Class Calendar

Friday, May 29, 2015

Course Evaluation

Please click on the following link and complete the course evaluation. All responses are anonymous and I would really appreciate your honest and thoughtful input. After everyone is finished with the survey, there will be sometime to share your input with me personally. Thanks so much!

First, here is an evaluation about my class. Then, please leave advice for future students in the comment section.  Thanks!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I Am

For the last week in class, we watched the documentary called I Am.  You can watch it here on mediacast.  Below are my movie notes about the most important parts of the movie and in parentheses are the parts of our class that relate to the movie.  I think this movie is a great inspirational way to sum up our class and apply to your life.  But, come back and revisit it, rewatch it and remind yourself of the lessons of our class. They will mean different things to you as you get older and more experienced.  This is true for all of the lessons of our class, so I hope you will stay one of my students and one of my teachers.  Peace and love to you,

This documentary was created by Tom Shadyac a writer/director of many Hollywood blockbuster films: Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor, Bruce Almighty, Patch Adams, Accepted , and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. After a serious injury, Shadyac confronts the truth in front of him and sets out to find more meaning in his life and in our world. The film displays a number of ideas and themes that we have discussed throughout our class. Shadyac asks, “What’s wrong with the world? And what can we do about it?”
“Humanity is going to require a new way of thinking if it is to survive” – Albert Einstein
Science is a story. It changes over time. Part of the story of science, since the Enlightenment, is that people are like machines; we are made from materials and we are mechanistic. We operate in the world under that assumption. We compartmentalize each other and our world this way.

This way of thinking creates a separateness (individuality & cultural values), a competitiveness and a materialism that pervade Western society, especially the United States. (Culture and US values)
“Be suspicious of what you want.” -Rumi
Native Americans noticed this way of thinking when Europeans first came to the Americas. They have a word called “wetico” which means a sort of cannibalism where one culture eats or destroys another culture’s way of life.

What we now know is that we are more than the sum of all of our parts and we are connected to much more than ourselves. Each individual is connected to all other humans, not just in the United States, but in the world. And each human in the world is connected to all living things. And all living things are connected to the non-living.

One myth that has been promoted that prevents us from realizing this interconnectedness is the belief that essential nature of humans is to be competitive, instead of cooperative to dominate instead of subordinate, to seek kingdom over democracy. This is a myth promoted inaccurately by supporters of Darwin. Instead, the basis of nature is egalitarian, cooperative and democratic. Darwin mentioned, “survival of the fittest” twice and “love” 95 times. Humans evolved to cooperate. Sympathy is the strongest human emotion. We have mirrored neurons that help us have sympathy. Our vagus nerve helps us to elevate us to compassion. Desmond Tutu says, “We belong because we need other to make us human.” (Socialization) When we serve others with empathy, love and compassion, it creates deep contentment that literally makes us healthier and nourishes our mind and body. (Community Service) Anger makes us stupid. It inhibits our thinking. Our heart is our primary access point to our higher self. “Do something that makes your heart sing.”
“What was said to the rose to make it open was said here to me in my chest.” – Rumi
“There is only one way to eat an elephant; one piece at a time.” “The sea is only drops of water that have come together.” We can’t solve global poverty, but we can do something about that guy over there. Each of us should do something and because we are all connected it all makes a difference. (Sociological Mindfulness)

Friday, May 22, 2015

It's a privilege to be...white?



This picture featuring Michelle Obama was published with a caption saying that she wore a "flesh-colored" dress. Are they implying that Michelle's skin is not flesh? I don't think so, but this is an example of the privilege of being white; white skin is considered normal/flesh-colored.  This is just one of many privileges of being white in a culture that sees white as normal, desireable or better than other "colors".  This type of privilege is often unnoticed, subconscious, implicit.  But, it has a big impact.
Here is another example from Johnson and Johnson.  Note that the bottle says, "Normal to Darker skin," implying that there is normal skin and then there is darker skin which is implicitly abnormal. And, here are some privileges related to Christmas.  Some sociologists call these subtle nudges of racism microaggressions.  Here are 25 microaggressions from buzzfeed.






Sociologist Peggy McIntosh writes about White Privilege in her essay, Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.
In class instructions:
Please read through McIntosh's reading and choose one of the numbered privileges to respond to.  Take out a sheet of paper and write down which privilege you are responding to.  Things to consider: Have you ever thought about this before?  Why do you think McIntosh considers this a "privilege"?  Can you see this type of privilege happening in your day to day life?  

