Prof. Shaleen Seward SOC. 301, Race/Class/Gender
December 4, 2012
"I am an American," says over 308,745,538 people in the United States this year ("2010 Census Data.") These people originate from everywhere; America is a "melting pot" of culture, and that can unfortunately cause social inequalities to arise through the Matrix of Domination, a theory that mirrors the intersectionality of race, class, and gender, as coauthor of Race, Class, & Gender, an Anthology Patricia Hill Collins claims (Andersen, and Collins xi-xiii.) These two terms give label to the commonplace phenomena of race, class, and gender work within a system of social relationships. The understanding of people from other cultures has grown in many ways over the history of the United States. America is starting to realize that the ethnocentric, or judging of others culture through the values of their own, is no longer an acceptable way to approach others. There is still a long way to go to more firmly develop a country with a general appreciation of diversity and inclusive thought. Knowledge is the power that will keep populations in peaceful, cultural awareness and harmonious equality.
Anderson and Collins share many views of American life and morality through the different cultural perspectives of its citizens (and noncitizens.) These articles prove that race, class, and gender all play separate, dynamic roles in the interrelated origins of discrimination. In the article, The Culture of Black Femininity and School Success, the realization that black women have historically been raised to consciously be more aggressively determined to succeed as they had the least amount of power in the education system. The conflict between young, black females and school officials usually ended up in a positive social change because the understanding that their race, class, and gender is constantly pinned up against them (Lewis, Mueller, and et al 187-193.) In our patriarchal society, women lack power. In addition to that, these women are African American, which creates more issues in fighting against discrimination from those who have more power, such as a potential employer. Speaking of employment, black women in America generally come from a lower-class background, which works against them in gaining power to change their status in life.
The people with power in America are generally the ones who don't have issues obtaining wealth or status. This social construct has perpetuated many centuries, and today, it is seen most clearly by the white, educated males who are educated to become those with the power, that is, the white-collar employers and employees. On the flip-side of this case, minorities are educated in technical schools often, those with blue-collar or lower status jobs. For this, America has adopted laws like Affirmative Action as a protective measure to eliminate discrimination issues in the workplace. Some people think this law is unnecessary as "America means equality for all" however, this color-blind approach keeps those with the white privilege in ignorance (Gallagher 91-95.) Inclusive thinking is necessary from a young age to create a more accepting atmosphere and society within the United States. To teach these concepts, the hidden agenda initiated from toddler-age on, which keeps the powerless under the thumb of the powerful must be eliminated. Understanding and accepting differences will be the easiest and most valuable, long-lasting way to boost the position of the powerless, i.e. the minorities of America. Only when an equal percentage of minorities and Caucasian people obtain degrees and sufficient income will equality be a tangible possibility.
American educational facilities have adopted the "Black History Month" as a role model for inclusion, however, why a single minority of a population have a single month of history created to what seems like a pacification of the lack of...