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Examining Society in “Country Driving” through the Lens of Indigenous North Americans

In Peter Hessler’s “Country Driving”, the author paints a vivid narrative of his experiences as a driver in the country of China. As he explores the foundational years of private transportation in the nation, he encounters a wide range of people, situations, and locations that he then documents in a witty style in his book. His travels are punctuated by sections that take a deeper look at specific situations within China, creating an overall picture of a country in the throes of change. However, the stark perspective that I took away from the book is how much the adjustments of China to the modern era mirror the changes of indigenous people in North America during the European Invasion. Both time periods and locations became arenas for newly emerging economies and migrations from traditional locations to growing urban hubs. According to Chitra Mukunnan, “Cultural awareness provides various levels of capabilities for understanding cultures (through cultural lens) and applying one’s unde…

Native American Environmental Justice: A Summary

Abstract The problem of injustices of an environmental nature are felt with particular focus by marginalized groups. A summary of the specific response of native environmental justice (EJ) within the United States is approached here, first by reviewing the literature, then by providing examples of projects, and lastly by briefly assessing the challenges using the lens of globalization. The techniques, challenges, and projects regarding tribal governments and federally unrecognized natives could provide options for solutions if they are taken seriously. Native groups offer answers outside of the standard Western EJ methodologies. In seeking justice for marginalized groups worldwide, environmentally, these approaches may work on a larger scale to make those changes happen.

Environmental justice (EJ) is a narrower portion of the environmental movement, defined in the Britannica Online Academic Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica as the “social movement seeking to address the inequitable…

“The Man Who Followed His Wife to The Land of The Dead”: An Analysis

“Because death is universal, for centuries all societies have struggled with the reality of death and created a wide variety of responses to dealing with loss” (Wilkie, 2002). The oral tradition of the Serrano of Southern California, “The Man Who Followed His Wife to The Land of The Dead” (Benedict, 1926, 8-9) directly addresses the issue of how to handle grief. 1: Who are the Serrano? 2: What is the oral tradition “The Man Who Followed His Wife to The Land of The Dead”? 3: What is the purpose that this oral tradition serves? 4: How is the Serrano’s oral tradition similar to other oral traditions and the author’s cultural traditions? This story helps the Serrano by providing an example for the unhealthiness of leaving life behind due to obsession with a deceased loved one. Who are the Serrano? The Serrano people lived in Southern California in the Riverside and San Bernardino counties in relative peace until the introduction of the Spanish Missions in the 1700-1800s. While they did su…

Lessons for Women Paper

My first impressions when reading Ban Zhao’s “Lessons for Women” was one of interested curiosity. I was raised in a conservative household that followed the religious teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormonism), and as such, was raised with strict gender roles within the household as well as strict family values and expectations. Because of this, I suspect that my recoil from Zhao’s words was less dramatic than some other students may have experienced. The reading seemed self-disparaging at times, but otherwise, it followed a societal structure that I was partially familiar with. The main thoughts that I had, and which evolved as I read the three pieces, were of the similarity in subservience between the Ban Zhao lessons and the Mormon church, the fact that men were also required to withstand rigid structures of gender between ancient China and the church, and lastly that women were historically able to step out of those constraints in times of need in bot…