Author Archives: jk146631

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Hookup Culture

Often we hear the phrase “chivalry is dead.” In a society where almost half of marriages end in divorce, what is happening to the dating culture of the youth? It is apparent that the idea of a pre-arranged “date” that we once had no longer exists as the norm.

In college, the pre-arranged date is much rarer. Often people start to hook up and maybe they will end up dating. Professor England believes that dating is less likely to be the result of a set date to get dinner or see a movie. Even though most hook ups do not turn into relationships, it seems that in our present college culture that is the only way to get there. This is because the pre-arranged date before that hook up occurs is much rarer. Yes, there may be dates that will occur between the hook up and the relationship but it seems that chivalry really is dead.

Many could argue that chivalry was a sexist idea, but it seems that what is going on today is the reversal of chivalry. Professor England’s data suggests that men are getting more pleasure out of the hook up than women. I believe that this double standard that exists is creating a bad foundation for many relationships. If a relationship is built on equal pleasure, there will always be some sort of resentment or power struggle. Since this is the dominant culture in college, it is creating problems with relationships early on which could be contributing to the problems with marriage later in life.

Jackie Kaplan

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Social Norms and Free Hugs

Often we see people on college campuses giving out “free hugs.” Most people love hugs, so why do they not jump at the opportunity of a free hug? The answer to this question is social norms. It is not normal to hug random people in the street.

When I see the free hug people on my college campus, I run away. The reason I do this, and why most other people do not readily accept free hugs is people have fears of personal space invasion or what might be wrong with the person giving free hugs. It is an awful and presumptuous thought, but what if that person has some sort of disease or is sick. Hugging them would inevitably lead to infecting myself. Thus, this could be called the fear of unknown. No one wants to let some stranger into their personal space.

This video shows how society reacts to free hugs. Most people tried to politely decline the free hug and found the proposition strange. Few readily accepted the hugs with open arms. The amount that readily accepted the hugs further declined when it was a male giving the hugs rather than a female. When one man was interviewed about whether or not he would take a free hug, he said he would to any female, but he would not, regardless of looks, to any male. Another woman said she would not receive a free hug because she finds it an invasion of personal space. Finally, another lady would not accept a free hug because of a fear of touching other people since her child got lice recently.

Most excuses show society’s unease with touching other people and how it is not seen as normal to hug strangers. As children we were always taught not to talk to strangers, for whatever reason, so why would we want to hug strangers?

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Marriage as a Status Symbol

In American society, marriage is an idea instilled in Americans since birth. Most people grow up in a society that points them towards marriage. Much of the media available to children presents the ideal picture of a family. To achieve this family one must get married. However, what marriage actually signifies and means appears to be changing over the past few decades.

The values of marriage have changed. This video points out that marriage in the 1950’s marked the first step into adulthood, while presently it often occurs well into adulthood. This is because people nowadays often want to be successful on their own before entering into a union with another person. Thus, marriage is an almost final achievement in ones adult life.

Status in sociology is defined as a named social position that people can occupy. Marriage is indicative of achieved status. Such a status is defined as achieved because it is based upon personal accomplishments. The video describes marriage as “almost the last merit badge you earn as an eagle scout, the marriage badge.”

Presently, however, the institution of marriage is suffering with high divorce rates. The video suggests that this can be attributed to marriage being viewed only as a status symbol. This is troublesome because people are only interested in getting married to show that they have “made it” in life and have achieved everything expected of them. This contributes to the high divorce rate because then people are only interested in the acquiring of this “marriage badge,” rather than a married life and end up being unsure of how to live their lives once married.

Americans might need to re-examine the values of marriage if marriages are to be successful. Marriage needs to be less about social status and more about the union of two people in love if it is to be successful.

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