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Readings Due December 6

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 10 months ago


Rena Gazaway 1969-Deprivation (eres)



[Shamiran Warda, sw11@geneseo.edu 12/10]


Deprivation: A Way of Life

Environment: All I can say is how can these people live in such conditions?? I must say the author did a wonderful job in describing how some of our own Americans citizens are living. The living conditions that these people have to endure everyday are rather unbelievable. I mean here their houses could never be classified in terms of a house but rather in terms of space for one chamber served as the place for sleeping, eating, living, cooking, bathing and so on and forth. And as you continue to read more, you notice that these people live rather an overcrowded and unsanitary life, where the parents along with children, of various age and sex would be all sleeping in the same room and frequently in the same bed. The worst part is how they live in areas where water is scarce and impure, using dirty creeks that often smelled like sewage to wash not only their clothes, dishes and themselves but their food as well. Living in shacks where most of their appliances did not work, with no inside toilets and no means of heating the house makes one wonder why no one is willing to help these people. Here are these people who are foraging for coal in order to heat their homes up, here are people using their lawns as the toilet and their dogs to eat up their wastes. Here are uneducated people who want to find job yet we deny them as seen with Jude on page 56, one only has to stop and wonder what the cause of this is? Why is this happening in our country? And what can we do to help put an end to it? Deprivations is indeed an ugly word if it does stand for filth, overcrowding, discomfort, hunger, thirst, and rags (Gazaway1969:56) and we must put an end to it and help the people like Jude get an education past the 3rd grade level. In all, a very interesting read that really really really opens the eyes of the reader to a whole new world filled with poverty- an environment unknown to so many of us. -END-


Alfred Dilluvio ajd12@geneseo.edu 12/12


What does this reading tell us about American life? This is not what most of us would consider typical of our culture, but these disastrous effects are all intimately related to the way we live in Contemporary America. We place grave importance on capital and material wealth, and we pursue these goals tenaciously and with such little regard for other people. The reason these people in Deprivation live in such squalor is because they have been made the victims of a society who considers those too unfortunate to have been blessed with an education, and therefore means to acquire material wealth, as social parasites. It is sad, but it is American culture. America, a place where competitive eating is a sport!!!?!?!?



Kaitlyn Northrop, krn3@geneseo.edu 12/12




It is amazing to me to read about these places and think that this was parts of America in the 1960's. Compared to today, these are more than substandard living conditions and it is amazing that things can change so much in forty years, to have them be the way that they are today. When modern day Americans read things like the article that I just read, it makes me feel like I am reading about an uncivilized society somewhere in a different place where conditions like this would be more common to hear about. Americans put so much effort into making their homes look nice and well furnished, because we have the materials and wealth to do so. Consider this, if you are cold in your house, what do you do? Most people would either put on a sweatshirt or turn up the furnace. What happens if you do not have either of these things? This is what people are dealing with in situations discussed in the Article. This reasoning alone helps to explain why many groups of people view the Americans as spoiled and greedy. The conditions talked about in this article dealt with extreme cold situations. But what about the extreme hot situations? Generally this is not a problem in America because we are not close enough to the equator, but what about places in Africa, where people are burning to death in the sand because they cannot get out of the sunlight? Like in the movie we watched, beyond Borders, the people in the beginning were just deteriorating in the sand with the sun and no water and food. Birds were picking at live people, because they were barely surviving, but they were alive enough to feel it. Americans generally hide their faces to conditions like this. They do not want to believe that they exist because then they might have to do something about it. Maybe instead of turning up the heat when they are cold, they could send that extra money somewhere to help someone in need. But instead they just ignore it, because turning their head and pretending it doesnt exist is easier than carrying the guilt and burden of doing nothing about it.




