Archive for the ‘sex’ Tag

My Online Free Class and Twitter   Leave a comment


twitter-mdFollow me and I will follow you @MyModule1                                 

 

 

 

 

References

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Come one Come all!!! My free gender, sex and sexuality class is going live   Leave a comment


My Gender, sex and sexuality class is going live 4/5/15. Check it out, register, complete the 60 minute class and receive a certificate.

http://rethinkinggendersexandsexuality.com/

class2015-03-24_1159    register2015-03-24_0335

Speakers_2015-03-23_1504  Poem2015-03-23_1458

Update on my creating a class unit   Leave a comment


I just created this storyboard for the first page of the class. Check out how I’m doing

Story_board_Rethinking_gender_sex_and_sexuality 2

 

Reference

Storyboard that. (2015). Retrieved from,

http://www.storyboardthat.com/userboards/greeneyezwinkin/rethinking-

gender–sex-and-sexuality2

Module 1 of Gender, sex, and sexuality   Leave a comment


I am creating a module for a course called Rethinking Gender, sex, and sexuality. I just completed my first post. Would love some feedback on the video.

                                 click here       set_14_forward    Gender, sex, and sexuality Module 1

Reference

Pic: http://thealternative.in/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/spectrum.gif

My Final Research Results~ Gender And Sexual Orientation Bias Language In Research   Leave a comment


Introduction

Some say that sexual orientation and gender identity are sensitive issues. I understand. Like many of my generation, I did not grow up talking about these issues. But I learned to speak out because lives are at stake, and because it is our duty under the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to protect the rights of everyone, everywhere ~ UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

As non-conforming genders and diverse sexual oriented individuals declare their voices in present data and research, it is becoming clear that the responsibility is on the author to examine their questionnaire and free it of bias and discrimination which leads to oppression of marginalized groups. As Murdock & Forsyth (2011) commented, “Growing awareness of the problem of gender-biased language has led to a series of formal guidelines warning authors to exercise care in their word choices (American Psychological Association, 1975, 1977; John Wiley & Sons, 1977; Harper & Row Publishers, Inc., 1976; Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1976)” (p. 40). I am interested in using the lens of gender and sexual orientation to understand and examine how biased language is utilized in contemporary research. Sexual orientation bias in questions can be subtle and awareness is slowly increasing in the field of practice for contemporary social issues of adults in the LGBTIQQ community. Denmark, Russo, Frieze, & Sechzer (1998) stated, “Whenever values and assumptions – whether related to gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status – affect the research process, bias can operate” (p. 582).

We do not live in a binary world because we are a multi-gendered society. Research has proven that almost every continent throughout history, cultures have acknowledged, valued, and incorporated more than two genders for instance, berdache and two-spirit. Terms such as transgender and gay are strictly new constructs that assume three things: that there are only two sexes (male/female), as many as two sexualities (gay/straight), and only two genders (man/woman). (PBS: Independent Television Service, 2011, para). Why does bias language occur in research text? My focus changes to what beliefs, values and assumptions the researchers have that influence their research results as reality is constructed by their own social environments (Merriam & Simpson, 2000, para. p. 97). Our world is complicated and must be reflected in research wording to keep up with the times as the authors realize the importance of respect and participating in social justice in turn, creating social change.

Research Questions

RQ2. Should a researcher have knowledge in the Queer theory and Postmodernism regarding fluid reality to better understand their own bias?
RQ3. Should a researcher explore gender environmentalism, constructivism, and essentialism prior to preparing a questionnaire?
RQ4. Should a researcher understand what sexual orientation bias language means and why it matters?
RQ5. Can political and sociohistorical contexts influence a researcher’s questions?
RQ6. What strategies could be used for researchers to assist in altering the behavior of utilizing gender and sexual orientation bias language?
RQ7. What are my limitations for the research?
RQ8. What are the effects on a participant when bias language is utilized in a research questionnaire?
RQ9. Is there a connection between self-identified sexual orientation, bias and racial/ethnic identities?

Theoretical Perspective

I am using the lens of gender and sexual orientation to see this research through. The framework of ideas that make sense to ground my research study begin with the postmodern ideology as I feel it would be influential in shaping how diversity and power is perceived not only to the author, but to the adult learner within the researcher. It is this concept that reveals that identities are not fixed and do not determine who we are and that it can be changed. The concept confronts social ordering of identities and privileges heterosexuals and all else are considered “the other.” When this theory is applied to their questioning, dialogue will occur as they write and speak to the needs of the participants similar to an educator speaking to the needs of their students in their language (Pappas & Jerman, 2004, para. p. 55).
According to Wolfe (2014), “I believe that this concept questions categories in which researchers need to be more aware of as well as its constructs” as this ideology proposes that there is not one universal truth but many as in the case of multiple genders in our society. As a researcher revises their reality it enables the individual and adult learner to deny some of the influences of radical power therefore, being able to critically reflect on the conscious and distorting influences. McGettigan (1998) commented, “While individuals are not capable of generating completely “emancipated” social environments, nevertheless, the capacity for individuals to redefine reality and, thereby, ascertain “moments of truth” implies that it is possible for individuals to obtain an awareness of their real interests.” It can be argued that the process of redefining reality provides the basis for a solution to the paradox of emancipation. (McGettigan, 1998, para. n.p.). Multiple truths are created through language, through narrative, and through culture. This alternative construction is described by Brookfield (1992):

Postmodernism also holds that meaning is malleable and that there is no core, unequivocal meaning waiting to be discovered at the heart of any speech, written text, or visual image. Similarly, it rejects the idea that adults have a core, fixed identity that can be discovered through investigation and analysis (p. 77).

Social changes influence the use of language therefore, a researcher needs to be sensitive to the needs of the participants as it can influence the researcher-participant relationship. When an author is unprepared, lacking knowledge or sensitivity by using bias wording, inclusion is missing from their critical thinking of how to create a successful questionnaire by using gender neutral words and phrases, by not using the words man or woman, by avoiding the connections between men and their occupation and women by their bodily characteristics. For example, within my qualitative research questionnaire I posed the question to two participants, “How do you feel about the question, are you biological male or female” and revised it after reviewing my research findings to read, “How do you describe your gender?” In this instance, as a researcher I did not intend to exclude participants by the words I chose. I revised the question to create an inclusive environment for the contributor as I critically reflected on my own bias and assumptions as Stephen Brookfield (2012) noted:

These assumptions are sometimes correct. At other times, however, the assumptions we base our decisions on have never been examined. Sometimes we hold these assumptions because people we respect (friends, parents, teachers, religious leaders) have told us they are right. At other times we have picked these assumptions up as we travel through life but can’t say exactly where they’ve come from. To make good decisions in life we need to be sure that these assumptions are accurate and valid – that they fit the situations and decisions we are facing. (p. 12).

