Outlining of the Paradigm Shift

Topic: Change in Marital Roles in the US in Relation to Gender Expectations

Why it’s important: Shift towards less strict standards of marriage allows for more acceptance of non-traditional roles of men and women, and of same-sex marriage. This also changes/ lessens strict gender roles.

Residual: Traditional Man/ Woman. Very specific roles, different for mother and father. Mother expected to cook, clean, take care of children. Father expected to provide for family financially. Father is the “breadwinner” Age at which people get married/ overall frequency of marriage. Very strict path of life, not as many options.

Dominant: General acceptance for gay marriage. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in June of 2015. Still, most marriages follow traditional model. Pew Research Study: in almost 6/10 marriages, both man and woman work outside the home. Husband has highest salary 67% of the time. “More than six-in-ten (62%) survey respondents endorse the modern marriage in which the husband and wife both work and both take care of the household and children; this is up from 48% in 1977”
People getting married at later ages/ less marriages in general. Evidence: “In 1960, two-thirds (68%) of all twenty-somethings were married. In 2008, just 26% were.” Cohabitation is poular.

Emergent: Kids seeing balance of duties between parents leads to a less rigidly gendered society. Children are no longer taught that it is a woman’s job to take care of house and kids, and father’s job to provide financial stability. With fewer gendered stereotypes, equality between men and women will be furthered. Emergent values and actions.

Sources: http://www.americanbar.org/publications/human_rights_magazine_home/human_rights_vol36_2009/summer2009/the_evolution_of_the_american_family.html

Chapter 2: Public Views on Changing Gender Roles

Social Media and Mental Health

In The Circle, there is an obvious transformation in Annie. In the beginning of the book, she was instantly my favorite character, as she was clever, witty, and down to earth. Her personality was easily felt and she seemed to lighten up any stressful situation for Mae. As Annie’s job became more and more demanding, however, this her playful side began to disappear. One instance in which her attitude changed was when she attempted to contact Mae, who was extremely busy and could not reach back, leading to Annie’s paranoid and almost angry response. The normally confident and joyful Annie was withering away at this point. As more time elapsed, Annie’s tasks become even more stressful, and she became a completely different person near the end of the novel. She completely lost herself – she was fully wrapped up in her work and her previously radiating personality was no longer felt. My prediction was that Annie was so overwhelmed, she would commit suicide. While this did not occur, Annie did have a type of break down, which the doctor describes as being caused by “stress, shock, or simple exhaustion” (495).

Annie’s transformation helped prove Eggers’ strong feelings against the overpowering presence of technology. One of The Circle’s most endorsed values, transparency, is not natural for humans. As seen in Annie, this is detrimental. Humans cannot cope with the amount of pressure having no privacy brings. It simply leads to people feeling like they need to be perfect constantly, since they are being watched 24/7. While Eggers’ way of straying people away from this is done through fiction, there are many real-life instances where this phenomenon of expecting perfection, but resulting in destruction is played out. Madison Holleran’s tragic downfall can be used as an example of this.

Madison was a freshman track athlete at the University of Pennsylvania. She was very focused on being successful in school and athletics, while maintaining a social life and enjoying her time in college. In seeing Madison’s Instagram pictures, one would never suspect she struggled severely to find a balance between these aspects of her life. Her online photos suggested she was a happy college student, as they solely encapture positive times of her life. Madison felt such an intense pressure to seem like she was excelling in all possible ways, and after an extremely difficult first semester at UPenn, she was overwhelmed with this expectation. During winter break, her family recalls Madison being very different from her usual self. They commented on Madison’s lack of smiling and laughing, which was very uncommon for a usually exceptionally cheerful person. Annie, the fictionalized character, entered a coma from being overwhelmed. Unfortunately, Madison took her own life as a result of the amount of stress from pressures to be perfect.