The idea is that because Americans live in a white-dominated society, whites have a host of little things that work in their favor.  Tim Wise, another sociologist, applied McIntosh's idea to the 2008 election. Read Tim Wise's White Priviledge, White Entitlement and the 2008 Election. Here is a brief excerpt,
White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

Chicago Public Radio aired a story about Global Girls, an organization working to develop African-American girls’ self esteem. The girls at the organization know firsthand how difficult it is for their peers who are poor and black and pregnant. They developed a performance piece to help show their feelings and how white priviledge helps to favor white girls (especially wealthy) in the same predicament. Listen to the full story here. What do you think the reaction would be if one of Obama's girls was old enough and pregnant with a baby of her own? How does this privilege affect you? How might it affect minorities in other ways? What is your reaction to Tim Wise's analysis of the 2008 election? Noting that this is a difficult challenge ahead of Palin, what are the advantages that she might have being who she is? How might pregnancy affect a poor person differently than a wealthy person? How might pregnancy affect someone with power like a governor's daughter or Vice-president's daughter differently than the daughter of someone with less power/clout?

Listen to comedian Hari Kondabolu's example of white privilege and  microaggressions from the website Colorlines.

And Listen to Louis CKtalk about white privilege:
Here is a great story from This American Life (episode 362: Got You Pegged, Act 1) illustrating what happens when 2 cops see a black man riding a bike with a white kid. It is a funny story but it illustrates white privilege because I think the story would be very different if both of the people were white. Listen to the story and then tell me what you think.

Here is another story from This American Life (episode 475: Send A Message) about how eliminating an implicit racial bias can make a big difference in a young child's life.

Post 9: Race

For this post, please post about race.  You may wish to talk about the social construction of race, ingroups/outgroups and stereotypes and prejudices especially explicit and implicit racism as well as white privilege.
As you apply it to your own experiences, you might want to think about: assumptions you have had about race (esp. biological), experiences you have had with other races and/or racism, and how privilege affects you.
Some sources you might want to consider using are:
The Racial Formation reading (in your packet) by Omi and Winant
White Privilege; Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh
Tim Wise's video, "White Like Me"
and all the links on my blog.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Implicit Racism



Racism can often be hidden in our unconsciousness. Even though as individuals we might work consciously to not be racist, we live in a racist society with a racist legacy. From the moment we are born we are influenced subtly to think of white as good and black as bad. Look at these examples from various media. They are not trying to be racist, but the message they send reinforces racist ideology.

These pictures though very similar, are different in two important areas: the race of the people and the caption.












LeBron James is one of the few men to be on the cover of Vogue and yet, he is portrayed as an angry gorilla. Here is a critique from blackademics.  And here is one from ESPN.com Lebron James was only the third male to ever be featured on the cover of Vogue and he was the first "black" American ever to be on there.






Harvard has been conducting an ongoing study of how we implicitly associate certain traits with being good or bad. You can take the survey here. Click on Demo first.


See how this implicit racism shows up even within the same minority groups that are being discriminated against.
video

Some examples of implicit bias are listed below.  Please choose an article and examine it for:
1.  What is the implicit bias that the article examines?
2. Why is this bias "implicit"?
2. What person or group is being biased against whom?

A)Read this SHS basketball article that is full of implicit bias

Then checkout this post showing that Jewish players were dominant in basketball in the first half of the 20th century.

B)And another example of implicit bias is how people react in a split second when they confront someone with a weapon.  See here for that.

C)Here is an article showing that traffic stops in Illinois have an implicit racial bias:

D)This study shows a racial bias in NBA foul calling.

E)Here is a study showing that immigrants are treated differently based on skin color.

F)Having an African American sounding name will result in biased treatment as well.



Here are a number of other examples (A NY Police Lt., Harvard President, State Senator Obama) from the sociologists toolbox.