{Isobel Connors, icc2@geneseo.edu, 12/12}


Deprivation: A Way of Life


SOCIAL CHANGE (or lack thereof): I was very disturbed by absolutely decrepit conditions that lower-class Americans lived in during the late 1960s; however, I am more disturbed that people believe this is no longer true in America today. Especially after the wave of hurricanes that have hit poor neighborhoods, Americans are living in equal or worse conditions than this article depicts. My heart broke as the author described how these individuals were forced to sleep bundled together in winter jackets as though outside on icy, damp wood planks. What depressed me the most was the hypos surrounding these individuals: they are so overwhelmed by poverty that the have lost any concept of self-importance and barely function as a result. Their prudence is so extreme that often times they eradicate hygienic practices that could save them from many diseases. Often times the middle and upper classes remain conveniently ignorant to the atrocities that occur in these lower-class communities. Either they have more important things to think about, like earning some extra cash or earning a master’s degree, or they have been severely desensitized by the media to disregard any sense of compassion. Our societal values have become so distorted that we care more about material possessions than we do about preserving humankind. Even writing this critique I feel hypocritical because I am sitting comfortably in my overly-heated dorm room, theorizing about human nature. Reading this article has inspired me to dedicate my break to helping those less fortunate than I, which is unfortunately a great deal of the nation. I urge all of you to do the same and make a difference over break by donating food/clothes, volunteering at food kitchens, or any numerous other acts of kindness. Too often we only focus on the poor around the holidays, but what about the rest of the year? New York is even colder in January and February than it is around Christmas time. If anyone plans to be in Buffalo over break and wants to join me in doing some volunteer work, please email me!





[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 12-13-07]

Deprivation: A Way of Life

It was initially hard to believe that this reading is about the United States. In a society where many families not mine have multiple TVs in one-family houses, the idea that people live in such conditions is obscene--but it seems to me that our habit of over-consumption is what is obscene, when there are places like this within our own society. One thing that absolutely struck me was the sheer apathy that came with their way of life. They didn't bother to have normal-sized doors, or keep the doors on the car where the coal was stored, or even pick up a lot of trash because it just won't help their situation in any significant way. It is a really upsetting thing to think of, like Isobel said, when we are sitting around in our houses at our laptops and eating anything we want because we have that luxury. I saw a show on MTV (speaking of material culture and overconsumption) about the richest people, and one man in Mexico makes more than $1 million an hour when you break it down. A bar in London sells a $70,000 drink made with Cristal and Cognac, that comes with a diamond ring and two bodyguards. How can people live in such excess when there are people who have, literally, nothing?! It makes me really angry, and like Isobel, I plan on doing something over break in Syracuse, so if you are in the Syracuse area and want to join me, let me know!



[Elen De Oliveira, emd10@geneseo.edu, 12/13]


It is really heartbreaking and eye opening to read about situations like this that are not only happening in the United States, but everywhere in the world. It is impossible to imagine that people have to sleep with all of their clothes on in order to try and keep warm, or that children must stay home from school for two days because that is how long it takes for their one dress to be washed and dried. We are used to having food and heat and water readily available to us whenever we should decide to use it. We waste all of these things pretty much on a daily basis and it is just really sad to realize that while we live with more than enough things, there are people out there who barely have anything at all. It is also really frustrating to realize how extreme the economy is. There are people out there making millions of dollars becuase they play a sport or becuase they can rap or act. Entertainment is important and brings joy to people, but you have to wonder how many starving families would be helped if all of these entertainers were paid even a hundred dollars less than they do. This makes me angry at myself as well for having so much and not realizing it. It is overwhelming how many people in the world are living in terrible conditions.


[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 12/13/07]


Environment and Politics: I think that it is shocking that a place that so closely resembles third world poverty could exist in the United States. The persistent lack of clean water, inability to achieve welfare, malnutrition, and lack of what most people perceive to be necessary amenities is not a well-known topic of discussion. In today’s politics, it is a non-issue and I have yet to hear it discussed by any politician. I was aware that there was a great deal of poverty in the Appalachians; however, I had no idea that it existed at this level. They seem to be treated as poorly as other minority groups insofar as they are institutionally discriminated against, stereotyped, and generally mistreated. More needs to be done to make other United States citizens aware of the intense poverty that is occurring in their very own country.





