Sunday, September 7, 2014


                Marijuana or cannabis is one of the most commonly abused drugs. Marijuana consists of the dried and crushed leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds of the cannabis sativa plant. Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also know as THC, is the primary psychoactive, mind-altering ingredient in marijuana that produces the feeling of being “high.” In this paper I will discuss some of the uses of marijuana, the effects of marijuana, its history, and some of the treatment methods for marijuana.
Cannabis is one of the oldest known agricultural plants. Therefore it has a large presence in the history of the world. Woven fabrics have been discovered that are believed to be hemp fibers from 8000 to 7000 B.C. The first know use of hemp comes from China in about 4500 B.C. Which was used for rope, net making, and cloth weaving. Also, China was the first to use the plant for psychoactive purposes. India has documented the use of marijuana, or “bhang,” in the group of religious books known as the four “Vedas,” in about 1400 and 1000 B.C. These books refer to marijuana as one of the “five kingdoms of herbs… which release us from anxiety.” Scientists believe that cannabis was introduced to the Middle East and Europe via India. Evidence has shown the use of cannabis in Norway and Germany in 400 B.C. In America, most believe that the Native Americans were aware of this plant, but most likely introduced by the Spaniards. The Spaniards brought the cannabis seed to Chile around 1545. In America, the plant was first grown in Virginia and Massachusetts in the sixteen hundreds. This plant was considered legal from the 1600’s until the 19th century. There is little evidence that shows marijuana being used for recreationally use in the U.S. during the 17th and 18th centuries. The drug became popular in the mid-19th century and was in most drugstores in though the beginning of the 20th century. Around the same time the recreational use for marijuana was first discovered. The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 put a heavy tax on manufactures, importers, dealers, pharmacists, and medical practitioners. This tax outlawed the substance for recreational use. There was a very negative attitude toward marijuana during the 1940’s and 1950’s, although there was a resurgence of this drug during the 1960’s. Though this resurgence marijuana is still used for recreational use today.
                       Marijuana has many harmful effects on the human body. When marijuana is smoked the chemical THC enters the body through the lungs, when eaten it enters the body through the stomach. It moves through the bloodstream to the brain, as well into the body’s tissues and organs. This drug takes almost four weeks to completely leave the body. Marijuana affects the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Researches have linked pot smoking to precancerous lesions in the lungs. It also reduces the amount of oxygen available to the heart. This drug may also temporarily depress the body’s immune system. Smoking marijuana will destroy white blood cells, which help the body fight viruses. Marijuana also affects the hormonal systems in both men and women. In males, it will lower testosterone levels, lower sperm count, and may cause impotence. In females, marijuana may have some effects on pregnancy and can also cause birth defects. Finally, marijuana can affect the brain. If frequently used, it may impair short-term memory. Also, the drug may cause a person to experience a loss of motivation and many behavior problems. Some of these problems may be loss of ambition, will, diminished physical activity, and self-neglect. The use of marijuana also impairs perception of time, distance, and coordination.
                     There are many different uses for marijuana. In the early years marijuana was used for fabric, rope, and cloth. Later, it was used to treat many health problems. It was believed to help with menstrual pains, gout, constipation, and forgetfulness. During the 19th century many medical articles were issued discussing marijuana’s value in treating ailments such as headaches, insomnia, and menstrual cramps. To get the effects of marijuana, a person may smoke the substance or eat it. Marijuana was first used for recreational use in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mexican and Caribbean immigrants introduced the practice of smoking marijuana to America. It was first started in the southern part of the county and later became popular in cities such as New York and Chicago. In a recent study showed that over 40 million people have experienced marijuana. The number of regular users is estimated to be between 10 and 15 million people. Most of these people are between the ages of twelve and twenty-five. While ten percent of high school students are daily users.
                       There are several methods in prevention and treatment of marijuana abuse. The most popular method of prevention is criminal punishment, which has served as a longtime strategy against drug abuse. Several other affective methods include educational and training programs, as well as medical and psychological based treatment. Most of these programs seem successful in the prevention and treatment of marijuana. Some of these programs may try to break marijuana dependence. If a person stops using marijuana abruptly, they may experience a physical discomfort, which may last anywhere from 48 to 96 hours. After a person experiences this there dependence on marijuana is gone. Most of these programs are voluntarily or a person may be forced to take part in one of these prevention or treatment programs. These programs serve as a good tool in trying to reduce the numbers of people who continue to use the drug marijuana.     
                  In conclusion, marijuana has been apart of the world’s culture for a long time. During this period there has been a wide variety of uses for this drug, some legal, but most are illegal. Scientists have been able to distinguish many of the uses for marijuana as well as some of the harmful affects that the drug may cause. With this gained knowledge we as a community are able to educate the people, especially the youth, of the world about the harmful affects of the substance marijuana.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Women in the Media

