One of the negative side effects associated with blue-collar workers is poor mental health, which becomes an even bigger issue with the overall small amount of mental health care in urban or rural areas. In his essay, “How to Improve Mental Health in America: Raise the Minimum Wage” Bill Gardner introduces the commonly overlooked mental health state of blue-collar workers, or workers who receive minimum wage. He addresses the fact that according to studies, raising the minimum wage not only improves the mental health of these workers, but is easier than handing out bottles of antidepressants. To compare this concept with health care, he states that ,”cholera was defeated in the industrialized world by clean drinking water, not antibiotics” (Gardner, 2018). By making this comparison he supports his claim that to make sure each and every blue collar worker has the chance the improve their mental health, raising the minimum wage is the best, if not only way to assure everyone who is in this working class has the opportunity for a better state of mental health. Gardner is trying to convince his readers that the solution to the poor mental health situation is not only simpler, but more effective when you focus on the bigger picture and the cause of this issue rather than trying to come up with a solution while focusing only on the effects.
Gardner, B. (2018). How to Improve Mental Health in America: Raise the Minimum Wage. In Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Detroit: Gale. (Reprinted from How to Improve Mental Health in America: Raise the Minimum Wage, New Republic, 2016, May 4) Retrieved from http://0-link.galegroup.com.ignacio.usfca.edu/apps/doc/NXCSYO935611839/OVIC?u=usfca_gleeson&sid=OVIC&xid=2d5d49db
Looking at the topics for essay 4, it makes me think of the difference between manual labor and white-collar workers, especially because we just read that essay about manual labor vs white-collar or knowledge work. A lot of things come to mind when I think about this topic, but one of the first things that comes to mind is the pay these different types of jobs receive. It doesn’t really make sense that someone who is doing more work (say a mechanic who constantly works fixing cars) gets paid less than someone who just sits in front of a computer from 9-5, bored out of their mind. The logic in that just isn’t there, and it makes me kind of mad that society is shaped that way, that “professional” jobs are the ones that get higher pay, such as CEO’s or even people who work in cubicles but for a large company. I used to work at an ice cream shop where we would actually make the ice cream in front of the customers, and although it may not have looked like a lot of labor was going into it, there was because my hands would always be sore after my shifts. Right next door to our shop was a restaurant, and it made me think that it was kind of unfair that these waiters were getting paid more than my coworkers when sometimes all they did was walk around the restaurant and do nothing when there were no customers, but when there were no customers for our shop, we would have to prep ingredients, make more ice cream and bases for the ice cream, and just a lot of other things that required labor. I know it’s not that great of a comparison, but it just shows that prestige is really something that matters when it comes to work, because if you work for a large, brand name company, chances are people are going to approve of that more than if you were to say you were a sanitation engineer, but doing more physical labor.
-Manual vs. Mental labor
-Professional jobs and how people view them
-Pay difference between blue and white-collar jobs
When my dad was younger he told me his first job was at McDonalds, and at that time I’m not really sure how different it was compared to today, however I know the pay was a lot less. Physically it was demanding because there were a lot of orders that needed to be taken care of, and because it’s a fast food chain those orders needed to be completed fast, or else people would complain. Psychologically it was demanding because you not only needed to make sure you kept up the fast pace, but you also needed to make sure the orders were correct, so that meant remembering how to make everything and where everything was or how to accommodate for a special request. His experience helps me further understand the relationship between work and intelligence because a lot of people tend to look down on fast food workers, however a lot of physical and psychological work needs to go into preparing orders at a fast pace without constantly messing them up.
For our video we chose to do Edgar Wright: How to Make a Protagonist on Youtube and they basically included short video clips of different films from Edgar Wright. They included a voice over for the whole video explaining everything about what their main topic was, tying the different clips together. They also include music in the background that isn’t too loud, but they only included one track for the whole video so they should’ve included different tracks that would be relevant and keep the audiences attention. There was also credits in the end that showed where they got all the content from. The equipment they used was also included in the description to make sure the sound quality was good enough.
