Due to the fact that I was not able to attend the event from Friday-Saturday, where I would have been able to listen to different conferences about various topics to write about, I chose three articles from JSTOR instead. Although unfortunate I missed out on what I’m sure would have been a nice experience, there are some of advantages of having searched for my own articles instead of having gone to listen to the speakers who were presenting throughout the weekend.
Not only was I able to pick something I personally wanted to read about, instead of being limited to the choices I would have been given at the event, but it was also something I was able to do much more quickly in the comfort of my own home and the fact that it was all written on paper (instead of listening to someone talk) eliminated what could have been a potential language barrier or misunderstandings.
The articles I chose were about gender (along with its various roles and meanings and how it affects mental health), feminism and psychoanalysis. Although they all were well written my favorite one was the first one pertaining to gender, not only because I found it intriguing but also because it discussed the effect gender roles can have on a marriage that has a worker-parent conflict (which is something I can personally understand and relate to since both of my parents are professors at the same university and are almost together 24/7).
This, however, does not mean the other articles weren’t stimulating, but a substantial amount of those subjects had already been discussed in class and therefore the articles did not contain much that was new to me when it came to the critical theories themselves. All of the articles were, in my opinion, masterfully done and applied their chosen critical theories exceedingly well. They used plenty of well-known outside sources to provide background information (on previous studies as well as on the authors themselves), long detailed explanations of terms (such as role meaning, roles conflict, feminism, psychoanalysis, gender roles, etc. and even provided the methods that they utilized for finding more information and how they were able to back up their findings based on their research.
Throughout the texts, many theories of some of the authors used would be revisited in order to better explain the point the writer was trying to make and this in turn allowed the overall article(s) to be much easier to understand. It was apparent to see how much work and time was spent while writing these three articles mainly because of the plethora of outside sources cited along the text that allowed such complete data to be presented.
This was something I not only appreciated and admired but also enjoyed because I was able to identify a few books that I am now intent on reading. I also noticed that another similarity amongst the articles was that the writers would use an additional critical theory in order to reinforce and expand more on their primary critical theory. Whether it was simply writing a few sentences or various paragraphs, the secondary critical theories were all described thoroughly and tied in well to what the writer was explaining.
Later on in some of the articles, much like we have done in class, some of the critical theories were used to reinterpret what is normally understood about gender, feminism and psychoanalysis. In one of the articles pertaining to feminism and psychoanalysis, the writer chose to reinterpret psychoanalysis by “re-sexualizing” and it was something that proved to be quite interesting. Numerous comparisons were also done along the way, which I personally liked.
They were mostly phrased as questions that would form part of the text and I would try my best and answer them myself before continuing to read and see if I was right. It was a useful tool that kept me paying close attention to the articles. Based on the multiple things I have mentioned, I can honestly say that there is not much, if anything, I can criticize. Overall, the articles were entertaining to read, the transitions were flawless, the overabundance of sources was astounding and in the end it all amounted to three very informative articles.
If there was anything I would have to complain about it would be that although having many outside sources allowed me to understand the text better, the countless in text citations eventually started becoming very repetitive in the sense that one could not go a few seconds without seeing another one appear. It created what I would describe as a sort of clutter that did not allow me to be able to focus exclusively on each paragraph. However, besides that small annoyance, the rest was without a doubt some of the best informative reading I have done in quite some time that didn’t come out of a textbook.