Gender and sexual orientation bias language is something that is used daily by most people as August (1986) remarked, “As our language demonstrates, such sexist stereotyping, whether unintentional or deliberate, is not only familiar but fashionable,” which affirms my research perspectives thus far as bias language does exist in today’s research. These results were in agreement with the recommendations of the American Psychological Association’s, “Guidelines for Nonsexist Language” (1975,1977): (1) generic phrasings were perceived to be somewhat biased and sexist, (2) designation and evaluation stereotyping was perceived to be extremely biased and sexist, and (3) neutral alternatives were judged to be appropriately nonsexist.(p.39). It is the postmodern theory that allows a researcher to change lenses and view identities and reality more fluidly. There is also a Committee on Lesbian and Gay Concern in the American Psychological Association which acknowledges language and culture are continually changing. Therefore, language may be ambiguous in reference, history has revealed that homosexuality has been connected with mental illness and criminal behavior and it is these stereotypes that create bias, prejudice, and discrimination (American Psychological Association’s, Guidelines for Nonsexist Language, 1975, 1977. para).
How valid are research results when skewed by participants that do not answer a question truthfully, have a fear of being truthful or selecting the “other” option because their answer is not offered? I found my experiences parallel to defining my identity. When in a lesbian relationship, I checked off single and when married to a transman legally I checked off straight. Neither of the responses were accurate for instance the latter, I was pansexual and not heterosexual according to societal beliefs. Hence, skewing the results. According to Savin-Williams (1994) who analyzed studies of hidden populations [in the closet] found they are problematic due to sampling bias, which may reveal findings that are not representative of the group and may, consequently, provide the foundations for misleading generalizations (Melendez, Bonem, Sember, 2006, para p. 23). I may be part of the hidden population when it comes to any forms or surveys I fill out since being pansexual is not an option. Research questions have what is called the “other” as a response when nothing applies or maybe the participants are not comfortable in discussing their sexual orientation or gender. Many participants will choose “other” because transgender, intersexed, pansexual, queer, or questioning are not given as a response. The idea is to study and understand the “other” in a proactive manner by acknowledging and revealing the existence of the other in a respectful way through language and then sharing the knowledge.

There is a link between politics and change associated with postmodern ethics, and self-conscious (Kong et al., 2002, p.241 cited in Price, 2011. para.). It became clear that postmodernism assumes that social constructions are self-confirming…reality beyond social constructions does not exist (Ratner, 2002, para. n.p.) Whitehead (1929) commented, “…challenged the notion of development as the core of life, arguing that since growth is organic, it cannot be controlled or determined. (Wilson & Hayes, 2000, p.527).
The second framework of ideas that make sense to ground my research study is the queer theory seen through the lens of gender and sexual orientation against the back drop of bias language in research. Cossman (2012) describes the ideology, “Queer theory has developed as an interrogation and deconstruction of the multiple discursive productions of sexuality, seeking to denaturalize the assumed connections between sex, gender and desire” (p. 7). It is based on understanding, inclusion and the breaking down of old assumptions while creating a safe space of acceptance for non-conforming participants, researchers, individuals and adult learners to learn and grow. The foundation is through fluid reality, sensitivity and holistic methods of understanding, learning and teaching through process and by using a contextual lens when viewing genders, sexual orientation, and why they matter (Wolfe, 2014, para.). Pappas & Jerman (2004) remarked:

Looking at the structural component of the contextual lens means focusing on how relationships of power across race, gender, class, disability, and sexual orientation affect the ability of adult learners who represent these groups to participate actively in learning processes (Caffarella and Merriam, 2000; Cervero, Wilson, and Associates, 2000; Tisdell, 1993,1998; p.25).
This ideology is the rethinking of culture and a collection of intellectual philosophies relating between sexual orientation and gender. In order for a researcher or adult leaner to explore the concept of identity they must first critically reflect on and challenge their own basic assumptions for instance, how is gender constructed and is sexual orientation innate? This is an important phase as this theory can be put to practice by preventing bias language whether in a questionnaire or in every day discourse resulting in social change. Spargo (1999) remarked:

In challenging our most basic assumptions about sex, gender and sexuality, including the oppositions between heterosexual and homosexual, biological sex and culturally determined gender, and man and woman, these thinkers are developing new ways of exploring the issue of human identity (p. 7).

Research Methodology

My qualitative research incorporated many different ways in finding answers although limitations were apparent in my sampling. I was only able to interview two individuals, a straight woman and a transgender man. What made it more difficult was the mandatory number of questions that could be asked on the second inquiry, I was confined to only five questions. I believe these barriers to obtain data intensified as both responses to my questionnaire were received by e-mail. No body language could be used or other variables such as tone of voice or eye contact. These factors meant relying more on scholarly reporting in the field including articles and journals, YouTube videos, classroom videos, and basing the study on action research as Merriam & Simpson (2000) reported, “…is one of analyzing, getting facts, identifying the problem, planning and taking action on the problem…” (p. 125). I selected my focus, identified theoretical perspectives, focused on research questions, collected data, analyzed and now reporting my findings as my plan for my research is to continue learning and growing to share my knowledge.

This type of investigating according to Denzin & Lincoln (2000) was, “…born out of concern to understand the other” (p. 2). I took this quote to heart. I began with a journal that incorporated showing dates of research, important quotes that could help in the progression of my study, ah-ha moments, questions, struggles, realizations, and what stood out for me. For instance one aha moment came when I began to link research bias language, postmodernism, and education as I have found that the ideology of the conception of same sex relations incorporates the examining of the of homosexual revealing no clear type of a person, and opening up multiple truths. It is the old closets that weaken and the new closets that grow. The type of participants has changed and new ways of thinking help in recognizing diversity. The approach is more action oriented, active, reflexive, and reflective as it is decentred, and deconstructed. It opens the door to dialogue on culture and politics.

My research methodology included viewing theorist videos. Libby Tisdell suggests in her video that adult educators are too narrow minded in reading only research within the adult learning field and encourages more collaboration across other education fields. “I just think it is absolutely crucial if we are serious about educating that we have to look at the multiple ways that people construct knowledge and this is also related to culture using what she says are “…the not strictly rational ways of knowing, such as how people connect to spirituality through music, poetry and imagination” (Tisdell, n.d.).
My research methods led to the writing of a poem:

As I reflect on language and its bias against gender and sexual orientation with research, I still have hope that one day change will occur in how researchers use their words that harm others.
I’m tired and yet my mind wanders…language has power
Before I lay me down to sleep
I pray for a world where language
is not biased
against gender
against sexual orientation
as we know the pain runs deep
One that takes responsibility for
and acknowledges
gender stereotyping
and learn how
not to hit us
below our core
as we know the pain runs deep
Let me dream of questions
for my research
where there are no labels
where hidden populations
can be seen and heard
where there’s not a
sexist word
Don’t always assume we all are
heterosexual
Don’t always assume
when using a pronoun
the world just needs to realize
what has been done
and it’s time to
make it right
as we know the pain runs deep
Realize how bias is seen and heard
every day in our words
our songs
our narratives
break the chain
to make the change
as we know the pain runs deep
In today’s research
the time has come to act
not just to dream
but make it a reality
as we know the pain runs deep.