      The Psychological Power of the Media to Trap Women in A Role. The power of advertising to change, shape and mold the public's opinion has had a major impact on the lives of women. Women are the main target for many advertisements and are used in many forms of advertising. The media has historically used propaganda to define who women are and what they should be. The time period following WWII maybe one of the greatest examples of how completely media can control the ideas of the society on a specific group of people.

  During WWII women were encouraged to go out to factories and work to support the war effort. This gave women a sense of need and belonging that many had been left out of before they had the opportunity to persue any type of career in an acceptable manner. With the men away at war, women were encouraged to find work outside the home due to a lack of factory workers who could produce war goods. Once the war ended, however, this propaganda not only stopped- it abruptly changed.

  Once the men were back in the states there was an excess of workers. Men came back form war to find that there were no jobs or that their wives were occupying them. With production plummeting after war time highs there were few jobs to offer the men returning home. This started a media blitz on women. Women were encouraged to return to the home and take care of their families. Women's magazines were overflowing with ideas on how to make a perfect wife and mother. It was obvious that if you weren't happy making your family your job, there was something wrong with you as a woman.

  The problem was that women were unhappy; President Kennedy commissioned a report on the he status of the American Woman due to the magnitude of this problem (Schneir 38-47). The report basically said that women were unhappy with the idea that they were fundamentally only responsible for being wives, mothers and homemakers; they had nothing they could associate as their own accomplishments.

  Another study came out in 1963; it was called The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. "What she detected was a concerted campaign since the end of WWII to convince American women they could achieve happiness in life only through marriage and motherhood-an ideology she labeled "the feminine mystique"" (Schneir 48-9). Friedan's research also lead her to find an enormous amount of articles in women's magazines by supposed experts devoted to telling women that they should seek their fulfillment in being a wife and a mother. The fact that more women were going to college and becoming better educated only lead to more discontent and the idea of having courses on marriage and motherhood in college was brought up. If a woman was unhappy with her status she knew from what everything she read told her that something was wrong with her; she was not fulfilling her duty as a woman.

  The Influence of the Media on Women's View of Beauty and Self-Worth Another way in which the media has had a great influence over women is by controlling the image of what is beautiful for a woman in our society. The more technology that is created, the more unrealistic our ideas of the "perfect" woman become. "The body beautiful is a woman's responsibility and authority. She will be valued and rewarded on the basis of how close she comes to embodying the ideal. Whatever the current borders of beauty, they will always be well defined and exceedingly narrow, and it will be a woman's task to conform to them-for as long as humanly possible" (Chapkis 14). This leaves little room for interpretation to the idea of beauty. There is no flexibility in it; the media creates an image and women try to live up to it.

  Women are forced to live within the constraints that the media puts on them because these constraints become societies "ideal." The media can even go so far as to pick a hair color that society will adopt as more desirable for themseles. One study showed that from 1950-1980's there was an inordinate amount of blondes in advertisements and in magazines. Even Playboy portrays blondes as sexier. The study also showed that 84% of women think that men prefer blonde haired women, in reality only 35% of the men interviewed preferred blondes. This kind of distortion is something that the media perpetuates in the minds of women. It is important that women start to differentiate myth from fact when the media is concerned. Many disorders that women have when image is concerned come from trying to perpetuate a beauty myth inflected by the media. Media needs to be held accountable for the societal ideas that they are perpetuating. Until larger perameters are made for beauty, no one, not even the models can fit the "ideal."


