Friday, April 21, 2017

Post 8 - Race

The most confusing aspect of this unit was the introduction, that race is NOT biological. Just like gender, race is a social construct. This really made me review everything and it kinda blew my mind. But if you really think about it, it really makes sense. If you lined everyone up from the same "race" they all wouldn't look the same. There would be differences in skin tone, facial features, body shapes, and more. In addition, if you go from country to country race is categorized differently. In America, we use biology to group people together, in Brazil, skin shade/tone is used solely this demonstrates how race is constructed socially because in each individual society we choose to make different aspects the deciding factor. 

A popular opinion in white society is that race is no longer an issue. Backed by my own experiences, I disagree completely by that statement. Growing up in almost completely white schools, I have been faced with implicit racism more times than I can count. Whether people are ignorant or just simply rude, there would always be things that would be said that weren't appropriate. Micro aggressions  were casually used and when, I would, in defense say something about it, it was me over reacting or making a issue when there wasn't one. 

In Tim Wise's "White Like Me", he stated that isn't focusing on how racism disadvantages people of color, white people like him should focus on how they benefit from it, white privilege. I think his mindset on racism would really help the issues going on today. 

In my talk for the race panel, I mentioned that although no one wants to talk about race, it is an issue and an discussion is needed. It is an uncomfortable topic because by talking about race, you  have to acknowledge the many people that are hurt by it. In addition, white people aren't affected because the system benefits them so they don't care but everyone should take a point from Tim Wise and take a stand today. 

Post 7: Social Class

Social class is a way in which society groups people using their wealth, power, prestige. In America, no one wants to talk about it even though we all are affected by it. Money is something that, in our society, is a taboo subject and it isn't polite to talk about it.That's why although many in our society live in poverty it is rarely discussed. In class, when playing our version of Monopoly, we saw how hard it is for those who don't have a lot to move up from their class. This is called social mobility. 

In Nickel and Dimed, the author worked low income jobs to understand the lives of those who are completely different from her's. She learned quickly that those who always say "people like that just need to work harder" isn't accurate. She was working long hours and wasn't able to afford rent, a good meal, etc. Even when she picked up a second job, she was exhausted and didn't have enough time for anything else. 

I relate to this unit in the fact that I've lived in three neighborhoods in my life. I've seen the shifting of how social class looks in regards to how houses look, how people dress, and the cars people shift. When arriving here, I was shocked at how different it is compared to my previous two towns. Here, having money is common and prestige is aplenty. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Post 4 ~ Socialization

We learn how to be human through the socialization process. Nurture is the most important part of
our development  because as humans we need human contact for regular actions to occur. This is
shown mostly when we think of our mothers. The bond between the two begins when breastfeeding
occurs and then onto constant hugging and cuddling. In class, when looking at the "wild" kids who
often didn't have any human contact or touch, it demonstrated how important nurture is to humans
and how much we need it.

For me, my mom plays a HUGE role in my life. She teaches me, guides me, and most importantly
loves me. A prime example of how nurture affects everyone, is when people say they love their
mother's food. Even if you fixed the same meal for yourself the exact same way, it wouldn't taste
the same. That's because you associate all that love and care (aka nurture) around anything she

In the Consuming Children film we watched, we saw influence placed over young children. These
kids are being manipulated, which means a blatant lesson.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Post 5 ~ Socialization Into Gender

Our society places very rigid strict definitions on what it means to be female and male. Since the day
we are born, we see this in regards to how the nursery is decorated (blue if the baby is a boy and pink
if the baby is a girl). Right from the start we talk to our children differently, treat them differently, and 
give specific characteristics that is supposed to be fulfilled by that one gender. This is damaging 
because it creates a society in which people can't be their own individual. The socialization of gender 
makes people conform to what society expects them to be instead of who they really are. 

In Tough Guise, Jackson Katz explains how by forcing males into this stereotypical role of being tough
we cause male violence (bullying, school shooting, etc.). By only allowing a small perception
of what being female and male can be, we cause issues when a certain individual doesn't fit in to those 
two "boxes".

In my experience, the way our society socializes sexuality plays a huge factor into how I think about
myself. In American society, heteronormativity is considered to be "normal" and anything outside of 
that restrictive definition is seen as "unnatural". Since I'm bisexual, I've never fit into the two narrow 
views on sexuality: homosexuality and heterosexuality. People always seem to think that you either 
have to be on this side or on that side, but in reality sexuality is a spectrum. I alway reference the 
Kinsey scale of sexuality, because to me why shouldn't our sexuality be as varied and diverse as our
personalities? To some people, there is simply no room for "thinking outside of the box". 

