Race, Class, and Gender in the United States is a book that is written by one who had a clear intent of presenting students with a compelling, clear study of issues of race, gender, and sexuality within the context of class. The writer deftly and consistently helps students analyze each phenomenon, as well as the relationships among them, thereby deepening their understanding of each issue surrounding race and ethnicity. In present times it proves quite hard to draw a thick line between class, race and gender.
In one way or another, the three are interplayed in our day to day lives. They do define our lives to a certain limit that the one involved can’t be of much retrospect whatsoever. It can be said that fate determines one live to a certain level and this statement or thesis may be validated by the discussions that follow forthwith. Race can be defined as a criterion that’s used to classify humans of different ethnicity guided by the color of their skin as a datum.
In the past this has been very rampant in countries that have people of very different backgrounds. The United States is a good example. While a good percentage are made of whites, an equivalent if not greater equation in some states represents a huge population of blacks, commonly compounded by those of African and south American origin. The later have been subject to some demeaning treatment since historic times and usually referred to as the inferior part of the population.
This is further compounded by their different contributions in running the economic wheel. The former have been known to single handedly run all major aspects of the country main sectors, economy and politics. The former have been reputed as a violent breed that occupy housing projects and make out a living through violence. In recent times though, this is changing for the better. Class is adjective that simply tries to put each individual in their respective place in community. The criterion used in this is as valid as it can be.
However one can argue to certainty that the most often used method is that one based on the economic capability of the individual. An individual who is well off, has a good job, good house and is simply on the fast lane may be viewed as a one who is in a class higher than his counterpart who more often than not has to hustle for each meal, clothing and basically day is a nightmare. This brings out the sharp difference between living and existing or surviving which in black and white is the criterion here.
Gender is the aspect of either being male or female. While this may be as simple as it appears there is more than meets the eye in the underlying world represented by being either. While one is female or male, there are many aspects of their lives that have been predetermined by their predicament. This entails the responsibilities that have been bestowed to them by nature. This is commonly the guideline that is used to determine the impression of recipient by other parties.
The above descriptions define the above terms clarify what the assignee is expected to discuss about. The above criteria have been predetermined by predecessors and they classify each individual that passes by. While some may be lucky enough to fall into favorable groups others have to endure through however. Paula The writer’s work illustrates the multitudinous ways that race, class, and gender affect the lives of Americans, informing nearly every aspect of public and private life from personal well-being to economic mobility.
He examines such topics as the history of discrimination and its effects on those who experience it, and the challenges to and methods of eradicating inequity. Rewritten to include the most recent statistical data possible, the seventh edition includes seventy new articles, a new section , “Complicating Questions of Race and Ethnicity”, and an expanded section on “Discrimination in Everyday Life. ” This discrimination is viewed in three ways in the writers work: 1. Gender based discrimination. 2. Attitudes depending on race. 3.
Discrimination due to ones social status Paula The writer’s extensive reader illustrates the multitudinous ways that race, class, and gender affect the lives of Americans, informing nearly every aspect of public and private life from personal well-being to economic mobility. Beginning with a section exploring the “Social Construction of Difference,” the volume proceeds to examine such topics as the history of discrimination (including legal history), its effects on those who experience it, and the challenges to and methods of eradicating inequity.
Rewritten to include the most recent statistical data possible, the seventh edition includes seventy new articles, a new section (“Complicating Questions of Race and Ethnicity”), and an expanded section on “Discrimination in Everyday Life. ” The writer uses text from a variety of genres (including scholarly analysis, government documents, legal records, newspaper and magazine articles, first-person commentary, and poetry) to illustrate inequity. The volume deconstructs notions that “whiteness” does not confer privilege, that women no longer suffer from sexism, that race relations in the U.S. are a matter of “black and white,” and that class in America is entirely mutable. The breadth of the writer’s source material both sustains her argument and renders it accessible to new students of diversity. Disconcerting and compelling, the volume’s materials condemn apathy and argue for personal action. Andrea Ayvazian writes, in Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression, The Role of Allies as Agents of Change that allied behavior means working to dismantle any means of oppression from which the ally receives a benefit.
It is conscious, intentional, proactive, and often involves a risk on the part of the ally. It means whites confronting other whites about racist jokes, men organizing groups to end violence toward women and children, Christians speaking out against religious prejudice against Jews and other faiths, or heterosexuals refusing to marry until all have the right to a legal union with the person they love regardless of their sex (Ayvazian, 1995).
Allied groups would include PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) which the author cites, but also gay-straight alliances in schools, the Southern Poverty Law Center, lead by Morris Dees and Joe Levin, which acts to monitor white supremacist hate groups around the country (SPLC website, 2009), and Men Stopping Violence, which works to end violence against women (MSV website, 2009). Individuals don’t need a group to be an ally, however. Each person is at the same time dominant and targeted; for example, a white Christian lesbian is in a dominant group by being white and Christian, but targeted by being a woman and gay.
Very few people don’t have some dominance, and therefore the opportunity to be an ally (Ayvazian, 1995). All that is necessary is the courage to speak out and the determination to be a positive role model. In an experiment conducted by Fletcher A. Blanchard, students who were first exposed to another student (in reality a study volunteer) who expressed anti-racist views then expressed anti-racist views more strongly than if the observed volunteer spoke ambivalently. Likewise, if the volunteer expressed racist views, the subject also spoke condoning racism. But it was more than social pressure which affected change.
The differences held even if the participant wrote down their answer, and there was no chance of their reply being communicated to the one they observed. Speaking out as an ally does changes opinions (Fletcher, 1992) Another way in which one can work as an ally is as a volunteer in solidarity with the group one wishes to help. This is in contrast to the charity model of volunteering, in which the mode and manner of help is decided by the volunteer rather than the targeted group, and the help is often a one time, self-contained exercise more often for the benefit of the giver than the recipient.
Acting in solidarity takes time and effort, and a commitment to growth. One can become fully engaged in solidarity with an organization by reading their materials and the books they recommend, learning about the larger issues affecting them, thanking them for making you a partner in the effort, and by dropping in, subscribing to their newsletter or joining their email list. (Paula , 2007) In conclusion, members of dominant groups can fight oppression by being an ally and speaking out, joining a public organization, or volunteering. Anyone willing to make a commitment to ending oppression can be an ally.
Each small effort makes a difference. There are a number of outstanding issues that clearly have to be well considered if the country is to said to have gained democracy in all aspects of itself. These comprise the racial, gender and social discriminations that are meted against some of the citizens by their countrymen who are fortunate enough to have somehow evaded the problem. More often than not, this disparity among people living together heightens tension between the two groups. When it builds up over time, it erupts and with it comes a whole new lot of problems.
These comprise ethnic divisions and fights. The ball falls squarely on the government’s court to avert the impeding groom by striving to par service delivery to its disgruntled citizens.
Ayvazian, Andrea (1995). Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression; The Role of Allies as Agents of Change from Fellowship Men Stopping Violence (2009). Men Stopping Violence; Educating and Advocating For Change, retrieved from http://www. menstoppingviolence. org/index. php on 10th April 2009 Paula S. (2007) Race, Class, and Gender in the United States (seventh edition)