From the slavery of African and Native American slaves to Jim Crow laws that dominated the South in the 20th century to police brutality that currently plagues the country, race has always been divisive in America. White, African-American, Asian, Latino are all races or ethnicities that create not only a division between people, but an expected societal role. What happens when two of those divisive categories combine? What is their new label? Do they have a new role? Are they black or white? Biraciality has become more prominent in America than it ever has before. Society’s definition and use of race restricts biracial people, specifically black and white, from identifying as they see fit.
Estrella was eager to get academic knowledge but unfortunately her teachers were more concerned in her hygiene and her appearance than in giving her the education. “Teachers were more concerned about the dirt under her fingernails.” “They inspected her hair for lice…”
Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac is a book centered around the Navajo Indians in WWII. The Navajos were forced to live on reservations, their only option to further their education and broaden their opportunities were to leave the tribe or to join the military. Caucasian Americans at the time were very stereotypical towards the Navajos, they believed they were drunk, uneducated, wild savages. Caucasian Americans were guilty of only hearing a single story of how their ancestors took the land from the Indians who weren't deserving of it. Non Indians believed they rightfully used the land and saved it from wild savages destroying the land. In reality The Navajos were highly spiritual, and educated people who respected the land. The mindset of the “real Americans” demonstrates “how impressionable [humans] are in the face of a story”.
“The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named María” by Judith Ortiz Cofer and “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan depict the endeavors people take on in an attempt to integrate into society. Cofer demonstrates how stereotypes of Latina women have led others to misjudge her and explains the difficulty she had disassociating herself from those stereotypes. Tan demonstrates that the “broken” English her mother speaks has led others to think less of her and disregard her. One’s appearance instantaneously causes others to judge them. For some it is easier to blend in and be accepted by their community, but what is it that keeps some people from assimilating, and what effect does their otherness have on them?
Ethnic stereotypes operate in the same ways for men and women. In the reading “ Being WEIRD: How Culture Shapes the Mind,” Ethan Watters mentions how culture shapes the way of thinking and perception. “The most interesting thing about cultures…they mold out most fundamental conscious and unconscious thinking and perception.”(Watters 496). This shows how culture is not just about the materialistic things, but how it influence’s ones thinking and judgment in general. A main source that influences an individuals judgement is the media. It is exactly what happens in the reading “ Ghetto Bitches, China Dolls, and Cha Cha Divas,” were Jennifer Pozner mentions how “Other Latina models throughout the series have been called ‘fiery’ as a compliment and ‘hootchie’ as an insult.” (Pozner 361). This quote shows how racial stereotypes work. The show America’s Next Top Model releases these name calling that will later on affect that particular ethnicity.
The documentary Sister Rose’s Passion, explains how Sr. Rose Thering took a stand against bigotry and prejudice towards the Jewish people. Throughout the documentary, she recounts her experiences of growing up and going to Catholic school. In school Sister Rose was taught that the Jews killed Christ, however, she believed that this was a mistake and a misunderstanding. Today bigotry and prejudice are conveyed through bullying and stereotypes.
Today, society has become dependent on media, propaganda has risen because of the portrayal of stereotypes of the Hispanic culture. There is a common ground of the concepts of stereotyping and ethnocentrism. The propaganda has enabled stereotypes to arise in the media and has made an impact on the behaviors of those that interact with the Hispanic culture. Any action reflecting stereotypes could have a negative or positive impact on those of other cultures.
One would think prejudice is a thing of the past. Unfortunately, that is not the case, prejudice is still a common factor in todays society. Vincent N. Parrillo’s essay “Causes of Prejudice,” helped me to understand how we are affected not just psychologically but in a sociological way as well, as John A. Camacho explains in his A Few Bad Apples opinion piece published in the Pacific Daily News. Both forms of prejudice are continued to be explained through Stud Turkel’s “C.P Ellis,” he gives us an understanding of psychological and sociological prejudice through C.P Ellis’own experiences. This furthers our understanding on how we can be affected by both psychological and sociological prejudices. The Primary causes of prejudice are psychological as shown by emotional prejudice and demonstrated through an authoritarian personality, that may result in displaced aggression. Where Sociological prejudice can be shown by social norms.
The main subject of this chapter is to introduce the racial discrimination Asian-Americans suffered simply because of their skin color. The author argues in this chapter that Americans are frequently subject to assume that Asians are foreigners, having no knowledge of their past or family. A specific piece of evidence that the author uses to support his case is the example of when he went to college and was invited to dinners for foreign students, despite the fact that his family had lived in America for three generations.
Junot Diaz often thinks of his mother when he has trouble with his art. He reflects back on a seven-year-old girl being raised in the Dominican Republic, with a dream of achieving higher education. Though she had lofty goals, she had to face the reality of imprisonment from working on the family farm or receive what they called a “Third World-country beating”. Through a leap of faith, she was able to achieve her dream and unknowingly inspiring her son to achieve his. Diaz overcame his own struggles at a young age, often relates his trials in life to his mother’s past, and ultimately finds a way to achieve his dreams. This essay portrays the definition of “Courage”.
In this society, many judgements are made about people from different backgrounds. This causes many problems between people of other races. Racism can be shown in multiple ways such as by using overt and covert racism. In the two stories “The Stolen Party” by Liliana Hecker and “So What Are You, Anyway?” by Lawrence Hill, there are many examples of racist stereotypes. These stereotypes have many different effects on the people judged accordingly. Maintaining stereotypes is insensitive and divisive; it shows how oblivious society is to people of ‘other’ backgrounds and it is hurtful to those who are judge according to them.
Today, we are living in a very complex social environment. In today’s society, people are stereotyped in many different ways depending which category an individual is located in. Haven’t you been stereotyped at some point in your life? Or you may have stereotyped someone without even noticing it. Stereotyping is actually more serious than we thought and it is becoming a major problem in our society today. But what is stereotyping? According to the dictionary, stereotype is defined as “a simplified and standardised conception or image invested with special meaning and help in common by members of a group.” Moreover, it is considered as a form of prejudice, as people are putting labels about how a person should act or live according to their gender, nationality, religion, personality or appearance. This creates pre judgment, including misconceptions, which can develop further, leading to bigger problems and complications.
People get categorized by stereotypes everyday just by outward appearances or the group of people they are associated with. A stereotype is a preconceived notion about a group of people. People form fixed images of a group that are assumed that all group members act and behave is a particular way. A person essentially gets stereotyped by being “guilty by association” of a particular group. All stereotypes get based off of a bit of truths that all group members similarly have. Whether it is behavior, attitude, or outward appearance. Stereotypes often get confused with prejudices, because like prejudices, stereotypes get based off of prior assumptions. Many also think that misconceptions are similar to stereotypes, but misconceptions are formed
Stereotypes are based on knowledge available to members of a group and provide a way to categorize information about other groups in society
There are many concepts that underpin discrimination and many theories to draw from this paper will detail and explore the definitions, concepts, and theories such as Stereotyping, Social Identity Theory, and Conflict Theory which are all to the fore in prejudice and discrimination. It will seek to examine current research and suggest strategies based on best practice and evidence to combat discrimination and prejudice within organisations to allow for a healthy productive workforce.