What are the interests and values of LCC students?

For this research I chose to focus on understanding the interests and values, as well as problems LCC students were facing and what they believed could fix these issues. A strategy I used was asking generalized questions to get an idea on topical interests, and then ask more specific questions about those interests. Slide 2 shares the questions I asked LCC Students as well as my reference.

The first LCC Student I interviewed identified as a woman. it was this identification she feels that made her more insecure and self-aware of how she presented herself. despite being brought up religious, she isn’t currently Christian. Growing up not well off she feels this instilled an importance of money, which is a driving motivator in her education.

When interviewing this person, something that stood out was that her family is religious. she was raised religiously, yet she doesn’t identify that way. This is uncommon, for many times in our culture, it’s expected that kids subscribe to the beliefs of their parents, this may show a decline of christianity among young adults. This may also be an example of a shift in culture towards agnosticism or just a difference in individual choice. She also has a focus on money, saying that her reasons for college were for the goal of making more money. This goal of being more prosperous is parallel with American culture, where society dictates worth and power based on wealth. our capitalist society reflects this, in this way, she fits snugly into the American culture. Lastly, she spoke about her being a female and how she feels society pressures her into these norms because of that identification, which ends up making her more insecure about herself. This is seemingly everywhere in American society, where gender is seen as an objective fact that must be enforced. But the reality is that it’s a spectrum, and not everyone can be nor should be placed into these boxes because no one wants to feel forced into being a certain way.

The second LCC student I interviewed was brought up Christian. where he felt it was pressured onto him like a task he needed to fulfill. This ended up negatively affecting his faith. Being a Hispanic man growing up in California, it was not until he moved to Michigan that he was confronted with racism. This migration from California was hard for him, as he had to leave many of his friends and the town he loved behind. When asked about the current state of America, he disapproves, referencing immigrants being treated unfairly. And the wages being too small.

When interviewing, I noticed when I would ask questions related to “Mexican” immigration, My interviewee would noticeably wince. when asked about this, he shared he felt it was insensitive and, in a way, racist to clump all immigrants as “Mexicans,” arguing that only immigrants from Mexico are Mexican and that many immigrants are from European and middle eastern descent. This was an important moment in the interview because it showed the disconnect between me a (White man) and my Interviewee a (Hispanic man). It showed that my flippant labeling of “immigrants” and “Mexicans” was insensitive when I didn’t even realize it. now I know why that is. His opinions on immigration were just as sympathetic. He believes that if a family wants to move country, they should have no problem doing so, especially if the reasons are dire. the process of immigration in his opinion should be simplified, Believing that the process of immigrating from Mexico to the U.S, has to many hurdles in the way to make it efficient and easy.

The third LCC student has never had an interest in religion despite familys interest. He believes that both political parties are responsible for the bad state of America. With their excess spending on foreign affairs while ignoring Americans. references Bidens age as a problem, as well as the minimum wage. He also feels as though women are privileged in ways men are not, like with court cases, and gender bias in custody cases.

This was the first interview with some real political responses. Previous interviews did get political, but not to this extent. His opinion on Biden is interesting to me because he points out the age of the president as a critique. this may show cultural disrespect towards those older than us, because mental disability that he is inferring Biden has is not age-exclusive. His response, saying that “life isn’t livable,” is poignant; it takes a mirror to our society, in my opinion, with many people nowadays living paycheck to paycheck. Many Americans feel this way, and I have no doubt this person is affected by low wages and inflation. It would seem in his eyes our culture of consumption is diminishing because of our declining wages and the prices of goods continuing to increase, which, in my interviewee’s opinion is caused by both parties. this shows a sense of complacency in the interviewee because he believes neither side cares to makes changes therefore nothing changes and life keeps becoming more and more unlivable.

My 4th interviewee was brought up Christian most of their life, where. She harbored some bigoted opinions, although her later identification as a gay female changed this view and her faith. This also put strains on her relationship with her family. She sees the use of Christianity by politicians as disingenuous and beleives it has no place in politics in this current form. She also thinks our society is to focused on placing people into gender boxes of how you should act and who you should like.

The answers I got from this interview were more faith based, showing my strategy of broad to more specific questions worked in netting a wider discussion. An interesting discussion we had was how she felt alienated by her religion due to her sexuality and more recently her values, she shared how when younger and at church she would feel pressured to look and think a certain way, that she wasn’t necessarily interested in. and how as her sexuality became more apparent she felt the need to hide it otherwise she would be discriminated against . With more recently these feelings of discrimination being heitened due to Christianitys stance on LGBTQ and abortion. This in a way seems contrary to what I know of Jesus’s teachings of treating everyone equally and shows that the bible is being used as a tool to shift/maintain the status quo, it is used to control culture. This problem of discrimination stems from gender norms that our society/culture maintains helped by religion, something that she also does not agree with for her simple reason that its a “subjective experience” that no one can force onto you.

My last interview was a non-binary person, as so they disagree with traditional gender roles feeling they cause harm by excluding those that don’t fit into those roles. Despite growing up Muslim, they do not practice it now. this shows a trend among all the L C C students I interviewed of not keeping on the religious tradition of their parents. When asked about the current state of america they had many opinions. They talked of republicans dismantling regulation and civil rights, as well as their greed. believing that the nation’s focus is less on them and more on its own power and wealth. A solution they feel would be to take money out of politics, as well as a removal of bigotted congress people.

Noticeable tone shifts from my interviewee were present when we got onto the topic of their childhood. growing up in poverty, they felt as if something was stolen from them before they even got it. This poverty coupled with parental neglect angered them, but also is the reason for their progressive values today they feel. This is interesting because it shows empathy comes from experience, and that a lack of empathy towards others, whether that be impoverished individuals or people that look or feel a different way may be indicative of that person’s lack of experience. Coming from the life of a non-binary person I find their opinion on appearance interesting, not identifying as either gender they feel their appearance should indicate this, although they feel it doesn’t. This creates a disconnect between how they Identify and how they appear outwardly. This disconnect is something that most americans haven’t and won’t experience, which explains why as a society and culture many americans have a difficult time empathizing or even understanding transgender people.

Media Description: https://youtu.be/30uBCBiIZls

Instructor: Anonymous

Item Credit: Michael Manting