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ruth handler Domestication

The beginning of human and animal interaction has been triggered by the progress of technology. Animals have been utilized for work, recreation, companionship as well as medical and scientific projects. Why are there so many different kinds of domesticated animal species suited for captivity? Many pets, such as different dog and livestock breeds, were bred to fulfill different purposes for human needs. The process of selective breeding of animals was at first unintentional and probably unobserved. For example, large, aggressive, and big-horned bulls were probably too dangerous to keep around and so did not survive to reproduce these characteristics. Thus, over time, early farmers unknowingly altered the genetic make-up of the life forms they most relied on.
According to Prof. Jared Diamond, must meet six criteria, in order to be considered for domestication: 1. Flexible diet (not too cumbersome or expensive)2. Grow up reasonably fast (see growth rate) 3. Be able to breed in captivity 4. Pleasant disposition 5. Unlikely to panic and 6. Modifiable social hierarchy (recognize a human as its leader).
Modifications of body size reflecting the uses to which the animal is put, loss of speed and agility, loss or decrease in size of horns or other natural weapons, biological specialization for human needs (e.g., wool production in sheep), are apparent over time. Smaller changes in disposition and intelligence occurred also. Some species of domestic animals could not survive now without human care and protection. Others, however, like the pig, can revert back easily to life in the wild. An even more fundamental reason for the presence of animals in Near Eastern agriculture, however, derives from the nutritional value of cereal grains. Humans need 12 amino acids to survive and reproduce. Cereal grains, however, supply adequate quantities of only two of the 12. Cereal diets must therefore be supplemented with protein from other sources.
Animal protein from meat or milk products is one way to create a sustaining diet based on cereals, and this was part of the answer in the Near East. Lentils and dry peas, chick peas (or garbanzos) eventually provided other good supplements found in ancient diets in the region. Another food source is visible in the background of the photo at top left: the date palm. The Greeks relied heavily on olives, both green and ripe, the Babylonians raised figs and dates. The Chinese, with a similar cereal economy, domesticated the protein-rich soy bean to supplement the grains in their diet (wheat, millet, rice). Humans also need many vitamins and at least trace amounts of many elements; these needs are met by including in the diet all sorts of edible plants such as onions, garlic, lentils, garbanzos, cabbage, turnips, fruits, and berries, etc.
A wholly distinctive and different agriculture grew up in the New World, in the Americas. Large domestic animals were conspicuously absent in these ancient economies. The explanation for the contrast with the Old World is not hard to find: their main food plants, corn, squash, and beans (add potatoes in South America) provide, if eaten together, all 12 of the necessary amino acids. The supplementary foods grown by early American farmers include tomatoes and peppers, which have spread all over the world since 1492. For example, the Near East, the cradle lands of both Western and Islamic civilizations, used animals almost from the beginning of settled life both for food and for labor. This was not accidental. The reasons for this cultural adaptation can be seen in terms of the special needs of Near Eastern cereal-growers: wheat and barley require elaborate (labor-intensive) preparation of the fields (seed beds) so that the grain will out-compete weeds. Using animals, (almost any large animal will do) to drag a scratch plow makes the job easier and quicker for humans. Near Eastern cereal-growers thus became livestock raisers. Human communities have been ingenious at finding ways to adapt to the limitations of the food sources available in their local community. Since they possess evolving cultures [and do not have to evolve biological features to meet new conditions], they may quickly adapt themselves and their way of life to take advantage of new opportunities or meet new challenges. Animals were of vital importance to prehistoric farmers. They provide assistance ... more

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Simmel Marx and Mead

After reading the specified passage #8, pages 101-108, I sat back and thought about who and what we have studied this semester.  The information in the passage connected with three of the five major sociological minds that we have studied: Simmel, Marx, and Mead.  The beginning of the passage talks about immigrants starting a new life in a new place, and what we a Americans think about it, which reminds me of Georg Simmel.  A lot of the passage talks about how class and jobs relate to one another, which made me think of Karl Marx.  One part of the passage discusses what Barbie is for little girls, which reminds of George Herbert Mead.  I think that it is clear that these three sociological minds influenced parts of this section of Barbie Culture.
Rogers gives the Statue of Liberty as an example of an icon.  She talks about what it represents for Americans.  To us it represents “political freedom and mass democracy (independence), this same icon has become a harbinger of a society supposedly open to “teeming masses” of needy, if not desperate, immigrants (dependence).”  Rogers goes on to say that Americans “see foreign-born newcomers as threats to their society.  Fearful of the alien lifeways and multiple tongues of these international migrants, such Americans commonly invoke sentiments seemingly incompatible with this cherished icon” (Rogers: 101-102).  Pampel talks a lot about how Simmel felt about the way he and other Jewish people were treated when they moved to Germany and into its big cities, and how most Germans tried to keep them from gaining any power or status.  One example that Pampel gives is “universities placed limits on the number of Jewish professors they would promote: although about 12 percent of lecturers came from Jewish backgrounds, only about three percent reached he position of tenured professor” (Pampel: 131).  Simmel was held back at almost everywhere he taught.  Nearly everyone that heard his lectures like him and what he thought about things and how he broke things up and made sense out of them.  He should have been tenured way before he finally was, but because of racist views of him he was not, no matter how brilliant he was.
Pampel writes a lot about Marx and what he thought about the inhumane working conditions.  Pampel tells us how Marx’s view on why things were the way they were.  “Mattel’s hierarchy grows wider as one descends the ladder” (Rogers: 102).  Marx knew that there were a lot more proletariat (workers) than there were bourgeoisie (owners of the capital).  Everyone wanted as much money as they could get.  Nobody really cared how the workers that were actually making the products lived or even felt.  Marx felt that the key concept to all of that is social class.  Society is both enabling and constraining.  It enables few people to make a lot of money and the major decisions that affect everyone and constrains most people to just do as they are told.  The workers had to work with low pay and in bad working conditions just to make enough money to survive.  They really had no choice.  Marx’s perspective is called conflict theory, and classes are always going to be in conflict with one another.
Last but not least, Rogers talks about how or why Barbie came to be.  Ruth and Elliot Handler were on vacation in Switzerland with their son, Ken, and their daughter, Barbara.  They were out shopping when they came across the Lilli doll, which was a German doll that came from a cartoon strip and that was mostly marketed to men as a sex symbol.  “Barbara Handler was fascinated with the doll, and Ruth Handler claims to have seen it as a perspective plaything for girls past the baby-doll stage” (Rogers: 103).  Ruth must have thought that girls still needed a doll to play with so that they still had a sort of learning tool, even though they had out grown baby-dolls.  Mead thought that toys/dolls could be used for role-playing, which really helped in the process of becoming one’s social self.  Children could adopt the roles and attitudes of the doll.  They act out and assume the roles of others ... more