While in the midst of my research I created a visual representation of my progress:

research

Findings

            As an adult learner, researcher and individual in order to grow intellectually, mentally and spiritually I must participate and invite inclusion to help create a social change process. Not everyone in society is willing to critically reflect on sexual orientation and gender let alone associate it with bias language used in inquiry. What has emerged for me is a new lens, a perspective on social issues that have been in place due to traditional values and beliefs. While some authors understand the repercussions and are self-directed in abiding and following written guidelines for example, in using correct pronouns, others must be informed and directed to use proper language. This theme is similar in education. There are adult learners that benefit from in class settings though dependent on a teacher for being told what to learn as in Freire’s (1993) banking concept of education where the teacher teaches and the students are taught, where face to face contact is part of their learning process as they are comfortable within that environment.   Whereas, in education other students use their autonomy and self-direction for example, in distance learning, to participate while taking control and responsibility for their learning by using new knowledge to improve their lives and the lives around them. It is these independent students and researchers that critically reflect, become aware and conscious of potential bias. When this occurs they will try and correct it resulting in social change.

            It is interesting to note that if a researcher is uncomfortable with a topic of inquiry their questions could contain stereotypes. When stereotyping, discrimination and bias language is utilized it is the participant that could be confused, frustrated and/or having a sense of not being included in the study as the participant’s truth of reality and the researcher’s truth of reality are opposed.   Debbink & Ornelas (1997) reported, “Not all the people are at the same level in the process. Some are very advanced in understanding their own social reality and consciousness; others are at the beginning stages of understanding. But, the important point is that we all must determine our own reality and not have it predetermined for us by others. (p.27)

RQ1. Can political and sociohistorical contexts influence a researcher’s questions?

A researcher has established assumptions, beliefs and values that are in place prior to writing questions for a survey or questionnaire. Hence, the research process begins with bias feelings or attitudes that can affect the wording of a question posed to a participant.

RQ2. What strategies could be used for researchers to assist in altering the behavior of utilizing gender and sexual orientation bias language?

a) By addressing the issue of bias, judgments, and assumptions a researcher can critically reflect on how their knowledge was constructed and how it can be revised.

b) Using examples of lesbians, gay men, and bisexual persons when referring to activities (parenting or athletic ability) that are erroneously associated only with heterosexual people by many.

c) Using sexual terminology that is relevant to lesbians and gay men as well as bisexual and heterosexual people (when did you first engage in sexual activity? rather than when did you first have sexual intercourse?). (Committee on Lesbian and Gay Concern American Psychological Association, 2004, para. n.p.).

RQ3. What are my limitations for the research?

My limitations ranged from sampling of participants to distance feedback through e-mail only.

RQ4. What are the effects on a participant when bias language is utilized in a research questionnaire?

A participant can feel distressed, frustrated and confused similar to an adult learner. Sunderland (2004) noted, “Gender bias in a text may adversely affect language learning, but I would suggest that this is very hard to prove… Effects on learning of any text are impossible to predict because we cannot predict a given reader’s response to that text, including what that reader will ‘take’ from it (p, 153).

Implications and Conclusion

            In order to understand the philosophical assumptions which my qualitative research is based, is to see that reality is constructed by individuals in interaction with their social worlds (Merriam & Simpson, 2000, para. p. 97). Based on my preliminary findings, I find that research contains bias language when an author confirms the assumptions and beliefs set in society and defends them by using normative justification. There are choices that an author makes in using their power of consciousness and controllability when writing questions. Bias language could be used while the researcher is aware and intentionally selects what is considered the norm.

            The using of bias language in research questionnaires referring to sexual orientation and gender reflects on assumptions, values and beliefs that are malleable, that can be learned as well as unlearned. This can be done by creating a space where constructive discourse and feedback will lead to building upon the effective guidelines which are already in place. According to Mezirow (1981), “…process of becoming critically aware of how and why our presuppositions have come to constrain the way we perceive, understand, and feel about our world…” (p. 22). It will be a place of communication, the breaking down boundaries where responsibility and self-directed actions come together and work as a community to create social change. Friere (1973) commented:

Dialogue is (the) fundamental part of the structure of knowledge (which) needs to be opened to other Subjects in the knowledge process. Thus the class is not a class in the traditional sense, but a meeting place where knowledge is sought and not where it is        transmitted. Just because the educator’s task is not dichotomized into two separate    moments (one in which he/she knows and another in which s/he speaks about this knowledge), education is a permanent act of cognition (p.149).

My field of practice in contemporary social issues for LGBTQQ adult learners led me to the realization that bias language in research begins with the researcher, their assumptions, views and beliefs. Although in qualitative research it is acceptable for the researcher to have their presence within the results, it becomes their responsibility of where to draw the line and avoid bias language.

hand_rightReferences

 

August, E. R. (1986, December). Men and Language (Anti-Male Bias in Language). National

Coalition of Free Men. Retrieved from,

http://search.proquest.com.library.esc.edu/genderwatch/docview/198031188/fulltext/983D833C549F457DPQ/11?accountid=8067

Brookfield, S. D. (1992) Theoretical Frameworks for understand the field. In Kasworm, C. E.,

Rose, A. D. & Ross-Gordon, J. M. (Eds.), Handbook of Adult and Continuing Education (2010ed.) (71-81). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Brookfield, S. (2012). Developing Critical Thinkers. 1-78. Retrieved from, http://www.stephenbrookfield.com/Dr._Stephen_D._Brookfield/Workshop_Materials_files/Developing_Critical_Thinkers.pdf

Cossman, B. (2012, August). Jindal Global Law Review, 4 (1), 17-35. Retrieved from, http://www.jgls.edu.in/JindalGlobalLawReview/PDF/BrendaCossmanch-2_HR.pdf

Debbink, G., Ornelas, A. (1997) Cows for Campesinos. In Smith, S., Wills, D., Johns (Eds.)Nurtured by Knowledge Learning to do Participatory Research (12-33). New York, NY: The Apex Press Retrieved from, http://idlbnc.idrc.ca/dspace/bitstream/10625/15758/1/106732.pdf

Denmark, F., Russo, N. F., Frieze, I. H. & Sechzer, J. A. (1998, July). Guidelines for Avoiding Sexism in Psychological Research: A Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Nonsexist Research. American Psychologist, 43 (7), 582-585. Retrieved from, http://www.apa.org/about/policy/avoiding-sexism.pdf

Denzin, N. K. & Lincoln, Y. S. (2000). Introduction. The discipline and Practice of Qualitative Research. Handbook of Qualitative Research. New York, NY: Sage Publications.

Independent Television Service, 2011. Retrieved from,  http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/two-spirits/map.html

Herek, G. M., Kimmel, D. C., Amaro, H. & Melton, G. B. (1991, September). Avoiding Heterosexist Bias in Psychological Research. American Psychological Association, 46 (9). Retrieved from, https://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/avoiding-bias.aspx

Hyun-Jun Kim, PhD and Karen I. Fredriksen-Goldsen, PhD. Nonresponse to a Question on Self-Identified Sexual Orientation in a Public Health Survey and Its Relationship to Race and Ethnicity. Am J Public Health. 2013 January; 103(1): 67–69. Retrieved from, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3518335/

McGettigan, T. (1998). Redefining Reality: Epiphany as a Standard of Postmodern Truth. Electronic Journal of Sociology. Retrieved from, http://www.sociology.org/content/vol003.004/mcgettigan.html

Melendez, R. M., Bonem, L. A., Sember, R. (2006, December). On bodies and research: Transgender issues in health and HIV research articles. Sexuality Research & Social Policy, (3),  21-38. Retrieved from, http://search.proquest.com.library.esc.edu/genderwatch/docview/858940014/fulltextPDF/9CBFE1F642CF47C3PQ/1?accountid=8067

Merriam, S. B. & Simpson, E. L. (2000). A guide to research for educators and trainers of adults. Malabar: Krieger Publishing Company.