Works Cited

Cash, Thomas F.. Sex Roles. "The American Image of Beauty :Media Representations of Hair Color for Four Decades." vol.29, 113-23, 1993.

Chapkis, Wendy. beauty secrets. Southend Press, USA. copyright, 1986.

Covell, Katherine and Kyra Lanis. Sex Roles. "Images of Women in Advertisements: Effects on Attitudes Related to Sexual Aggression." vol.32, 639-49, 1993.

Schneir, Miriam. Feminism In Our Time. Vintage Original Press, N.Y.. 1994.

Preventing Abortion

There are many issues in America today such as violence, drugs, teenage pregnancy that is on a rise. There is also abortion which is what I chose to write about today due to the fact that it has been such a controversial and important issue of my generation although it has been an ongoing issue for centuries going back to 2600 B.C when the first recipe for an abortion producing drug. Since the 19th century English common law forbade abortion. Abortion prior to quickening (feeling life) was a misdemeanor and a felony after that. In the early 1800s it was discovered that human life did not begin when she “felt life” but at fertilization. In 1869 the British Parliament passed the “Offenses Against the Persons Act” Eliminating the bifid punishment and dropping the felony punishment back to fertilization, so across the middle years of the 19th century each state passed their own laws against abortion. In 1967 the first two states to legalize abortion was Colorado and California and by June 1970 New York passed the first abortion on demand law with a 24 week limit it became the 16th state to allow abortion while the other states were still very restrictive and only allowing abortions for pregnancies due to rape, incest, life of the mother or severe fetal handicap.

Abortion seems to be the importance of my generation because there are so many young girls getting pregnant and trying to take the easy way out by having an abortion but little do they know that, that coward way out is sometimes more painful and more risky then actually giving birth and that complications rates of abortion increase with younger teenage women, younger women who carry their baby to term have better births then older women if they get proper care. I don’t believe these girls/women are fully aware of the dangers this can impose on their mind, body, and spirit. Statistics show that one in four of our generation is not living because they were killed before they were born.

There are two fractions in this controversy that are apart in their views on abortion whereas the pro-choice movement contends that a women’s right to abortion is absolute, the pro-life choice asserts that a fetus’s right to life is indisputable. Because of this debate the 1973 U.S Supreme Court ruling in Roe VS Wade which legalized abortion based on the 14th amendments right to privacy.
Most Americans believe that abortions should be illegal with exceptions of rape and incest but the truth is most abortions are not for either of these two reasons, most abortions are done because of various of other reasons such as the mother being to young and having sex without any knowledge of what there doing, because the father doesn’t want to be apart of her life or the baby’s, or sometimes just because the women/girl doesn’t feel like they can handle it when I believe that god never puts to much on a person he feels like that they can’t handle it. There were other exceptions that were included in the bans on partial birth abortion that was proposed by congress.

Abortions have affected many different people in various ways everyone knows someone that has had an abortion rather you know it or not. One in every six women has had an abortion and it has had different affects on them many women that have had abortions have had major psychological problems such as depression and some times called post-abortion syndrome that comes after an abortion, bladder injury that can lead to peritonitis which is an inflamed infected lining of the abdomen, bowel injury. Breast cancer women who have aborted have higher rates of breast cancer later in life and has increased by 50% since abortions have been legalized, Ectopic (tubal) pregnancy which is a pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus. After an abortion you are 8-20 times more likely to have one of these, Effects on future pregnancies like bleeding in the first three months, less likely to have a normal delivery, your next baby will be 3-4 times more likely to die in the first few months of life.

