Thursday, February 28, 2013

Race. Class and Gender


Please respond to the following questions from your reading of Race, Class and Gender.  I expect DEPTH in your response; try to use specifics in the text to support your claims and opinions.  

Did this reading give you any new  ideas or make you think differently?  Make sure to use specifics from the chapter, “Shifting the Center” to support your ideas.  How might you change your perceptions based on this reading?  This is a very open response, but it requires you understand its ideas and to discuss what they mean to you.
Also respond to how you view the power of words.  What do they do?  Why are they powerful?

30 comments:

  1. "Shifing the Center" made me think very differently about things that I never really thought of before. In the text it says, "For that matter, how much of what you study now is centered in the experiences of the most dominant groups in society?" It also talks about how we only briefly learn about the group oppression in our formal education. My question after reading this section of the chapter is, why have we choose to only really focus on and learn about the topics that we feel are “socially acceptable?” After reading this I thought back to what I really learned in middle school that had to do with people of a different race, class,and gender and I couldn’t think of too many things that we focused on a lot. I think that after time, we havent really payed too much attention to what we are learning\teaching and how much we actually learn about it. We don’t necissarily do this on purpose, but its what we have be taught. This chapter gave me a new outlook on my learning and how much more important it is to know about those topics we don’t focus on because they have really changed and shaped the world.

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  2. "How much did you learn about the history of group oppression in your formal education" Like it says in the article we learned about slaves and woman's suffrage but we don't go in depth about it, i believe we need to learn more about diverse cultures like blacks and Asians and Mexicans and even whites and see what life used to be like for each of those groups. I believe whites judge other races just as much as other races judge whites. I like the quote "What you know frames how you behave and how you think about yourself and others" It's saying that we act and feel and think as we do because its what we know, its how we were raised. And lastly I don't find it right that only whites can be racist.
    Love, Austin

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  3. The “Shifting the Center” article has made me really think about how people as a whole are viewed. “Knowing only the history of African Americans, for example, or seeing that history only in single-minded terms will not reveal the historical linkages between the oppression of African Americans and the exclusionary and exploitative treatment of other groups.” This quote really left an impression; just because you know of how a certain group of people were treated once upon a time, does not by any means reveal how other groups have been treated. Not every different group of people has been or is treated the same way. This article has changed my perception completely. I never really thought about how the content and knowledge people are given affected people of other races, genders, or classes. I realized that not only the knowledge you have been given, but how you have been raised is what makes some people so unsighted or so aware. “If what you know is wrong because it is based on exclusionary thought, you are likely to act in exclusionary ways, thereby reproducing the racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, class oppression, and homophobia of society.” I believe that the power of words is incredibly influential. Some of the things people say are really effective in the sense that their words make me really think about topics unknown to me, and they make me question how things are viewed today.

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  4. "Race, Class, and Gender" made me think about who and how we stereotype and judge today. First of all who we judge is probable anyone who is not like us, who thinks different than us. We want to live in a world where everyone agrees with us. When people have opposing views and don't agree with us, we tend to move against them. Second is how we segregate against other people. We obviously don't have bathrooms for different races now, but I think in some ways, our oppression can be just as cruel. I think a big thing is exclusion. As the chapter explains, it is not only in our actions but our thoughts. I liked how they described inclusive thinking When we change our thinking, it mirrors in our actions "Inclusive thinking begins with the recognition that the United States is a multicultural and diverse society." Once we understand other people and where they come from. It way not be as easy to hate them. I believe that if we knew a persons entire story, we may not be as willing to judge them.

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  5. "Shifting The Center" made me think about how much racism and sexism still exist. I have never really thought about it much, but now that I am given this opportunity, it really hit me. the quote "The public view of Asian Americans is a lot like that of Casper the Ghost: we're either white or we're invisible" made me sad. We walk down the halls and hear racist slurs thrown at each other, whether it's in a joking or serious manner. No matter how it is meant, it is still racist and I hate that. We grow up being taught that if you ever see a black man walking towards you at night, to run away as fast as you can. What is so different about a black man walking towards you or a white man? So why should we be scared of one and not the other? This article is changing my perspective on how I treat others. I want to treat everyone with equal respect and be that person that people wonder what is different about me. This also has to do with the power of words. If I say something rude to someone, that defeats the purpose of being respectful to them. I want to say nice and uplifting things to everyone that I pass in the halls, or go to lunch with. I want to be that girl that everyone looks up to.

