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Self-Automobile: What Makes It Run? Essay, Research Paper

Self-Automobile: What Makes It Run?

What shapes an individual? If someone asks you ?who are you?? How would you respond? Would you say you are a Smith, an American, a Christian, or a primate? A person is like automobile. A car is made up of many components that work in complement to make a car run. A person contains such components that make them in various ways. Moreover, the traditional components of religious affiliation and of kinship ties in which anthropologists emphasize on the most are not the only components that shapes an individual. As demonstrated in my research of the three personal web pages, the traditional components are just the basics. In addition, to the two traditional components, there are also factors like ethnicity, culture, and language that aid to shape an individual.

The first personal home page is of a girl name Sueko. She comes from the beautiful state of Hawaii and from the island of Oahu. Her original hometown is called Hawaii Kai and she graduated from Kaiser High School in 1997. Her ethnicity is Japanese and is a sophomore at the University of Washington whose plan is to enter the school of Psychology and then continue her education by trying for the UW?s medical school. Her name in Japanese means ?last child? because she is the youngest of her family. Sueko is named after her two grandmothers. She is highly involved on campus in organizations such as the Japanese Student Association, Asian Baptist Student Koinoa, and Hui Hoaloha Ulana, which is UW?s branch of the Hawaii Club. She currently works part-time. Her musical tasted is R&B and Hawaiian music. Included in her home page were picture of her friends, Hawaii, and of UW. In addition, she made a page dedicated to things she likes and dislikes and of other random bits of information about herself. She also put up on her home page her original poetry and other interesting links about Hawaii and Asian culture related links. Overall, I thought Sueko?s home page really shows who she is and what she is like.

The second home page belongs to a White male name Vero. He graduated from Frankfurt International School in Frankfurt, Germany where he participated in Cross-Country, Skiing, and Track. Vero?s permanent home seems to be in Seattle now where he attends University of Washington as a senior. His major is Electrical Engineering. Vero was born in Bangkok, Thailand, then him and his family moved to Frankfurt, Germany there he remained until the age of four when he moved back to Thailand once more for his kindergarten years. Afterwards, his family moved to Warrenton, Virgina where he completed first through fifth grades there. It is a small town. Vero was a Cub Scout and had some hamsters as pets. During his middle school years it was back to Thailand. It is during this time that he found an interest in computers and basketball. At last, he graduated from Frankfurt International School. The reason for the frequency of moving around is due to his father?s job with the State Department. Vero got his name from his paternal grandfather. It means ?Truth? in old German. He has one older brother. He is currently a member of the Yacht Club here at the university. Overall, Vero?s home page is organized in a chronological order and is mostly text instead of pictures. He also dedicated a section on his car, a hobby which he seems to enjoy a lot. His other links include the Yacht Club?s home page and of other automobile links.

The third personal home page that I examined belongs to another UW student name Garrett Chan. He was originally from Oakland, California but moved to the Seattle area at the age of ten. He is Chinese-American in that he was born in the United States. He is currently a sophomore and is still undecided about his major. His Chinese name is Chun Guang Leung meaning ?bright light.? He is the oldest son and has a younger sister. He is a devoted Christian and has established his own peer club of young Christian called three seven. Garrett is currently involved in the UW?s Kendo Club and is a member of the Chinese Baptist Church. His musical tastes are R&B, decent clean Rap and Asian modern music. His interests include shooting pool, watching Japanese animations, and hanging out with his friends. Overall, I feel this is one of the most personal web pages I because he literally puts up an autobiography of himself on his web page. In his autobiography, he describes his struggle with his faith when his father passed away of a heart attack. Both of Garrett?s parents were Christians and his father was a head pastor at his local church when the unfortunate occurred. His site is colorfully illustrated with numerous pictures of his friends and family. His web pages links up to numerous Asian cultural web sites and cartoon web sites.