As I stated before abortions go back to ancient times and have been practiced by women all over the world using barbaric tools and odd instruments. This is why I believe that it’s a women’s choice to be able to have an abortion under certain guidelines but not because they had a one night stand and didn’t like the guy or just because you think you’re not ready, or because you think you’re parents might kill you, or my figure is going to be ruined if I have this baby. Many women have died t trying to self abort in ancient times and even a few today but its now less common because it was legalized in 1973 some people say that you cant be on both sides its either pro life or pro choice. I can’t really decide because in a way I feel like it’s a women’s choice if she wants to suffer through an abortion but I would never get one!!
So what should our government do about this issue?? I believe that the government should keep abortions legal with stipulations on them, along with educating the mothers about the complications that come along with having this procedure. Also start allowing the schools to have sex education classes to help them understand how and when sex is appropriate and if they are already sexually active how to use protection and birth control. A lot of people say it’s the parent’s job to educate their kids about sex but as the old saying goes it takes a village to raise a kid so why shouldn’t the schools be apart of the village?? The government should make it lawful to have an abortion ONLY if theirs a health risk to the mother or the baby, incest victims, and certain aged rape victims which is very rare case that a woman raped has become pregnant. I say certain aged rape victims only because a 9-12 year old girl that has been raped shouldn’t have to endure all that pain at such a young age not knowing how or what this is happening to her. So just to leave you with a few things to think about here are some quotes from the bible: “Ye that loves the LORD, HATE evil…” Psalms 97:10, “Thou shalt not kill.” Exodus 20:13, “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: Even so thou knowest not the works of GOD who maketh all.” Ecclesiastes 11:5
A regretful abortion: “I am in my early twenties and two years ago, I found myself pregnant.
I love children and cannot wait to be a mother…but I was taken up in the idea that I wouldn’t be able to give up my baby for adoption, and I knew I couldn’t raise a child in my situation. I was living with a man I knew I wasn’t happy with and I knew it was wrong, no matter how you look at it. I let him help me to believe that abortion was the best way to deal with the situation. I grew up in a christen home and have always been a pro-life advocate! I thought abortion was the worst thing in the world you could ever do… and you know the sad thing? I still feel this way, only now, I have to live with the regret that I had an abortion. I carried my child in my womb for nine weeks. Do you realize that at nine weeks, you can see the child’s eyes, spinal cord, heart, fingers are starting to form…I have to live with this for the rest of my life. I know there are many people out there that think you can have an abortion and just forget about it the next day. It doesn’t work like that, I have tried so hard to let this go, and know that my child is in heaven and I will eventually meet him/her one day. But right now while I’m here I live with the regret, the guilt, the absolute disgust with myself, and though I’m working on forgiving myself, I know I will never forget!”

TO the government, parents, teachers, and counselors educate our young people about using birth control and condoms. If she’s already pregnant please, please let them know about the alternatives to abortion like adoption any thing to save a life there are plenty of loving families that cant have kids that want them. If you think birth control and condoms are to costly their not you can get them free all day long at the local clinics and that’s why we have Planned Parenthood and other places like it that helps with this sort of thing. Most people just don’t know so they need to be educated and this is were the government comes in and this is why one out every four have been killed and abortion will continue to be such a controversial issue.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Facebook !

            As if parents did not already have enough to worry about now they need to worry about their children displaying negative psychological effects from over using facebook.
Facebook is very popular social networking site over eight hundred million users. As an avid user of facebook myself, I find it hard to believe that at one point it didn’t exist. Infact, it has become so much apart of people’s lives that you can learn their life story just by checking their page. Their friends, likes and dislikes relationship status
Phone numbers address everything.
           Social media like facebook may both positive and negative effects. Talking about positive aspects of facebook, it helps to keeping touch with family and friends making new friends, expressing you.
         As we have many positive aspects of facebook we have many negative aspects and effects of the social media. Use of social media may harm on our creativity and knowledge. Creative power may get generated from social media but it doesn’t make that creative power of learning.

