Mary Louise Pratt Research Paper Tailgates Essay

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Tailgates as a Cultural Contact Zone

& # 8220 ; Humanistic disciplines of the Contact Zone & # 8221 ; by Mary Louise Pratt is an article that talks about how critical and history-making it is when different civilizations run into for the first clip - Mary Louise Pratt Research Paper Tailgates Essay introduction. She describes this minute with her coined phrase, the & # 8220 ; reach zone & # 8221 ; . She gives the perfect illustration of when the Andeans, who were native Peruvians, were encountered by the Spanish. Even though my experiences in life can non compare with those of Andeans, this illustration prompted me to believe back to my personal experiences which took topographic point in such an environment. This & # 8220 ; reach zone & # 8221 ; , as Mary Louise Pratt puts it, is & # 8221 ; the infinite in which peoples geographically and historically separated semen into contact with each other and set up dealingss, normally affecting coercion, extremist inequality, and intractable struggle & # 8221 ; ( 527 ) . In my ain reading, the & # 8220 ; reach zone & # 8221 ; is a topographic point or minute in clip when two different civilizations are forced to interact with each other for the first clip. Throughout my life I have had experiences of this nature. My frequent traveling about has enabled me to interact with many different civilizations. Though my experiences may non hold been to such an utmost, such as the illustration given by Pratt, I still see them to be occasions in my life where I was put in the & # 8220 ; contact zone. & # 8221 ;

Before I talk about my personal experiences, I would foremost wish to speak a small spot about my cultural individuality. I am a male Latino, Born of a Peruvian female parent and Puerto Rican male parent. Many people may believe that all Spanish speech production states portion the same civilization, but this is untrue. There is a immense difference between, for illustration, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans. They speak Spanish otherwise than each other. They eat different nutrients and have different music. There is nil I hate more so when I am assumed to be from a certain state. Ask me and I will state you my background. I have had to follow civilization from both sides of my household, along with American civilization. I prefer eating rice and beans over pasta with sauce that has no gustatory sensation. I prefer listening to knap or salsa over alternate music. I may talk a small otherwise than others. I don & # 8217 ; Ts like to imbibe and do a sap of myself on the hill. I would instead watch New York Undercover than Melrose Place. My manner of vesture may be a small different as good. All these personality traits are what I consider to be portion of non merely my individualism, but besides my cultural individuality.

Throughout my life, differences in cultural individualities have put me in the & # 8220 ; reach zone & # 8221 ; , the most recent being here at Lehigh University. Before coming here to Lehigh University, I had ne’er seen so many white people. The one minute that sticks out the most is walking through the crowd of tailgaters at Lehigh & # 8217 ; s football games this twelvemonth. I had ne’er seen so many people of one race gathered together. & # 8220 ; Damn & # 8221 ; , I said to myself, & # 8220 ; Look at all them white folks. & # 8221 ; I got huffy when I saw them all. I was non huffy at them ; I wa

s mad at the fact that my race was non represented in those Numberss.

On this twenty-four hours I was walking with a black friend of mine and from what I could see, we were the lone minorities in the whole crowd. I truly did non cognize what to anticipate from the experience. Even though I had a preconceived impression of how Whites acted in a large group, I was non prepared for the event. To add to my astonishment, most of the crowd of at least two 1000, had beers in their custodies, but yet the event was peaceable. It is sad to state, but if this were a crowd of Hispanics and Blacks, I earnestly doubt that there would be that much peace. Why, I truly do non cognize.

I consider two minorities being in the center of a crowd of white people a & # 8220 ; reach zone & # 8221 ; because I chose to interact with a race that I normally had non. I wanted to see first manus what the white race enjoyed making. Though I do non imbibe and make non wish to run and skid across a wet slippery mat in lone my drawerss in the cold, I was still able to experience an interaction taking topographic point, even though this interaction was nil more than me merely detecting and possibly stating a few word here and at that place. I saw what they ate and what they drank, I listened to the music they liked, and I looked at what they wore, and what they wore arose the inquiry in my head, & # 8220 ; Do white people get cold? & # 8221 ;

There was no struggle involved and their was no grounds of inequality. It was a peaceable brush that I chose to profit from. I was non pushed off by the crowd, but at the same clip I was non truly made welcome.

After walking through the whole crowd, we saw that the U-house had a small set-up off from the large crowd. The Umoja House is a particular involvement house that has been established to promote a sense of integrity and pride among Afro-american and Hispanic/Latino pupils. It is a house where pupils can concentrate on bettering their academic standing, voice thoughts, and socialise in a common cultural scene. They chose to divide themselves from everybody else. When I walked over to them, I was welcomed. They offered me imbibe and nutrient. Even though I did non cognize anybody, I did non experience uncomfortable.

Looking back at my behaviour, I feel I could of made a better effort at truly interacting with all the people at tailboards. I should hold tried to get down conversations with people so that I could larn what the were similar, non merely in the outside, but on the interior every bit good. I made unjust opinions of them based purely on what I saw. However, what I felt while walking through the crowd was a consequence of myself being different.

To the readers of this paper, delight understand that I am non seeking to state that white people here at Lehigh are rummies or that they are racist or that I am racist. I am seeking to do a point that even though all Americans have their common values and traits and all people have different backgrounds, those of different races have undeniably different civilizations than those who are non of the same race.

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