Proxies, are unlike direct measurement. They are estimations or approximations that have been gathered from looking at research. Both social and natural sciences employ proxies and they are used when the true measuement of something can no be done. Though the implementation of proxies in social sciences can be rather problematic. A very large issue in this chapter was the problem of defining hunger and poverty. This came into question several times as I read.
Hunger proxies, as discussed by Lou and Erin are very much so subject to the opinion of the reader in the context of each given article. In all cases it is better to measure things as accurately as possible, but hunger is an especially heated topic. Proxies are only bad if they are fatally flawed which can happen when researchers measure the wrong thing or when reporters ask the wrong questions. In many hunger/poverty studies the proxies are inaccurate. I enjoyed the last sentence of the chapter that really defined the idea behind proxies and said something along the lines of 'the reporter shouldn't say how many, but rather explain proxies and how the researcher came to that conclusion'.
In regard to Lou's presentation about the Halloween proxy that asked whether children today were afraid of Halloween, I believe that this is another one of those issues that can be debated through out time. It all depends on the types of questions that the parents and children are asked. And more importantly it depends on each persons definition of being scared. If a child cries in the haunted house is it because he/she is scared or upset about something totally different.
Here is a quote that reminded me a little bit about this unit. I am not sure why, but it stuck in my head over the years. It is from a television show. The scene is that a history teacher is telling this to his students and doing a little bit of revisionist history. I felt that it tied into the idea of journalists as well as scientists skewing facts and proxies and purposely trying to convey a personal belief to a larger group through news/reports.
"FACT: Fidel Castro dressed up as Marilyn Monroe and gave President Kennedy a case of syphilis so bad that it eventually blew off the back of his head!" -Stephen Colbert as Chuck Noblet on Strangers With Candy.