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  6. The main thing I took away from this article was that human beings need to understand each other. Like the article said, most people just take things from their own experiences, and applying them to their everyday lives instead of taking in different perspectives. Even though some people were raised with certain beliefs, everybody should have an open mind because after all, every human being is different, but we are also all the same. Someone people may look different than I do and have different thoughts because of their experiences, but that doesn't mean we aren't the same. As a specific example, the white people's perspective of the black people would've been completely different if the black people were seen as equal from the beginning. Since they dressed differently and talked differently, they were seen as lesser people and thus, history ran the course it did and things are today what they are. I believe that, as the article suggests, we bring together different perspectives from each individual culture and develop a knowledge and understanding of how our cultures interact with each other for a better understanding of the past and planning for the future.

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  7. "Shifting the center" made me think a lot about my history class. All of my text books seem to be written from a white American voice rather than the voice of the minority or of the voice from the ones who are being persecuted. In the essay it says “...many groups simply remain invisible." I think that this is true that sometimes white people forget about how the minority feels. They don't have the opportunity most of the time to express their views on something and then they become forgotten about. In American history when Native Americans were being forced of their lands the textbooks in schools don't talk about how difficult it was for them but rather it talks about Manifest Destiny. The textbooks speak from the dominate groups perspective of how they needed to move the Native Americans rather than the despair it caused the Native Americans. I think it makes me personally take a step back from the things I look at now of whom the story is coming from and if it is the whole truth or rather only a part of the story.
    -Sydney F

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  8. This article made me think of how we judge people based on their stereotypes and beliefs. We tend to grow close too people who have the same ideas and beliefs as us. When there is someone who disagrees with you, you tend to judge them based on their beliefs instead of who they are. "Thinking more conclusively opens up the way the world is viewed." If we are more inclusive of other ideas by "Shifting the Center" people would work together more instead of arguing about politics and religion.

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  9. This article really reminded me on the "American View" of things that we are all used to seeing in History class. "How much of what you study now is centered in the experiences of the most dominant groups in society?" This quote really brought to my attention how much we (as Americans) have the entire world revolving around us. After reading the article it makes me think about all the history classes I've taken so far and how important Americans have been all throughout history ever since we gained our independence from Great Britain. This gave me a new ideas as far as how our education is based mainly around Americas greatest achievement and giving stories from only our point of view.

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  10. This reading did not shift my thinking at all. That’s mainly in part because I always already look at issues from every angle and perspective. I do agree with what it says about how history books and statistics are thrown off because they are based on what a certain race thinks.
    I don’t think are very powerful at all. It’s the ideas and thoughts that are created from words that are powerful because your thoughts lead to action. So through the butterfly affect yes, words are powerful.

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  11. Reading "Shifting the Center" made me really think about how many people are so stereotypical, sexist and racist. "Think of this process of taking a photograph. For years, women and people of color-and especially women of color- were often totally outside people's frame of vision." Putting sexism in the perspective of a photograph made me think differently about it and made me really understand. Every man and women should be treated equally because God made everyone to be themselves so just let everyone live the life how they want to live it. While reading this article it made me think about how I need to treat others equally and with respect and to always have a postive attitude because negativity gets you nowhere. Some words in "shifting the Center" were very powerful and really spoke to me. Words can effect a person for a life time, and every action starts with a word.

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  12. After reading "Shifting the Center", my thinking was not changed. This chapter compared to modern society is not much different. Even today we stereotype others. Walking around the halls we may not say it but I bet a lot of us are thinking "I don't like their hair" or "Their voice really annoys me". It may not be as extreme as it was back then but by saying something to someone else could really effect their lives in both a negative or positive way. As a society as a whole we may think we a perfect but is perfection really possible? What someone may think as perfect other may think differently. One of my most favorite quotes is "Don't let anyone bring you down". Say someone tells me hey I don't like how you do this. All I do is remind myself that words are just words and they should not affect my life in any way.

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  13. "Shifting the center" made me think of how other races treat eachother and it realy is a reality check because even if they didn't hear what you said you just need to think about how they would feel if they actually did hear it. Once you get to know the other race or gender you start to realize you are alike in some way shape or form. In "shifting the center" it said "no longer do different groups seem just "different," "deviant," or "exotic." this quote stuck out to me because it si very true once you get to know them you think of them in a totally different way and you see things differently. This article really was an eye opener to me to not judge so much and to just think that you are the same in some way.