Annie and Madison’s stories are similar, and can be used to criticize online profiles. On top of dealing with track and the high demands of an Ivy League school, Madison felt the need to keep up with her social media sites as well, While faking happiness online may seem easy and harmless, it was likely very difficult for Madison to do. If it were more common to be “real” online, Madison would not have had to feign happiness through other means. This added pressure may have been the factor that led Madison to decide to cease living. If The Circle were a real company, there is no doubt that the suicide rate among employees would be high. in addition to doing their job, Circlers are required to maintain a high social presence and attend events frequently. This unnecessary added pressure to people’s already busy lives can lead to significant amounts of stress, which can develop into mental health disorders, leading humans over the edge.

The Unfortunate Emergency of The Circle

The Circle, as a company, has strictly emergent values. Everything they attempt to accomplish involves making advancements, in some way. The most recent way in which The Circle displays this is through Mae’s suggestion of making everyone have a TruYou account, under which any government services would be addressed. She believes that this would lead to “perfect democracy”, as citizens would be more inclined to vote, and lobbyists, polls, and possible even Congress would be eradicated. Circlers focus on looking ahead, but they find too many faults in emergent, or current systems. This leads to unnecessary creations, many of which have severe consequences.

While The Circle’s ideas are based on increasing justice and democracy, the ways in which they try to bring this about are destructive. One interaction that particularly made me cringe is when Annie and Mae speak to each other. Due to Mae’s audience, Annie uses her in order to advertise her new project, Past Perfect. Their interaction is completely fake and overly enthusiastic, considering the two are not on good terms. Due to Mae’s transparency, they feel as though they cannot attempt to improve their relationship, since this would display their problems to millions of people. Therefore, Mae and Annie avoid the issue altogether. When Annie speaks to Mae, Eggers writes that she is “looking at Mae, but utterly through her” (411). This line saddened me, because neither Mae nor Annie cares enough about the other to be honest and genuine. They are overly wrapped up in their projects, that they value their work life over personal relationships. This is an example of a severely negative consequence that comes with The Circle’s obsession with shifting to a transparent society.

As mentioned in class, some residual members of The Circle include Mercer and Mae’s parents. These characters see the precious value in having privacy. In contrast, Mae, who holds strongly emergent views on technology, sees no danger in The Circle’s mission of having complete transparency. Thus, she endorses such objectives, pushing Mercer and even her own parents away. While Mae does not care that Mercer is completely opposed to her ideals, she also does not seem to be bothered or concerned by the fact that she has not spoken to her family in weeks. Mae is completely wrapped up in her life at The Circle, that she drops her closest friends (Annie), as well as her family, in order to preach messages of the evils of privacy.

While other characters stay relatively secure in their positions, and do not display a paradigm shift themselves, Mae stands out in this case. Towards the beginning of the novel, when Mae first begins to work for The Circle, she is overwhelmed by the amount of social duties required as part of her job. Rightly so, she does not see the value in constantly posting about everything she does. For instance, when Mae goes kayaking and one of her superiors discovers she did not include this online, he sees her as being selfish. At this point, Mae is still questioning the values of The Circle. Shortly after, however, Mae begins to endorse her company’s ideals. This can be seen when she stays up at night, trying to boost her online social ranking, when she is no longer uncomfortable with some of The Circle’s practices, and when she begins to support full transparency, and the “completing” of The Circle. A clear paradigm shift from having dominant, or current ideologies, to emergent ones, is thus seen in Mae.

Humans of New York Rhetorical Analysis

Each day, we see hundreds of strangers. Rarely do we think twice about a passing face. There is the occasional person, however, who stands out from everyone else. The one who strikes you differently, and whose story you wish to hear. Unfortunately, it is not exactly socially acceptable to approach a stranger and express this desire. ‘Humans of New York’, a photography blog and Facebook page, by Brandon Stanton, looks past these ideals, embracing his own curiosity, as well as others’ greatest life struggles and victories. In taking strangers’ photos and having conversations with them on the streets of New York City, commonplaces and ideologies are challenged. By using rhetorical appeals for a global, internet-based audience, Stanton encourages diversity, acceptance of others, originality, and creativity.