[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 12/15]



ENVIRONMENT: it is amazing to see how human beings can live in a place like this. It seems as if the moment you wake up, it is a state of war and despair until you sleep at night. It is described with great specificity of the state of their homes and neighborhoods. The stench is so horrid that you have to breathe through a handkerchief and in addition, the smell is so bad that at times, it burns your throat. Is it also described, “even the packs of limp-tailed ravening dogs slink about with compressed nostrils”. This shows two things: first, that even the dogs can’t stand the smell and secondly, that these people live with the stray dogs outside. It is also described that there is no space for anyone. The mathematical measurement this account gives us is unimaginable. In addition to the cramped space, the buildings itself are made of weak boards that can collapse at any moment. This just shows how horrible the conditions were for these people.




(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 12/15)


Deprivation: A Way of Life


- This story is clearly the case of individuals in a far worse position than any of us. I cannot even imagine being born in a society and environment similar to the one described. Given our level of privileges, and the lack there of for other societies and regions, it is disturbing to know that some live this way all of their lives. In class this year we have looked at a number of different cultures that have suffered horrific existences and enculturation at the hand of western civilizations. That is not to say that this turmoil has been created simply by the attempt to "better" their society, but rather these issues can be created from inward forces. Only the most unfortune cultures are those that suffer this great misfortune. The stench, the dogs, the filth, and lack of space forces these people to live a completely unacceptable atmosphere. Not even the dogs are able to tolerate the stench of this pollution. The conditions that these people live in is disgusting, inhumane, and something that many of the citizens of the United States. And to think, as Al said, competitive eating is a sport!


Charlie Genao cg7@geneseo.edu, 12/16


The article is really intense. The way she describe the living conditions are very explicit. The things that go on like fighting for food and actually calling it a sport says it all. These people live only 2 yards apart in shacks of five or more people (talk about personal space) It sad to see that people have sleep with there clothes on just to stay warm. The most striking is that these people are American citizens. One would think that people dont live in these conditions in America but the reality is people do.


[Nicole Rothman, ngr1@geneseo.edu, 12/16]

Deprivation: A Way of Life

The conditions described in this reading were quite disgusting and shocking. The thing that struck me the most was the lack of clean water. Water is a definite necessity in life, I think we tend to take it for granted and not realize what a precious commodity it truly is. The author states that the water mostly came from sewage-ish streams and creeks in the one area the water was “as thick and dark as chocolate milk.” Yet the residents still used the water. Abundance of fresh water was low on the priority list, and anything else the water was used for other than cooking and drinking was not considered essential. That’s mainly bathing and cleaning. Though out the semester, we’ve learned of other cultures who survive without the supply of pure water, they find water and fulfill their needs from




[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 12/16]


Deprivation: A Way of Life


Economy: It is really shocking to read about these places in our own country where the poverty is this bad. It makes me wonder why we are so worried about the poor in other countries when we already have the same problem here. It also makes me wonder how it goes so unnoticed here. I mean, we hear about it but hardly think that such conditions are possible in America. The most I hear and think of when somebody mentions the poor is people living in the streets of cities like New York and the homeless shelters in those places which I had assumed were not that bad. END



[Brendan Ryan, bmr4@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]



Although Deprivation documented living conditions for some of America’s poor in the 1960’s, there is no doubt in my mind that there are still people living like this right under our noses today. We make them invisible not because we don’t want to see them but because we don’t like how they make us see ourselves. What does it say about us when this type of injustice goes undocumented and unacknowledged? Maybe that question is irrelevant. Maybe we just need to start doing something about it right now.




[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 11/21/07]


Environment: Its just crazy that this sort of environment exists in this country. How can these people live like this? The miners must be getting paid minimum wage…Even with that one would think that you could have a small apartment or a small house and at least pay some of the bills. I guess if only one person in the marriage works and you have twelve children that could explain it. You would at least hope in this country that people would have at least some knowledge of how to get ahead in this world, and how to make good choices for yourself. I guess if someplace like this is all you’ve ever known maybe you wouldn’t be bothered by it.