            Facebook has many possibilities of doing well in life. We can find relevant things which we need in our life including authentic knowledge about different application, instant news, word-making games, IQ test, etc. Facebook mainly used by different people having different perception. Some of them used facebook as communication tool, some as the media which is helpful in their daily lives.

            Negative psychological effects of facebook from ‘Overdosing’. Latest research which examines teens and facebook was conducted using 1,000 teen surveys and observation of 300 teens actively studying. It concluded that multiple negative psychological effects could result from spending too much time on facebook and other social media.

            Negative effects of facebook on teens who overuse this social media include; teens whose facebook frequently may became narcissistic, teens who have a strong facebook presence may display psychological disorders, such as anti-social behaviours, and mania and aggressive tendencies.

            Facebook do not only effects on mentally but it also effects in educational aspects. Although this pretty much goes without saying, being connected to technology on a ongoing basis can seriously impact on teen’s education.

            The time has come to determine which should take and which should left for using social media. Parents and families also have the responsibility to lessen the negative effects of facebook and its overuse on their children. Parents should not foster their children to monitoring such software at home.

           Psychological and educational effects of facebook, other technologies and media on children is invaluable. Perhaps attentive family/parents have already take action. But for those that have not, it is the time to wake up to the consequences of facebook and overuse can have on our children and combat it.

Ways of Seeing

Ways of Seeing
-         John Berger
When it comes to art, personal perception of a piece should be the principle driving force to understanding art. In Ways of Seeing, John Berger mentions that a person’s perception of art can be influenced by outside factors, such as captions or information about the artist. Even though this does alter what someone thinks of a piece of art, I believe this has a positive effect rather than a negative one on one’s perception. More information allows the person to understand art at a secondary level; he can delve deeper into the reason why someone created this piece of art and relate it to his own feelings about it.
Berger also states his views on the reproduction of art and while I disagree that it devalues a piece of art, I understand his opinion as well. An original piece of work has its own aura. No matter how many reproductions you see, only the original contains the true artists mark. For example, in the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo, the famous painting God creates Adam is on the ceiling. If you google it, you can find an image of it in a matter of seconds. But if you visit the chapel, the view is completely different; you see the connection of how God created Adam to other paintings on the ceiling of the chapel. It completes the pictures and creates a story for the observer. Plus, the ceiling itself is beautiful because of the immense detail and color scheme created by Michaelangelo. So just like Milana said in a previous post, art is still thrilling even though you saw the reproduction before the original. However, reproductions introduce such great pieces of art to people who cannot readily observe it. I believe Berger is incorrect in saying that reproductions negatively impact art. A teacher once told me that when people copy your work, it means they like it and it has some sort of value. So reproductions actually increase the importance of a certain art.
In the next chapter, Berger speaks about the difference between nudity and nakedness. I agree with him that “men act and women appear”. If we break it down, women want to attract men and men want to find women they are attracted to. A woman in nude makes her body more public and therefore allows men to appreciate her while a woman who is naked is more private with her body.
John Berger brings up a few good points but I believe he generalizes the public too much and even stereotypes them. I look forward to reading more of Ways of Seeing.
            In his book Ways of Seeing, John Berger discusses the ways in which people perceive different works of art, and the ways art has evolved during a time of emerging technological advancements. Berger explains that there is no way of knowing exactly what moment the artist was trying to capture or what he/she wanted to portray by painting the portrait. In this sense, painting are silent and it is up to viewers to decipher what the artist meant when he/she painted the portrait. Viewers can only try to interpret what they see by learning about the backround/history of the artist and by analyzing the techniques used in the portrait. Berger also goes on to say that the way we describe something is preceded by the way we see it, but words cannot do justice to what we see, or explain what we see with our own eyes. I experienced this dumbstruck feeling at the Brooklyn Museum when I saw the breathtaking paintings but could not come up with the words to adequately describe what I saw. Berger explains that a drastic change that has occured as a result of society’s technological advancements is the development of the camera, which allows for easy reproduction of once prized and elite paintings. While paintings used to be signs of status and class and used to be valued and esteemed for their selectivity, they are currently much more accessible to people all over the world. However, because of the reproduction of paintings, art is more widely viewed and advertised through books, posters, and even television. Many people have even neglected to enjoy and experience art for its talent, aesthetics, history, or meaning, and instead see art as a means to make a profit. I agree with Berger that the way art is viewed has evolved dramatically due to technology and social change, and more and more people tend to overlook art’s true meanings instead of appreciating it for its aesthetics and significance.