Many people dream of quitting their uninteresting job to experience their true ambitions instead. Stanton was fired from his mundane job, leading him to pursue his genuine interests. After getting laid off, he moved to New York City with no money, but with an ambition of taking 10,000 portraits (‘Humans Of New York’ Creator Explains How He Gets Strangers To Open Up). Brandon Stanton’s original project was to simply take strangers’ pictures in New York City, and upload them to his blog. His vision changed, as he began to interview strangers in addition to taking their pictures, and posting both online, creating his blog “Humans of New York” (HONY). The combination of strangers’ portraits and their most euphoric, sober, or intense moments, led HONY’s online follower count to soar to seven million, adding to the blog’s logos. His work is a reflection of the encouragement to pursue one’s individual goals. Few people truly and wholeheartedly attempt to achieve their goals, since it involves a high potential for failure. As seen by his actions taken to create HONY, Stanton challenges the commonplace of resisting the pursuit of one’s passions, encouraging his audience to create their own definitions of success.

today-in-microCaptioned “Today in microfashion…”

As Stanton’s Facebook followers grew, so did his business opportunities. He took his high-influence platform, and used it to express his political concerns; both by interviewing Hillary Clinton, and making a post entirely dedicated to opposing Donald Trump. By using his online popularity to touch on politics, Stanton displays political involvement as a civic duty. The stories of strangers within ‘Humans of New York’ are the focus of Brandon’s blog, and each post is highly valuable. However, Stanton’s own story is also significant, as it reveals messages he exhorts in his photographs. In examining Stanton’s career choices, it is clear that he is a proponent of challenging ideologies, and being involved in political contexts.

Stanton’s inspirational background advocates originality, taking risks, and being politically involved. His blog further reinforces these messages. Most people photographed and interviewed on HONY are on it because they are different, in some way. Whether one dresses in a peculiar fashion, or has a distinct story, these are the people Stanton looks to approach on the streets. For instance, a very popular post, with nearly 100,000 likes on Facebook, shows an Arabic woman who expresses her feelings on being foreign in America. The photo is a very simple portrait of the woman in her hijab, and the interview is similarly concise. The woman expresses her indifference towards those who stare at her, as she is confident in her diversity. This post is extremely powerful because it can be applied to anyone who feels foreign, in any way. In having possible applications to a wide variety of people, in multiple contexts, HONY’s appeal is heightened. It is a strong example of Stanton’s mission in HONY, which is to convince people to unapologetically embrace their differences. In including people of different ethnicities, backgrounds, ages, and economic statuses, Stanton proves the civic duty of New Yorkers, as well as others in a broader context, to cherish their culture and originality.

surprise“What surprised you most about America?”
“People don’t stare as much as I thought they would. But even if they do stare, that means you’re doing something different. And that’s a good thing, right?”

More importantly than embracing each other’s originality, Stanton calls for citizens to recognize people’s humanity. “Humans of New York” encapsulates all humans. Many times, Stanton interviews the homeless, disabled, or simply people with strikingly dreary stories. These posts include high emotional appeals, and they frequently bring out compassion in HONY followers, as seen in the majority of their comments. For instance, one post shows a homeless man, who speaks on the tragic death of his wife and daughter. The man shares his deep feelings of remorse for resorting to drugs as a coping mechanism following the adversity he faced. While his story is quite intense, many people can relate to this in different ways, even if they have not faced such terrible events. Sadness is universal, and thus a specific post of one man’s story can have a large international appeal. Stanton publishes such accounts to remind his audience of the similarities everyday people have with the less fortunate. In reading such raw stories, followers of HONY are impacted. Whether they are more thankful for their privileges, or reminded of certain personal situations, Stanton’s posts are packed with pathos, and they never fail to lead readers to reflect on their lives.

On the surface, “Humans of New York” may appear to be a plain blog with pictures of random people in New York City. However, when exploring Brandon Stanton’s incentives in creating such a production, the blog goes much beyond simple pictures and interviews of strangers. Stanton’s individual story proves this. He demonstrates the importance of setting one’s own standards of success, as well as being authentic and goal-oriented. His messages are further seen in his blog posts, in which physically different people are typically photographed. HONY calls Citizens to question commonplaces and be politically involved. Lastly, through HONY’s use of pathos, logos, and raw human emotion, Stanton facilitates the attraction of a global audience.

