A term we referred to in class known as “major shaming” has become prominent in today’s culture. I was very engaged in our class discussion last week on whether there are real majors and fake majors and everyone’s unique opinions on the matter. I definitely agree that some majors are more useful than others. For example, we talked about the leadership major and the fact that it should be more of a minor or double major than in its own category. However, even though I would never choose a major such as leadership, I still believe it should not be referred to as fake. If a student is taking the time to focus on a certain area of study, it must be something of value to them or their future.
I believe what some people would term a “fake major” is a major that is broad and potentially mysterious. For example, many people tend to look down at English majors. I believe this is probably because of how broad the major is. What people don’t think about is the fact that such a broad major leaves a student with a multitude of options of what career path to take. Rather than limiting themselves to a specific career, an English major has many different options and routes they could take with their future. Additionally, I think many people would call a major fake if it appears to have a small chance of landing a student employment after graduation. I also disagree with this way of thinking because it should only matter to the student what their prospects are for the future job market. If they are willingly taking a chance at not being able to get a job, their major must be meaningful enough to them to constitute it as real.
I believe that as a society, we use such major shaming as a form of rhetoric. By putting others down for their personal choices, we are trying to convince ourselves that we we have chosen is worthy and not just a waste of our time. We use such negative judgement to feel better about ourselves and persuade ourselves that our future will turn out okay. When I think about it in this way, it’s very obvious to see how much of a role rhetoric has in my own self confidence and image through my own self persuasion about my choices and life experiences.