Saturday, December 16, 2006

Individual Collectivism

Thursday, 7 December 2006
Koningsstraat, Amsterdam

I was in the toilet (don't ask) when I started reading Arya's textbook (again, don't ask). Geert Hofstede was explaining about a research conducted in nine European countries. What would you prefer, freedom or equality? Of course the most preferrable is both, however if you had to choose, would you choose: A. Ensuring freedom for all, that is, everyone has a chance to develop themselves; or B. Ensuring equality, that no underpriviledged gets left behind.

The results were that the more individualistic the country, the higher possibility they would chose freedom. The more collectivistic the country, the higher possibility they would choose equality. Thus, freedom is a typical ideology held by an individualist country and equality is a consistent ideology held by a collectivist country.

Of course, Inaya would self-reflect (self-centered as she is) and deduct the findings on a personal level as today she was especially bugged. I wrote a paper with everything I had, I structured it the best I could, I proof-read it, I did my readings - but I got a 7,5. Which is not bad... Until I peeked to the grades others got...

The disappointment that surged into me because I knew I didn't do as good as other people did - as an academic I would objectively say the reaction falls into the indicators of individualist behaviour. Competition, the concept of winning and losing. While in my head, theoretically speaking, I am a strong arguer for cooperation as opposed to competition, discussion as opposed to debating and so forth (you get the idea). But on a personal level, it is pretty astonishing to see how I can't even be consistent applying my theoretical frameworks into my empirical everyday life.

I guess knowing things doesn't necessarily mean you could incorporate it comprehensively and consistently in all aspects. Maybe knowing is one step and applying is the next step.

I talked this over with Arya and he argues that he would characterise me as masculine (assertive, aggressive, competitive) which to some extent also relates to individualistic behaviours. Then again, how come I choose feminine (collective, caring, social) fields to work in (NGO, education)? The inconsistencies bug me tremendously.

Perhaps it's personal preference, at the end of the day - about knowing yourself and what you want. Personal validation and ways to cope with failures. It's what you're aiming and ways to achieve them. If I want to share, therefore individualistic ideas cannot accomodate that purpose. If I want to excel, then individualistic ideas are mandatory. Or maybe it's never that simple. You might need individualistic characteristics in certain situations and collectivistic in others.

Perhaps the main rationale is: what it is you want and what means you should adopt to achieve them. After all, there is no absolute right and wrong. There are alternatives and considerations and consequences. If you are really lucky, you might learn something in the process. And sometimes, or at many times, that's the thing that counts the most.

Welcome to the World, Baby Kaylila!

3.1 kg.
48 cm.

My sister's nose and her husband's lips (and some Chinese dude's eyes). I cannot wait to see her with my own eyes. I hope she grows fat and healthy enough to come visit me (kenapa gak kebalikannya? Hahaha kan udah healthy and fat).

Kisses from abroad, little one. You will meet your auntie in time.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Just an Ordinary Thursday Night with the Girls

Thursday night class dinner party.

Note: Every winter, my sinus gets worse. Sometimes my voice can become especially nazel that, of course, catches the attention of the extraordinary auditory-sensitive Greek, Lena.

Inaya: And then he said--
Lena: *meniru dengan suara yg cempreng dari idung* And then he said--
Inaya: Stop doing that, I don't sound that bad.
Lena: ET.. Phone home.. *lengkap dengan jari telunjuk style*
Inaya: *ngambek mode on*
Lena: You should know that many singers take lessons so they can sound nazel for French medieval songs.
Inaya: Is that supposed to make me feel better?
Lena: Who wanted to make you feel better?
Inaya: Well at least I don't laugh with one eye shut *offense is the best defense*.
Lena: Well at least I am not short.
Inaya: What are you talking about, we have the same height you freak.
Lena: No we don't, I'm taller! *berdiri penuh harga diri*.
Inaya: All Indonesians are short. There I'm the tallest. They're as small as my thumb.
Lena: *gak dengerin* Thera, who's taller Inaya or me?
Thera: Who cares, I'm still taller than both of you.
Agne: *rokok di tangan kiri, red wine di tangan kanan. Lidah melet2*

I am going to miss these girls so much when everything is done. I hate goodbyes.

The Funnest Group Research in My Entire Life

Name : Patrik, Inaya, Silvie, Helene
Course : Emotions in News (group assignment – research proposal)


Research Question

How did the Netherlands and English newspapers portray ‘the Zidane headbutt’ during the World Cup 2006 final?

Event Analysed (Brief Description):

During the final match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, French football player Zinedine Zidane notoriously headbutted Italian football player Marco Materazzi in the chest. The incident was vastly referred to by the media as the ‘Zidane headbutt’.

The particular game was Zidane’s last appearance on the field, as he had previously announced that he would retire from professional football after the 2006 World Cup – this is one of the assumptions as to why the event has become a worldwide incident since Zidane was one of the world’s best players.

After the final, President Jacques Chirac hailed Zidane as a national hero and called him a “man of heart and conviction’ (Washington Post, 9 July 2006). Chirac later added that he found the offense to be unacceptable, but that he understood Zidane had been provoked (MSNBC, 9 July 2006). President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria expressed his solidarity with Zidane in a letter of support (Reuters UK, 11 July 2006).[1] Countless different opinions on the event was vocalised by the French as well as international media. However, the underlying assumption that motivated this research is well-put by a commentator for TIME magazine, who regarded the incident as a symbol for Europe’s “grappling with multi-culturalism” (TIME, 13 July 2006). Zidane’s image as both a football hero and an immigrant caused many controversies which have been portrayed differently in various media.

Material to be Analysed:

The assumption our group consented upon is that, aside from technical linguistic limitation, the French and Italian media would most possibly have ‘emotional’ responses to the incident. That is why it would be interesting to study how the media in two European countries, other than France and Italy, known for their football culture and pride have portrayed this event. What the emotions in the news of these countries are, despite having less cultural and national involvement in the incident. The countries chosen are the Netherlands and the UK (England).

The type of media chosen is newspaper, specifically those that are of highest selling – assuming that they have the widest coverage then they must be representative of public emotions. The two highest grossing newspapers in the Netherlands are the A.D. (Algemeen Dagblad) and the Telegraaf and the two of UK are The Sun and its main competitor the Daily Mirror (Newspaper Marketing Agency, 2006).

Method of Analysis:

The group has decided to analyse the written text of the newspaper by means of discourse analysis; for example the power relations within the text, the oppositional stances and means of delivery.

[1] Zinedine Zidane’s parents immigrated to France from Kabylie, Algeria.