Works Cited

“Humans of New York | Facebook.” Humans of New York | Facebook. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2016.

“In 10,000 Snaps Of The Shutter, A ‘Photographic Census’ Of A City.” NPR, n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2016.

Kornowski, Liat. “‘Humans Of New York’ Creator Explains How He Gets Strangers To Open Up.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2016.

The Circle/ Revenge Porn

While The Circle is a very entertaining read, it lacks real-world accuracy in many ways. For instance, when Francis records her and Mae having sex, Mae does not mention the law or the police once. Similarly, when Mae walks in on her parents, there is no talk about the legality of being fully transparent, and its issues regarding others’ privacy. Danielle Keats Citron and May Anne Frank have collected research on the effects of a phenomenon called ‘revenge porn’, or the posting of someone else’s inappropriate pictures without their consent, on porn sites. The “revenge” side is typically due to the victim unwilling to do something for the one who posts the pictures, or it is simply an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend seeking vengeance. Revenge porn has been argued frequently. Some believe that it should not be criminalized, as that would infringe upon free speech. Others focus on the victim’s struggles to receive employment, as well as the effects it has on the victim’s personal relationships, to argue for the criminalization of revenge porn.

In Mae’s case in which Francis is recording them without her knowledge, his reasoning is linked to The Circle’s obsession with sharing absolutely everything, and the belief that “privacy is theft”. While Francis does not directly post the video anywhere, it is stored in ‘the Cloud’, which makes Mae extremely uncomfortable. Eggers uses this situation to further prove the flaws in over-sharing. Furthermore, Mae being fully transparent does not allow her to discuss this with anyone. While Mae did put herself in this situation, the effects it has on her is enough proof that revenge porn should be criminalized.

Mae’s situation is fictional. Therefore, it cannot be fully analyzed in a legal sense. Citron and Frank’s article mentions the victims’ rates of suicide (half the victims considering suicide), as well as the potential harm from strangers who may have information on where the victim lives. This made me think of Amanda Todd, who was a fifteen year-old girl, and a victim of revenge porn. Her perpetrator had an inappropriate picture of her, and he used this picture to blackmail and threaten her. When this picture was released online, Amanda faced severe cyberbullying, as well as physical attacks at her school. The bullying had severe effects on Amanda, who became depressed, and could no longer cope with her pain, leading her to commit suicide. Amanda’s case proves the extensive effects that revenge porn has on victims. While not all victims have such terrible effects from revenge porn, it is likely that victims will struggle in finding a job. Upon conducting research, Citron and Frank found that employers conduct online searches 80% of the time, and that nearly 70% of the time, they do not hire a potential employee based on their findings. Furthermore, the shame felt by victims, especially when a family member or friend becomes aware of the images, is much too intense.

The Perfect Amount of Online Presence

It has become a common habit to base our opinions of others on their social media profiles and presence. How one presents themselves on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram is regarded as highly important nowadays. However, some people view social media as senseless, and thus choose to have very little or no online presence. Those who retract from using social media, unfortunately can face social rejection, judgment, and even slight isolation. Eggers shows different sides of these effects in The Circle through Mae’s relationship with Mercer, Francis, and Kalden. Mae’s three potential romantic interests are all very distinct, and they are used to depict Mae’s growing obsession with the online world.

Mae’s relationship with Mercer displays her frustrations with people who are not accustomed to technology. Mercer is Mae’s ex-boyfriend from college, who lives in the same town they grew up in, and is extremely opposed to many of The Circle’s objectives. As Mae’s career at The Circle develops, she is more and more disgusted with Mercer’s lack of knowledge on technology. She sees Mercer as being anti-social, while he claims that many technological advances interfere with face-to-face communication and they “manufacture unnaturally extreme social needs” (134). An interesting aspect of the bitterness growing between the two characters is that Mae begins to find Mercer physically unattractive and she notices his flaws the more she becomes obsessed with technology. This relates to the discussion on reddit regarding the initially flirty girl’s significant change in interest upon discovering the man’s lack of social media profiles. When the man tells her that he does not have a Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, the girl is taken aback and her attraction seems so fade almost instantly. This is very similar to how Mae reacts to Mercer being so strongly against social media.

