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Myths In Human Civilization Essay, Research Paper

Myths In Human Civilization

Throughout the history of human civilization, myths have been an integral part

of human society. Myths have no cultural boundaries as they can be found in all

cultural societies. The word myth can be referred to the classical Greek and

Roman mythology or a contemporary myth. Regardless of the type of myth, they

are stories used to give meaning to a phenomenon or symbolic manner to the

natural cycles that surround humankind. Myths are used to explain and

understand our existence in our world whether it is something that we can

tangibly see or not. The saga of a myth is past down from one generation to the

next. For the purpose of this assignment, I will be analyzing three articles

that deal with a myth. With each of these articles, I will attempt to explain

how the author uses the term within the context of the article. Finally, I will

be concluding the analysis of the articles with reference to class notes on what

we have learned to date.

The first article is “Phyllis Burke: Exploding Myths of Male and Female.” which

is a book review. The author of the book, Phyllis Burke, writes of Gender

Identity Disorder or GIS that effects both male and female children. A child

labeled with GIS occurs when the child is not confirming to appropriate gender

behaviour. For example, if a boy wants to play with dolls and dress up as the

opposite sex. Burke reveals that at a young age all children in the gender

socialization process are encouraged to play with gender appropriate toys and

roles. If the child does not conform to these roles laid out by our gender

conscious society, they are forbidden and discouraged to continue with their

behaviour. Burke continues to write that GIS children may find themselves in

play therapy or even in psychiatric hospitals. In analyzing the way in which

myth is used in this article, it is found in the way our society has created

gender roles for children, teenagers and even adults. There is no biological

evidence that girls can not play rough with other girls and boys. It is the

gender appropriate behaviour that has stereotyped our thinking that this

activity is not appropriate. Most would rather see girls playing with dolls and

boys being the ones who play rough. Burke analyzed GIS cases from the 1930s

through to the early 1990s and found no biological evidence to support GIS. The

behaviour that is deemed inappropriate is suppressed not by the child themselves

but by others around them. In relation to this myth as being scientific or

journalistic, I would have to say it is a bit of both. Through the media,

gender roles are reinforced. For example, this can be found in television

commercials of toys, where boys are depicted playing with trucks while girls are

shown playing with dolls.

In a recent article from the Toronto Star entitled “You gotta feel sad for

banker bashed by ?myth’.” by Joey Slinger, centers around the Bank of Montreal

chairperson, Matthew Barrett. The subject of the article inspires the title of

Slinger’s article. Barrett claims that the public is bashing his as a result of

?stereotypes, myths and sheer misinformation’. This comment from Barrett was a

result of public outcry of the banks making high profit and the chairpersons of

the banks holding down a substantial salary. The article reports that the Bank

of Montreal profit for 1996 was $1.17 billion while Barrett made $3.9 million.

This is clearly an example of a journalistic myth. There is a sense of truth

that Barrett wants to reveal and rid of the falseness from his point of view.

The third article from The Humanist entitled “The Myth of the Middle Class” is a

clear example of a journalistic myth. The article written by Lynn H. Ehrle

looks at the disappearance of the American middle class. The author suggests

with changes in the average household income there is a greater disparity

between poor and rich households. Thus, summarizing the middle class is being

divided with most going to the lower or poorer income groups. Ehrle throughout

the article backs up in support of the title with statistics and charts and in

doing so points the finger at the corporate world as the one seeing the middle

class disappear. Changes in the corporate economy such as corporate downsizing,

outsourcing, inflation and unemployment just to name a few. The word myth is

used here is the sense that society wants to think that they are in the average

or ?norm’ group that being the middle class. However, with the changes in

corporate economy mentioned, the middle class is a growing disparity.

Myths are used in all aspects of our society and culture. Examples of myths can

be found in science, sports, medicine, business and religion. The general view

or opinion is that myth is something that is false or not true. The

journalistic myth exposes the falsehood of myths. The living myth is a product

of our culture is to dismiss myth. Today, humans are more reflective,

philosophical and analytical of events placed before them. We are humans

started out as mythical thinkers, moving to a mystic, asking questions approach.

Then finally moving to an analytical way of thinking. Today, it is harder to

believe in myths as we are focused on numbers, facts and statistics. Stories

were told by the word using imaginative pictures, then transgressed to words,

arguments and intensive language and finally a reliance on numbers and

statistics. Regardless of the type of myth, we the reader should draw attention

to the context in which it is written. Question what is being written, who is

benefiting from the information and the power of the myth.

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