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  14. I thought that this was a good article. I'm a very excepting person I could careless about what color skin you have or what you look like. To answer your question no this did not change my thinking. It was a good article with many good points however this article was not for me. It's should be read by people who aren't as open as me. I grew up with people treating my dad poorly. I watched it all my life. Even today when we go to Costco or a store my dad gets profiled. I learned to accept people for their actions rather than what color skin they have. My say on the history books is that a bunch of people sit around and write those things. It not one white guy cranking out thousands of pages for every book. No one cares if a white guy or a black guy helped with a math book it's there to present facts. Same goes for a history book. It a text book it's not meant to give the reading any special felling. It's simple to display facts. Read poems and and listen to music if you want to see someone's prospective but do not analyze a text book. No one reads those things for fun.

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  15. After reading "Shifting the Center" many things came to my attention about how we view each other based on what we look and act like, so much so that it is holding is back as a whole on what we can accomplish in society. We are who we are and we cant really do anything to change that but neither can anyone else so it would make more sense to accept that fact and look to each other for guidance, help, knowledge we all have something to teach but not everyone has a class that is awaiting their lesson. "It is also recognizing how groups whose experiences have been vital in the formation of society and culture have been silenced in the construction of knowledge about this society." We should all act like one big family, within a family there is always fighting, and everyone is their own individual but deep beneath all of that we still love each other because we will be stuck with them until the day one of us dies it should be the same with all of us as a species include everyone into the picture and you might learn a thing or two about who you really are and who your real friends are. They cant change the color of their skin, where their from, or sexual orientation any more than you can so its time to put these silly quarrels aside and listen to what each person has to say.

    I feel as though words hold a lot more power than we believe they do, they are often one of the most powerful weapons in our arsenal. Simple words can lead to something great such as I do, but words can also do some very terrible things. They are a two sided blade on one side they protect the weak from the wicked and the other hurt the innocent. Words are so simple yet so complex, they can make or break someone literally Harry Truman probably only said a handful of words and a plane was on its way packed with what was the death to so many words hold more power than actions. I know it sounds cliche but actions do speak louder than words. Take the way that girls fight for one example they set out reconnaissance on each other and gather Intel on their insecurity's and hit them where they are weak much like we do with our military today but guys just duke it out head on like the rows of soldiers back in the revolutionary war, that wouldn't be so effective with our weapons today now would it? They must truly know the power of their words because they use them more often than most men. Like I said before words can hold our insecurities and they can turn our minds against our bodies it probably has something to do with our brains that gives them that power

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  16. This article didn't change the way I think about our social issues at all. I've always been open-minded about other people and I couldn't care less about what their race or gender is. Some of the statements in this article is extremely exaggerated, this was shown when it was agreeing to Scott Kurashige's statement, " The public view of Asian Americans is a lot like that of Casper the Ghost: we're either white or invisible". I don't agree to this statement at all; being an Asian American, I do get stereotyped once in a while, but the fact that he thinks that you have to be white to be heard just makes me think that he didn't have any friends.

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  17. After reading "Shifting The Center", I have gotten to thinking about how far we have come and how far we still have to go. Obviously we don't have separate water fountains for different colors, but some Americans still judge others based on appearance. Sure, it is not based off of color entirely, but other things have come to the surface. Things like homosexuality and beliefs all get stereotyped and it really makes me sad. What has this world come to that we can think that we are higher than another HUMAN BEING because their beliefs are a little different than ours. I try not to judge others but this Chapter has really opened my eyes to show me how others can be effected by these actions.

    I believe that words are extremely powerful. They can be used to bring you up and they can also be used to bring you down. I sometimes wonder why words mean so much. Is it because of the person who said them? I think that words are extremely powerful because of our society. In this country, we aren't just told things, they are shoved down our throats until we end up believing it. Words become very powerful when you are used to hearing them so much that you just start to believe it.

