Assimilation of Nog...

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Ferengi Prime 5, Jul 1, 2022.

  1. Ferengi Prime 5

    Ferengi Prime 5 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    You know the Federation assimilated Nog... Nog turned his back on the Ferengi ways for Starfleet... The article talks about racial attitudes of DS9 towards the Ferengi. Quark understood the Federation was insidious and hew' mons were as vicious as Klingons when times got tough. Nog blindly allow himself to be assimilated by the Federation.

    https://openjournals.uwaterloo.ca/index.php/kinema/article/view/1046/1182

    Conclusion: Assimilation is the Answer
    Bernardi argues that the mainstream dominant culture of the Star Trek universe is "depressingly Western and painfully white."(33) Despite its multicultural cast and "melting pot" space station (or perhaps a more apt analogy would be a tossed-salad), DS9 continues the franchise's white vision of the future that Bernardi illustrates. Nog, a recurring character throughout the seven year series, grows from Ferengi boy to a man who adopts the values of a culture that despises his race. DS9 shows us that Nog makes the "right" and "noble" choice and rises above his despised race to embrace the values of the dominant culture. Nog proves that a Ferengi can abandon his "detested" culture's values and become a "credit to his race" from the dominant culture perspective.

    This vision of the assimilated "other" is a longtime media stereotype. As Rhodes argues, racist culture needs racist media to promote racist values. The dominant perspective that makes the Ferengi race detested is the same one that validates Nog's rejection of his culture. If the Star Trek franchise truly wants to embrace multiculturalism and diversity then it will have to consider the "other" in non-ethnocentric ways. Star Trek's professed moral mission is to ask "questions of relevant social significance and . . . [offer] wise and timely answers to those questions." (34) Unfortunately the reality of Star Trek is that it continues to perpetuate racist stereotypes and visions of the future that are far from multicultural.

    The fans on the Star Trek electronic mailing list called attention to this space-race problem on DS9. They were unable to reach a consensus on whether Nog got into Starfleet on an affirmative action program or not. Of course, using all of the textual data concerning Nog and his Starfleet career there is no concrete evidence to suggest that he was accepted because of affirmative action polices. The electronic mailing list members took a contemporary argument against affirmative action to make sense of Nog's acceptance to Starfleet Academy. However, what the textual evidence does suggest is an even more racist conclusion. The conclusion is that Nog simply stopped being a Ferengi and assimilated into the dominant Star Trek culture thus making himself acceptable. Interestingly, the participants themselves implicitly considered this explanation at least once when Asa suggests that Nog and his father Rom are different, "they're enough of an oddity that they're considered 'strange' by their counterparts." Although the participants differed as to whether the Ferengi were actually based on negative Jewish stereotypes they nonetheless realized the "othered" status of the Ferengi and exposed the dark side of Star Trek's "white" future.
     
  2. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    I'd say he just made a decision to join. He wasn't forced and there was nothing blind about it.
     
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  3. Ferengi Prime 5

    Ferengi Prime 5 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    He stopped being Ferengi so he would be accepted into Star Fleet... That is not being multicultural... As Star Fleet wants to claim...
     
  4. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don’t think he ever stopped being a Ferengi.
    The only thing he gave up was the endless pursuit of profit.
    Unless you claim that that is the only defining trait of Ferengi, he didn’t change a thing about himself.
    In every story he is featured in, he keeps displaying behaviors and traits, good and bad, that are very Ferengi.

    And he didn’t give up profit to join Starfleet. He joined Starfleet because he gave up profits.
    He realized he had no lobes for it and identified Starfleet as a fulfilling career path where his talents and skills would be most appreciated.
     
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  5. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nog knew all along that he didn't have what it takes to be a full-bore Ferengi. Like his father before him, his true skills lay elsewhere. And as we see in later episodes, Nog never stops being the Ferengi he was before. He simply comports himself in a manner becoming of a Starfleet officer. ...Mostly. ;)

    (IMO) There's really no need to keep regurgitating huge chunks of someone else's opinions on these matters. If you start a thread, discussion will flow smoother from you sharing your thoughts in your own words.
     
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  6. Paul Weaver

    Paul Weaver Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Nobody but Nog could have sorted out the Treachery Faith and the Great River parts. He had his ears everywhere during Homefront and Paridise lost. He wasn't assimilated, but he did adapt and do what he wanted. Rom did the same. By being exposed to other cultures, they both realised there was another way to spend their life.

    It's worth remembering the culture he left behind. He saw how downtrodden his father was (Rom also "left Ferengi culture", and ended up leading the alliance - although for how long remains to be seen). Zek was distressed at the idea of Nog learning things from people other than Rom, of getting ideas above his station, of learning about other cultures, learning how others run their economies, conduct business and negotiate.

    If someone wants to leave such a "culture" it's not up to dogooders to say "no".

    It's interesting how they claim the Federation is "depressingly Western and painfully white". To me it seems the Ferengi culture is an outgrowth of Western - or at least American - one of unbridled capitalism, a theory of "anyone can make it", but in practice most can't.
     
  7. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    I think with the Ferengi suffragette storyline we got then it was clear Ferengi society was undergoing upheaval anyway. It’s presumable that many members of the species were starting to have different ideas at that point in future-history.

