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Concepts Paper Meg Pennington English 100

by: Madison Ultimate Notetaker

Concepts Paper Meg Pennington English 100 Engl 100

Marketplace > California State University Long Beach > English > Engl 100 > Concepts Paper Meg Pennington English 100
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Long Beach State

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Hi! This is my paper from her class that I was previously in. She personally helped me with these papers to improve my writing abilities. This is only used as an outline, DO NOT PLAGIARIZE MY WORK....
Composition II
Margaret Pennington
english, Journalism/English, Concept, concepts, english100
75 ?




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This 5 page Bundle was uploaded by Madison Ultimate Notetaker on Wednesday September 28, 2016. The Bundle belongs to Engl 100 at California State University Long Beach taught by Margaret Pennington in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Composition II in English at California State University Long Beach.

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Date Created: 09/28/16
Warner 1 Madison Warner Meg Pennington English 100 31 December 2015 Concepts and Identity  By definition, concepts are abstract ideas or general notions. Susan R. Horton’s  definition of concept is stated as: “Concepts have no ‘real’ definitions; instead, they have uses.  They are our ways of coming to understand the world and deciding how to behave within it”  (qtd. in Mauk and Metz, 136). By her definition, it appears to be that concepts are basically used  as social norms, in which guide people on how to behave socially within a society. The definition of concept can vary by each person’s perception on the matter. S.I. Hayakawa, who wrote “What It Means to Be Creative,” establishes the concept that a creative person is not limited within their ways of thinking. These people go above and beyond to create ideas and form curiosity of  numerous matters without the restrictions of what everyone else knows/thinks. According to  Doris Lessing, the author of “Group Minds,” humans are group animals and have the instinct to  associate with others who relate to them, and being in these groups, one’s thinking changes to  accommodate the same views as the others in order to have a sense of belonging. This adaptive  instinct makes it difficult for each person to maintain his individual and unaltered raw opinions.  According to Mauk and Metz, the authors of “The Composition of Everyday Life: A  Guide to Writing,” in order to understand a concept, it must be analyzed by dissecting the term  selected to find the complexity that lies beneath it (138). In his piece, Hayakawa analyzes the  Warner 2 term creativity and reveals the basis of this concept. The definition of creativity is the use of  original ideas, especially in the production of art. Hayakawa defines the “creative person” as:  “Anyone who is able to break through habitual routines to invent new solutions to old problems,  solutions that strike people with their appropriateness as well as originality” (138). He goes on to say that most creative people are original, who view things with their eyes only and not guided  by others. Many authority figures are common, and these figures tend to set the standards and  rules and tell us how to think and feel. These authority figures fit into roles, such as teachers or  policemen, and everyone plays a role in this world, “Many of us are busy playing roles, fulfilling other people’s expectations. As Republicans, we think what other Republicans think. As  Catholics, we think what other Catholics think” (138). Sticking to a role does not fall into the  description of a creative person, because they are willing to take the chance and fight against the  stigmas, “Because being creative means being willing to take a chance­­­to go out on a limb”  (138). Creativity stems from emotion and imagination rather than intellect. The creative person  takes chances to explore the unimaginable and discover what could be believed as impossible.  They take something simple and make something new out of it, “Creativity is the act of bringing  something new into the world. It is based first on communication with oneself, then testing that  communication with experience and the realities one has to contend with” (139). It is unfortunate that most people do not apply their creativity because they are afraid of making a fool of  themselves. Most are content with the approval and acceptance of everyone, but the creative  person would withstand judgment and isolation to exert his creativity. Anyone can be creative if  they could trust oneself and went out on a limb.  Warner 3 The concept of creativity as put by Hayakawa can greatly differ from the definition of  another person. People, cultures, and countries do not always agree on one definition, because  each have had different experiences with a concept than the other. Mauk and Metz present the  example of how different college courses view the concept of sex, “In a biology course, students  discuss sex as reproduction. The concept in biology involves the study of hormones and  reproductive systems. In psychology, sex might be understood as a complex of drives. Students  explore it using Freud’s understanding of sexual development” (137). Basically, what defines a  person is how they understand the concept presented. Another concept that can be addressed is identity. Doris Lessing begins her take on the  word from the Western point of view, “I am a citizen of a free society, and that means I am an  individual, making individual choices. My mind is my own, my opinions are chosen by me, I am  free to do as I will, and at the worst the pressures on me are economic, that is, I may be too poor  to do as I want” (644). She proceeds by mentioning how it is true that Westerners view  themselves as this, and it is sad because it is based on assumptions that affect the way Westerners view themselves. It is an example of group think, which is overly common. Many people belong  to groups, such as work, family, social, political, etc. “We are group animals still, and there is  nothing wrong with that. But what is dangerous is not the belonging to a group, or groups, but  not understanding the social laws that govern groups and govern us,” Lessing points out (644).  Being a member of a group is natural and common, but it can affect how personal decisions are  made because perception ad individual thoughts are influenced and altered by the group’s  influence. Original perspective and individual solutions are difficult to achieve, “But we also  find our thinking changing because we belong to a group. It is the hardest thing in the world to  Warner 4 maintain an individual dissident opinion, as a member of a group” (644). An example of group  think would be the experiment in which people are asked if the two vases are the same color, one being sky blue and the other being light blue. One group, the majority of the group, claims that  both vases are the same blue: light blue. The other group, being the minority, insists that the  vases are two different shades of blue. After much persistence for them to double­check their  answer, several of the minority began to agree with the majority. Lessing adds, “People who  have experienced groups may agree that the hardest thing in the world is to stand out against  one’s groups, a group of one’s peers” (645). It is truly difficult to have an individual identity  when most of one’s life is so closely intertwined with the group(s) they identify with. It is also  apparent that humankind has information regarding about themselves but have not yet used it to  improve institutions and lives (644). A solution Lessing produces within her piece is to teach  children in school today: “The human race has become aware of a great deal of information  about its mechanisms. It is information that will set people free from blind loyalties, obedience to slogans, rhetoric, leaders, group emotions” (645). People have the opportunity to branch off and  make their own decisions without the influence of group think, and this is important because  people need to establish their own self­identity.  The ideas of these two writers can be combined to establish that humans are less creative  due to the instinctual idea­morphing societies they inhabit. If people abide to the social stigmas,  no one will ever truly be creative. It could also be said that the hold on creative thinking set by  “group think” is enabling people to grow intellectually and as an individual. Creativity to one  man is art but to another it means to bring original ideas to life. Identity of Westerners to Lessing is that Westerners are bound by their common group think and have yet to dive into their minds  Warner 5 to establish self­identity. Embracing concepts under one’s personal definition is valuable to  establish who one is as an individual. Works Cited Hayakawa, S.I.. “What It Means to Be Creative.” Mauk and Metz 138­139. Lessing, Doris. “Group Minds.” Mauk and Metz 644­645. Mauk, John, and Metz, John, eds. The Composition of Everyday Life: A Guide to Writing. Brf. 3  ed. Boston: Wadsworth/Cengage, 2010. Print.


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