The Achievement of Desire

The Achievement of Desire
- Richard Rodriguez
This is the story of a man who found himself through education. His whole life he was eager to read books and learn more and more. He was the kid in class who always raised his hand, and would always be caught reading a book at home all by himself. He came from a middle class Mexican family that had struggled to make it to where they were in the social structure. His parents were somewhat educated, but worked hard to make a living. His siblings were also smart, but Richard always felt like he was by himself. He had great parents but hints that there was never that special bond between them, that his family and school were two different worlds he had to learn to live with. He states “But withheld from my mother and father was any mention of what most mattered to me: the extraordinary experience of first learning,” (p. 623) and he shows how he would not just open up to his parents when they asked what was new. He would just reply with the “same old stuff” answer.  His education had culturally seperated him from his parents, the same education that has made him realize this fact and speak out about it.
The “Achievement of Desire”, is a retrospective style essay by Richard Rodriguez. Now, a doctoral graduate in literature from the University of California Berkeley, Rodriguez began his education in the state’s capital, Sacramento. His reflective look at his education, from elementary level to college admittance at Stanford, includes family dynamics, educators, and the introspective self-examination of how these influences affected his childhood…….His success.
        Richard begins his educational experience with memories of the second grade, a hispanic student out of his cultural realm of language and social status. As a “working-class child”, in a private parochial school, he felt completely out-of-place. His parents, hard-working un-educated, placed him in private school so as to give Richard all the opportunities a good education can provide. Their own lack of education resulting in dead-end hard labor employment only, they wanted more for their three children, Richard being the youngest. Very early Richard sees the differences between school and the affiliation of his home life. His parents speech for instance, was filled with mis-pronounced words, incorrect or out-dated facts were corrected by the pretentious second grader. By the third grade he began to alienate his family by creating physical space between himself and the daily commotion attributed to a family of five. Richard makes a comment about shifting  his “allegiance”, from his parents to his teachers with his acts of exclusion from daily family life. As Richard quotes in his essay,”He takes his first step towards academic success, away from his family”. He had chosen school life and its demands, pouring himself solely into his studies. Richard’s older brother and sister were “good students”, with lots of shiny trophies earned by their many academic achievements. Richard mentions an almost “rival” type relationship that exists between he and his siblings. Admitting that he was jealous at the “ease” that his brother and sister portrayed in regards to their academia. Instead, Richard says he felt unconfident and anxious. Mr. and Mrs. Rodriguez were supportive of their children, attending each graduation, camera in hand. Meanwhile, Richard gives all the credit of his academic success to his teachers.
           In the search for “dedicated” type people, a convent would surely rank high on the list of places to look. Richard knows he was sent to a good school. He Writes, “My earliest teachers, the nuns, made my success their ambition”. The many praises given by his teachers must have been the affirmation needed by the young Richard Rodriguez. He reports quickly conforming to their every action, diction and direction. Over ambitious, while lacking in self-confidence and self acceptance, he found ways of getting undivided attention from his teachers. His teachers compliments had become more important than those of his parents, a shift in respect had occurred. Richard reflects upon a particular instance on returning home from school with the compliment, “I’m so proud, you have almost completely lost your spanish accent”, from one of the nuns. This conforming compliment, set deep in memory like a turning point. Richard took a greater interest in his english class, reading and writing on everything the nuns suggested. He began to blossom socially, feeling more and sounding more like his classmates. According to his mother, the nuns at the precocial school were the best teachers. The school and its academic reputation had high regards in the capital city of California, a state that has been considered to be trend setting and inventive in its education system. Good teachers create great students. Teachers who look beyond their normal curriculum guidelines, those willing to see their students as individuals with varied interests and talents. Educators that evoke self-reliance, self-identity, and the ability to recognize change and growth within ourselves like Richard’s teachers did for him.
          Richard Rodriguez the man, finally recognizes the effects of his education and school life on the boy. He reflects on the need to separate himself from his parents and their inclusion in school functions like awards ceremonies or any direct contact with his teachers. The embarrassment of the child, became a shameful act when viewed by the adult Richard. His childhood anger misguided at his parents limitations, became shame as he reached adolescence. Finally realizing his parents sacrifice to send their children to a school they could not afford was an important step towards adulthood for Richard. Describing his father as always laid back asleep in front of the television mouth wide open, snoring, unable to help with homework as a child; now reflects as an adult, the long over-time hours worked to pay for his children’s private education. The secretarial jobs his mother spent years at without chance of advancement in pay or professional status to help cover education costs. The adult Richard Rodriguez gives his gratitude and respect to his parents for their support in his success. He thanks them for the push towards english studies, instead of the anger he held earlier as a child. A published, well-respected author, Richard’s parents “Must be proud”!

