Myths of the American Family

Myths of the American Family Discussion Board II: THE SEQUEL!

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In order to complete this board, you will need first to read the essays mentioned in the Road Map for the week!  Then answer the questions below thoroughly, demonstrating real thought as well as understanding of the articles’ content and ideas:

  1. Read the articles “The Color of Family Ties: Race, Class, Gender, and Extended Family Involvement” on page 44 of Rereading America, and the article “Quality Time, Redefined” (Links to an external site.) by Alex Williams.  Make sure you read it all…it’s a three page long article!!

PAGE 52-53:  Please answer #1, 2, 3, and 5.  For #5, you do NOT need to read the two other articles the question mentions.  Ignore that part, but since you read Gary Soto’s “Looking for Work” last week, please comment on that article.

About “Quality Time, Redefined”:

1. List the technological devices your family members use to access media.  Roughly how much time do they spend engaged with digital media?  If Williams visited your home, would he find your family living in a “cyber-coccoon”?

2. In your experience, does the presence of four screens in a room suggest that people are living in four largely separate realities?  Do you see any evidence that “technology has become an alien, and alienating, force in the contemporary home” (paragraph 22)?  Do you find the families profiled in the article extreme in their media consumption, or fairly typical?

3. Try one of these experiments:

a. Set specific time aside with friends or family to play an old fashioned board or card game like Monopoly, Clue, Risk, gin rummy, poker, etc. IN A GADGET FREE ZONE–no phones, iPods, TV, internet, radio, and so on.  Describe and reflect on the experience.  Was the time boring or fun?  Did you feel freed from gadgets, or itching to get back to them?  Did you suffer cell phone withdrawal?  Did you see any evidence that taking a break from technology might enhance interactions with friends and family?


b. Simply make one last final check of your texts, voicemail, social media, and so on, and then simply put your phone away someplace AND DO NOT CHECK IT FOR AS LONG AS YOU CAN.  Let your likes and repins and upvotes build up.  Don’t check your feeds.  Don’t worry about texts for as long as you can.  And so on.  Describe the experience…do you find that not bothering with your phone frees you up, or does it worry you to not constantly check?  How high or low are your anxiety levels?  What, if anything, are you afraid of missing or missing out on?  How long did you hold out against the temptation?  Reflect on what the link to your phone means, too…do you see being tethered to the device as being connected and in touch with reality, or do you find it to be a ball and chain of a type?

Remember, you need to make followup comments on others’ postings, as shown in the Road Map for the week.  Canvas will NOT remind you of this portion of working on the discussion board!

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