[Dilek Canakci, dc11@geneseo.edu, 12/16]


Rena Gazaway 1969-Deprivation


Idiology: It is amazing how Americans lived in the '60s and how much they struggled to survive. But does this not exist anywhere else in the world? People from all over the world live in such awful conditions and there are people who live in worse conditions. I can't believe that people think this only happened in the '60s. This still goes on especially after the hurricanes that have destroyed the lives of thousands in the South. People from all over the world believe that such poverty does not exist in America but it is where poverty lives the most. There is a huge gap between the rich and the poor and the poor are constantly tortured by the rich people they come across or see on tv that just throw their money around by accomplished absolutely nothing. For example: Paris Hilton. What purpose does she have in life? I don't think anyone knows but she is on tv and thinks about nothing but her comfort. If more people that have enough money to throw around help the poor, poverty would rarely exist.



[Lok Yung Yam, ly5@geneseo.edu, 12/16]



It does not surprise me at all that such poverty exists in the United States. Despite the facade it puts up for the rest of the world, the United States has one of the biggest income gaps in the world. The richest want to become richer, and the poor stay poor. Still, so many believe that people are poor because they choose to be, or that they simply aren't smart enough or hard-working enough. We are so far from the egalitarian societies in other parts of the world, and we no longer recognize it. Amassing material wealth is so important to us that we no longer care about being a community. The country is so big, and we can no longer relate to anyone in it. Even as I entered Geneseo, I felt different from upstaters. How could we possibly care about the rest of the country, let alone places we've never even considered.



[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]
Economics: The financial situation of the people of Duddie’s Branch is horrifying considering it is within the United States a mere 30 years ago. These people lived in shacks with cracked floors, walls, and ceilings. They lived in highly overcrowded houses with insects and rodents. The sanitationary situation is far from sanitary and the resulting health situation of parents and children in depressing. For most Americans, this sounds like the situation in a far off country that we label the “developing world” or “third world.” This article is a wake-up call for Americans that people in this country lived like this a few decades ago, and like Isobel pointed out, there are still Americans living in similar conditions today. Americans go about their lives mostly ignorant about the consistent suffering of billions of people. As Cameron said, we have looked at a lot of people that have suffered, and finishing the semester on an article that hits close to home should really make us think. Thousands, if not millions, of people live below the poverty line in rural and urban areas throughout THIS country. People have jobs that don’t even pay minimum wage, no health insurance, and often no way of giving their children the opportunities they thought they might be able to offer when they moved here. We need to be activists for health epidemics, devastating wars and other international issues, but we cannot ignore those suffering within our own country.
[Dan Lilly, djl5@geneseo.edu, 12/17]
I think everybody is happy we finally get to comment on our own society.
This article, and us reading it, really shows the desparity in American society and defines exactly what it means to be below the poverty line. In our middle-class life we might think our family is poor because we can't afford a really nice car (to add to the others in the driveway, probably), but then you read something like this and find out what poverty really is. I think, relatively speaking, my family has less money than the average family in my community, and we still have 3 motor vehicles, a computer for each person, and more TV's in the house than people that live there. The intersting thing about poverty in America is that its pretty easy to avoid and ignore it all together.


[Rebecca Coons, rsc2@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]

Deprivation – It is really sad to look at how bad poverty can be. I’ve never been well off but I have never experienced anything remotely close to true poverty. It’s a world-wide epidemic that needs to be taken care of but the only people who can have no true desire to so it only gets worse as time passes. In Mexico it was heartbreaking to see child exploitation where kids were kept out of school and made to beg or sell souvenirs because tourists are more likely to give money to a child over an adult. It is sad to see how even compassion on the part of the tourists ends in worsened conditions for the kids who are kept out of school because the adults know that people are so much more likely to feel empathetic towards children.





