An Unforgettable Experience University Essay Example

When I was young, my siblings and I used to argue over trivial matters. Our father, fed up with our irrational behavior, once said seriously, “tomorrow we are going to attend the Ray Home Sports Day. You must come with me. Perhaps you can learn a thing or two from those children.”

My brother rudely laughed and said, “Dad, Ray is a home for disabled children. What can we learn from them?”

To this, dad responded solemnly, “You will see.” It turns out that my father volunteers at Ray – a home for physically disabled children.

A variety of challenges are faced by the children at Ray Home, including difficulties with walking, hands, speech, and hearing. To assist these children in moving and exercising their limbs, my experienced father dedicates several hours each day as a physiotherapist. The following day, my siblings and I expressed our dissatisfaction as our dad brought us to Ray Home. As he went to assess if any of the children needed his assistance, we found a shady spot to witness the captivating events.

Prior to the start of the race, my siblings and I were already engaged in an argument. However, once the event commenced, other spectators hushed us. The race involved physically disabled individuals competing against each other to determine who could run the fastest over a distance of 50 meters. As soon as the race kicked off, all the children sprinted at their maximum speed. Unexpectedly, one of the girls slipped and fell, resulting in her crying out loudly. Without any delay, all participants immediately stopped running and a few of them helped the girl stand up again.

Witnessing a heartwarming scene, we observed others assisting in brushing the sand off her knees and clothes as they tightly held hands and proceeded towards the finish line. This display amazed my siblings and me because it was evident that the children had no desire to compete against each other. Upon reaching their destination, the audience rose from their seats and gave them a well-deserved standing ovation. Similar to previous sporting events, unity once again prevailed. The children simply desired an ordinary existence where they could run, jump, skip, and play without competition. Their affectionate nature made them endearing individuals who often waited for others while receiving applause from an excited crowd – an unquestionably beautiful encounter that will always be memorable; a true demonstration of genuine love and care. Consequently, my siblings and I engaged in fewer arguments after that fateful day at Ray Home; it was a lesson that will forever remain ingrained in our minds.

The Future Of Ethnicity In America

This paper will examine the future of ethnicity in America by answering three appealing questions. First, how does symbolic ethnicity enter into contemporary American racial and ethnic relations? Second, why might immigrant youths choose to assimilate to the culture of low-income, inner-city youths instead of white middle-class culture? Lastly, why do some cases of interethnic contact generate conflict and others do not? Symbolic ethnicity is a term coined by Herbert Gans.

It refers to ethnicity that is individualistic in nature and without real social cost for the individual. These symbolic identifications are essentially leisure time activities, rooted in nuclear family traditions reinforced by voluntary enjoyable aspects for being ethnic (Gans 424-429). Symbolic ethnicity arises “as the functions of ethnic cultures and groups diminish and identity becomes the primary way of being ethnic” (Gans 1985:434). Gans predicted that this form of ethnicity may easily persist into the fifth and sixth generations and beyond (Dale, and Romo 441).

People are less and less interested in their ethnic cultures and organizations and are instead more concerned with maintaining their ethnic identity, with the feeling of being Jewish or Italian or Polish, and with finding ways of feeling and expressing that identity in suitable ways. Identity here simply means the sociopsychological elements that accompany role behavior, and the ethnic role is today less of an ascriptive than a voluntary role that people assume alongside other roles.

To be sure, ethnics are still identified as such by others, particularly on the basis of name, but the behavioral expectations that once went with identification by others have declined sharply, so that ethnics have some choice about when and how to play ethnic roles. Moreover, as ethnic cultures and organizations decline further, fewer ethnic roles are prescribed, thus increasing the degree to which people have freedom of role definition (Herbert J. Gans 175).

Symbolic ethnicity can create tension between the ethnic group being imitated and the ethnic group doing the imitation. For Whites, symbolic ethnicity is very appealing because they can identify with another group without suffering the consequences people of that group would suffer. When the chance for penalty arise, the White person can drop their act of symbolic ethnicity, but the non-White suffers the consequences regularly because “the consequences of being Asian or Hispanic or black are not symbolic…They are real and hurtful” (Waters 1990:156).