I really connected to the LGBT panel that we had, because so much of my story mirrored theirs. 
From the way I was raised to my culture's POV, heteronormativity is key and expected. That's
why I think our society needs to broaden the scope on how we view individuals and just let people
have the freedom to be who they want to be without judgement or derision.

Post 6 ~ Deviance

Deviance is anything a certain individual does that violates their societal norms. Deviance can 
cover all aspects of a person's character like how they dress or how they talk. It will usually not be 
approved by the rest of the society and looked down on. Deviance is relative because it depends
on how you think (which is a result of where you grew up + when). It is individual to YOU because of 
your background; everything from the culture you grew up in to the influence factors of socialization 
have had on your life. For instance what I would consider deviant is probably different from random
stranger because of the differences between us. People who live in the same society have similar 
opinions, so in American society most of our views are the same. 

Being perceived as deviant, can often create a stigma associated around those who don't follow
social norms. Stigmas are bad because they "place" expected (negative) characteristics on people
who don't conform. Using an example from my own life would be is that I wear my natural hair;
the number one thing people say to me is that I should try straightening it (so that I can conform and
stop being deviant). The stigma surrounding big hair like mine is that it's is unkempt, unprofessional,
and ugly. This shows that stigmas create an image that perpetuates negative connotations.

Deviance is highly connected to social class because it all about who can get away with being
deviant. In the Saints and Roughnecks packet reading, the Saints were as deviant as the Roughnecks
but they could get away with it because they had the money. They weren't seen as "bad kids" because
they could afford a car to go outside of town to be "delinquent". The townspeople saw the Roughnecks
as bad kids because they didn't have a car to leave town, so they were in front of everyone who saw
their behavior. The Saints knew how to play that "part" and how get away with what they were doing.
Money plays a huge part in how deviant you are in regards to your social class.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Post 3

This unit I felt more in connect with what we discussed. Topics like ingroups + outgroups, stereotypes, and groups + identity. Growing up in mostly white schools, I've had my fair share of stereotypes and assumptions placed on me before I even open my mouth. My peers would often say certain comments (usually racist) and presume traits of my personality just based on my race.

During our ingroups + outgroups exercise in class, I realized how common this theory plated in my own life. Being the only black girl in my grade, I didn't have many white friends. Most of my friend groups were people of color just like myself. We didn't identify, connect, and even sometimes like others who didn't look like us. Just like in class, it was basically us vs. them. 

Getting older, I feel like my groups and identity are somewhat clashing. I'm getting aware of differences of how I identify and what background I come from. Important distinction that I'm feeling right now would be is I'm queer and also black. In the black community, especially the older generations, being gay/trans/etc. isn't considered to be the norm. There is still some apprehension, dislike, and even hate for people that aren't "part of the norm". So whilst becoming an adult I have to deal with my culture's prejudices and also consider my opinions.

I really enjoyed the sources we looked at for this unit. The first one I read "Gang Leader For A Day" was interesting and intriguing. I didn't understand how the author was going to collect research and gather data with just hanging out with these guys. I thought it was cool that he was going about his "research" by an unorthodox way though. I fell he really cared about who he was studying and didn't want his project to be cut and dry. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Post 2

Since starting this sociology class, I have been thinking a lot. About myself, my role in society, the lives of strangers I pass by every day and how other's impact my life. Once you look past the superficial aspects of society, there is so much to ponder. 

The first theory that we learned that struck me the most was sociological mindfulness. I was first skeptical about it because I didn't think what I did had any impact on anyone else besides myself. I thought since I wasn't in a position of power (ex. Senator), that I didn't make changes to others. Now I know how thinking that way was wrong. Sociological mindfulness makes me aware of the differences betweens others and myself, and lets me respect them because I understand the circumstances that made them that way. By keeping in mind the history that shaped an individual I can see another's view and make relations with others that are different than me. 

Sociological imagination is a theory that has a HUGE impact on how I live day to day. This was greatly stressed in the episode that we watched of Freaks and Geeks. Lindsay's (main character) grandfather just passed and she is going through some of an identity crisis. She starts wearing his old army jacket and starts hanging with the Freaks. She quits the math tournament team and at lunchtime goes to the smoking deck. She is shaped by her parents, her teachers, the Freaks, the Geeks, and her friends. All these factor into who Lindsay are and who she is going to be. Societal norms and expectations have a great impact in my life. Instead of doing what I want to all the time, I usually think of what others will think and make the decision that closely resembles the latter.