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Rayra Kidd

Page history last edited by Christine Bauer-Ramazani 12 years, 7 months ago

Rayra's Essays


Please copy and paste your drafts in the spaces provided.


ESSAY QUESTION (copy here): Outline and discuss the different influences on change at different stages in life. Illustrate your answer with examples and research findings. What is the most prominent influence, in your opinion. Explain your reasons.




IEP 510/520 Core

Prof. Christine Bauer-Ramazani

Date: 12/7/2011


According to the article “Set In Our Ways: Why Change Is So Hard” (2011), there are several different influences which affect our willingness and ability to change at different phases of our life. Those persuasions are related to personality or genes, and social responsibilities.

            Early 20s is the phase where risks are taken. During that period of age, the acceptance of new experiences is welcome (Westerhoff, 2011, as cited in Costa and McCrae, 1970). That occur due to the fact that behavior is influenced by nature, asserts the article “Set In Our Ways: Why Change Is So Hard” (2011). Westerhoff (2011) illustrated Christopher McCandless as an example of a young man in his early 20s who decided to make a radical change in his life traveling around the world, living behind family, and career. Likewise, less life demands is a feature that influences big changes. The beginning of adulthood offers more flexibility to modify plans since young adults don't have great responsibilities as for example, taking care of family or an established career.

            In contrary to the early 20s phase, late 20s stage is where seeking for change fades away, states Westerhoff (2011). Several studies report that the aging process exposes the genetics traits which are responsible for the reduction of radical changes. As a support to that fact, Westerhoff (2011) quoted Roth (2007), a neurologist researcher of the University of Bremen in Germany, who asserted “The brain is always trying to automate things and to create habits, which it imbues with feelings of pleasure. Holding to the tried and true gives us a feeling of security, safety, and competence while at the same time reducing our fear of the future and of failure” (p. 198). On the other hand, some research argue that change is affected by nurture; in other words, societal expectations influence dramatic changes in life (Riemann, n.d.), cited by Westerhoff (2011). Once the family and career are established, there is a strong decision to take ownership of life demands.

            As we have seen, internal (genetic) and external (environment) cause different influences on change at different stages in life; however, the pressure from society overpower the influence of the nature on change. The first one expects accomplishments such as a successful career, financial stability, as well as personal satisfaction through growing a respectful family and having a good social status. On the whole, if youths at early 20s desire to make a significant change in their lives, they will be attempted to follow the external influences, which could strongly have a big impact in their future life. Similarly, and even stronger, those who are in their late 20s find themselves in a very complicate situation to change radically everything that they built over the years. 



Westerhoff, N. (n.d.). Set in our ways: why change is so hard. Oxford University Press. (better to give the author and article title and say, "in" and then give the reference for the book.)


1. All parts of the essay question answered?  1  5 
2. Thesis statement / main idea stated at the beginning? 5 
3. Several supporting examples/reasons given? 5 
4. Several in-text citations/references made to the article/author/research? 5 
5. Reference given in APA format? 4 

TOTAL: 24/25 = 96%

Christine's review:  

 1. Your essay answer develops your argument very well, addressing each part of the question in a separate paragraph. Nicely done!

2. Excellent thesis statement, including all of the keywords and outlining the components that will be discussed in the answer (preview). I have highlighted them in paragraph 1.

3. Your essay answer not only illustrates your argument with examples but also proves your point by citing research. In other words, you corroborate your argument by drawing on the information in the text. Very well done!

4. Your essay answer is so strong because of the in-text citations that you use, constantly referring the reader back to the research or the examples in the text that prove the point.

5. Your reference combines the article and the book information. You could have cited the book only or indicated that this article appears in a book by citing the author/title of the article, followed by "in" and the reference for the book. Please check some examples in the Purdue OWL Citation Style Chart.






Course: IEP/510/520 Core

Prof. Christine Bauer-Ramazani



How can dancing as leisure contribute to a good quality of life?

