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Critical Reading Reflection - Essay Example

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Throughout his book, Rose discusses a number of social and intellectual biases that are often associated with human intelligence and various professions. From waiters, carpenters, teachers to doctors, the author strongly believes that there is no such a thing as unskilled labor. In the literary context, the author uses the term agency to refer to the ability and decisions of individuals to apply their intelligence, skills and ability to change a given situation or make a difference. In this regard, agency simply describes the utilization of ones skills and intelligence to realize their future goals in life. Generally the author’s concept of agency primarily targets the youths. According to Rose “young people are at a stage where they are gradually realizing the significance of work in their future lives, how it will shape who they are as well as what they do in the world. They are desperate to become somebody, have a grasp of the forces affecting them and to possess agency and competence.”(186).This prompt suggests that individuals often exhibit agency through hard work, determination and sense of independence. In my own experiences particularly with regard to my school life, I have realized that one has to make a number of sacrifices in order to achieve personal ambitions and goals. This paper discusses my own critical reflection on the concept of agency in work, education and career particularly in relation to how the concept has been presented in the book “The mind at work”. Agency in education Agency In education is largely concerned with the capacity of individuals to act for purposes of achieving their educational goals. Education is critically important to every individual because it provides the necessary tools through which a person can used to achieve other goals in life. In his boo “The mind at work”, Rose uses the story of Uncle Joe to demonstrate how lack of agency in education can impact on our lives. Joe simply dropped out of school and decided to join his father’s profession because he lacked sufficient human agency required to enable him succeed in his education (Rose, 121). This is probably attributed to the fact that being from an immigrant community who experienced difficulties getting white collar jobs, it is likely that Joe did not have adequate personal motivation to pursue his education. In my experience, there was a time my mother was unable to raise my school fees. I was so desperate to succeed in my education that I decided to seek part time work in a local factory in order to pay my school fees. Although it was sometimes difficult to manage my part time job with my academic programs, I happily continued with the work until I successfully completed by studies. To my educational success was a clear evidence of agency in school. Agency in Life/Family The quest to achieve success in life or family is largely dependent on the conviction of one’s agency as well as the potential benefit they are likely to get in their personal or professional development. Without the strong conviction to achieve competency and success in life, we are more likely to be overwhelmed by obstacles. In his attempt to bring out the concept of agency in life or family, Rose (25) describes how his mother worked hard in a series of restaurants as a waitress to keep their ...Show more
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Other name (s) Course Critical Reading Reflection Introduction The book “The mind at work” by Mike Rose is an interesting piece of work that offers a critical analysis of the contemporary American physical labor drawing on both cognitive psychology and current researches in social sciences…
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