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Comparison Between ‘To watch the faces of the poor’ and ‘Sounding Gender(s)’

Articles Comparison Between ‘To watch the faces of the poor’ and ‘Sounding Gender(s)’

Table of Contents

  • Summary
  • Compariosn
  • Conclusion
  • Works Cited

Summary

This paper gives a comparison of two articles which are “To watch the faces of the poor: Life magazine mythology of Rural Poverty in Great Depression” and “Sounding Gender(s): Vocal Performances in English University teaching spaces”. Although these two articles are different, but comparison have been made using higher level abstraction or topic which is “Identity”. Delph-Janiurek wrote “Sounding Gender(s): Vocal Performances in English University teaching spaces”. This article revolves around topics like voice, gender, social identity, geography and link between them. This Article explains the role of language and voices in the performance and capabilities of the gender identities. Cunningham wrote “To watch the faces of the poor: Life magazine mythology of Rural Poverty in Great Depression”. This article revolves around migrants, different groups in American society and great depression and its effects. Both articles are completely different with different writing styles, tones and information. However, the higher level abstraction which in this case is “Identity” is same for both these articles.

Comparison

Delph-Janiurek wrote “Sounding Gender(s): Vocal Performances in English University teaching spaces”. This article revolves around topics like voice, gender, social identity, geography and link between them. This Article explains the role of language and voices in the performance and capabilities of the gender identities. Author has used term “voice” in the context of socio-political-self-representation. Initially this article gives an overview of voice and relates it with the physiological. Article explains and describes how voice can be used to perform sexualized and gendered identities. Author has discussed the “voices” as discursive products. Furthermore, he explained how readings of voices are related with gender, sexuality and race. Author has highlighted the point that voices are performed and stylized in a greater manner than is usually assumed. It is also discussed that into-national variability is usually present in women’s voice and its impacts and effects. An interesting fact is mentioned which suggest that Margret Thatcher changed her vocal delivery, so she couldn’t be judged and viewed as a stereotypical woman. It is also mentioned that George Bush was trained to decrease his effeminate speech habits and body-language. In second part of article, author has linked the vocal performances in the English University teaching spaces. In universities and teaching institutes, students and teachers are subject to close surveillance. Students and instructors use their body postures and voices in negotiations. For this paper, author conducted interviews with 12 white undergrad students. Interviewees suggested that how different voices were evaluated in term of role of the speaker. Voices were also linked with the body language, attitude, teaching and approachability of an instructor. Author concluded that relation between voice and body is quite complex. Vocal performances hugely contribute to everyday interactional process of reproduction of teaching spaces. Author has used teaching spaces at English universities to show that voices have a specific geography and how voices may be authored in particular ways. (Janiurek)

Cunningham wrote “To watch the faces of the poor: Life magazine mythology of Rural Poverty in Great Depression”. In 1930s, severe dust storms severely damaged and disturbed the agriculture of America. Few of families who were affected by the dust storms migrated and they were called as Okies because they came from Oklahoma. This article revolves around these people, migrants and great depression. Article starts with the discussion about picture of a Farmer who was once mentioned as pioneer but later he was remembered as ex-tenant farmer who got relief grant in Imperial Valley, California. So as the title of this article suggest, it is related with the poverty. Author has explained how pioneer myth didn’t rule out poverty and how it helped to naturalize poverty in African Americans. Writer has mentioned the racist attitude of Life and how it portrayed African Americans as not fully humans. Life was also biased and radicalized towards the non whites. Life’s issue of July 19, 1937 was biggest example of their biased behavior. In this issue, Life presented “Scottsboro Boys”. Most importantly, African Americans were never represented as symbol of the American pioneer spirit. Moreover, Life created a clear distinction between whiter poor and African American poor. It is important to note that rural poor weren’t focus of attention of Life in 1930s because they advertisers have no interest in them. The mission of Life was to observe the faces of poor class, look at them from a distance and not to find and share a common perspective. Life used to present poverty as a problem for someone else but not middle class readers. Life gave sense of superiority to its readers because they were from middle class or aspires to be middle class. The Great Depression appeared as a threat to the economy, politics, big businesses and capital. The great depression seriously affected the myth of American Identity (e.g. pioneer identity).  At that time, US politics was very different than modern one. Unfortunately, Life was very biased and discriminative in its publication although it was a growing media house. However, poverty was big issue for whites as well who had skill. Life managed to create a representation of poor whites. (Cunningham)

Both these articles are different but their higher level abstraction is same. First article revolves around the identity of different groups of American Society in 1930s. Second article is based on vocal performances in English Universities. It also highlights the identity, geographic and other similar issues related with the voice and physical postures of an individual. First article is more based on the publications of “Life”. However, second article is based on a lot of research work by different people. Second article includes a lot of interview results as well. First article revolves around The Great Depression in America and its effects on different groups of American Society. However, second article is based on the vocal performances.

Conclusion

Both articles are on different topics but the main topic or higher-level abstraction is same. Cunning’s work revolves around the great depression and its effects on the rural poverty. Most of the article is based on the publications of “Life”. Author has efficiently mentioned the biased and discriminative behavior regarding to the publications of the “Life”. These publications were linked with the rural poverty. On the other hand, Delph Janiurek’s work is more kind of research related. He did a lot of research and found the impacts of vocals with respect to the English University Teaching Spaces.

Works Cited
  • Cunningham. ““To watch the faces of the poor: Life magazine mythology of Rural Poverty in Great Depression”.” n.d.
  • Janiurek, Delph. “”Sounding Gender(ed) : Vocal performance in English University Teaching Spaces”.” n.d.

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