WARNING! This presentation may contain information that might actually cause you to think.
Socialization Learning Culture, Building Identity
Stratification and Inequality Examining the Implications of Class, Race, and Gender
Socialization • Socialization • The life-long process of learning culture • Agents of socialization • Family, schools, work, peer groups, media, religion, etc.
Constructing Identity: The “Self” • The “Self” (George Herbert Mead) • Infants only know the “I.” Through social interaction, however, they learn the “me”—the self as a distinct object to be perceived by others • “Looking Glass Self” (Charles Horton Cooley) • Sense of who we are that is defined by incorporating the reflected appraisals of others. OR “we see ourselves as we think others see us.”
Becoming who we are,finding our “self,”is always a social process.
Roles and Identity Formation • Roles • Expected patterns of behavior for a particular social status • Role Taking • Key to our identity and concepts of self because, we often see ourselves from the perspective of others
Learning Culture and Our Place In It • “We willingly play the roles we find ourselves in.” – P. Berger (1963) • We come to accept and expect the position which we occupy. Tastes, hobbies, careers, goals, and aspirations, who we partner with, etc.
Social Stratification • Ranking system of groups of people that perpetuates unequal rewards and life chances in society
Systems of Stratification • Slavery • Economic form of inequality in which some people are the property of others • Caste • Hierarchical stratification based on ascription (e.g. elite, warrior, merchant, servant, untouchable) • Class • Stratification based on wealth, income, education, and occupation; (SES) socioeconomic status.
Theories of Stratification • Functionalist Theories • Highest rewards (e.g. salaries and prestige) are given to most important positions in society ensuring the most qualified people occupy these positions • Conflict Theories • Stratification reflects unequal distribution of power in society that serves the interests of those at the top
Learning Gender • What’s the difference between “sex” and “gender”? • Sex = reproductive organs, male/female/etc. • Gender = socially significant aspects, social construct • Gender specific socialization • In family • In schools • In workplaces • Where else? What are some ways in which gender is learned?
Learning Race • “Race” is a social construct • “Race” is genetically the same as eye color
Race is socially significant. As such it shapes our identity and our social location. • In our culture, “whiteness” has historically been “normalized.” • The default race has privileges
Racial Prejudice vs. Racism • From Beverly Tatum’s, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? • Racial Prejudice • any preconceived opinion,either favorable or unfavorable, based on one’s race • Racism • a system of institutional policies and cultural messages that is advantageous to white people and disadvantageous to people of color (e.g. housing, jobs) • prejudice + power
Personal Racial Prejudice vs.Institutional Racism • We often focus on the racist actions of individuals rather than the institutions that maintain and perpetuate racial inequality For example…
Disparities in Drug Sentencing as an Example of Institutionalized Racism • About 14 million Whites and 2.6 million African Americans report using illegal drugs • African Americans represent about 12% of the total population of drug users, but 38% of those arrested for drug offenses, and 59% of those in state prison for a drug offense • African Americans serve virtually as much time in prison for a drug offense (58.7 months) as whites do for a violent offense (61.7 months) (Info from NAACP and the Sentencing Project)
Disparities in Drug Sentencing as an Example of Institutionalized Racism • Powder vs. Crack Cocaine • Used to be a 100 to 1 disparity in sentencing • As of 2010 Congress voted to change the law to decrease the disparity. They changed it to… • 18 to 1 disparity in sentencing!!! WHAT!!!? • The majority of cocaine users, both crack and powder, are white. But the majority of people convicted for cocaine are people of color. And crack has historically been concentrated in African American communities.
Incarceration Trends in the US • From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled-from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people • Today, the US is 5% of the world’s population and has 25% of the world’s prisoners • Combining the number of people in prison and jail with those under parole or probation supervision, 1 in every 31 adults, or 3.2 percent of the population is under some form of correctional control
Racial Disparities in Incarceration • African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population • African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites • Black and Latino Americans make up about 30% of the US population but about 60% of those incarcerated
Racial Disparities in Incarceration • One in six black men had been incarcerated as of 2001. If current trends continue, one in three black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime • Nationwide, African-Americans represent 26% of juvenile arrests, 44% of youth who are detained, 46% of the youth who are judicially waived to criminal court, and 58% of the youth admitted to state prisons (Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice)
White Privilege • It isn’t that all white people are to blame for discrimination; most are not. But white people nevertheless benefit from racism. • And I’m not just talking about incarceration! White privilege applies to jobs, housing, racial profiling while driving or at the store, etc. It is hard to see it, but it is happening all the time. [This is just as true in the case of male privilege, heterosexual privilege, or any other form of privilege.]
Active Racism vs. Passive Racism • Active racism • blatant, intentional acts of racial prejudice • E.g. not serving black people at your restaurant • Passive racism • more subtle forms of racism • E.g. laughing at racist jokes, not challenging exclusionary hiring practices, accepting as appropriate the omission of the history of people of color in the curriculum
Active Anti-Racism • Everyone needs to take an active anti-racist stance. But white people can play an especially powerful role since they have more access to the societal institutions in need of being changed.
Not All People “Of Color”Are Equally Targeted By Racism • Other factors intersect and matter! Like what? • Class • Sex • Gender • Sexual orientation • Country of origin / immigration status • Etc.
Social Class • Group of people who share similar economic/social/political position in society • Measures: income, wealth, occupational prestige, educational attainment, culture, taste • SES: socioeconomic status • Wealth = All assets owned by an individual including cash, savings, investments in property, stocks, bonds, etc. • Income = All wages and salaries earned from paid occupation. Also interest on savings.
Learning Class • Social Class affects values • E.g. Respecting conformity, not questioning authority • Our class background shapes our: • Opportunities • Aspirations • Expectations • Social Class helps determine the options we consider on the menu of life
Inequality and Life Chances • Working class and poor people are: • Less likely to go to college • More likely to get arrested, convicted, go to prison, and receive the death penalty than upper class people • More likely to die prematurely
Our country’s wealth split evenly would give everyone, roughly, $600,000.