Jessica’s presentation on the model minority myth made me interested in learning about how different stereotypes beyond black and asian stereotypes interact with each other in the US. I’m also interested in learning if there are types of model minority stereotypes that exist in other countries. In other countries with white majorities, like some countries in Europe, are there similar types of interactions with other minority groups or do different histories of immigration make this different? What about countries with nonwhite majorities?
In Liz’s presentation, I learned a lot about nonviolent activist handbooks and specific anti-regime activist movements in eastern Europe that I wasn’t familiar with. I think that looking specifically at Gene Sharp’s activist handbook, which she described as being found after the dust settles in handbooks all around the world, pointed to connections between activist movements that I wasn’t previously aware of.
Sol’s presentation on the place of extremism in the animal rights movement surprised me the most because I haven’t given much thought to the different groups within that movement in the past. I had heard of groups such as ALF but hadn’t really looked at the distinctions between mainstream vegan/vegetarian activism and groups less violent than ALF but who still significantly break social norms in their activism. Sol’s point that extreme activism needs to significantly distance itself from mainstream activism in order to not impede on the effectiveness of that activism but that in distancing itself can actually further the overall animal rights movement wasn’t something I had thought about before and I think might be more widely applicable to other types of movements.
David’s presentation on the connections between money and politics inspired me to be more aware of the different influences that special interest groups have on government actions and policies. It also made me think more critically about campaign propaganda that I saw during the 2016 election as well as factors that go into the difficulties in communicating between people with different pre-existing conceptions. His presentation was also relevant to a process in which I, as a US voter, directly participate.