Murdock, N. L. & Forsyth, D. R. (2011). Is Gender-Biased Language Sexist? A Perceptual Approach. 39-49. Retrieved from            https://facultystaff.richmond.edu/~dforsyth/pubs/murdockforsyth1985.pdf

Pappas, J. P., & Jerman, J. (2004). Developing and Delivering Adult Degree Programs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Price , E. (2011). LGBT sexualities in social care research: Improving the evidence base for adult social care practice. Retrieved from,           http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/41198/1/SSCR_Methods_Review_2.pdf

Ratner, C. (2002). Subjectivity and Objectivity in Qualitative Methodology. FQS, 3 (3).   Retrieved from, http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/829/1800

Spargo, T. (1999) Foucault and Queer Theory. Retrieved from, http://englishstudentsforum.com/uploads/English%20related/Foucault_and_Queer_Theor  y.pdf

Sunderland, J. (2004). New understandings of gender and language classroom research: texts       teacher talk and student talk. Language Teaching Research, 4, 149-173. Retrieved from, http://ltr.sagepub.com.library.esc.edu/content/4/2/149.full.pdf+html

Wilson, A. L. & Hayes, E. R. (2000). Handbook of adult and continuing education. San   Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Wolfe, T. D. (2014). ESC Completing a Unit. Assignment in Strategies for Effective Adult Learning.

(2004). APA Style: Removing Bias in Language. Retrieved from, http://www.colby.edu/psychology/APA/Gender.pdf

Images:o.quizlet.com/i/VUm2qaJ4nxFLE8K86SBmng_m.jpg

l.yimg.com/ck/image/A2601/2601940/300_2601940.png

http://www.pennutrition.com/resources/PENeNews/search%20publication%20bias%20shutterstock_91130726.jpg

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mECq9A1XJ8A

Quote: Human Rights Council. (2012, March). Retrieved from, http://bismun.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/HRC-Topic-2.pdf

My Example Of A Degree Program For A BS: Business Management and Economics   Leave a comment


Introduction and Goals Segment

I have selected a bachelor degree in Business, Management and Economics with a concentration in Business Management since it matches my professional goals and aspirations providing me with a comprehensive perception for the future. I have been employed in the field of accounting for many years and found it to be a challenging and dynamic field as it is continually enhancing my basic skills and quantitative analysis for big business environments. The result from this recognized education will train me for leadership positions because of the knowledge, analytical, and critical thinking capabilities developed in this curriculum.

Between my work experiences and total educational program I will utilize both theory and practice as tools to construct an extensive base to enhance my abilities and goals of becoming a qualified manager. Strengthening certain academic areas of my education is imperative. Certain courses will help me implement the study of management and understanding of an organizations function. Planning and control, tools of modern management, and the ways in which managers perform certain functions such as production, marketing, finance and developmental relations are crucial for this profession.

Upon graduation I will have increased my marketability with a business management degree from a highly regarded, progressive institution. In today’s business world, being an effective manager will demand much more than giving orders, meeting deadlines and increasing profits. This program will help me accomplish my professional goals of being a forward-thinking leader with the ability to positively transform the work environment. I will go beyond management basics to master organizational theory, apply performance improvement concepts and explore the nuances of developing an integrated team while increasing my unique leadership style.

My professional career options within a five to ten year plan that will be available are administrative support supervisor, general manager, team leader, quality control manager or an operations/production manager. Becoming a more fully educated individual will emphasize my development of knowledge for effective teamwork, communication, and leadership which are the characteristics employers value highly.

Academic Expectations

This rationale essay of Academic Expectations consists of comparing three different colleges throughout the United States. Each university had a set of standard requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Economics. These college courses were correspondingly similar to Empire State College. The colleges I examined for a concentration in Business Management were Emmanuel College, Ferris State University, and Berkley College.

Emmanuel College provided detailed information regarding courses necessary for their degree planning. This college separates their courses as Upper and Lower divisions. The upper management division courses required for a business management concentration are: Ethical Decision Making, Human Resource Management, Corporate Financial Management, Management Information Systems, Organizational Behavior, Business Law, Gender Issues in Organizations, International Management, Introduction to Business Research and Business Policy. Whereas, the lower division classes necessary to complete are: Micro/Macro Economics, Principles of Accounting I & II, Principles of Marketing, Management, Introduction to Computers and Introduction to Statistics. The general studies required for this curriculum are Money banking and the Economy, Economic History of the Western World, Government and the Nation’s Economy, Managerial Economics, English Composition, Writing for Professionals, Survey of Western Civilization I & II, Project Management, Financial Markets, and Speech Communication.
Ferris State University had a very informative catalog concerning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. This university has a break down of three categories for the necessary courses to be fulfilled by a student and referred to them as business core, major and general study courses. The business core courses required are Principles of Accounting I &II, Integrating Experience, Contract & Sales, Financial Management I, Business Information Systems, Applied Management, Quality/Operations management and Introduction to Statistics. The major courses described are Managerial Accounting, Employment Law, Leadership in Small Group Communication, Principles of Micro/Macro Economics, Financial Management II, Cross-Cultural Business, Project Management, Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management and Advanced management Cases/Problems. This degree requires completion of the general education courses. These classes are Communication Competence, Scientific Understanding, quantitative Skills Math, Cultural Enrichment and Social Awareness.
Berkley College mandates three divisions of business, major and liberal art courses to be completed for this concentration. The major courses are Principles of Management, Organizational Behavior, Human Resources Management, Operations Management, Managing with Information Systems, and Developing Managerial Competence. The business courses combine Financial Accounting I, Managerial Accounting, Business Organization and Management, Mathematics for Business, Business Law I, Business Strategy and Policy, Principles of Finance, Principles of Marketing, International Management, Computer Essentials, Spreadsheets and Database Management Applications and Advanced Database Management Systems. Liberal Arts section entails English Composition I, II & III, Oral Communication, College Algebra, Statistics, Group Dynamics: Collaboration and Leadership, Psychology, Macro/Micro Economics, Science Elective, Social Science Electives, Humanities Electives, and Liberal Arts Electives.

Reviewing many colleges has given me the insight that I am preparing a logical progression towards my concentration. My degree plan is carefully structured to accomplish the goal of receiving a BME from Empire State College. I will have received instruction in a variety of general business courses to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the field of business. A business management major is also required to complete a set of required courses regarding different aspects of managerial work, such as international business, and management leadership. In addition, I have the opportunity to customize my major towards my interdisciplinary concentration.

In conclusion, after researching different college programs I came across some differences regarding the requirements of additional courses and titles of classes offered for a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Economics compared to Empire State College. Therefore, I am in compliance with the Area of Study Guidelines and have met the required guidelines for my concentration. The courses remaining to be completed for the degree planning program are International Business, Managerial Leadership, Human Resources Management and Development, Images of Women and Western Civilization, Reflective Learning and Sex and Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective: Advanced.

