mx. generation x politics. summary sentence.

Creating a safe environment for diverse(political preferences) Advance Placement students who are wanting to hold and share an opinion, and be properly informed about current political context.

mx. reading response. sense of community.

My attempt at breaking down what McMillan & Chavis are saying. Some thoughts are pulled directly, but I tired to break it down into my own words if at all possible to make sure i get what they're teaching.

Sense of Community has four parts:
  • Membership
    • Boundaries
      • created by things like language, religion, or dress
      • shows who does and does not belong
    • Emotional safety
      • just that, a safe and secure place they can be in
    • A sense of belonging and identification
    • Personal investment
    • A common symbol system
      • "The symbol is the beginning of the social world as we know it"
      • flags, logos, architecture style, even rituals, and forms of speech
      • ie gang signs, tattoos, group names, nicknames
  • Influence
    • it is bidirectional
      • members must feel motivated to influence the group, and group cohesion can only exist if the group has influence over its members
      • this "bidirection-ality" of influence helps reassure members that they are experiencing things similarly to other members
    • from trust comes influence
      • only when two(or more) people trust each other, can you influence them. the mutal trust between persons or person and group needs to exist before there is safety to be influenced
  • Integration & Fulfillment of Needs
    • needs meaning: more than needs, also wants
    • shared values of members of the group can tell which "needs" beyond survival will be pursued
    • "search for similarities"
    • "creating an economy of social trade"
  • Shared Emotional Connection
    • the definitive element for true community
    • a shared history becomes the community's story symbolized in art(in a broad sense)
    • 7 important ideas to create an emotional connection
      • personal actions will increase the likelihood of people becoming close
      • the quality of interaction
      • if relationships between members are hazy, they won't feel as close than if they know how each other feels
      • a bigger event, like a crisis, creates an even stronger bond
      • invest more time into the group, feel more attached to it
      • the spiritual bond, hard to describe, but everyone knows it. that sense that you're close to the group, no matter what happens.
      • if you have positive moments with a community you'll be closer to it, if you have negative moments, you'll feel alienated from it
though it's quite interesting when people try to put the interaction of humans into equation form. i understand the first "equation":
shared emotional connection = contact + high-quality interaction.
if you have a "high-quality interaction" you connected more than just a simple hello and small talk. You were able to connect deeper by agreeing on ideas, think the same thoughts, come to the same conclusions.

"equation" number two:
High-quality interaction = (events with successful closure - ambiguity) x (event valence x sharedness of the event) + amount of honor given to members - amount of humiliation.
I'm getting what McMillan & Chavis are trying to get at, though it's a little late for my brain to wrap around this stuff. I feel like both of these "equations" are not completely rocksolid, but they are a basis for figuring out human reactions to the sense of community.

everything talked about in the article works in tandem. Everything is connected to everthing else. You cannoy have one part of the cycle missing and still have a complete sense of community. Even the slightest bit of alienation in any way, and the community becomes in danger of not being a community anymore. The idea of a community takes time and effort, it just doesn't pop up over night. If it somehow does, though, it would be a very weak community compared to one that has been around for almost 4 years, like the community we, seniors, have created for ourselves here in graphic design.

source: wright-house.com