I find the idea of immersion journalism absolutely fascinating, even more so after reading the article “Tent City, U.S.A.” As the principle researcher is referred to simply as the PR throughout the entire article, the piece is solely focused on the residents of Tent City and their stories. The author makes a distinct point to introduce all of them in the same way: a one-sentence paragraph that reads, “This was _________.” As people, we tend to fail to see those with drastically different living conditions than us as human beings. Rather, we like to think of them as a statistic, a news story akin to something you could find in a library. However, through this tactic of immersion journalism, the PR was able to gain a realer understanding of the Tent City inhabitants as people instead of these distant, almost fictional, beings.
One other instance of immersion journalism I find myself thinking of while writing this is Nellie Bly’s Ten Days in a Mad-House, the exposé Bly wrote after faking her own insanity to gain access to Blackwell Island Women’s Asylum, which was under accusations of neglect and cruelty towards its patients. She suffered under these conditions for ten days, causing the launch of an investigation against the asylum after her release. This example of immersion journalism is another point in which immersion has helped to make heard the voices that would not normally be listened to by the general public.
If I were to write an article based around immersion journalism, I think I would want to live in a third world country with a native group of people for a few weeks. I believe it would be educational for me and for anyone who read such piece to learn first (or second) hand how some of the poorest people in the world live on a day-to-day basis.
After reading McIntosh’s piece on privilege and listening to her talk on the subject, I can say that I agree with her on just about everything she addressed. I absolutely believe that privilege is integrated deeply into our society and that we are raised to think that some people are naturally superior to others based on things like race, gender, sexuality, etc. Although I was raised in a very liberal household and consider myself a liberal person, even I noticed these differences from a young age. I’ve always considered myself a feminist, and even when I was six years old, I can remember asking my dad why none of the holidays were about women. This was a question that couldn’t answer, especially not an answer that would have satisfied a six-year-old. From that point forward, I had to learn to wrap my head around the concept of male privilege.
In terms of racial privilege, I can plainly see how I benefit from it. From second to fifth grade, I lived in an extremely conservative and vastly white town called Tyler, Texas. In my entire four years there, I had only one nonwhite person ever in my grade, and he left after one year. Looking back, I remember how wary some of the third graders were of him, though we had no concept of racial privilege yet. It had simply been taught subconsciously to some of my classmates by what they had heard said by their parents and most of the other adults in their lives. In fact, I would say that very few of the people who benefit from and perpetuate privilege actively think about it, but simply don’t notice that it needs to change because it is working in their favor.As long as privilege is fought only by those it harms, the fight will be written off as an excuse for laziness by those who benefit, which is why the conversation needs to span across all socioeconomic groups, not just those who fall below McIntosh’s “line of justice.”
I am from Blue Chair chocolate-chip waffles and hikes down Morgan’s Steep
from Shenanigan’s diner and grilled cheese sandwiches
from the echoes ringing back from the cavernous chapel ceilings
from the mountains where I would hunt for Easter eggs
I am from the water tanks I searched for on the drive to a new home
from the dandelions out of my next door neighbor’s yard
from the top of the cathedral my five-year old neck had to crane to see
from the purple backpack I hung up in my locker everyday
from the dot on the floor I gave up when the New Orleans kindergarteners joined the class
I am from the annual rose parade and my second grade senior trojan
from the reading treehouse in the corner of the classroom
from my fifth grade production of “Alice in Wonderland”
from the same pale faces around me everyday
Of my two summer reading responses, I would definitely say that the one for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was the better one. I connected it back to my writing piece for my Honors Seminar application, applying the Socrates quote that I used to the book. I like to think that was a good example of metacognition and making connections to the way I think and observe. After learning about logic, I realize that the ending of the book couldn’t have really ended with “the question” being revealed, which I don’t think I ever really expected it to. Since I also applied metacognition and logic when relating the search for the “question” to the basic nature of humans, I would give myself a check plus on this reader’s response.
As I was looking over my response to Concussion, I found several things I did well, as well as some things I could improve on. The major point that I thought was a good indicator of critical thinking was the connections I made between the three aspects of the book I discussed in my post, which all deal with subliminal messages. The majority of the things I would have taken off points for were places where I made assumptions without really thinking about why I got that impression from the book. However, I also managed to avoid that for some of the post, so I would give myself a check on this assignment.