Tutor profile: Jessica L.
Subject: Environmental Science
What is the ecological impact of removing an organism from it's ecosystem? What are the larger societal implications.
Within a food web every organism plays a vital role in the sustainability of it's ecosystem. Removing an organism, from any trophic level, can therefore have a catastrophic effect. When mapped out on a food web, scientists can easily trace the flow of nutrients between organisms as well as the domino effect that would result from the removal of any one. Removing a deer, for example, from a forest ecosystem would impact not only those predators that eat them but also other prey that will be overly hunted, the plant life that the deer were controlling, and thus the overall health and balance of the forest. Nature has natural mechanisms, such as a population ceiling, to maintain this balance but as tertiary consumers it is our job to ensure we cause no unnatural removal of any organism from our ecosystems. We must therefore be mindful of our own effects from factors such as pesticides, hunting, and other man-made interventions into nature.
What is the effect of autism on Lacan and Habermas's theories on constructing the "I" and identity?
Lacan argues that in order to come to the truth, discourse must remain open. Autistic individuals cannot be cut out of this discourse simply for revealing its fragility; this would only leave our understanding incomplete. Instead we must accept Lacan’s premise that there may be many truths in society. Our systems of sign can exist simultaneously with that of an autistic person. We can even mutually work to learn each other’s languages and to create a whole new set of signs together. Lacan reveals a path to self-development that allows for this difference and potentially condemns stigma originating from previous belief, such as that of Habermas, that there can only be one truth and that it must be the goal of society. Mutual exploration and dialogue, with a multitude of languages, is a more inclusive solution that would allow for variances in the mental health of participants. Autism can provide an experience that parallels Lacan’s account of misrepresentation and development, yet also diverges along the lines of managing this disconnect and moving forward.
Subject: Gender Studies
In "Gender Trouble," author Judith Butler asserts that feminism should not assert women are a characteristically distinct group from men. What was her reasoning for this and the larger implied impact on gender?
Butler argues that by stating women have a distinct set of characteristics that distinguish them from men, we are reinforcing the patriarchal and wrong construct of gender as a binary. Gender is rather a cultural creation that should be seen as fluid and diverse. This will break the long standing norm of sex creating gender creating expression and desire, but rather highlight that they are all separate forms of identity that intersect without dependency on one another. Gender identity, Butler argues, is therefore a temporary expression of where you are rather than a universal definition of who you are. This contradicts other theorists beliefs that gender is an individuals true identity, as well as the mainstream belief of the relevancy of biological characteristics in this debate. Butler calls for a larger call to action by subverting gender in our daily lives. In this way societal factors can also be subverted and identity itself can be reinvented.
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