Ashley Borja


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Discussion Board Post #5

Posted by Ashley Borja on

It wasn’t until recently that I felt comfortable with the way I write. For schoolwork, I ideally spend 10-15 minutes planning out the assignment. Before I start any writing, I look at the rubric and requirements. Each assignment has a different set of requirements. If the assignment is an essay, I create a thorough outline with thesis statements and topic sentences. Then on a spreadsheet, I will put several quotes– to help me stay organized. For smaller assignments, I create the first draft and then edit it.

 

I learned throughout the semester that the first draft will never be perfect. It’s a time for you to look at what’s missing and what can be improved. I spent a lot of time stressing over first drafts. I would constantly revisit the same sentence. For essay #3, overthinking was a challenge. I kept feeling like something was missing from my writing. It ended up extending the amount of time I spent writing the research essay.

 

My writing style has changed from the beginning of the semester. I am now able to write in APA format. I also learned how to write different types of essays. The first essay in the semester required a transcript of an interview. I learned the importance of keeping the informant’s words the way they are said. I also learned a lot of lessons from procrastination. Pushing assignments to the last minute causes extra stress and grieving. It’s better to take your time and plan your essay over several days. Once you finish your essay– put it away and revisit it later to make edits.

 

 

 

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Reading Response #4

Posted by Ashley Borja on

I chose to review How Individual Upbringing Affects Young Adult Romantic Relationships published by Chardell’s Chronicles in Fall 2019. The author of the article made good use of their sources and organized the essay coherently. I enjoyed reading this essay, it showed a bridge between behavior and relationships. It’s a topic that is discussed frequently but the essay had its own uniqueness. I feel like there was so much more the author could have discussed in the article. The essay overall had good grammar and structure. The author could have worked on comparing and contrasting sources and developing a more in-depth analysis of the question. I would grade the essay 85.5%.

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Reading Response #3: Ashley Borja

Posted by Ashley Borja on

I chose to evaluate, “Who are the Flat Earthers” and gave it a rating of 79%. The author provided essential details– like the communities vernacular within the essay. Terms such as “globalist” play a huge part in understanding how an insider within the online community views outsiders. Additionally, the essay was nicely organized with a coherent timeline. However, the author lacked significant quotes. The author should have used a lot more quotes from insiders within the community. The essay could have also included a more in-depth analysis of the online community including it’s demographic. It would have been nice if the author communicated with an insider and asked them more about their experience. Overall, the essay was nicely throughout but needed to have a better focus on the online community itself.

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Reading Response: “Our Incel Problem” (Ashley Borja)

Posted by Ashley Borja on

Excerpt from “Our Incel Problem” by Zack Beauchamp gave insight into the Incel online community. Incel– a shortened term for the involuntary celibacy is a name given to those going through “romantic troubles”. Beauchamp notes that incels are awkward in real life surrounding topics of romance and sex. The author notes that the group started as a community that shared struggles and gave advice but developed into a dangerous subculture. For instance, the author described the old online community to be a “social justice warrior community”– and shares that 20 years later the group shares dangerous ideas and is potentially a reflection of the political environment.

As the online community of Incels change, Beauchamp mentions that there are a particular age group and a picture of what an incel looks like. Insiders have a shared sexist ideology of the “black pill”– a fundamental rejection of a woman’s sexual emancipation. Members of the community are hostile to outsiders who look to observe the community — and has changed from a group that includes all genders to one that mainly consists of men. The author notes that the sexist ideology stems from a larger problem in society. In broader western society there is a dark set of societal values and expectations of women that reflect the discussions happening within the incel online community. Beauchamp says that the black pill ideology poses a threat and can lead to violence if taken to a logical extreme. The author also notes that even if it isn’t murder, the ideology can create various acts of violence such as harassment and violent assault. The current online community of Incels as a reflection of society’s darkest values with the combination of modern technological advancements is reshaping politics– and is a conversation that the author describes to be, “not prepared to be confronted”.

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DISCUSSION POST #4: Ashley Borja

Posted by Ashley Borja on

Social privilege is defined as the advantage or immunity given to a particular group of people or an individual. Privilege can be but is not limited to a person’s class, age, education, mobility, race, religion, and gender. To a certain extent, almost everyone has some sort of privilege– some more than others. The online community I chose to focus on was the Beyhive. It’s a large online fanbase for Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter.

As a fan of Beyonce’s music, I could have a bias toward the Beyhive.  Growing up I had the privilege of having access to music through digital platforms from a young age. I have been a big fan of Beyoncé’s music for a very long time– additionally, as an activist, I appreciate her using her platform to speak out about issues. My opinions can influence the way I do my field research and how I observe any behaviors within the community. As a woman of color, I think that my race and identifiers will allow me to connect with other women of color in the online community. My age, however, might be an identifier that may make it harder for me to access and understand other members of the community. Since I am doing field research on a specific artist and fan base, as a fan I might find it harder to view the community as an outsider. As an artist, she has a very diverse and global fan community which brings diverse thoughts and opinions to the community.

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“Out Patients” by Elise Wu Response (Ashley Borja)

Posted by Ashley Borja on

“Out Patients” written by Elise Wu reveals her experience with Factitious Disorder– a disorder in which a person feigns an illness with the intent of playing the role of a patient. Wu focuses on the subculture within “FD” patients and the way they interact with others. Throughout the article, she creates a verbal portrait of the community by demonstrating the behaviors she observed in an online forum and message board. Wu focuses on her personal narrative and the narratives of those on these websites. She also inserts her feelings toward certain figures and creates vernacular that describes the community.