Professional Expectations

In order to be a productive professional in today’s working environment an individual is expected to posses a range of general skills including high-quality writing abilities and the capability to filter information acknowledged from certain topics. Communication is crucial in any specialized field as well as computer skills and utilizing software programs with specific applications including spreadsheets. Therefore, a competent person must be able to work with constant change because the field chosen in today’s challenging workforce is continuously transforming. The professional expectations essay contains an investigation from two sources: Occupational Outlook handbook and the JobWeb.com website.

Professionals in the field of business management are required to possess the ability to focus on managing people and processes with interpersonal skills. Students attending Empire Sate College gain a basic breadth in practical comprehension through the core curriculum according to the Area of Study and Concentration Guidelines. This curriculum will enhance my employability in the field I have chosen incorporating current and future professional expectations while incorporating such courses as Organizational Behavior, Managerial Leadership, Business Ethics, General Psychology, Cost Accounting and Business Law.
Employers today are looking for qualified individuals with a Bachelor’s degree and background experience in accounting, management and economics. Undergraduates who are preparing for a higher educational program are expected to prepare for graduate work in this profession with a curriculum which incorporates coursework in statistics and economics. Courses which will prepare students for the advanced levels are financial and managerial accounting, organizational behavior, human resource management, business law, management information systems and international business.

Particular college courses are utilized by professionals currently working in the field of management and have found them helpful to their career development. These individuals have benefited from all course work yet; the usefulness of the combination of economics, human resource management, international business and managerial leadership strengthens ones fundamental knowledge of the business world. These areas of comprehension increase the understanding of the nature of concepts and theories in today’s business environment while applying the theoretical approaches to a multitude of practical problems expected to be encountered in the functional areas of business.

Predominant areas of management in the future that professionals need to focus on are planning, controlling, leading and organizing. Subsequently, these functions are likely to change the expectations of the business world. A multitude of factors will change the practice of management such as diversity in the workplace and the progression in computers and equipment.
I reviewed the local Oklahoma newspaper The Shawnee News Star as a source of research for positions that are available for degreed individuals with a concentration in management. Salary levels depend on the geographic locations of an organization and the type of business. Therefore, a salary can range from entry level management of $25,000 and an individual can have the potential of becoming a general accounting manager salaried at $64,000. My professional goal is to acquire a position that is challenging as well as rewarding in the field of business.

Degree Structure and Design

The overall purpose of a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Economics with a concentration in Business Management is to enhance one’s knowledge in critical thinking strategies, including reasoning, problem solving, analysis and evaluation. To obtain this degree it is imperative that I increase my abilities in academic skills by understanding basics of mathematics and statistics. Progressing in a business environment requires effective oral/written communication skills, expressing awareness of ethical principles and obtaining the comprehension of accessing and utilizing today’s information technologies. To successfully achieve my professional goals there is a logical outline of course structure guidelines that must be met. My concentration consists of a curriculum that enhances my background in accounting which is portrayed in the independent study contracts which I have selected and meet the AOS guidelines.

The organizing structure for this program of study begins with a foundation in organizational theory, accounting, marketing, leadership management and psychology. The business management concentration provides the analytical core with a focus on international business, human resource development and legal regulations. Business courses will create opportunities for educational learning of the workplace as well as reflection on economic, social and cultural issues providing a framework for personal and professional growth and is the foundation which will prepare me for any field related to business management.

A solid foundation is incorporated within my curriculum as a collection of courses that address the breadth expectation requirements of Empire State College. These classes became useful in providing organizational and managerial conceptions in the field of business. The courses I have completed in compliance for the degree planning program are Discrete Mathematics, General Psychology, Topics of Physical Science, Group Dynamics, Composition I, Micro/Macro Economics, Statistics, Themes of American History and Introduction to Computers & Business Information. The collection of these studies are extensive areas of knowledge providing a desirable breadth of learning with the framework in useful quantitative theories, concepts and a foundation that may prove helpful in my understanding of organizational and management concepts.

In order to develop my awareness of the market structure and overall economic movements I enrolled in Micro Economics which educated me in the area of problem solving, utilizing economic principles and analyzing individual decision making which met the area of study guidelines. The theory of consumer performance and the production of cost decisions for an individual firm are also analyzed. I acquired knowledge on marketing price determination, the influences of price/cost to the consumer, producer behavior, and the importance of seller competitions which is pertinent information in becoming a proficient manager. This progression guided me to Macro Economics, an introductory investigation of overall economic activity, including income, production, employment and prices. Many alternative theories and policies were examined toward economic stabilization and growth enhancing my knowledge towards my vocational choice.

The introduction to the Area of Study Guidelines is a framework of principles which enhances the preparation for a degree program. Acknowledging the advice from my mentor regarding the appropriate curriculum for achieving my bachelor degree has given me the proper foundation necessary to continue with my education. Empire State College has academic expectations which allow me to incorporate a concentration in business management which enhances the development of my knowledge in areas towards my major such as accounting, marketing and economics.

The SUNY General Education Requirements for Business, Management and Economics are essential for me to meet given that I matriculated before January 1, 2004 and transferred with a total of 72 credits from Baruch College and LaGuardia Community College. It is necessary to have 45 advanced level credits for an effective program to demonstrate depth, diversity and progression towards my degree. I have chosen courses that address these different areas. It is apparent that having a bachelor degree concentration will clearly move my academic awareness from lower to intermediate to advanced-level studies.

My major is a cohesive combination of courses, including introductory, intermediate, and advanced course work that designates my primary area of specialization. I have been building on this selected curriculum while being employed in the accounting field. It became a natural progression for me to pursue an academic emphasis in this area of study which helps me obtain an increased knowledge of the natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, accounting and technology as demonstrated by the successful completion of those required for a General Education program.

I will be enrolled in the course called Images of Women and Western Civilization an advanced level depth learning course which meets the guideline requirements. This part of my curriculum is an examination of women’s contributions to the development of Western civilization. I fulfilled the obligation for Introduction to Statistics, the breadth of learning and I increased my awareness on the subject of competent consumers concerning statistical results, variables, probability and sampling.

The succession of my educational studies became transitional in Principles of Accounting and Cost Accounting. I was able to apply my experiences working in the field of accounting to these courses. I became intrigued by the theory and practice of cost accounting with emphasis on its use for planning and control. This curriculum introduced the concept of budgeting, standards, and profitability analysis. The combination of these areas increased my consciousness concerning income measurement, and financial statement presentation for business organizations, and the processes through which these principles evolved in the accounting cycle.

Law of Business Organization and Legal Environment of Business I helped me to understand the legal ramifications of a business. The introduction to the legal system within which business organizations operate, as well as ethical considerations and social and political influences that affect organizations by changing the legal system.

My syllabus incorporates an upper level class called Organizational Behavior which will help me to understand individuals and the managing of employees in the workforce not only as a group but as an organization. This course combines the psychology, management, and organizational theory with statistics and economics. I will be enrolled in an upper level depth course which represents Business Ethics, which will examine ethical issues in the context of business theory and practice. These courses met the general guidelines essential to demonstrate the familiarity of this specific concentration and is an essential as part of my degree learning program.

Professionally speaking, my degree in Business Management and Economics will help me in the development of interpersonal and management skills as well as developing a long-term perspective and value system which will serve me throughout my career. This knowledge will help me to obtain a solid conceptual grounding in management disciplines and develop competencies to become a highly effective individual.

