Constellation

I have been trying to improve my academic reading by making notes as I go along and highlighting and looking up words I don’t understand. However what I struggle with most is retaining the information i’ve just read long enough to try and translate it into my own words. I find the structure and vocabulary used so challenging that often it has left my mind before I reach the end of the sentence. I have always struggled with this throughout my life and I put it down to my dyslexia but I am trying hard to overcome this flaw and will be aiming to read more and more academic texts to help me.

My confidence in my own abilities often holds me back from contributing in lectures and often embarreses me because with out sitting for a long period to translate these texts, I find it hard to formulate an opinion on a piece of writing I cant remember, even if I have just read it. It usually takes me multiple reads of a sentence before I can grasp what the author is trying say. To combat this I have been trying my best to read and translate the weekly reading before the sessions but I still find it challenging as I find it almost impossible to skim read over a text therefore I must translate the majority of the text rather than finding the most relevant sections which can prove extremely time consuming.

Constellation

I have been learning to know about objects and materiality. Ive found it interesting so far and have found my self contemplating and reflecting over objects during my day to day life since starting the sessions.

I have particularly found the theory of transitional objects interesting. We read and analysed Young’s theory which explains that throughout our lives we are dependant on objects to help us transition through different stages of our lives. Young suggests that we turn to something sensual and comforting when we need to relieve “depressive anxiety” (Young, R.W. 1994). Usually these objects will have a high symbolic exchange value and is more often than not different for each individual. However we can see trends evolving within different age groups and target markets, as advertising agencies specifically target people’s need to feel comforted through the use of luxurious products. For example mobile phones and social media apps are used by the younger generations as a form of transitional objects. The youth of today rely heavily on apps such as Facebook Instagram and Twitter to connect and ‘socialise’ with one another and structure their lives around these networks. Its arguable that these apps replace the need for real life connections, as users may disengage from real human interaction face-to-face in favor of virtual interactions and while ironically being called ‘social networks’ they actually inhibit our interactions with one another.

Young makes a particularly interesting point about how “we may well turn more and more to such experiences as luxurious foaming bath creams or Jacuzzis, to Gucci shoes and gold chains, as rather sad compensations for the lack of a better quality of society and social relations” (Young, R.W. 1994). This is so poignant in relation to social media as in reality that is the purpose of these platforms,  combined with the desire to validate your existence through the online currency of ‘likes’ and positive feedback the youth of today sedate themselves and may have lost true intimacy within day to day interactions.