Grief and a Headhunter’s Rage

Grief and a Headhunter’s Rage
- Renato Rosaldo
In Renato Rosaldo’s “Grief and a Headhunter’s Rage” Rosaldo writes about ritual and the connection it has with emotion, more specifically of the emotions associated with death. the ritual mentioned through this essay is the ritual of Ilongot Headhunting. Rosaldo’s argument is “that ritual in general and Ilongot headhunting in particular form the intersection of multiple coexisting social processes,” but it should also be recognized that those in the center of the ritual will have more feelings aroused from the ritual than those on the outer edges. (594) The way sociologists study cultures should change towards attempting to understand, instead of the traditional attempt to explain.

Rosaldo used these words to describe them: “The Ilongots… number about 3,500 and reside in an upland area some ninety miles northeast of Manila, Philippines. For themselves, their neighbors, and their ethnographers, headhunting stands out as the Ilongots’ most salient cultural practice” (588). The Ilongots of this time practiced headhunting as a means to release the rage created from a devastating loss, as he describes: “He (an Ilongot) says that rage, born of grief, impels him to kill his fellow human beings. He claims that he needs a place… ‘to carry his anger.’ The act of… tossing away the victim’s head enables him… (to) throw away the anger of his bereavement” (588). The Ilongot man is saying that this rage must be vented and focused away from those around him. Here, it become evident that those in the center are in the focus. The Ilongot says how the rage is born of grief, and those in grief (the ones who experienced the loss) will be those in the focus of this ritual. Those outside of the focus will not experience the full emotion of headhunting. Later in the essay, Rosaldo mentions how he just did not understand how the grief and rage was connected, but says he now understands, after a tragic loss of his own, that to an Ilongot they went together in the most obvious manner.

Headhunting is a ritual based on the grief resulting from loss. A ritual with familiar causes, a funeral, helps in relating to the issue. While analyzing funerals, it became paramount to pick a single one and expand from there. It is of the last funeral I attended. It becomes obvious that funerals contain several parts, those of focus may be labeled as; memorial, symbolism, and acceptance. Starting with memorial and symbolism, it become understandable how something seen as normal by some can be outright unusual for others. Within the memorial of the mentioned funeral, the funeral of my friend Kris, there were pictures on display. While varying from wrestling, cross country, navy photos, and a picture of him fishing, the pictures show the presence of memories lessening the blow of the loss. Affirming what they did in life was great, but is this logic obvious to all?Rosaldo describes: “Once the raiders kill their victim, they toss away the head rather than keep it as a trophy. In tossing away the head, they claim by analogy to cast away their life burdens, including the rage in their grief.”(598) Throwing the head away, is how the Ilongots reach acceptance; while acceptance isn’t a part of the ritual, the ritual often forms a catalyst with a product being acceptance. The methods of acceptance are countless. some of the more apparent ones can vary from crying, to punching, and even drinking in excess. Looking from the outside what would someone see when they look at someone sobbing uncontrollably, punching a wall, or an all night drinking binge?, They would see not the feeling of acceptance only what an outsider would see, and those in the very thick of it all the methods of acceptance can become all the more abstract. The afore mentioned funeral caused me to have the urge to fish because it was the main thing Kris and I had done together lately. While someone could say that it made perfect sense that I would have the urge to do so, the question remains: what would be seen by an outsider?