In conclusion, attending Baruch College and completing my bachelor degree with Empire State College will be extremely beneficial to continuing my educational goals. I am prepared professionally as an individual to move forward in today’s multifaceted and increasingly changing business world with the degree program I have specifically chosen. Therefore, I am complying with the Area of Study Guidelines and have met the requirements for my concentration. Below is a synopsis of the Breadth and Depth courses that make up my Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Economics with a concentration in Business Management:

COLLEGES

UPPER LEVEL DEPTH COURSES

GENERAL GUIDELINES

BREADTH COURSES/AOS

GENERAL GUIDELINES

LAGUARDIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

 

 

Composition I

Communication Skills

 

 

 

Themes of American History I

 

 

 

 

General Psychology

 

 

 

 

Urban Study Creative Writing

Communication Skills

 

 

 

Topics in Physical Science

 

 

 

 

Group Dynamics

Understanding People in an Organizational Context

BARUCH COLLEGE

 

 

Marketing Foundations

 

 

 

 

Discrete Mathematics

Quantitative Skills

 

 

 

Public Policy

 

 

 

 

Micro Economics

Economics

 

 

 

Elementary Spanish II

 

 

 

 

Fundamentals of Management

 

 

 

 

Introduction to Computers and Business Information Processing

Information Management

 

 

 

Principles of Accounting

 

EMPIRE STATE COLLEGE

Images of Women and Western Civilization

 

Statistics: An Activity Based Approach

 

 

Organizational Behavior

Understanding People in an Organizational Context

Macro Economics

Economics

 

Business Ethics

Ethical and Social Responsibility

 

 

 

Managerial Leadership

 

 

 

 

Cost Accounting

 

 

 

 

Sex & Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Understanding Organizations within Broader Contexts

 

 

 

International Business

Understanding Organizations within Broader Contexts

 

 

 

Human Resource Management and Development

 

 

 

References

hand_rightImage: http://academics.hputx.edu/chem/images/degree-requirements_clipart.jpg

From the Equality State to a City of Hate: The New History ~ The Laramie Project (Matthew Shepard)   Leave a comment


             

       

Thank you for giving me the time to discuss my opinion of “The Laramie Project.” I will explain how this play addresses issues that affect everyone, universally.

            Starting off, I would like to relay a joke I heard from the comedian Ron White. It went something like this:

            I was on the phone with a friend, a major homophobic. The subject of gay men was brought up and Ron asked him, “Do like porno movies?” The guy said hell yeah. Then he asked, “Do you only watch women on women movies?” His friend said, “No, I like to watch a man and a woman make love.” Finally he asked, “So the guy can be small?” His friend replied, “No I want him to have a big, thick…” his friend stopped and thought about what he was saying.

            The main question at hand is, “How is the social construction of sexual identity linked to social construction of race?” Sociologists see race as being socially constructed. Race, as it corresponds to the scientific measures of our society is fixed in a sense, to signify the human species as a whole. Consequently, if you think about it, there is only one race, in my opinion, which is…Human. But, in defining race some individuals attach the biological meaning whereas, others view it as a socially constructed perception.

            In the play, Mathew is described by Doc O’Connor and Jon Peacock as being a little guy and mousey, “It’s a little guy, about five-two, soakin’ wet, I betcha ninety-seven pounds tops…To the point of being somewhat mousy I’d almost say.” (p.18, 20).  Symbolic interactions had been strategically placed, without the intention of the town’s people. Tyson stated, “…characteristics that heterosexist culture stereotypically associates with gay men or lesbians, such as might be evident, for example, in the appearance and behavior of “feminine” male characters or “masculine” female characters.” (p. 340).Shannonremarked, “Shit, he had better clothes than I did. Mathew was a little rich bitch” (p.60).  This character had internalized racism (he being a gay man and her being a straight woman) and classified him as a “bad girl.” Being associated with a woman, and not accepting his patriarchal gender role in turn, he had become the “monster.” (Tyson, 2006, p.89). What a sad commentary that he had been categorized as the “other” just as women are seen in today’s society. Regardless of societies views and oppression, Matthew became involved in the gay rights movement and this was to be his in group as Romaine Patterson commented, “And he told me that he had joined the gay and lesbian group on campus, and he said he was enjoying it, you know, he was getting ready for Pride Week and whatnot.” (p.20).

            The social construction of sexual identity is represented primarily by symbolic interactionists, a process of describing one’s social location within a changingsocial context. Matthew, a man (anonymous) who had been alone in a bar having a beer as described by Phil Labrie, “The fact that he was at the bar alone without any friends made him that much more vulnerable.” (p.31). As time went on, the social location within the different cultural contexts had changed. When he walked out of the bar, his sexual identity and self image was apparent, a homosexual male.  He was not born homosexual or heterosexual rather, he learned through channeled experiences these sexual orientations and this is where he acquired his sexual identity.

             Smedley & Smedley (2005) stated, “History is significant because it demonstrates that race is a fairly recent construct, one that emerged well after population groups from different continents came into contact with one another.” This social construction of race is defined as physical features such as eyes (green, blue, brown), skin color (black light/dark, white, yellow) and hair (brown, red, blonde) have been proven to be associated with the components of the location of environment. These traits were not only used to identify one race from another, but also as a determining factor to establish racial superiority. As time went on, the meaning of race began to change. As “races” began melding together they created new and unique individuals. Matthew demonstrates this theory, as he successfully integrated himself into the dominant heterosexual patriarchal society, even though his appearance let him “pass” his racial construction by law determined that he was white.

            Sexual identity and race overlap one another through limitations and restrictions. Individuals choose to construct their sexual identity. Foucault wrote the relationship as, “…as a series of crisscrossing boundaries dividing populations into multiple groups differentiated by religion, color, language, culture, and if we note that these boundaries are changeable and permeable (with some boundaries weakening and other boundaries strengthening and with people crossing over from one group to another), then we can begin to move away from primordialist, essentialist understandings of ethnicity and race as biological.” (p.112).

            In conclusion, Tyson stated, “Race intersects with class, sex, sexual orientation, political orientation, and personal history in forming each person’s complex identity.” (p.376). Matthew Shepard sacrificed his life and in doing so strengthened the link between the social construction of sexual identity and the social construction of race…the human race.

            Therefore, transformation will always be in the air, as Rust wrote (1993), “…the construction of these categorizes creates the possibility of change.”

            Some of the town’s people will never begin the process of releasing the programmed stigmatism of homosexuality yet; others have been enlightened by the brutal death of Matthew and have learned from it. These are the ones that will hold close to their hearts, the cliché of “Live and Let Live.”

Weather trend 10/07/1998

18 hours before he was found. They left the bar at 11:30 pm. You do the math.