[Adam Saunders, ars11@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]

American culture especially from reading “Deprivation” was a real eye opener when you consider just how little some people even in the Western world have. When comparing the culture we see in “Deprivation” and the culture of a hunting gathering group such as the Australian aborigines it is almost plainly obvious that the hunter gatherer lifestyle seems much more welcoming then our western way of living. It is the concept of staying in one place that really creates the difference. In some ways they are the same, such as what to do with human waste. Both find it more efficient to do “what nature intended of it” and go where you want. However because hunter gatherer groups have a cycle of moving from place to place, their sanition is much higher in this regard. Also the level of living conditions for hunter gathering peoples seem much more well off than the American standerd. Being couped up in such a small area to live in with so many people, makes it cramped, loud and unfit to live in. On the other hand hunter gatherers tend to spread out have separate dwellings from others or no dwellings at all. This creates a much more livable condition for the family.




[Dan McConvey, dpm5@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]


Social Change (the need for it): This article was very intense. I can’t believe the state that these people are living in. They live similarly to the stray dogs around them and the dogs themselves are affected by the stench of it all. "Deprivation" was really an eye-opener because as we learn about the people all around the world who are being oppressed it makes me ask myself that question of "how could people that that happen and then we read about it within our own country. This decrepit standard of living is screaming for a social change. This article really made think of the lyrics from Tracy Chapman’s song Subcity.

They say we've fallen through the cracks

They say the system works

But we won't let it


I guess they never stop to think

We might not just want handouts

But a way to make an honest living

Living this ain't living

I found this article to be really compelling.



[Skye Naslund, sjn1@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]


Environment and Economy-This story basically shows the attempt of these people to survive in their environment with as few resources as possible and therefore spending as little as possible. They talk about drilling a well for drinking water, but because they are not positive that it will give them fresh water, it is too risky to spend that much money on and they would rather use muddy, polluted water from the nearby stream. This level of deprivation is far bellow what any of us have seen and makes me think about the world differently. I feel lucky that I have the economic ability to modify my environment enough to make it comfortable.


[Justin Wilmott, jmw23@geneseo.edu 12/17]


Rotting food, scum, dirty water that is used for dishes baths and the like, sounds like an indigenous undeveloped country.  Sadly, to see this one needs to look no further than our own borders.  With a society that we live in at Geneseo, and that we all go back home to, it is surprising to think that here in America we have people that live in conditions as unsanitary as those described above.  Having known that we have homeless people through out the states, I never thought that these were some of the conditions they live in.  When I think of the homeless, I think of those who stand under awnings all day with old torn clothes, however I never thought of what their lives are like beyond that of the immediate visual.  This reading I believe should be essential in college education or better yet all public education, in an effort to help the country realize that there are those with in our own borders that need help in the worst possible way.




[Steph Aquilina, sma8@geneseo.edu, 12/17]




ECONOMICS/ENVIRONMENT: The section of this article that talked about how the poor water quality, lack of inside toilets or safe waste disposal deposits, particularly intrigued me. After doing research about the unavailability of water resources around the world, it is devastating to know that even in America, people are significantly deprived and living in poverty conditions.  It was disturbing to hear that water resembled chocolate milk, that people sometimes slept in urine-stained beds, and that when the water supply was low, laundry wouldn't be done for several weeks at a time. Hearing the attitudes of individuals living in that filth was very interesting - that they wouldn't bother washing kids because they would just get dirty again, and that they did not see a point in building a waste maintenance structure for something that "nature's s'sposed t' take care of" (49). Some even found it acceptable that dogs ingest their excretions, lest they go hungry.



[Geni Beninati, gb3@geneseo.edu, 12/17]




This article was incredibly difficult to read.  I found myself hoping that this was some sort of joke, that America didn't actually allow its citizens to live this poorly. I can not believe that there is such a disparity between the rich and poor. I realize that this article is discussing the 1960's but it is very difficult to believe that there aren't people living similarly today.  This article has made me realize how we put far too much faith in our government to actually take care of its citizens.  I can not imagine going from a middle class household to living like described in this article, or living like that and seeing how the middle class lived.    I was not shocked to see how the class responded to this article in the wiki posts.  Everyone had very similar reactions of being thankful to live the way we do, with the financial security to attend college and live a decent life.  As Skye said, "I feel lucky that I have the economic ability to modify my environment enough to make it comfortable."


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