Francis, another one of Mae’s romantic interests, is very unlike Mercer. Francis has a high status at The Circle and he is extremely in favor of using and expanding technology. He is a very awkward person, and the reader is led to wonder why Mae is even attracted to him. Possible explanations for her interest in Francis are that he, unlike Mercer, is an open book. This is very refreshing to her, as all of his information is laid out and available to find online. While Mae shows interest in Francis, it is clear that she does not like him naturally. She wants to connect with hum, but this is simply not the case. In Mae and Francis’ relationship, Eggers may be hinting that being overly predictable from revealing online profiles is not an ideal way to get to know someone.

Mae’s third romantic relationship is with Kalden. Kalden, unlike Francis, is very mysterious. He intrigues and challenges Mae, who describes him as “different, atonal, and strange, but not unpleasant” (95). Kalden stands out at The Circle, because he acts very real, and is not overly nice, as many of Mae’s coworkers are. Part of Mae’s fascination with Kalden is that she cannot locate him online, and is even unsure what his position is at The Circle. Therefore, Mae feels the need to hunt him down online, and consequently, her interest in him pervades. In depicting Mae’s relationships with three completely different men, Eggers is able to show that an overwhelming presence online is deteriorating, but that being entirely disconnected from technology and social media is no longer accepted. In regards to the man who made the post on reddit, Eggers would likely suggest him to have some presence online, but not to be an open book, like Francis.

All that Happens Must NOT be Known

SeeChange is a program built upon good intentions. Eamon, the creator of SeeChange, wants to perfect global security by placing cameras throughout the world. He claims the results of this would be a drastic reduction of crime rates, and an increase of criminals’ accountability for their misconduct. The methods with which Eamon wants to achieve this, however, are detrimental to basic human rights, such as privacy and personal choice.

In his speech introducing SeeChange, Eamon asks the audience “Who would commit a crime knowing they might be watched any time, anywhere?” (67). While this is a valuable point, complete transparency would bring about other major issues, which are comparable to murder and robbery.

Humans need privacy. When one has little to no privacy, their minds slowly begin to deteriorate. People naturally worry about being judged, and they spend much time thinking about how to gain others’ approval. This preoccupation, which already consumes human’s thoughts, would be further immersed in our minds if we were constantly being watched. An example of this in The Circle can be seen through Mae, who is convinced to go “fully transparent” later on in the novel. At first, she fully believes in the value of omniscience. However, as more time goes by, Mae begins to feel trapped, and clearly struggles to cope with being watching by millions for the majority of her day. Frequently, when Mae has time to herself, she feels as a tear forming inside of her, accompanied by a sound. She describes this sound as a “scream muffled by fathomless waters…” (378). Clearly, Mae does not cope well with this complete lack of privacy. And neither would any other human being, since it goes against our basic need of having some secrecy.

Another vital aspect of Eamon’s vision for SeeChange is the expansion of The Circle, as a company. In placing cameras throughout the world, the company is able to acquire possibly vital information, making them a remarkably powerful group. In Eamon’s presentation, he shows multiple screens of cameras placed in different areas. He displays angles from mountains in Tahoe, a protest in Cairo, and several other locations. Immediately after, he argues for human rights. The irony in this is clear. Eamon’s entire goal through SeeChange is to encourage fairness and accountability among humans. However, he is completely going against these values by invading others’ privacy and secretly placing hidden cameras in different locations.