And this video from What Would You Do showing how people are more quick to be suspicious and to call the police if they see a black man committing the same crime as a white man.







video
Finally, this video called Slip of the Tongue uses slam poetry to explore how one girl stands strong to embrace her identity without giving in to popular pressure to change who she is. I think it is a motivating strong voice.
Here is an example of implicit bias from the NY Times about Baltimore and the Texas biker fight.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Race Panel

We were so fortunate to have a panel of our own students talking about "race."  The students had many insights.  One was that those who have to navigate different racial worlds never feel quite right anywhere.  For example, some students emigrated from another country like Mexico.  So, in the US they are considered Hispanic and they do not feel that they fit in, but in Mexico they are considered white and they do not feel that they fit in there. 

Along these lines, students spoke about how their master status often becomes their minority status.  That is, other people (usually those from the majority) only see them as black or Asian or whatever their minority status is.  This takes away the student's individuality.  Sometimes this results in the student being forced to speak for their whole minority group. 

Also students talked about the racial prejudice that lies just below the surface; sometimes it comes out from another student in a class of their, or their own parents or school teachers and administrators.  A third conclusion that I drew from the panel was the diversity within different groups.  Many people assume that all blacks are the same or all Hispanics are the same, but really there is a great deal of diversity within each group and this is another reason that stereotypes are ignorant and don't hold up. 

Finally, I think there was an emphasis on empathy.  Multiple students talked about the need to develop empathy for those from other races. I really like that idea.  Empathy is an aspect of sociological mindfulness.  Here is a Ted Talk from a sociologist called "A Radical Experiment in Empathy."

Here are some notes from the presentation:

Athenamom is white, dad is Pakistani.  Really resents the term Oreo.  Language - I speak the way I speak. Called terms like cotton picker in middle school.  Won’t shop at Nordstrom's because they profile me.

Julie – called nerd because I am Asian.  Stereotypes. Called chinks but I was the only Chinese person and there were whites with us, but didn’t matter.
Rarely were Asians on TV or in music videos.  Feels pressured from Asians to hang out with other Asians,… Taiwanese but feel pressure to be Chinese. Even a teacher insulted me by (wrongly) telling me about being Taiwanese.  Took a long time to adapt to American culture but then I was told I was too Asian to be American and too American to be Asian.

Shukran – Born in Iraq, moved to US 7 yrs ago.Lived a normal girls life in Iraq.  Very sheltered – indoors.   Made fun of for my nose – because I’m Arab and I have a large nose. Tried to embrace the good side of my culture.  Tried to be more Arab than Muslim.  Aladdin , belly dancing. Embraced math. Been called camel jockey, turban head, terrorist. Arabs are different from Muslims – less conservative,

Justin– Growing up here (only 1.7%) is different. Parents have to tell us certain things like dress a certain way, talk a certain way.  By middle school, learned that didn’t matter, because were still calling me things.  Reduced to being only “black” and nothing else. And people made fun of me for that.
Q: being reduced to black and nothing else, even as a good thing is still bad right?  Oreo and white washed are not compliments.  “acting white” is not a compliment. I can be black and good at art or black and smart. I was told by another kid that I was too black to do art, but I worked really hard to get here.  People joke about stuff but that’s bad.  Even more dangerous are interactions with police, security.  I have been carded by SHS security  to see if I went here. It was rough to see because I grew up here and I felt disrespected. And people think that racism is over. Some people think the Nword is passé but I cussed my friend out because it’s not cool.  But in jr high I would’ve brushed that off and not really said anything because I just wanted to be liked.  Recently during Ferguson and Trayvon Martin people called them coded names like thug.  It makes me think about how others think of me and I wonder if they think of me that way.  President of BASS black association of students.  We talk about different issues and stuff going on.  Fridays after school. 

Jenny C- mixed child, mutt, box of chex mix. Grandpa is purely Puerto Rican, also Assyrian, France, Poland Ukraine.  Mom’s side is lighter than dad’s. I used to have darker skin, plus dark hair but my mom is really light – hair and skin.  Sadly I used to think I was adopted.  When my Grandma died, I knew she was Polish but then found out I was Ukrainian.  Found out my real last name was C**-V****, but my grandpa dropped the V**** and changed the name and changed his bday. People ask what I am, I say Puerto-Rican and people say then you have to speak Spanish to be Latina.  Difficult to navigate family people because different skin and different cultures.  Makes it really difficult for me to know who I am.  Made it hard for me to go through different friend groups.  Now I have friends who are a mix of everything.  This year I am finally embracing who I am. Holidays are a hodge-podge: Assyrian meatballs, Puerto Rican rice and beans.  But still struggle with self-esteem.  Don’t like the question “What are you?”  Instead  ask “what’s your ethnic background?”

