ideas, review

a book review: economic cultures beyond Wall Street

Regardless of whether you care about the business or finance world or not (maybe you think giant American corporations are so distant from my life), let’s see why you would be interested in reading this essay.

'Our company motto is 'Think globally, but stay the hell in your own cubicle if you know what's good for you'!'

Ho’s book Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street (2009) is not just about the game of bankers played out on business journals every day. Despite the fact that you may be less attuned to industries other than your own, this review uses Liquidated as a springboard to further explore the diversity and commonality of the humanity who interact in a shared space in different cultural spheres. In this book, the corporate culture of Wall Street is where ordinary people holding successful positions make a huge impact on American society and the globalized world. And there are certain similarities that can be drawn from case studies in other parts of the world with economic phenomena less organized or represented than the American corporate finance market, from which the universal and particular economic behaviors are justified in different cultural contexts. Although the maximization of profits is considered a key to explaining economic behavior
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ideas, review

Personhood in the Ghost Drama of Strindberg and Yuan Opera

The early 20th century Swedish society experienced a wave of Antirealist, supernatural and Expressionist practices in literature and theater. August Strindberg, inspired by new philosophies of Freud and Swedenborg, explored themes of human sufferings by means of dreams and fantasy. I chose A Dream Play and Ghost Sonata to analyze his depictions of protagonists who endure human sufferings and recognize the human world as a tragic hell-like space.
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ideas

Belief Economy in the Chinese Religious Market

Rationality in the economic sense focuses on the utilitarian value of choice-making, but in the economic aspect of the Chinese religious market, belief-driven activities should be evaluated in an alternative framework of spiritual capital that entails more than rationality in the practical sense (Berger & Hefner, 2003). The following analysis of different religious activities in China will hopefully delineate how commercial practices are inseparable from spiritual reasoning.
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review

a book review: Friction

Tsing’s Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection is a book that addresses concerns about the negative impact of the universal trend of globalization, specifically in the case of the historical development of capitalist model in Kalimantan, West Indonesia, since the 1980s. Tsing seeks to provide a “patchwork ethnographic fieldwork” (Tsing, 2005: x) which frame her research on the different yet combined forces within global networks. Tsing chooses ethnography writing despite the challenges to put together narratives of conflicting issues. Through ethnographic fieldwork, she presents us a picture of different interest groups’ reactions and influences on issues with regard to a localized version of global connections.
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review

Floating Population in Chinese Independent Cinema: Last Train Home and 24 City

Addressing the problem of China’s floating population, two documentaries: Fan Lixin’s Last Train Home (2009) and Jia Zhangke’s 24 City (2009), which were made independently from the state-controlled production system, are important records of individual struggles in the process of contemporary Chinese economic reform. The characters in the two films belong to different historical periods of “floating population” in China, where the people embody repressed individuality driven by a geographic mobility that does not guarantee a good life despite the state promise of better opportunities and social harmony. Different stories and techniques are used in the two films: Last Train Home is an observational documentary tracing the train journeys of one family; 24 City is a semi-fictionalized documentary constituting real and staged interviews regarding the breakdown of the military enterprise 420 Factory. Both films are examples of how independent cinema goes beyond the limitation of mainstream representations to shed light on the underrepresented history of marginal Chinese working class.
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review

a case of racial segregation: Black Advertisements Today

In Grady’s article (2015), advertisements containing black people from the Life magazine (1936-2000) were drawn as examples of commercial practices in mass media that embody connotations and changes with regard to black people’s social roles and relations to whites in history (+Ad). In the film Ethnic Notions, stereotypical depictions of African Americans in different stages in American black history are shown to exemplify the entrenchment of racial segregation institutionally and culturally. In response, this assignment analyzes images of black people in contemporary advertisements to see if the social rules in the aforementioned materials that define blackness and their standing in society still apply today.
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review

a theater review: Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole debut on Thursday, November 12 with an all-student cast was a great production about a family’s nine-month struggle over the passing of their son set inside their house. Becca (Courtney Rogue) and Howie (Ben Sarat) lost their 5-year-old son Danny knocked down by Jason (Jose Disla)’s car. Through the interaction among family members, also including Nat (Siara), Becca’s mom, and Izzy (Ebony), Becca’s younger sister, audiences were able to see how the family goes from disagreements to harmony in a very detailed changing stage setup.
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