Eamon’s convincing way of speaking is another way in which he is able to persuade his audience of SeeChange’s efficacy. When describing the camera’s impressive model, as well as its functions, The Circle workers are immediately drawn in. After describing the thumb-size of the camera, its two-year lasting battery, and its durability, the workers are amazed, and they applaud and cheer. As humans, we are constantly attempting to do more, to improve upon present norms, and to find ways to modify outdated systems. However, at times, the current way of doing has reached its peak and nothing more needs to be done or changed. While this may be difficult for humans to accept, it is crucial, as it prevents mistakes from being made. SeeChange’s high-tech qualities are extremely appealing. Unfortunately, people become absorbed in the luxury of items and thus become ignorant to any negative effects it may bring about. Allowing all information to be seen, without any sense of confidence, comes with many dangers. The Circle’s workers would likely realize that if they were not overly concerned with changing systems that do not need to be modified.

Civic Artifact Speech Outline


Hook: How many of you have thrown a piece of trash on the ground, thinking no one would notice? Would you have done the same if others were present, and completely unafraid to call you out on it? What about if an ad did this instead?

My artifact: 2014 “Live Green Toronto” campaign’s anti-littering ad. These ads contain insults spelled out from food wrappers (litter)

Thesis: While Canadians are typically known for being polite and peaceful, they are sure to be extremely direct when it comes to protecting their environment. This unexpected frankness, along with the guilt-inciting aspect of the ad, and its important messages, allow for the ad’s success.

 Intended/ Expected audience from the Live Green Toronto ad: Citizens of Toronto. Unintended: Worldwide attention/ strong spread in media

Why/ Messages: 
Basic (on the surface) Message: Do not litter/ throw trash away

Deeper Message: Be a mindful, caring, aware citizen.


General ways to be a good citizen in most societies:

~Have respect for your community/ the people in it
~Be informed on issues affecting your community
~Be aware of your actions and behaviors
~Follow laws
~Set a proper example for others
~Be mindful of environment

All these qualities can be linked to anti-littering. While this ad seems very specific and central to keeping the environment clean, it is actually connected to many other aspects of proper citizenship. This also shows how similar citizen’s expectations are in other countries.

Rhetorical Appeal:

Along with calling for superior civic engagement, the ad convinces its audience through its emotional appeal. Part of being a good citizen consists of taking care of one’s community and setting proper habits for one’s self and others. The ad includes pathos by insulting litterers. At the bottom right of every ad, the words “Littering says a lot about you” appear. This ignores all other qualities one may have, and reduces people to simple negative adjectives. It encourages its citizens to be mindful of their actions by shaming people who litter.

Another aspect of pathos is that all of the foods on the ads are junk foods or very sugary foods. The campaign’s choice to use junk food wrappers further enforces the insults on litterers, making them feel even more guilty for their food choices. In a way, the ad also encourages citizens to steer away from unhealthy, heavily processed foods.

The ethos of this ad comes from the general understanding that littering is bad. Taking care of one’s environment is strongly encouraged in most countries. This shared international ideology is one of the reasons the ad received a considerable amount of attention. While the ad is extremely simple, it achieves its purpose through its humorous and relatable content.

Logos: On the surface, this ad does not seem to have much of a logical appeal. However, the thought behind it is quite clever, especially from a marketing perspective. This ad is much more effective than the typical “no littering, $500 fine” sign because it grabs people’s attention. The marketing strategies’ success are proven by the significant amount of attention it received online- For instance, 130,000 notes on Tumblr in less than a day (“Toronto wins big, 2014).

Live Green Toronto’s ad is able to grasp the attention of many. The ad’s call to a greater responsibility from citizens applies not only to Canadians, but to humans all around the world. Through its unique use of language, generation of guilt, and applicable international context, these posters persuade people into making greater environmental decisions. Do not be a dumb, lazy, selfish, low life pig. Throw your trash away!

Fears of Civic Artifact Assignment

I have a few concerns regarding this assignment. Firstly, public speaking is not my strength. When presenting something in front of the class, I tend to speak too fast or too slowly. It is hard for me to simply talk and I also often forget some of the components of my presentation- not because I haven’t sufficiently prepared for it, but more so due to mental blocks. For this assignment, I worry that I will not have enough to talk about. To extend my speech, I will try to go into more depth on certain aspects of the Ad, especially its context.