Time (MDT): Temp.:
12:50 AM 37.9 °F
 1:56 AM 30.4 °F
2:54 AM 30.4 °F
3:55 AM 30.0 °F
4:55 AM 30.9 °F
5:54 AM 30.4 °F
6:50 AM 30.0 °F
7:53 AM 33.1 °F
8:52 AM 38.5 °F
9:50 AM 45.9 °F

Home on the Range: Laramie Wyoming Stats:

I  FACT SHEET

1. Geography:Wyoming is about 360 miles long and 280 miles wide. On the north it bordersMontana andUtah while to the south isColorado. On the east, it is bordered bySouth Dakota andNebraska and to the west isIdaho andUtah. Several relatively flat areas betweenWyoming mountain ranges are part of the Intermontane Basins. These areas are characterized by short grasses and lower brush. They are mostly treeless and don’t receive the amounts of rainfall that are found in the mountains. Major basins are the Bighorn andPowderRiver Basins in the north, theWindRiver Basin in centralWyoming and the Green River, Great Divide, andWashakieBasins in the south. Ranges of theRocky Mountains cross the state in a mainly northwest southeast direction. In the southeast are the 10,000 to 12,000 footLaramie and Medicine Bow mountains, which enclose the Shirley andLaramie basins. Nearby is the Sierra Madre range. Ranges in centralWyoming are relatively low; those in the northwest rise to great heights. The Wind River Range contains the state’s highest mountain,Gannett Peak, which is 13,804 feet. The Bighorn Mountains, in the north, and theAbsarokaMountains, in the northwest, rise to more than 13,000 feet and edge theBighornBasin. Most of southwesternWyoming is part of the broadWyomingBasin, which includes a number of smaller basins.

2. Climate: TheGreat Plains and the large western basins have a dry and sunny climate. The mountains, in contrast, have a more humid, colder climate, which becomes more severe with increasing elevation. Summers are fairly warm on the plains and in the basins. July temperatures often reach 80° to 90° F. during the day, but drop sharply at night; they average about 60° to 75° F. throughout most of the state. Freezing temperatures can occur in the mountains throughout the summer months.

Winters are long and cold with occasional blizzards as well as brief periods of mild weather brought by chinook winds. October’s minimum temperature is 29° and the mean is 44°. January temperatures often dip considerably below 0° F., but average 10° to 25° F., depending on location. The coldest weather is in the mountain basins. Most of theGreat Plainsreceives 12 to 16 inches ofprecipitation each year; the western basins, 5 to 10 inches. However, the total amount, both locally and for the state as a whole, is highly variable from year to year. Snowfall is heavy only in the mountains, where it reaches 200 inches a year or more.

 

3. History: Laramie nicknamed, “Gem City of the Plains” is the third oldest town in Wyoming which is nicknamed, “The Equality State.” Its county seat, Cheyenne is also its capital. The city was named after the trapper, Jacques la Ramie, who built a cabin at the junction of Laramie and Platte Rivers. In 1866 the route for a transcontinental railroad was selected and as it approached the Laramie area, railroad employees and tradesmen began arriving. Knoblich (2001) recited, “In 1868, Wyoming territorial organizers had every reason to expect the rapid growth of urban settlements and economic activities. They believed they were on the cutting edge of the expansion of industrial development, not waiting in a rural backwater for industry to come their way; industry in the form of Union Pacific railroad construction and maintenance, precipitated political organization.” Union Pacific Railroad’s chief surveyor, General Grenville Dodge selected the Laramie town site and its name, Laramie City. The railroad began selling lots in April of that year. On May 9th, the line throughLaramie was completed with the first train arriving the next day. Buildings such as churches, houses, stores and a school were constructed in the city soon after the first train arrived. It was unfortunate that the industrial progression did not come as expected resulting through the train, but as Knoblich (2001) described it, “…hunters and fishers, hikers and campers certainly did.” (p.209)Laramie’s early days typified a Wild West town, complete with rough and rowdy characters. Vigilante justice mitigated and in order t resolve this issue in 1872 the Wyoming Territorial Prison was built nearLaramie. In later years, this prison housed many famous outlaws, including Butch Cassidy. A second accomplishment for this city was having a dream come true, for the Women’s Suffrage Movement. In 1869, According to the website The Aurty, “…the twenty-member Territorial Legislature approved a revolutionary measure stating: That every woman of the age of twenty-one years, residing in this Territory, may at every election to be holden under the law thereof, cast her vote. William Bright, the bill’s sponsor, had come to share his wife, Julia’s, belief that suffrage was a basic right of American citizenship.” There was no organized suffrage campaign, and not a single parade, debate or public display. But women kept vigil outside Governor John A. Campbell’s office until he signed the bill into law. Eliza A. “Grandma” Swain of Laramie claimed the honor of castingWyoming’s first female ballot on September 6, 1870. She was first woman to vote legally in theUnited States. After this monumental moment in history, women gained fame as the nation’s first female justices of the peace. The next year Wyoming’s women sat on juries. It is clear that Wyoming women embraced their right to vote and loyally defended it against all threats. The City was incorporated on Dec 12, 1873 seventeen years beforeWyomingbecame a state. In 1924 they are also acclaimed for having the first woman as governor. Today,Laramieis still a small town which sits on the high plains prairie of the Medicine Bow Mountain Range. Its history is close to home in the Wyoming Children’s Museum andNatureCenter, University of Wyoming Geological Museum,AmericanHeritageCenter, University of Wyoming Art Museum, University of Wyoming Anthropology Museum and theLaramie Plains Museum.

           Laramiewill always have a place of infamy as it will be sadly and notoriously known as the town where there had been a brutal torture and slaying of a young gay man who was barely 22 years old. It was considered a hate crime in 1998.

 

4. Demography: The Economic Expert website (2010) posted these statistics: The racial makeup of the city is 90.81% White, 1.24% African American, 0.89% Native American, 1.92% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 2.89% from other races, and 2.19% from two or more races. 7.94% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race. TheCounty ofLaramie, a middle class town inWyoming, as of 2009, has a population of 86,353 people. In the city ofLaramie, the population is spread out with 17.5% under the age of 18, 31.8% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 16.8% from 45 to 64, and 8.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 25 years. For every 100 females there are 107.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 106.7 males.  The median income for a household in the city is $27,319, and the median income for a family is $43,395. Males have a median income of $30,888 versus $22,009 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,036. 22.6% of the population and 11.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 15.7% of those under the age of 18 and 8.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

 5. Culture: Laramie is a rural culture.  Knoblich (2001) stated, “Wyoming resident’s original dreams of a diversified economy, including both rural and urban development, were rapidly and consistently accompanied by cultural images of the state as “Western.” For insiders and outsiders alike, these images identified Wyoming the beautiful natural scenery and the world of the range cowboy – in short, as an underdeveloped, even undevelopable place. The cultural forces shaped Wyoming’s state identity.” (p. 201). The cowboy culture is more of a mind set. This individual was kind, tough, and hard working, he stood for morals. The Thomas Ranch Website (2003) was informative in bringing to light the definition, “The morals of the Cowboy are steadfast. He takes on and accomplishes any job given to him, no matter how hard or dangerous this job maybe. He rides and competes for pride, not for the actual belt buckle or title. A Cowboy stands for all that is pure and true. He knows that a job must be done. He can stay all night on a trail of cattle being pushed around the state or country, he could at the same time go twenty miles out of his way to take a sick dog to a vet for a child. They were never looking for trouble, but when it came, they faced it with courage and dignity. The Cowboy is always on the right side (if there is a right side). They defend good people, who cannot defend themselves, against bad people. They have always had high morals. They had good manners and were honest.” A second prevalent culture is the university cultural aspect which has a population of half the size of the city population. The bars inLaramieare frequented byWyomingstudents, andLaramie’s residents visit the campus to attend cultural and athletic events.