    Nog joining Starfleet was just a symptom of that.

    I’m all for deep or alternative readings, but the premise of the OP is flawed here as it suggests Nog was coerced or deceived which he was not. He joined Starfleet willingly with his eyes wide open. He wanted it, more than he wanted the alternatives.
     
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  8. Ferengi Prime 5

    Ferengi Prime 5 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Sci-fi is always a reflection of times it is written in...

    No, if you read the article he has to change to be given schooling... Cisco informs Jake Ferengi and humans should not interact... Nog has face bigotry... He was forced to change his identity to be successful... Be like the majority culture...
     
  9. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    I read the article. It’s a hit job that cherry picks moments whilst ignoring the wider context of those moments in order to add weight to an argument that is largely specious. It’s like a sixth-form students’ idea of insightful critique and isn’t very convincing.

    Alright, well have fun with this one. What fun there is to be had at any rate. I’m out.
     
  10. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You can't be saying "assimilation" around Star Trek fans and not expect them to think of a certain kind of assimilation.
     
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  11. urbandefault

    urbandefault Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have to wonder, are these threads for a class or something?

    It's summer, dude. Go to the beach. :techman:
     
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  12. WAMTNG

    WAMTNG Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    This reading is available, but I don't personally find it very compelling. Indeed, DS9 itself deals with this issue quite directly in the infamous "root beer" exchange between Quark and Garak in "Way of the Warrior". I agree that the Federation struggles with its multiculturalism, which is handled by Prime Directive clashes in TNG and in a variety of ways in DS9. But I would suggest that late 20th century Trek is largely quite aware of the problem it presents in this regard. Stories revolve around this issue.

    I would personally prefer a more inclusive intersectionality critique in the context of both Nog and Worf. It is not that either is 'assimilated' into Federation culture, it is that they act as intersections between these cultures. "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" shows Nog being a Federation Ferengi (the first of his kind) - he is categorically NOT just a Federation stooge in this episode. This for me entirely undermines this narrative of 'assimilation' - and I agree with Ragitsu, this is a misleading term to unleash in this particular forum! :devil:).
     
  13. kkt

    kkt Commodore Commodore

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    Not particularly compelling. Nog sees the weaknesses in the Ferengi system close up: Quark tearing down and cheating Rom many times a day. Nog made an informed decision to join a different system as far as making a living - one that rewarded hard work and skill rather than cheating everyone. He didn't stop being a Ferengi, he just decided not to make his living as a Ferengi businessman.
     
  14. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    This is a pretty weak argument. Nog was rejected by his own culture for being bad at profit, so he found people who would accept him.

    People aren't consigned to the cultural norms of a culture they don't fit in them or don't give them a chance to thrive just because they belong to the same race as that culture and it's not "Assimilation" to give acceptance and opportunity to the people left behind.
     
  15. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh for Christ sake!

    Somebody choosing to join Starfleet and/or the Federation because they happen to like them and/or see them as a path to personal improvement/advancement is not them "getting assimilated" or "insidious"

    Cut that nationalist BS!
     
  16. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I mean, think about it.
    Instead of going a conventional career path and failing at it, he decided to make freakin history and become the first Ferengi in Starfleet.
    He didn’t know it, but Starfleet
    would go on and name capital starships after him!
    And if he wanted, he could later write his Starfleet memoirs and sell that as an all time bestseller for all the latinum in the galaxy.
     
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  17. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I LOVE "Sinister Starfleet/Fiendish Federation" threads with an unholy passion.
     
  18. Ferengi Prime 5

    Ferengi Prime 5 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Cultural Assimilation is Cultural Assimilation either the Borg way or the Federation way... both insidious? Remember to be successful as a Borg you must be a Borg and to succeed in the Federation you must embrace the Federation...

    https://norwalkcc.libguides.com/c.p...ontested,benefit from full citizenship status.

    Assimilation is a much contested notion whereby on entering a new country immigrant groups are encouraged, through social and cultural practices and/or political machinations, to adopt the culture, values, and social behaviors of the host nation in order to benefit from full citizenship status. The most commonly understood form of assimilation is that of cultural assimilation. This involves ethnic groups taking on the cultural signifiers of the host nation. Here minority groups are expected to adapt to the everyday practices of the dominant culture through language and appearance as well as via more significant socioeconomic factors such as absorption into the local cultural and employment community. It is agreed that, in this regard, assimilation becomes easier for the children of immigrants who are invariably socialized and educated in the culture and history of the dominant society from a young age.

    My point is Nog did not have a choice to be assimilated just like the Borg do not give a choice. Minority are expected to assimilate. Is it right or wrong who knows? Nog without knowing adapted to the Federation which improve he chances of success within the Federation.
     
  19. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Pretty key difference there. Even if your point was largely correct, you're still pretending that there's no difference between an officer being expected to act a certain way, and the involuntary mind and body alteration that come with being forced to be a Borg drone.
     
  20. Ferengi Prime 5

    Ferengi Prime 5 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Is Nog a Ferengi or is he a Federation-Ferengi for they are not one in the same.. Is Spock a Vulcan or is he a Federation-Vulcan... Is Worf a Klingon or a Federation-Klingon... think about it...