Essay on Seeing and Making Culture: Representing The Poor

2634 Words May 28th, 2014 11 Pages
Bonita Corbett
ENG 240
Professor Michael Garbarini
Seeing and Making Culture: Representing the Poor What is your perception of the poor and less fortunate in society? Would you say that you have a low perception of them or do you regard them in the highest? Would you do your social duty to reach out to the poor and impoverished to assist them, or help assist, in establishing programs that would aid in leading them to a brighter future? These are the questions that I ask of myself as I read, “Seeing and Making Culture: Representing the Poor,” by bell hooks. My paper examines the perception that pop culture, society, and media have of the poor, as well as, the expectations and responsibilities of society to ensure a response to
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I am actually quite taken aback and surprised at my own unintentional ignorance on the subject. We walk around looking at life through rose colored glasses; meaning that we do not see, or do not choose to see, what is truly going on around us on a daily basis. I am just as guilty as others in keeping this stereotype alive. I find myself reaching for my cellphone when being approached by a homeless person asking for a hand out, pretending to be too busy with my conversation rather than pay attention to them. After all, they are just begging for money or food, right? I, like the majority of middle and upper class individuals, have always had the perception that if they are poor and asking for money or food, then why should I help them? Why don’t they get off of their lazy butts and do something about it. I never stopped to think of their circumstances, and I never try to put myself in their shoes in order to understand fully the struggles they face. I wake up in the morning, get ready for work, grab a Starbuck’s coffee, rush off in my Lexus and arrive to work; complaining about how bad the traffic was on the way into the office or boasting about the wonderful weekend of food and drink we had with family and friends. I do not stop to think, as I drive past that bum holding a sign in his arms;

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