 6. Language: There are two main languages that stem from two different types of people, maybe even classes. Individual’s who attend college will perceive the world in more diverse aspect and therefore, have a dissimilar dialect then say a farmer, cowboy, rancher or a non-student. The terminology is different and even body language can be misunderstood.

7. Religious Beliefs: The town is divided. Laramie Church Of Christ/ Saint Laurence O’Toole Catholic Church/WestboroBaptistChurch /Saint Paul’s United Church Of Christ andTrinityEvangelicalLutheranChurch, all have their individual belief systems which seemed to be respected, but what divided the people was the concept of the equality of one man. The Westboro Baptist Church ignited the division and I think the website says it all, “http://www.godhatesfags.com”. From this website I quote, “Since 1955, WestboroBaptistChurchhas taken forth the precious from the vile, and so is as the mouth of God (Jer. 15:19). In 1991, WBC took her ministry to the streets, conducting 41,226 peaceful demonstrations (to date) opposing the fag lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth.” The moral beliefs and values of individuals of this town have been questioned and torn apart. As an NBC reporter put it while standing outside aLaramiedrinking joint, “At Wild Willies Cowboy Bar today, patrons said hate is easy to find here.” 

8. Education:TheUniversity ofWyoming, located on the windswept plains ofLaramie is the state’s only four year educational institution. Its estimated 13,000 students have a choice of seven schools: Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, and Law. The most popular schools are Business and Education, butWyoming also has very strong Geology and Biology programs.Wyoming has a reputation as a big party school, and many of its students are involved in Greek life. Most of the student body comes fromWyomingor from nearbyColorado, and it is a predominantly white, conservative school. About a third of the students live on campus, which makes the school residence halls the most densely populated area in the state. Students frequently complain of the altitude, 7,000 ft. above sea level and the relentless wind. A student should be prepared to face long winters, strong winds, and social restrictions. Some have been known to experience loneliness.           

            Other educational facilities that are available to individuals are Wyoming Technical Institute which is a vocational school offering careers in automotive, diesel, or collision/refinishing andLaramieCountyCommunity Collegewhich enrolls more than 1500 students in credit courses each year and an additional 250 students for non credit programs.

 

9. Transportation: The City ofLaramie sits clearly at the crossroads of two major interstates and railroads which acts as a transportation corridor for the east/west connections of Interstate 80. The location provides connections for trucks, interstate traffic, and traditional rail freight cars passing through theRocky Mountain region. Union Pacific Railroad mainline operates over 55 freight trains on a daily basis throughLaramie. Interstate 80’s highest point, 8,640 feet, is at the summit of theLaramieRangein thePoleMountainarea. The City ofLaramieis also served by theLaramieRegionalAirport. Flights are offered on a daily basis. The airport offers service for commercial air flights as well as private planes. Greyhound has a bus depot located in the city. 

10. Economy: Agriculture is an essential and fundamental aspect ofLaramie’s economy. It is relative to the natural resource sectors consisting of raising of cattle/calves, hay, hogs, sheep, lamb, wheat and barley. The main exports are feeders, fodders, feed grains, wheat, seeds and animals (dead or alive).

           11. Major Industry:Wyoming is known for its coal and oil industry which has been a part of theWyoming economy since the beginning days of statehood. Although the fields inWyoming, for the most part, are aging, oil production and coal mining remain important to the state in 2009. One of the current issues is that a neighboring city of Laramie, Cheyenne, will effect Laramie’s economy in the future by incorporating a company that will capture over half of the carbon dioxide emitted during the coal refining process. Nearly (2009) wrote, “It plans to pipe the CO2 gas toWyoming oil fields where pumping it underground would serve the dual purpose of keeping it out of the atmosphere while pressurizing the oil reserves to allow more of it to be pumped out. The U.S. Department of Energy is weighing an application from DKRW Advanced Fuels LLC of Houston for a loan to help build the proposed $2.7 billion coal-to-gasoline plant. This would be the first major industrial gasification facility that produces transport fuels — gasoline or diesel — from coal in theUnited States, DKRW chairman Bob Kelly ofHoustonsaid Friday. The plant would process nearly 10,000 tons of low-sulfur coal a day from a mine into 21,000 barrels a day of gasoline. The fuel then would be piped roughly 200 miles southeast to theDenvermarket.”

 

12. Rural Income: Unprecedented economic growth during the 1990s benefited rural areas. Rural income grew from $16,506 in 1993 to $21,831 in 2000, and the percentage of rural people in poverty fell from 17.1 to 13.4 percent over that period. Welfare policy and the growing economy contributed to declines in food stamps, assistance to needy families, and unemployment. But, the 2001 recession caused rural income growth to slow and poverty and assistance payments to slowly rise.

Today’s ratings range from (lowest) to (highest).Characteristic Compared to Peers (small towns nationwide) Compared to State
Median Family Income
People in Middle Class or Better
People Above Poverty

13. Employment/Unemployment: The Census Bureau reported, “Through the third quarter of 2009, the greaterCheyenne economy has preformed much as expected since the start of the Great Recession (December, 2007). Anticipated declines in local employment and increased rates of unemployment lagged these same national indicators by a little more than 12 months. By the close of the third quarter,Laramie’s unemployment rate had risen to 6.1 percent, up 33 percent from December 2007’s rate of 4.6 percent. The just released unemployment rate for October 2009 was 7.2 percent.” The blue collar occupations in Laramieinclude farming, forestry and fishing; handlers, equipment cleaners, helpers and laborers; machine operators, assemblers and inspectors; precision production, craft and repair; private household services; protective services, transportation and material moving.

 14. Hazards:  One of Wyoming’s natural hazards is earthquakes and there is suspected active faults with surficial expressions under the ground. In 1882, a magnitude of 6.2 to 6.5 intensity occurred between Laramie and Estes Park, Colorado. These occurrences are common in Wyoming. Historically, they have happened in every county over the past 120 years. One earthquake in Colorado caused minor damage in southern Wyoming. Plaster fell and windows broke as far north asLaramie. An aftershock was reported to be almost as strong as the main shock inLaramie and Denver.

            LaramieWyomingat first glance is just a small town in the mid west. But, closer examination reveals underlying mental, physical and environmental limitations.

 

            After reading the book, I discovered many reasons for this, including financial constraints, the need to recover from failure, and loss, and fatigue and frustration of pursuit itself. As Laramie expanded and Wyoming became a state, the size and status of the population changed as well. I was saddened by the strong split of moral, ethical and religious belief systems held by these people. On the one side, support for the LGBT community as opposed to the traits of the “haters.”

             At last count, I explored 65 web sites as well as reading, “The Laramie Project” play. I have learned that discrimination of individuals have existed from the beginning of time and will arise when least expected in the largest of cities as well as the smallest of American towns. The cliché holds true, “We are everywhere.” Oppressors come in all shapes, sizes and colors and these individuals showed themselves and were heard loudly as their voices screamed sounds of hatred.

References

 Adult Beliefs, Behaviors, and Perceptions about Alcohol Use. Retrieved   February 2, 2010 from    http://www.health.wyo.gov/Media.aspx?mediaId=6700 

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