The Comforts of Culture Essay

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The Comforts of Culture

We as a nation, have come a long way since the mid 1900’s when racism was everywhere, and discrimination was looked at as almost a normal, everyday occurrence. In today’s world, blacks, whites, and Hispanics are interacting everyday, whether it be at the work place, on athletic teams, or even just around the neighborhood. Although it seems like most people are looking past differences and are able to make friendships with those that might not have a whole lot in common with them, there are still places where diversity is wide, but interaction is limited. The Vandenburg Dining Hall at OU is full of different “cliques”, or groups of people from the same background. Whether it be blacks, whites, athletes,
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I chose to use the Vandenburg Dining Hall as my observation site in order to get a better understanding of the situation.

The Vandenburg Dining Hall is located on the ground floor of the East Vandenburg residence hall. It serves the students living in all of the housing buildings on campus. It’s a very large room that holds about 300 to 400 students at one time, but there are usually a lot less in there at one specific sitting. The walls in the VDH are plastered with OU pennants and signs, as well as many different posters relating to campus life. The entire far side of the VDH is one large window that overlooks Beer Lake as well as many other buildings on campus. There are all sorts of different tables set up in the complex. There are round tables that sit about 5 or 6 people, square tables that sit 4, and single rows in the very back of the VDH that sit about 15 people per row. When I first walk in, there is a person sitting behind a desk who I give my ID to swipe in order to be allowed to eat at the VDH. There is a salad bar on my right, as well as the soda fountains. There is also a room where all of the home-style meals are served. Further ahead is the sandwich bar, as well as another soda fountain station. On the other side of the room is a gourmet pasta station, where chefs cook your food right in front of you.

As I took a seat towards the back of the cafeteria, the first thing that came to my head as I looked around the room was

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