In our essay we have examined the differences between a Swedish subculture, the bohemian subculture, and the typical Swedish culture. We have done this with the support of a bohemian Swede and our own knowledge about the Swedish culture, with a support from literature that covers these cultures. In our essay we’ve looked into culture and subculture, how they work, how they are built, which components we can find in these. There are central and periphery values in these cultures that are important for our understanding of them. When you are writing about culture and their values and beliefs there is a risk of generalization and subjectivity but we have tried to remain objective and neutral to the subject as possible.
The bohemian subculture
The Swedish bohemian subculture has certain demands on their members. These demands are to be artistic, creative and to be judgmental to the society and its framework. The Swedish bohemian are more functional in comparison to more “hard-core bohemians”. In a culture you can see four things that define a culture, beliefs, values, norms and social beliefs. The beliefs that we have identified are a humanistic view of the human kind. The values that are portrayed are that the view of people should be free and human rights are important. The environmental view of life is the norms of the group, take the train instead of flying for example. The social beliefs discuss the capitalistic views of life and the bohemians express a disguise for the behavior when you spend thousands on something that are unnecessary.
The typical Swedish culture
Beliefs of the Swedish culture that we have identified are about the pressure of producing something in your life that is worth something. Sweden used to be a religious country, but nowadays the religious beliefs are secondary. Equality between all people, female and male, foreigner or domestic are a good way of defining what values the typical Swede believes in. The biggest norm, that connects to beliefs, are individuality. Each man are expected to live on his own to reach a independency from the state, society, work and family, in Sweden it is for example very unusual that an elder lives with his family, usually the elder lives in a retirement home instead. The social beliefs that we have identified are shortly about time. To be on time and respecting other peoples times are something that are very important. Are you late, then you are rude to the person waiting for you.
This comparison was very interesting when we realized that the two cultures affect each other and that the Swedish culture is always changing and evolving with the society’s changes.
We were so pleased to see the partnership between Orebro University (Sweden), Stanford University (U.S.A), and the Khabarovsk State Academy of Economics and Law (Russia) in the news this week. It’s great to see this cross-institutional collaboration, innovation, and hard work recognized! See some of the blogposts related to this exchange by searching CCR exchange: Stanford-Orebro-Khabarovsk on our blog categories. For a more specific look at a student exchange about IKEA, follow the Orebro-Khabarovsk link.
Addressing Racial Diversity in a Writing Center: Stories and Lessons from Two Beginners by Nancy Barron and Nancy Grimm uses a combination of personal anecdotes and stories to convey the importance of race and diversity issues in writing situations. I believe that this article makes a very crucial point that a sort of colorblind writing environment may not exist yet and may not be beneficial to a writing center.
Although I have only been at Stanford for a year, I have already felt a push from my instructors and peers to share my opinions somewhat drenched with my personal, cultural, and ethnic experience. I believe that those personal experiences have enriched my writing at the university so far. As a writing tutor in-training, I believe that there is a certain beauty that manifests in a students writing that takes their unique backgrounds into consideration.
I understood the safety in anonymity and fear and exposure expressed In the first story about the African American woman who did not want to submit her piece. That just proves how important it is to establish that the writing center is a safe and open space for students to express their ideas without fear of judgement.
I believe that this article had an important teaching opportunity that was not fully realized. I wonder how often situations arise where a student is afraid to share their opinions when race is involved? I was hoping to gain insight into different techniques on how a tutor should approach said situation. I understand, however, that many of these situations may have to be dealt with on a case by case basis.
Oriekose Idah Stanford University ’15
Reading this article by Barron and Grimm made me very aware that I will not only be a writing tutor next year, but also a staff member as a resident writing tutor in a freshman dorm. Certainly I do not have the same responsibility to address such issues as race as do the resident assistants, but as a staff member I realize that I must no doubt keep such issues in mind as I approach my role as a staff member.
In this article I recalled a conversation I had with my friend who will be a resident assistant next year. He spoke of the simultaneous profundity and heaviness he experienced when the RA class turned to the topic of race as an important component of student experience. I recall him telling me about students who felt they couldn’t say certain things because of their race, or students who felt they couldn’t relate to others or depend on others because of their race. It was quite a moving conversation and important for me personally as a future residential staff member.
However, in terms of its direct role on my tutoring, I was unsure of its impact. The article did not provide much advice in the way of addressing or acknowledging race in terms of tutoring writing. I would be interested to hear what the authors would advise with regards to how one should approach this cultural topic: what strategies we as tutors may employ and what ideas we may keep in mind, much in the same vein as the ESL tutoring article the week before.
Bryce Bajar, Class of 2014, Stanford University.
Doucette’s experience tutoring the medical school student is an incredibly powerful moment and leaves me with much to question. In that moment, a simple question was able to spark discussion and then change the perspective of both tutor and tutee. The author of the piece left the center with a new lens to view her issue and her paper. Doucette was in the distinct role of being a tutor who was well versed in some of the issues the tutee presented in the piece of writing. While he admits he had not viewed this problem through this lens, he was still able to provide some insight on the topic that lead to the end discourse.
However, not all tutors are going to have the previous knowledge that Doucette did into the intricacies of such a delicate topic. From this front, I am very interested in learning more about what he recommend a tutor do. In this class, we have read many pieces and techniques about how to tutor when the tutor is not the expert in the field. Most of the advice on this front has come from staying true to general principles of writing: focusing on general sentence structure and composition as well as broader concepts. Some authors have also stressed asking a lot of questions at the beginning of the piece so the tutor may learn more about the topic and the piece.
While all of these do seem effective, it would still be great to hear from Doucette on what questions he feels have been the most effective and other tips on how t handle this moment.. Without the right questions or the right setup to the meeting, it would be incredibly challenging to get at the heart of the issue behind the writing. I really enjoyed this piece because it challenged me to think about the questions I would ask in a similar setting. How would I broach a sensitive topic if I wasn’t too well informed on the manner but was still asked to tutor. In the paper Doucette was given, it seems that most of the writing is sound in the first place. I think in many ways this made the session easier. Regardless though, asking questions seems to be the best policy to try and further develop the learning experience for both the tutor and tutee. It is only through asking that we can really make Doucette’s wish true and make the writing center a safe and open space.
Doucette, Jonathan. “Composing Queers: The Subversive Potential of the Writing Center.” Young Scholars in Writing 9 (2011): 5-15. Web. 15 May 2012. <https://coursework.stanford.edu/access/content/group/Sp12-PWR-195-01/Doucette-Composing%20Queers.pdf>.