Whether the continuation of White ethnic distinctiveness and identity will be the central focus of everyday life or an expression of “a nostalgic allegiance to the culture of the immigrant generation” (Gans 1985:435) remains to be seen. Either way, however, the expectation is for a continued prominence of White ethnicity in American life for at least one or two more generations and a continued or growing acceptance of cultural pluralism as the principal view of the way immigrants and their descendants should become Americanized (Dale, and Romo 445).

The second question regarding the future of ethnicity in America is why might immigrant youths choose to assimilate to the culture of low-income, inner-city youths instead of white middle-class culture? Immigrant youths might choose to assimilate to the culture of low-income, inner-city youths instead of White middle-class culture for several reasons.

First, the majority of their ancestors were “poverty stricken peasants accustomed to life in small villages and farms” (Dale, and Romo 90) but managed to migrate to the United States to obtain a better way of life and have not assimilated to the host society which includes White middle class Americans. An important goal of the immigrant ethnic group after immigration is to organize for mutual assistance and protection to assist its members to combat discrimination and gain equality with the majority in important areas such as jobs, education, and political participation.

The relationship of the immigrant minority to the host society is likely to be one of resistance to some aspects of assimilation combined with active efforts to achieve secondary assimilation (Dale, and Romo 448). The immigrant youth may tend to assimilate to the low-income, inner-city youth because the inner-city youth are generally part of the minority group as well. Inner-city youth can relate to the non-White consequences of being a minority that are real and hurtful.

As the members of immigrant groups become more numerous or more highly concentrated in a particular area, competition arises between the natives and the newcomers for “the same valued resources (e. g. , housing, schools, jobs, other kinds of rewards)” and this situation is likely to lead members of both groups to organize to further their own interests (Olzak 1986:18). Such situations may cause people whose ethnic identities and attachments originally were weak to place a higher value and emphasis on them than in the past. A trong line of division may develop between “them” and “us” where no line or only a weak line previously existed (Dale, and Romo 449). Waters states, “In the United States, through exercise of individual choice, people not only demonstrate their uniqueness, they also recognize and actualize their integration with others. They do this by making, acknowledging, and perpetuating social ties based solely on the affinity that arises through making the same choices (Beeman 1986, 59)” (150). Not only do they relate more to the inner city youth, but they use symbolic ethnicity to hold on to the identities of their immigrant relatives and cultures.

The youths are following in the footsteps of their parents, continuing to build centripetal relationships with the host society, in which the White middle-class culture is a part. Class is particularly important. For example, Sara Lee has found that while upper middle class second generation Korean Americans are proud of their identity and express it in a number of ways, their working class peers display less interest in their national identity and are more concerned with economic security and class position (Waters, Ueda, and Marrow 150).

The final question involving the future of ethnicity is why do some cases of interethnic contact generate conflict and others do not? Any ethnic contact that involves one group overpowering another creates conflict. Multiethnic countries are typical in the modern world, and many of the people who comprise those countries favor increasing the political independence of their own ethnic group. Serious tensions exist even within some countries that are celebrated as examples of ethnic harmony. Sweden is a prime example of a country that had no history of colonialism or interracial conflict.

Sweden made a commitment to create an equitable society and welcome newcomers to their country. Those who went to work temporarily were even incorporated into their society instead of being shipped back to their native lands. The Swedish government went as far as to offer immigrants language lessons for free to help the immigrants to conform to their new homes. Other countries such as Brazil and others in Latin America have few racial conflicts, but social class lines instead of racial or ethnic background, represent the dominant divisions in their societies.

On the other hand, South Africa is in the midst of recovering from apartheid. Blacks were the minority and whites controlled the majority of wealth of the nation, the good jobs, and the government. At that time, blacks were below the poverty line, half were illiterate and they were denied adequate education and jobs. Nelson Mandela became the president, dismantled apartheid and brought the black majority to power. There is major conflict amongst the country’s ethnic groups because the whites are not accepting programs to equalize inequality.

