Introduction To Sociology:

Chapter 2: Culture

26 photocopied pages

Chapter 3: Socialization

34 photocopied pages

Chapter 2: Culture 

I had never felt heat like this before. If this is Northern Africa, I wondered, what must it be like closer to the equator? The sweat poured off me as the temperature soared past 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

As we were herded into the building--which had no air conditioning--hundreds of people lunged toward the counter at the rear of the building. WIth body crushed against body, we waited as the uniformed officials behind the windows leisurely examined each passport. At times like this I wondered what I was doing in Africa.

When I first arrived in Morrocco, I found the signs that greeted me exotic--not far removed from my memories of Casablanca, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and other movies that over the years had become part of my collective memory. The men, women, and even the children did wear those white robes that reached down to their feet. What was especially striking was the fact that the women were almost totally covered. Despite the heat, they wore not only full-length gowns, but also head coverings that reached down over their foreheads, and veils that covered their faces from the nose down. All you could make out were their eyes--and every eye the same shade of brown.

And how short everyone was! The Arab women to be on average 5 feet and men only about three or four inches taller. As the only blue-eyed blonde, 6-foot-plus-person around, and the only one wearing jeans and a pullover shirt, in a world of white-robed short people I stood out like a sore thumb. Everyone stared. No matte where I went, they stared. Wherever I looked, I found brown eyes watching me intently. Even staring back at thise many dark brown eyes had no effect. It was so different from home, where, if you caught someone staring at you, the person would immediately look embarrassed and glance away.

And lines? The concept apparently didn't even exist. Buying a ticket for a bus or train meant pushing and shoving toward the ticket man (always a man--no women were visible in any public position), who just took the money from whichever outstretched hand he decided on.

And germs? That notion didn't seem to exist here either. Flies swarmed over the food in the restuarants and the unwrapped loaves of bread in the stores. Shopkeepers would considerately shoo the flies before handing me a loaf. They also offered home delivery. I still remember watching a bread vendor deliver an unwrapped loaf to a woman who stood on a second-floor balcony. She first threw her money down to the bread vendor, and he then threw the unwrapped bread up to her. Only, his throw was off. The bread bounced off the wrought-iron balcony railing and landed in the street, which was filled with people, wandering dogs, and the ever-present burros. The vendor simply picked up the loaf and threw it again. This certainly wasn't his day, for again he missed. But he made it on his third attempt. And the woman smiled, satisfied, as she turned back into her apartment, apparently to prepare the noon meal for her hungry family.

Now, standing in the oppressive heat on the Moroccan-Algerian border, the crowd once again became unruly. Another fight had broken out. And once again, the little man in uniform appeared, shouting and knocking people aside as he forced his way to a little wooden box nailed to the floor. Climbing onto this makeshift platform, he shouted at the crowd, his arms flailing about him. The people grew silent. But just as soon as the man left, the shoving and shouting began again as the people clamored to get their passports stamped.

The situation had become unbearable. Pressed body to body, the man behind me had decided that this was a good time to take a nap. Determining that I made a good support, he placed his arm against my back and leaned his head against his arm. Sweat streamed down my back at the point that his arm and head touched me.

Finally, I realized that I had to abandon US customs. I pushed my way forward, forcing my frame into every square inch of vacant space that I could create. At the counter, I shouted in English. The official looked up at the sound of this strange tongue, and I thrust my long arms over the heads of three people, shoving my passport into his hand.

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Chapter 3: Socialization

 The old man was horrified when he found out. Life never had been good since his daughter lost her hearing when she was just two years old. She couldn't even talk--just fluttered her hands around trying to tell him things. Over the years, he had gotten used to that. But now.....he shuddered at the thought of her being pregnant. No one would be willing to marry her; he knew that. And the neighbors, their tongues would never stop wagging. Everywhere he went, he could hear people talking behind his back.

If only his wife was still alive, maybe she could come up with something. What should he do? He couldn't just kick his daughter out into the street.

After the baby was born, the old man tried to shake his feelings, but they wouldn't let loose. Isabelle was a pretty name, but every time he looked at the baby he felt sick to his stomach. He hated doing it, but there was no way out. His daughter and her baby would have to live in the attic.

(for full text , please see the Circulation Librarian)