Monday, October 6, 2008

Cofer Group

Cofer's Claim:  Ideals and perceptions of an individual change from culture to culture.  Talents and abilities do not change, but appearances do, depending on the time and place.  In order to cope with these changes, one may choose to either be a part of them or to isolate him/herself from them.

Rebuttal:  While it is true that perceptions chance, Cofer too becomes brainwashed about appearances and she ends up being no better off than everyone else.

(Note from Newmark: this writing suffers a great deal from vagueness!  So, those of you who are responding, do your best, based on your reading of Cofer, to decipher the vague language that this group uses. Also, please be sure to consider whether the group does or does not offer a viable "rebuttal" argument here, based on the parameters laid out in the Rebuttal Argument Worksheet that I have posted online.)


John said...

I believe Cofer does suffer some from taking on some of the attitudes of her peers in the early grades and high school.

The rebuttal here seems not to really address the issue, but rather states, in an ad-hominem manner, that Cofer's own ideals and perceptions change, which was the whole point.

nikki said...

I agree with John. I don't think the group effectively rebuttals Cofer's argument that societal norms differ from culture to culture, but I do see where they are coming from.
Cofer becomes the antithesis of her argument when she judges her peers on the same set of societal standards that mocked her.

tim said...

It definitely seems that the rebuttal is basically an extension of Cofer's argument. She states that perceptions vary culturally and then demonstrates in the passage how her own ideals changed as a result of moving to different places.


While this is perhaps a tangent, I find it interesting that Cofer's adaptation to a new environment was characterized as the result of brainwashing. America seems to elevate individuality in theory, but it usually encourages subordination and conformity in practice.

Sam said...

It is sort of hard for me to understand what this group's rebuttal is, since most of it is just a personal attack on Cofer. But I believe that maybe they meant that even though perceptions change, one does not necessary have to either conform or isolate. I have trouble thinking of any different options other than these two. How could you do anything but conform or not conform? I think I have to agree with the original argument by Cofer.

Danny said...

I understand that the group is saying that Cofer has become part of the 'culture' she is writing about. However, I think that the rebuttal statement needs to be shaped more into some kind of argument or contrast against what Cofer wrote instead of attacking her.

Dunte said...

Cofer really only "survives" social standards as she moves from place to place. Her sense of identity and her self-esteem are so affected by where she is that who she is never gains real significance.

Perhaps that's the point the group was trying to make but that's hardly an argument, as phrased. Perhaps: though Cofer presents only the options of conformity or apathy, one need not walk only those two paths to become more than societal norms dictate.

There are many arguments to be made based on Cofer's writing, but the rebuttal doesn't give a specific counter to be put up for debate- it merely states that she assimilated.

Alex said...

I think I sort of understand the rebuttal, and it's that after time, Cofer herself conforms to the prejudices of how everyone appears and how they should be treated? I am not sure. I would say that I agree with what you have written as Cofer's argument, that people's talents and abilities don't change, the way that the people around you, perceive you, or your appearance, is what changes and determines their attitudes towards you.