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  • U: Domestication U: Domestication Domestication The beginning of human and animal interaction has been triggered by the progress of technology. Animals have been utilized for work, recreation, companionship as well as medical and scientific projects. Why are there so many different kinds of domesticated animal species suited for captivity? Many pets, such as different dog and livestock breeds, were bred to fulfill different purposes for human needs. The process of selective breeding of animals was at first unintentional and prob...
  • T: Simmel Marx and Mead T: Simmel Marx and Mead Simmel Marx and Mead After reading the specified passage #8, pages 101-108, I sat back and thought about who and what we have studied this semester. The information in the passage connected with three of the five major sociological minds that we have studied: Simmel, Marx, and Mead. The beginning of the passage talks about immigrants starting a new life in a new place, and what we a Americans think about it, which reminds me of Georg Simmel. A lot of the passage talks about how class and jobs re...
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  • The history of the barbie doll The history of the barbie doll The history of the barbie doll The History of Barbie Doll The idea of Barbie all started in 1959 when Ruth Handler, Barbies creator, noticed her daughter Barbara playing with paper dolls and imagining them in grown up roles such as college students, cheerleaders, and adults with careers. Ruth realized that dolls on the market at that time were all baby dolls, and that there was a need for a doll that would inspire little girls to think about what they wanted to be when they grew up. Thus the i...
  • The ultimate babe in toyland The ultimate babe in toyland The ultimate babe in toyland The Ultimate Babe in Toyland As I walked down the aisle with my niece I felt as though I had fallen into a bottle of Pepto Bismal when in fact we were only in the Barbie section of the local toy store. There were hundreds of pink boxes with the 11 and inch doll in them. I was instantly brought back to my childhood and the hours that I spent playing with this timeless toy. Amazement arose because the tradition of this toy has survived for so many years. Ruth Handler...
  • The history of the barbie doll The history of the barbie doll The history of the barbie doll The History of Barbie Doll The idea of Barbie all started in 1959 when Ruth Handler, Barbies creator, noticed her daughter Barbara playing with paper dolls and imagining them in grown up roles such as college students, cheerleaders, and adults with careers. Ruth realized that dolls on the market at that time were all baby dolls, and that there was a need for a doll that would inspire little girls to think about what they wanted to be when they grew up. Thus the...
  • The Barbie Phenomenon The Barbie Phenomenon The Barbie Phenomenon The Barbie phenomenon took the world by storm. The creation of the eleven and onehalf-inch tall glam gal didnt begin at a large corporations drawing board, as some might think. She actually came straight from the hands of her loving parents, Ruth and Elliot Handler. The Mattel Corporation, founded by Ruth and Elliot Handler, has successfully marketed the Barbie doll for over four decades and still continues to sell the doll throughout the world. It is amazing the imp...
  • The ultimate babe in toyland The ultimate babe in toyland The ultimate babe in toyland The Ultimate Babe in Toyland As I walked down the aisle with my niece I felt as though I had fallen into a bottle of Pepto Bismal when in fact we were only in the Barbie section of the local toy store. There were hundreds of pink boxes with the 11 and inch doll in them. I was instantly brought back to my childhood and the hours that I spent playing with this timeless toy. Amazement arose because the tradition of this toy has survived for so many years. Ruth Handle...
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  • Transcendentalism Transcendentalism Word Count: 2860 The Alger Hiss Spy Case During the late nineteen forties, a new anti-Communistic chase was in full holler, this being the one of the most active Cold War fronts at home. Many panic-stricken citizens feared that Communist spies were undermining the government and treacherously misdirecting foreign policy. The attorney general planned a list of ninety supposedly disloyal organizations, none of which was given the right to prove its loyalty to the United States. The Loyalty Review ...
  • Alger Hiss Spy Case Alger Hiss Spy Case Alger Hiss Spy Case The Alger Hiss Spy Case During the late nineteen forties, a new anti-Communistic chase was in full holler, this being the one of the most active Cold War fronts at home. Many panic-stricken citizens feared that Communist spies were undermining the government and treacherously misdirecting foreign policy. The attorney general planned a list of ninety supposedly disloyal organizations, none of which was given the right to prove its loyalty to the United States. The Loyalty Revi...
  • Alger Hiss Spy Case Alger Hiss Spy Case Alger Hiss Spy Case The Alger Hiss Spy Case During the late nineteen forties, a new anti-Communistic chase was in full holler, this being the one of the most active Cold War fronts at home. Many panic-stricken citizens feared that Communist spies were undermining the government and treacherously misdirecting foreign policy. The attorney general planned a list of ninety supposedly disloyal organizations, none of which was given the right to prove its loyalty to the United States. The Loyalty Revi...