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  18. Acknowledging the diverse histories, cultures, and experiences of other groups never really worked in our society and probably never will. My reasons for this are because we know the different view points and the struggles others go through, but we tell ourselves that it doesn't affect us and that it shouldn't matter much to us. In the reading "Race, Class, and Gender", it quotes "a young Latino student was silences throughout his educational curriculum; leaving him to feel like an 'other' in society..." This shows how we take learning for granted. Some of the students here say they don't want to be a school learning but we should be grateful for the opportunities we have live learning and getting a good education. Others don't even have that opportunity. As we look back on the events of the Holocaust, we feel bad for those who had to experience those horrific incidents. However, why do we feel bad over events that we've never experienced? It's like we act as if we were the victims of the Holocaust ourselves. We try to put ourselves in other people's shoes but we just end up creating what we 'in-vision'. This reading changes my perspective by really opening my eyes to the beauty and opportunities that we have. Not about what I already know. Words such as 'systematic' stood out to me due to that fact that in life, we do categorize or place certain people on a spectrum. Ranging from weird, to creep, to cool, to funny. This affects the ways others should act, be, and live up to according to their 'race', 'class', and 'gender'.

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  19. After reading "Shifting the Center" it changed my views in a view that you wouldn't think it would. Most people would feel like that only normal white people get attention and would feel that it's wrong, but for me it felt completely opposite. I felt like we shouldn't put so much emphasis on your race, gender, or sexuality because we are in the 21st centenary and we are all people. We should focus more on the people's life's instead of what they are. We should be looking at the hard ships they had to face or how hard they worked at it showing how everyone can achieve what they want to if they work hard enough. It shouldn't be all about if your black and since your black you made this achievement than it makes it special. It should be about what they did.

    I think that words can persuade us to do things and change our opinions. If someone gives a really great speech you may just want to go out in the world and do something great. It can also lead you to follow somebody as your ruler. It can also influence you to do bad things and things you would not normally do. When you hear someone giving a speech to many people it just seems a lot more different than a conversation and these type of words really do affect you.

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  20. "Shifting the Center" did make me think differently about a lot of things. It made me think especially about high school. In high school, all the popular people get to say their opinions and what they want while many other people don't get the luxury to speak their minds. It made me think that we should all try to give people the chance to say what they wish because we never know what someone might have to say. It also made me feel a little pain for the groups who don't get any respect or appreciation just because of who they are, where they're from, or what they believe in.

    This will change my perception on how I either view or listen to the minority groups and what they have to say because they have every right to speak just like any one of us. "Or, how much of the literature you read and artistic creations that you study are the works of Asian Americans, Latinos/as, African Americans, Native Americans, gays, lesbians, or women?"

    There is a lot of power in words, words can be used for good, but a lot of bad can come out of using the wrong words. For example, they are powerful because many people use the word gay to describe something stupid or dumb. This is very powerful because while some of us may think nothing of it, someone who is gay or is close with someone who is gay might be very offended by this.

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    Replies
    1. Zach, i couldnt agree more. in highschool most people care about what others think of them. they dress nice, act diffrent, do acctivitys that everyone else is doing to be excepted. my question is would the world be better if we changed that? if we all spoke our minds and told people how we really feel and stop conforming would anything change? would there be less of a class syste in high school if kids spoke up and say what they were feeling?

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  21. “Shifting the Center” wasn’t the best article for me. I’m actually a very accepting person considering I am mixed race. However, this article did not change my thinking on our social issues. I still see the racism and sexism I society everyday being a darker skinned female. I’ve grown up with the questions “Are you black?” “What are you?” and really I have no idea. I try to answer them honestly but I don’t know the background of my skin so well. I think that a good question from the reading was “Does reconstruction knowledge matter?” on the second page on the right. I think that the reconstruction of knowledge is a great thing! People who are uneducated about other groups mostly only get one single-minded lesson on the groups and that single opinion is left in their head. Also having misleading and incorrect knowledge leads to the formation of bad society. Knowledge provides and orientation to the world.

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  22. "Shifting the Center" made me think differently and more open about things. I am usually a open person like being able to try new things but with this article it was just different. I like the line "Shifting the center is not just about illuminating the experiences of oppressed groups,however. It also changes how we understand the dominant culture and groups who have more power and privilege than others." This just makes me think about how people say we are all equal but is that just something we say to make people feel better about themselves? We try to take other people's opinions and feelings into consideration but sometimes that means lying to them. There is alot of power in words, one wrong word you say to someone can make them rethink the way they look at themselves. Words are so powerful because they might not have a meaning but to the person you say it to it could make or break their day.