Elise Wu uses multiple sources to consult and gather knowledge of FD culture. She makes use of her narrative– Wu identified with the FD culture and inserted her opinions into the article. She begins the article with a vivid description of memory that took place in an ER. Wu also consults with an online forum and group message board to better understand different perspectives within the culture. The forum mostly consisted of those the FD patients have “played” for–while the message board is for those suffering from FD. Wu made sure to keep her identity anonymous so that she could respect her privacy during the process. She triangulated the data from her findings by using both online and offline sources to be better informed. 

Throughout the text, Elise Wu uses footnotes to contextualize her use of the sources in the article. The footnotes oftentimes served as a definition for certain terms so that readers with no medical background can better understand the information given. Lastly, footnotes in this article demonstrate a timeline– providing various dates for sources.

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Discussion #3- Observation of a Public Space (Ashley Borja)

Posted by Ashley Borja on

I decided to observe the A train during rush hour. I started observing from Utica Avenue in Brooklyn to 145st in Manhattan. The train was packed with New Yorkers trying to get home from their jobs. There were barely any seats free and the ones that were free were dirty. While I stood holding a pole, a group of women entered the train. They loudly conversed about the Coronavirus and politics. The train was rowdy and had a consistent squeaking sound between stations.

The people on the train came from different ethnic backgrounds. A good portion of the people on the train wore surgical masks– I even observed an old couple with wipes. Everyone on the train seemed to be on their phones or listening to music on headphones. Once the train arrived in Manhattan a couple of teens got on to perform what they call “showtime”. They danced to house beats and pop music.

As time passed, people began moving in clusters– people exited and entered on main stops. I commute using the train every single day to get across the city. The transit system is a huge part of New York City culture. Watching groups of friends get on the train reminded me of the times I would take the train with friends.

Throughout the whole ride, there were homeless people asking for money. They usually shared their stories before asking for help from the public. Occasionally people would give them money– but a good portion of the time people looked away and pretended they did not hear.

The smell of disinfectant was consistent throughout the whole time I was on the train. It smelled like Purell and Lysol. Everyone on the train appeared on edge when someone coughed or sneezed. Overall, the ride felt extremely long and uncomfortable.

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Response to “The Hustlers at Scores” by Jessica Pressler: Ashley Borja

Posted by Ashley Borja on

Jessica Pressler’s article, “The Hustlers at Scores”, included multiple narratives extracted from interviews with insiders about the ‘hustler’ culture. The article includes and discusses the multiple cases of the robbing and drugging of men by a group of women in the early 2000s. Pressler shares cultural information throughout the article– for instance age, Pressler notes that 30 years old is considered ancient in stripper subculture. She also shares a bit of information about the drug and drinking ambient in the clubs. The article mentions the day to day routine of the dancers and practices they conduct together. The dancers work in groups and split profits– each member is in charge of a different role.

Pressler’s use of background information allows an audience to gain a better vision/understanding of the stripper subculture. She uses background information about Rosie and other informants to contextualize scenes. Rosie’s background allows the audience to see her motives and purpose for entering the subculture. Pressler also adds context about the time period the insiders are described in. She notes how in the early 2000s, the act of removing one’s clothes in front of an audience was no longer considered degrading– but was seen as sexually liberating and financially empowering. Additionally, the article mentions the decline of strip clubs ranging from mob-related arrests to the wall street crash. The decline of strip clubs is helpful in understanding the story.

Jessica Pressler used colorful descriptions to bring her informants to life allowing the reader to visualize the settings and appearances. She also makes use of visual aids to create a more solidified picture. The descriptions given are also used to envoke emotion and relatability. For instance, Rosie is a mother who claims to go back to New York for financial independence for her and her daughter. Pressler connects their actions with the story of Robin Hood– a story that most know or have heard of.

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“A Report from Occupied Territory” by James Baldwin- Discussion Post #1

Posted by Ashley Borja on

James Baldwin’s essay “A report from unoccupied territory” discusses violence and police brutality in Harlem during the 1960s. The essay includes multiple narratives of the power dynamic between police officers and the public as well as a critique of the education taught to black and brown people nationwide. The narratives mentioned in the essay shared common beliefs and experiences. A common belief shared by Harlem residents was that the “No knock, stop and frisk” laws– that violated their fourth amendment — was placed with intention to suppress black bodies. Another shared belief that Baldwin mentions in his essay is that Harlem believes that the “Harlem Six” is not guilty of the crime they have been convicted of. Baldwin uses words like “ghetto” and “abolitionist” to demonstrate his identity as an insider. 

If a fieldworker was looking at Harlem, they would ask numerous questions. What is the socioeconomic dynamic of the community in Harlem? How are convicts treated based on their race? Inequalities in prison sentences? How has the policing of the Harlem community impacted its residents? What laws are most used in Harlem in comparison to other neighborhoods? A fieldworker looking to uncover the culture of Harlem would have to think about their own identity and acknowledge any cultural differences and investigate any similarities. To investigate the culture and develop an understanding, a fieldworker must also look at the dynamic in the city. How policed are white neighborhood compared to black neighborhoods? And is the quality of education different based on what the race of the student body is? As well as insider narratives, a fieldworker must use outsiders and the police officers to penetrate the insider’s perspective. Outsiders may include lobbyists and any higher-ups that have an influence on the community.

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