There are many studies reporting that leisure time is a beneficial way to provide the increase of quality of life, as Iwasoki, Y. (2007) claims. Considering dancing a leisure activity answers the question above, because dance certain should be regarded as a type of recreation; it provides fulfillment, and it effectively offers socialization.

Veal, A. J. (1992) defines recreation as any chosen activities that give satisfaction and pleasure. Generally speaking, those activities happen indeed on the leisure time, when people are free from any obligation as work, duties at home or others commitments and they are able to choose to engage in something pleasurable. To illustrate, many people are motivated to select to dance swing-dance, for instance, after a long work day. Another example are many elderlies who choose enjoy their extra – free time participating in community activities which involves different styles of dance. As a type of recreation, dance is one of the first choices and highly recommended physical activity; for example, a large number of children prefer to participate in groups of dance rather than play sports after school, as well as a considerable number of women, who desire to improve their physical condition, select Zumba dance to exercise in their leisure time. Thus, dancing ought to be viewed as recreation that motivates those who enjoy pursuing it.

Lovers of practicing dance are highly motivated to do this leisure activity since it gives them fulfillment. They experience good feelings of enjoyment and relaxation. Brown (2007) concludes in her article called “The Carolina Shaggers: Dance as Serious Leisure” that “Most people engage in the dance for intrinsic rewards: because it is fun and leads to long-term friendships.” For instance, friends enjoy dancing with each other on weekends. Others have a great satisfaction when they dance well. The enjoyment produced by dancing creates happiness, which influences a change between a negative attitude and a positive attitude, despite of sadness, frustration and depression caused by personal problems. The same way, the state of relaxation transforms the mood in a manner that ultimately is characterized by immersing ourselves in an activity or situation without paying attention about time (Lee, 1999). As example, someone certain could feel relaxed dancing after a stressful work day, which helps forget, a list for some hours, the daily problems from work; or many people feel relaxed dancing ballroom dance, as waltz for example, because of the smooth and relaxing music.

The last attribute that dancing, as a leisure activity, offers is socialization. The valuable connection with friends and potential friends, also the sensation of inclusion motivates individuals to dance on their leisure time. Brown (2007), mentioning Stebbins (2001), claimed in her study about recreational shaggers that one of the several motive those dancers participate in dance activities are the advantages of socialization and inclusion. She provides a example from a dancer which stated, “You meet so many people, and that's what happens in the shag world. You dance with somebody, you talk and stand around and before you know it, you connect. You make such wonderful friends.” Through those connections there is the development of belongingness or inclusion, as another example from that same study (Brown, 2007) shows why a dancer enjoys taking part of the dance activity, “It's the smoothness, the beauty of the dance, and the camaraderie of the people that participate. It's like a circle of people that all just care so much about one another and love to dance.”

As Dumazedier (1960), cited by Veal (1992), defines free-time, “Leisure is activity apart from obligations of work, family, and society, to which the individual turns at will, for either relaxation, diversion, or broadening his knowledge and his spontaneous social participation, the free exercise of his creative capacity.” Ultimately, dancing ought to be a leisure activity that is practiced as recreation, offers self-satisfaction, and highly motivates socialization. Therefore, if you want to have a good quality of life immerse yourself in the pleasurable leisure activity, dance.




Brown, C. A. (2007). The Carolina shaggers: Dance as serious leisure. Journal of Leisure Research,

39 (4), 623-647.


Iwasoki, Y. (2007). Leisure and quality of life in an international and multicultural context: what are major pathways linking leisure to quality of life? Social Indicators Research, 82, 233-264.

doi: 10.1007/s11205.006.9032.2


Lee, Y. (1999). How do individuals experience leisure? Parks & Recreation, 34 (2), 40-45.


Veal, A.J. (1992). Definitions of Leisure and recreation. Australian Journal of Leisure and Recreation, 2 (4), 44 – 48, 52. Retrieved from School of Leisure, Sport and Tourism. Retrieved from http://www.business.uts.edu.au/lst/research.













Course: IEP/510/520 Core

Prof. Christine Bauer-Ramazani




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