Another key part of a funeral is some symbolism; akin to the Ilongot throwing the head of a victim away, the symbolism is used to express some idea; the thought of them (the dead) being buried or cremated, aside from any specific spiritual beliefs, affirms that they are gone from the living world. This along with the memorial forms the catalyst to acceptance in this case then.

Rosaldo goes on to the criticize on the way anthropologists tried to understand cultural aspects objectively, as many aspects of culture require one to be a part of the culture to understand it: “After being repositioned through a devastating loss of my own [I could] better grasp that Ilongot older men mean precisely what they say… [their] anger and my own overlap, rather like two circles, partially overlaid and partially separate. They are not identical” (589-593). Here he notes that he could grasp that they mean what they say; however, he also understands “All interpretations are provisional; they are made by positioned subjects who are prepared to know certain things and not others. Even when knowledgeable, sensitive, fluent in language, and able to move easily in an alien cultural world, good ethnographers still have their limits, and their analyses always are incomplete” (598). This becomes a reoccurring theme throughout the essay: this idea of understanding a culture to be futile, as cultures are subjective, and only those within it will truly understand.
Further into his essay the “devastating loss” that Rosaldo mentions is explained as the loss of his wife after she fell down a cliff into a river:

Immediately on finding her body I became enraged. How could she abandon me? How could she have been so stupid as to fall?... Going down I find a group of men, maybe seven or eight, standing still, silent, and I heave and sob, but no tears (He describes this later to be a form of rage)…’ Such feelings can be aroused by rituals, but more often they emerge from unexpected reminders. (593)
The loss of his wife allowed him to feel the rage associated with death, and he feels actual rage towards his now dead wife. This is where the anger stems from, the anger that a person Rosaldo cared for is lost forever. Going on further, he explains a denial of rage among Anglo-Americans: “… upper-middle-class Anglo-American culture tends to ignore the rage devastating losses can bring. Paradoxically, this culture’s conventional wisdom usually denies the anger in grief at the same time that therapists encourage members of the invisible community of the bereaved to talk in detail about how angry their losses make them feel” (593). this denial is part of the cultural barrier that keeps us from understand other cultures fully, even outright denial as in the beginning of the essay where Rosaldo writes: “My own inability to conceive the force of anger in grief led me to seek out another level of analysis that could provide a deeper explanation for older Men’s desire to headhunt” (598). This shows that there was just a complete inability to understand, and opens up a real idea of subjective thoughts.

The issue of cultures being studied incorrectly has major implications; Prior to this essay, attempts were only made to explain, not understand; With all explanations being hollow and usually missing the point, Rosaldo shows his own ignorance and labels the source. Ritual is a subjective experience and to those within the purpose is apparent, to those outside of the ritual it is like fitting a square peg through a circular hole. Only those on the inside of the ritual will ever fully understand. Those outside are subject to cultural barriers such as the one described by Rosaldo. In denying rage within grief, one cannot understand these actions, like not understanding love in the matter we as members of culture that includes non-arranged marriage do could cause those that support arranged marriage to ask simply, why? Ultimately though, when talking of emotions, it becomes apparent that they are all subjective. From looking at a ritual from another culture or examining an individual’s emotions within the ritual, everything is subjective. It should then be recognized that sociologists should study cultures in an attempt to understand the cultures and not to just explain.