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  23. "Shifting to the center" made me think about exceptence. especially in our society where we judge people every day. if you say you are not a judgmental person you are a lier. see we are all human black or white as pointed out in the article. i think a prime example of this judgment is in highschool. no matter what you wnat to be excepted and in highschhol is when sometimes people wont see you for who you are but what they think you are. they say someone forms an oppinuion about someone in the first five seconds of meeting them. so much for being open minded."Thinking more conclusively opens up the way the world is viewed." i read this quote and at first could not comprehend what it ment.does it mean come to conclusions about people faster? are wesupposed to be judging? i think not. i think it meens be more open to ideas shared by people. dont be so quick to judge .

    "How much of what you study now is centered in the experiences of the most dominant groups in society?" this quote brought up so many questions for me. why do we conform? as cliche as it sounds it still puzzles me. why would you want to be like this giant group of people? why wouldntyou want to be your own person? why is conformity more popular then indvidjuality? we are all born diffrent so why do we change? why are we so quick to making others happy and not ourselves? finally why dont we look at things from a brodder point of view?

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  24. How? "Shifting the Center" sounds like an amazing idea, but impossible to achieve in real life. This article talks about removing all bias from education. It would be nice to see the losing sides thoughts on how the war went. Be able to linger on touchy subjects instead of just steamrolling over them. However, this idea is exactly like communism. It looks perfect, without flaws, on paper but could never be practiced on a bigger scale then a small community.

    Most people today do agree with shifting their "lens" and looking at people for more then there race, class, or gender. People just tend to make assumptions based on this three categories. Using these "tools" people assume the worst of others. There are people who do the exact opposite, and assume everyone is a good fellow. This world has much more gray area then we could possibly imagine to cover. This idea only sees the world in two colors. In order to it to work there needs to be a huge gray area.

    The article itself is very well written and gets the author(s) point across smoothness without any misunderstandings. The words come with a certain power that would not be noticeable on their own, but the sentences accent key words to push the point. I believe the words to be power because they speak to the core problems of Modern America. Without holding any punches, the author(s) explore the world of sexism, racism, and bias in general. A world most people choose to ignore. The article brings to light a lot of the issues that have been hiding in the background for to many years.

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  25. I don't think this reading has necessarily changed my thoughts or opinions on society or how we view it, because I was already somewhat aware of how other groups or classes are so easily excluded or "outcasted" in a sense. But now I understand that it truly is an issue and if there is a solution and an easier way to learn or "Shift the Center" then we as a society should. "How much did you learn about the history of group oppression in your formal education", this quote opened my mind to how not only African Americans are exluded or kept out of the picture but Asian Ameircans, Latinos(as), Native Americans and even gays and lesbians are not the focus or the center point of view. My only question is how do we achieve this? How can a society of a whole "Shift the Center"?

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  26. The part that resignated withme the most was the part where casper was compared to asian americans. How terrible for someone to act differently or like another group just to fit in. I think now in the present we need to hear more of an outcry from the gay anf lesbian minorities. We need to accept their voice because one day there will be nothing strange about it.

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  27. After reading the chapter called, Shifting the Center in the book Race, Class, and Gender my opinion changed slightly. The first thing that happened to me was I realized how in almost every society there is one voice that always stands out among the rest and sets up the social norms for that society. AN example of this would be in high school the popular kids are the voice heard the most so they decide what is “cool” and what is “lame”. This realization made me think about how much white people affect our culture and that got me thinking about what our society would be like if african-american’s were the promenade voice in our society. I wondered what problems we would have as a society and what problems that we have now wouldn’t exists.
    Another thing that this chapter made me think about is how much prejudges there is in our world. People are so stereotypical, sexist and racist. A quote that shows this is; "Think of this process of taking a photograph. For years, women and people of color-and especially women of color- were often totally outside people's frame of vision." People who act like this are so narrow minded and ignorant. They don’t realize how everyone can help and that people are victims of their situations not there color or their sex.

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  28. The chapter, "Shifting the Center" really made me think about how we are birthed into a society where the normal is accept simply as plain. We fail to recognize that perhaps outside of our societies normal zone, there are people that could find cures, create jobs, or bring the world peace. But those people are usually shrugged off, or they themselves see no worth in their selves, therefore failing to show their talents.

    Kind of like the negro artists, skilled workers, and geniuses of this unfortunate time. They could have provided so much to society, and mankind's development. But because we were ignorant and failed to look past difference or the social norm, we missed those chances. We ignored them so much so, that they started to feel as though to only way to be heard, was to be white. Which, while for the time, may have been true, it shouldn't have been. Their skin color should not be the defining trait of whether they will be heard or not. It should be based on whether your ideas intend to build others up, or tear others down.

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