UCSD Race in America Essay
This week we talked about Social Class in America.
we watched Tammy’s Story:
Tammy’s Story – People Like Us episode #4
As you watch this segment, I want you to think carefully about the following two questions:1. What characteristics mark people as belonging to one class or another?2. How does growing up in a particular social class affect one’s self image and worldview?For this week’s essay, please write up your responses to those two questions while using evidence and examples from the video “Tammy’s Story”Your response must be between 500-600 words.
Introduction to Sociology
May 13th, 2020
The Idea of Race
Nobody questions that individual human beings are
The idea of race is that external differences, which are
rooted in biology, are linked to internal differences (i.e.
intelligence, athletic ability, and other kinds of aptitudes)
But there are no clear cut races, only a range of physical
variations among human beings.
A group of people who share a set of
characteristics – typically, though not
always, these are physical characteristics –
and are believed to share a common
Characteristics of “racism”
(1) Distinct bloodlines and physical types;
(2) Bloodlines are linked to distinct cultures,
behaviors, and abilities;
(3) Superior and inferior races.
Racism is the belief system that one racial group is
condemned by nature to inferiority and that
another group is destined to superiority
Racism is any set of beliefs that organic, genetically
transmitted differences between human groups
are associated with the presence or absence of
certain socially relevant abilities or characteristics
“Race Prejudice as a Sense of
The thesis of this article is that racial prejudice
(racism) exists within group positions rather
than as a set of feelings which members of one
racial group have toward members of another
In the vast sociological literature on race,
the notion of “racism” is dominated by the
idea that such prejudice exists as a feeling or
set of feelings lodged in the individual.
This customary way of viewing racial prejudice
overlooks and obscures the fact that racial
prejudice is fundamentally a matter of
relationships between racial groups.
In order to better understand racism, we need
to develop a basic understanding of the
processes through which racial groups form
images of themselves and of other racial
To characterize another racial group is, by
opposition, to define one’s own racial group.
This is the equivalent to placing the two groups
in relationship to each other, or defining their
positions vis-‐à-‐vis each other.
In matters of racism, there is a self-‐assured
feeling on the part of the dominant racial
group of being naturally superior or better.
This is commonly shown in the disparaging
views that members of dominant racial groups
have toward subordinate racial groups
There might be a feeling that other races are of
fundamentally different stock. The idea that
they – members of other races – are not of our
This strong group-‐based feeling justifies social
exclusion of the other racial group.
It is important to recognize that this sense of
group position transcends the feelings of
individual members of a racial group, giving
such members a common orientation
This sense of group position is a norm and
imperative – indeed a very powerful one
To the extent that people feel themselves
belonging to that group they will come under
the social influences of the sense of position
held by that group.
Thus, even if individual members may have
personal views and feelings different from the
sense of group position, they will have to
devise beliefs that align with group position of
their racial category
the origin of racial prejudice (racism) is not in the
area of individual feelings but rather in the definition
of respective positions of racial groups
we took a racial privilege quiz
You Answered 25 Questions
For each question, there were 5 possible answers
RACIAL PRIVILEGE QUIZ RESULTS:
Between 25 and 50
-‐ Racially Privileged
Between 1 and 24
-‐ A Little More Privileged Than Disadvantaged
Between -‐24 and -‐1
-‐ A Little More Disadvantaged Than Privileged
Between -‐25 and -‐50
-‐ Racially Disadvantaged
RACIAL PRIVILEGE QUIZ RESULTS
What were your results?
Do you think that score accurately represents
the forms of racial advantage and/or
disadvantage you experience in your daily
Why or why not?
LIMITATIONS OF THE RACIAL PRIVILEGE QUIZ
Do the results represent the condition of interest (highlighting racial
advantage and disadvantage) and not some other condition?
Captures only limited range of possible experiences where race matters
For people who are bi-‐racial, they can think in terms of two distinct racial
The importance of context/place
Troubles interpreting the prompt
-‐ Rates of False Positives and False Negatives
What’s the point?
Everyone gets treated
So when is that poor
treatment the result of
Who gets to decide?
Are people who hold racist
views irrational, incorrect or
Or…is there a kind of
rationality behind holding
The way to get rid of racism is to
stop talking about it.
Agree or Disagree?