Not only is South African blacks and whites in conflict amongst themselves, but there are also tensions regarding the large amount of immigrants fleeing to the country. Antiforeign attitudes, particularly against undocumented Black immigrants, are widespread, and violence against all immigrants is growing. (Dale, and Romo 458) It appears, in conclusion, that symbolic ethnicity will be around for the next few generations as people continue to assimilate and move toward a more individualistic than cultural view.

People in contemporary America are more interested in the feelings of belonging to an ethnic group but not having the responsibilities of the traditional behaviors. This will make the path of assimilation smoother for immigrant youth, because they will continue the relationships their families started, but also build better relationships with the host society paving their own ways to Americanization. Throughout this process, there will still be conflicts amongst the ethnic groups, as some will exude their racial and ethnic differences as opposed to working toward national unity.

Helen Palsgraf, Respondent, V. The Long Island Railroad Company Case Brief Analysis

The plaintiff, Helen Palsgraf, was on the platform station of Long Island Railroad Company. She had recently purchased her ticket and was waiting for her train. Suddenly, a man with a package attempted to board another departing train from the platform. As he jumped onto the train, he lost his balance and was on the verge of falling. A railroad guard on the train extended his arm to catch him while another individual on the platform pushed him from behind to aid in boarding.

During the incident, a package belonging to a man fell onto the railroad track and exploded. The package was wrapped in newspaper and contained fireworks. Tragically, Hellen Palsgraf suffered physical injuries from the explosion while standing at the opposite end of the platform. Consequently, Hellen (the plaintiff) decided to sue the company (the defendant), holding them accountable for negligence. Following a trial, the jury ultimately favored the plaintiff and issued a judgment.

The defendant filed an appeal, claiming that the plaintiff did not provide sufficient evidence to prove the negligence of the railroad company. Nevertheless, the appellate court affirmed the decision. Subsequently, the defendant appealed to New York’s highest state court, which ultimately reversed the judgment. The main issues at hand are as follows: 1. Did the actions of the railroad guard violate a legally protected interest or right (a wrongdoing) against the plaintiff? 2. Did the railroad guard fail in their duty of care towards the plaintiff while on the railroad platform?

3. Is the law of proximate cause applicable here to establish the defendant’s liability for negligence? Decision: 1. No, the actions of the railroad guard do not constitute a violation of a legally protected interest or right of the plaintiff, hence not amounting to negligence. 2. No, the railroad guard did not breach any duty of care towards the plaintiff, thereby ruling out negligence. 3. No, the law of proximate cause has no relevance in this specific situation, thereby relieving the defendant from liability regarding negligence.

Reasons for the railroad guard not being considered at fault or violating the plaintiff’s rights:

1. The defendant’s actions did not cause harm or pose a threat to the plaintiff. It was the man rushing to catch the train who was affected by the defendant’s actions.

2. The plaintiff needs to demonstrate that she herself was wronged, not someone else. Since the harm was not directed towards her, the company cannot be held liable for negligence.

3. Furthermore, the man was not injured or endangered; instead, the railroad guard’s actions were meant to protect him from falling.

In summary, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the company for damaging the package, which violated their property interest in ensuring its safety. This was the sole wrongdoing under consideration and it’s crucial to recognize that the plaintiff did not personally experience any harm. It is also important to note that negligence can only be legally pursued when it infringes upon a protected interest or violates a right. Merely proving negligence in an airborne situation is not enough. Furthermore, the railroad guard cannot be held accountable for any breach of duty towards the defendant since they were unaware of both the package’s existence and its contents (fireworks).

In addition, the package lacked any clear indication that it contained fireworks. It was entirely unsuspecting that the parcel, wrapped in newspaper, would cause destruction in the station. Had the railway guard known about the fireworks and failed to inform the plaintiff, it would have constituted negligence on his part and a breach of his duty of care.

The package did not display any indications or characteristics suggesting it contained fireworks, so the defendant was unaware of the explosives inside and did not inform the plaintiff about the potential damage when it fell. Consequently, the defendant’s failure to warn the plaintiff was unintentional and cannot be held liable for negligence. Therefore, as there was no negligence, establishing proximate cause becomes impossible.

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