English Composition 121

Second Blog Post (Last Question)

In Hari’s Ted Talks, his research seeks to answer the following questions.

(1) what causes drug addiction?

(2) what is the best way to combat drug addiction?

Hari seeks to answer these questions as a result of his personal experience with drug addiction. Hari explains in his talk that many loved ones in his life have been drug addicts, and he even witnessed loved ones die from their drug addiction. Since many of his loved ones have had to combat drug addiction Hari wanted to know more about the condition that is drug addiction, and he answers these questions through his research which is presented to us in the form of an auto ethnography. Through his research he then concluded that the way we classify drug users and the way we deal with drug dealers is wrong. He shows us that drug usage is not an innate problem, but a problem caused by the person’s desire to cope with a bad situation. Hari reveals to us that the only way to really combat drug addiction is to better the lives of drug user, he proved this through various studies.

I also have many questions that have stemmed from my personal relationships with friends and family.

(1) What is ethnic identity?

My ethnicity has always been of wonder to me; not just what my parents tell me, but what do I say to friends? Growing up I always would ask my parents where my family was from, and they would just reply with that we were Jewish; a religion. As a result of this I always had the question of what nationality was since my parents seemed to think that religion was synonymous with ethnicity as a result of the fact that they identified more with their religious community than their ethnic group. I would write this project as an auto ethnography because I would like to answer it by exploring my discovery of the concept through personal experience. My auto ethnography would be in the form of a stream of consciousness.   first talking about my childhood, and how whenever I asked what my ethnicity was and my parents saying that I was Jewish, then going into when I found out what my ethnicity truly was. Finally, going through research that I have conducted/found to show how most people identify themselves. The research that I would present would be  interviews with people/family members, my personal experiences, and relevant psychological research if there is any. I would include this as research in order to show people the different ways identity can be established in the minds of people as well as how I identify myself.


(2) What does it mean to be Jewish?

I live in the south of Brooklyn with my Jewish family in a highly Jewish neighborhood; we have a kosher-style kitchen. we have to starve ourselves on Yom Kippur, and receive presents for eight days in a row on Chanukah; but being Jewish isn’t just that, because much like all religion, Judaism is based on a story of suffering and resilience. However, many people don’t know what Jewish people are like, and instead choose to believe stereotypes. The purpose of my project for this question would be to inform people of what Jewish people are like, and I would choose to complete this project in the form of an auto ethnography since I will be acheiving this through an exploration of the self.  I would start the auto ethnography by analyzing an encounter I had with a person who was stereotyping Jews, which occurred when I was in elementary school.  The boy would repeatedly call me a ‘dirty Jew”.  Then I’d analyze the stereotype using well-known info I’ve gathered. After that I’d use my personal experience as a Jew as well as interviews with other Jews to explore why these stereotypes are false. My research would include facts about the Jewish religion as well as interviews with family members other Jews. Through this auto ethnography a person would be able to see the real Jewish experience and why stereotypes about Jews are false.




(3) Does the time period you grew up in have an effect on your quality of life.

I have always wondered if the time period I was born in had an effect on my quality of life. I have mostly wondered this since my parents and grandparents have always said how different New York City was when they were younger, and I always wondered in what ways were their qualities of life affected. I was born in Brooklyn at the end of November of 1998; the age of technology, and the younger generations getting more active in changing politics.  I would answer this question in the form of an auto ethnography as well because I would like to explore this question through showing the reader my experience in the process of discovering the answer to this question. I would start off by recalling my parents’ and grandparents’ stories of how their lives were when they were younger and collect what their experiences were. Then I would collect data and perform interviews with people from all generations. I will try to answer using this, if the time in which you were born affects your quality of life? The research in the project would be the statistics I find related to quality of life in different time periods, as well as personal interviews with people of all age groups about how life was like when they were growing up. This research is very relevant since it will help me truly understand if/how the time period in which I grew up in affects my quality of life by using personal accounts as well as actual facts about the different time periods.

One thought on “Second Blog Post (Last Question)

  1. Dhipinder Walia

    Jonah, I’m impressed to see how far you’ve gotten in figuring out your autoethnography topic. It seems like Hari’s Ted Talks propelled you into really specific questions about ethnicity, identity, and family. In fact, all of your questions are related to one another– The overarching question is: What does it mean to be Jewish? And two ways you’re planning on answering this question is by exploring the relationship Jewish-ness has to ethnicity and the different experiences of Jewish people in your family. I don’t want to say much as you’ve got a clear sense of this– so keep writing! I look forward to seeing what comes next.

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