Traditional communities? studies by anthropologists are kinship ties and religious affiliation. One?s kinship ties plays a significant part in shaping one?s personality. In Vero?s case, this affected him dramatically in that his father works for the State Department causing him and his family to be on the move constantly. With quick changes of environment, Vero must learn to adapt quickly with his peers thus causing him to be an extrovert with great people skills. This is demonstrated by him mentioning that he still remain great friends with his past childhood friends. It is him who initiated the contact of his long lost friends. Kinship ties also influences one?s interest of hobbies. Since Vero?s parents were great yacht sailors, even now away from his parents, Vero is still a skilled yacht sailor. This is demonstrated by him getting involved in UW?s Yacht Club. Kinship ties also affects one?s future rearing practice. In the case of Garrett?s, he states that he dreams of one day having his own children and raising them the way his parents had raised him and his sister.

Secondly, religious affiliation also contributes to a person?s personality. A strong example that demonstrates this is Garrett?s home page. His web page upon close examination shows he is a person of Christian faith. His web page contains several portions that connect who he is with God. He exemplifies this by being a member of the Chinese Baptist Church. In his religious community, he has demonstrated to be an active participant by attending youth groups on campus and by attending camps. Furthermore, his personal hardship in dealing with the loss of his father made him realize ever more he needed God.

To understand how personalities are achieved, one needs to look at more factors that affects an individual than the two traditional components. Several of these factors are based on one?s ethnicity, culture, and language. One?s ethnicity unknowingly will shape one?s self. The process of enculturation that Haviland mentions is almost unavoidable. Take Sueko?s web page for example, since she was born and raised in Hawaii, she will undoubtfully pass on the culture and traditions of the Hawaii ways onto her offsprings. In addition, being raised in Hawaii has definitely had an effect on her language use. As one will come to notice the words that Sueko uses are of the language that is common only in Hawaii and other Polynesian cultures- Pidgin. If a person that does not come from her culture, that person will have trouble understanding her words. Being from Hawaii and being Japanese would volunteer her to continue to participate in these communities. The result is of her being a member of the UW?s Hawaii and Japanese Clubs.

During my search of personal web pages, I?ve come to conclude that certain communities are emphasized more than other kinds of communities. However, this too depends on ethnicity/culture, age, and the technological development of a particular country. I?ve noticed that minorities tend to put in topics that are relative to their ethnic background. Take the web pages of Garrett?s and Sueko?s for example, both tend to address issues about Asians in general. Whereas Sueko?s web page tend to have links to other web pages on or about Hawaii. Secondly, the age of the web page maker also makes a difference in the construction of their web pages. Takes all of mine reference web pages for example, all of the authors are college students who tend to some way or another address topic relative to the University of Washington. Whereas, older authors tend to emphasize on family and the carreer aspects. Thirdly, the technological development of a country will tend to either hinder or aid in the availability of personal web pages. I found absolutely no personal web pages of people from Africa or of such.

I currently do not have a personal home page however, if I were to make one tomorrow, I am certain in what to include and exclude in my home page after examining numerous of home pages. I would definitely write out a personal summarized autobiography followed by descriptions of my family members. Next, I would include my interests and hobbies backed up by numerous pictorial images of the topics that I put up on my web page. Lastly, I would then include my resume for my future employers to look at. I will not dedicate more than a page on any specific topic. This is one of the major annoyances when I did my search. Moreover, I would not make a personal web page only to put up a resume. That defeats the whole purpose of a ?personal? web page.

I would want my web page as personal as possible leaving the browser feeling like he or she has known me from somewhere. I would keep it friendly, personable, and colorful as possible.

The question of, ?Who are you?? Is something that is difficult to answer. Perhaps the best way to learn what make an individual ?run? is to examine an individual as an auto maker would examine a car: to pick it apart, component by component. The component that makes up a human automobile like time advances gets more advanced and complex. Before, there were only two components that made the human car work: religious affiliations and kinship ties. In addition to these, other components have surfaced to make the human car more complex and efficient. These are a person?s ethnicity, culture, and language. These parts work in complement with each other. A person is all of these components and not just one. These are components that make a human automobile ?run.?


1. Anderson, Vero Thor. (1998). ?That Vero Guy.? (WWW document). URL


2. Chan, Garrett. (1998). ?My Story.? (WWW document). URL


3. Sueko. (1998). ?Lil O Me.? (WWW document). URL


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