The Present Day State Of Muslim Western Relations

1526 words - 6 pages

This essay reflects my research and participation towards our collaborative project/presentation, and outlines the focus and arguments of the group presentation. At first, my group members and I chose to do our group presentation on the relationship between the West and the Muslim world, particularly the causes of why it's such an uneasy relationship, and how fantasy plays a part. We were planning on discussing “Park51”, as it's a current event and a good indicator of the present-day state of Muslim-Western relations. The sub-topics that we were planning on discussing in our presentation were the factors that affect the relationship for better or worse would be: differences in religious/ ideological adherence, gender roles, geography, structure of society (political systems, governance, etc.). While doing research we all realized that with this topic there were not many arguments to argue which ultimately made it more difficult to relate the topic to the course material and themes. So, Kirill and Nik had decided to change our topic. But, this time the issue that we had to consider in pursuit of our research is choosing a topic that we can draw connections to the course material and themes. Kirill and Nik thought of another topic which was approved by all the members in the group because all had a greater interest in researching this topic compared to the previous one. The new topic we chose was escapism in the west and mirrors of mimetic experience. This topic is a better choice for our presentation because we could draw more connections to the course themes and course material.
The purpose of our presentation is to prove that for the majority of society, when one’s mimetic experience is in conflict with, or is suppressed by the dominant fantasies of the West, one turns to escapism as a form of counter-fantasy or alternate fantasy, as it offers comfort and allows one to regain control and empower oneself with the least resistance. In our group presentation we will argue the physical forms of escapism, cognitive forms of escapism, and the reasons for escapism. These three arguments will have sub-topics which each group member will research and discuss during the presentation. As a group we all came up with a list of physical forms of escapism which include drugs, role playing (imaginative play), and sports/hobbies. For cognitive forms of escapism the points we came up with are dreams (lucid dreaming; strong personal attachments/ bonds formed in dreams that can lead to strong mimetic emotions), movies (identification, move from 2D to 3D, enhanced immersion; “Avatar syndrome”), videogames and literature (power of fiction & nonfiction). The reasons for escapism and interaction with ‘mirrors’ we will be outlining in our presentation are escape from stress and trauma (separation from inhibitions and preoccupations/ worries), entertainment and recreation, assuming alternate forms of identity, exploration and discovery, and gaining knowledge (of self...

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