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.

Slide  1
Introduction to Sociology
May 13th, 2020
Slide  2
What  Unites  
What  Divides  
Slide  3
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.  
Slide  4
Defining  “race”
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  
Slide  5
Characteristics  of  “racism”
(1)  Distinct  bloodlines  and  physical  types;
(2)  Bloodlines  are  linked  to  distinct  cultures,  
behaviors,  and  abilities;
(3)  Superior   and  inferior   races.  
Slide  6
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
Slide  7
“Race  Prejudice  as  a  Sense  of  
Group  Position”
Slide  8
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  
racial  group
Slide  9
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.  
Slide  10
This  customary  way  of  viewing  racial  prejudice  
overlooks  and  obscures  the  fact  that  racial  
prejudice  is  fundamentally  a  matter  of  
relationships  between  racial  groups.  
Slide  11
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  
Slide  12
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.  
Slide  13
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
Slide  14
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.  
Slide  15
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
Slide  16
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  
Slide  17
In  conclusion…
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
Slide  18
On  Monday,  
we  took  a  racial  privilege  quiz    
Slide  19
You  Answered  25  Questions
For  each  question,  there  were  5  possible  answers
Strongly  agree  
Disagree  strongly    
Slide  20
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  
Slide  21
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?
Slide  22
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
Slide  23
What’s  the  point?  
Slide  24
Slide  25
Everyone  gets  treated  
poorly  sometimes.  
So  when  is  that  poor  
treatment  the  result  of  
Who  gets  to  decide?  
Slide  26
Slide  27
Are  people  who  hold  racist  
views  irrational,  incorrect  or  
Or…is  there  a  kind  of  
rationality  behind  holding  
racist  beliefs?  
Slide  28
Slide  29
The  way  to  get  rid   of  racism  is  to  
stop  talking  about  it.  
Agree  or  Disagree?  
Slide  30

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