When I was younger I would feel ashamed of what kinds of school supplies I had because other kids would always have nice pencils or notebooks, but I would just have the cheap ones because the other ones were too expensive. I would never have anything trendy or what everyone else had because my family didn’t have the money for it at times, and if they did they didn’t want to spend it on something like expensive school supplies when we could just get the cheap ones. One thing that I can think of involving race is with one of my friends from Hawaii, because she decided to go to school in Washington but now regrets it because she doesn’t like being surrounded by so many white people. She grew up in a diverse community, and most if not all of her family is Filipino, so for her it was hard to not have that sort of comfort in her college and she decided that she wanted to go back home to be with people she was not only comfortable with but where she could fit in as well.
One of the foods that my family eats regularly is rice, mainly because we’ve grown up in Hawaii where rice is very popular, but also because me and my family are Asian. Most of the time, I notice my dad goes out to buy groceries and farmers markets in order to make dishes for me and my brother. Sometimes he’ll bring back plate lunches with rice, some kind of meat and some vegetables. The amount of homemade food that I’ve grown up with shows that I was not upper class because we wouldn’t go out to eat that much, and my dad wasn’t cooking five course meals, it was just a simple dinner, lunch or snack. The plate lunches also represented how local my dad was because he knew where to get the good plate lunches and which places to try out.
I grew up surrounded mainly by people who were in similar classes to me, because their families would usually do similar things as mine when it came to food. However, my body was different because I was smaller than my friends, so whenever I ate less than they did but said I felt full, they would always point out the fact that I was skinny and said I needed to eat more. In their families, the social/cultural norm for their eating portions were larger than mine, so they weren’t used to the way I ate.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt “tokenized” before due to my physical appearance. Back at home, sometimes my friends would say they liked how I was hapa and that was cool, but I’ve never felt like I’ve been really tokenized before. Honestly, when people first meet me I don’t really know what their first impression is based on my appearance. I guess maybe people just think that I am white, even though I am mixed. Although I may look white, my dad looks Chinese so I do remember times where I feel like he has been tokenized in certain situations because he looks more Chinese than I do. Whenever we go to a Chinese restaurant or if we went to Chinatown people would usually feel a little more comfortable with talking to him and selling him things because he looked Chinese. Whenever I’m next to my dad I just look white and people can’t always tell I’m his daughter, which can be funny at times but it shows just how much of an effect the difference in appearance can have.
I remember one time when I was at work there were these two girls that came in and when they saw me one of them asked me if I was hapa. After I told them I was and that I was Chinese one of the girls just stared at me in doubt and didn’t really believe me because I didn’t look as hapa as them. It’s not a big problem that people see me as white because that’s what I look like and that’s what I’ve gotten used to people viewing me as, but it does make me feel a little bit better whenever someone looks at me and knows that I’m not just white.
My story is going to be about where I grew up and how it affected my opinion and perspective on my own ethnicity. I was born and raised on Oahu, Hawaii and I’ve lived there my whole life. I grew up on an island with a primarily Asian population, and although I am Chinese I am also half white and a little Hawaiian, so growing up surrounded by a large Asian population made me seem just white. I loved the fact that I was Chinese because my dad always taught me about Chinese culture, however people only saw me as white and even made fun of me for trying to say that I wasn’t just white. Due to this throughout my childhood, I’ve grown to almost despise the fact that I am half white because of what people have been telling me throughout my childhood, and I have gotten used to people being confused when they hear my last name and then look at me.
This develops the idea of identity as well as the norms from where I grew up because I identified as part Chinese but people didn’t believe me because of the norm of what Asian “looked like”. This has caused me to think poorly about being white and made me not want to accept who I was. However, after coming to San Francisco, people are much more accepting of all races and ethnicities which has helped me to stop caring so much about how people categorize me and just more about accepting myself. I guess this will just help the audience understand more about people with mixed cultures or ethnicities.