to replace the enormous advertisement from Activate Water to TV Land. This advertisement will likely generate money for TV Land, the actress displayed on the front, the owner of the building, and anyone else involved in the production of the show. I’m not sure how much these workers are paid but considering how much revenue is likely generated, I’m guessing they are not being paid nearly enough for all the risks that are involved in the work. Hence, it’s a great example of Marx’s theory on the exploitation of the worker to ensure that the capitalist makes a profit and the consumer continues fueling the vicious cycle of capitalism.
Black Friday, the day after thanksgiving, is almost like a holiday in and of itself. On the day after we all give thanks to the great people and things in our lives, people stop being thankful and instead flock to stores at the break of dawn to take advantage of the outrageous sales. One of the most popular deals this year was the XBOX 360 offered half-price at Walmart. In this video, one women took her shopping a little too seriously and in her quest to get her hands on the XBOX 360 used pepper spray to get to the front of the line.
A believer in the symbolic interactionist perspective, sociologist Erving Goffman believes that our individual identities are anything but natural or constant; they are instead masks that we construct based on the people we strive to be or the objectives we wish to obtain from a given social interaction. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life illuminates the dramaturgy involved in the creation of self because, like actors, we are constantly reading social cues in order to regulate and mold ourselves to what is appropriate to the social context.
In case you didn’t get a chance to pass by Occidental’s front entrance on Tuesday, here’s what you missed: construction workers, hired by Occidental College, protesting low wages and stingy benefits. These workers stood at the front of campus displaying a large Labor Dispute sign and passing out flyers that accuse President Veitch of being a “rat” or a “contractor that does not pay all of its employee’s area standard wages” (See the flyer pictures for more details).