Jessica P
Mexican.  Born here, but called beaner.  People don’t understand how much damage they are doing.  Mom here for 20 years legally.  Dad here (legally) for 18years??, but
A woman at mom’s work was mad at my mom and called immigration on her but they found my dad instead.  And I felt like it was my fault – I opened the door that day.  My dad told me how he crossed the border, and it was awful,
Being Hispanic I am surrounded by white people and it is intimidating.  My dad is hard working and often the employee of the month.

Jocelyn
Puerto Rican and Guatemalan, but just recently found out that.  Older sister is half white and we look nothing like each other.  Growing up we didn’t like each other, and no one ever knew we were sisters.  A saleslady didn’t believe we were sisters and it’s frustrating to have to explain that she is my sister. That is just one example.  Something else I face on a daily basis, as a manager at my store, is the idea that because I am Hispanic I can’t be successful.  Customers ask to speak to a manager but sometimes that’s me!  Sometimes I have another employee with me who is white and older and they insist that she is the manager. We can be successful just anyone else can.  Don’t judge a book by its cover. 


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Explicit Racism

First, please discuss:

What was insightful/eye-opening from the panel last Friday?

Even though race does not exist biologically, it does exist as a social construction. This means that people believe in it and act on it even though it is not real.  One of the ways the construction of race has shaped people is called explicit racism, or directly and consciously believing that one's own "racial" group is superior to others. Another way that Americans have been shaped by "race" is prejudice and discriminationPrejudice is having a predetermined attitude about a group of people usually based on a stereotype.  Discrimination is an action or behavior that results in unequal treatment of individuals because of his or her perceived "race." However, over the last few years, the  United States has elected its first black/ mixed-race President, there are more black actors and actresses on network television, and the cultural norm is that it’s wrong to be racist, SO is racism still relevant? Should we still be concerned about racism or have we moved past racism? 




Checkout these recent events in our country:
Here is a post about racist tweets from the 2013 Miss America pageant. 

Here is a post  about a 2013 racist incident in an unlikely place.

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education has an ongoing list of racist incidents.

A college student from Queens got more than he bargained for when he splurged on a $350 designer belt at Barneys — when a clerk had him cuffed apparently thinking the black teen couldn’t afford the pricey purchase, even though he had paid for it, a new lawsuit alleges.
“His only crime was being a young black man,” his attorney, Michael Palillo, told The Post.



During the Healthcare debate in 2009, Representative David Scott of Georgia had a 4foot swastika painted over his office sign.


The Southern Poverty Law Center identifies hate groups in America. This link will show you a map of all the hate groups in the United States.   Is this surprising?  Is this concerning?


This article from the Mail Online, A British online newspaper:
And with Mr Obama reportedly receiving more death threats than any other American president - 400 per cent more than those against his predecessor George Bush, according to a new book...A black U.S. Congressman had a swastika painted over his office sign after he yelled at allegedly racist protesters at a Southern town hall meeting, it emerged today.
In 2012, Joel Ward, a black NHL player scored the winning goal in the NHL playoffs and he became the target of racial slurs.

 Fraternities and sororities hold racial-themed parties that display very directly the racialized stereotypes that persist in the United States. Does this surprise you?  How would you feel/react to a party like this when you go to college?


 Jeremy Lin is an example of the racial stereotypes in sports and how stereotypes can be more or less permissible for different groups within a society. Here is a post explaining that dynamic from the society pages.  Here is a clip of the skit from the daily beast.  Have you seen or heard any explicit racism in your own life?

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Social Construction of Race in the U.S.

Because race does not exist in any biological or scientific way that can be defined, each society is able to define it how they want.
Over the years, race has changed in America. The Irish were originally considered not white. Later, Italians, Greeks and other Southern Europeans faced discrimination because they were considered less desirable than Northern Europeans. In the 1920s, the Supreme Court Case Thind vs. U.S. determined that a man of Asian Indian descent was not white or caucasoid, even though he did not fit into the other categories of race at the time (Mongoloid/Asian, Negroid/Black). Instead the court ruled that because most people would say that he is not white, then he is not white. This was just one case of many that shaped race throughout U.S. history. For more on how race has changed and can change, see Nell Irvin Painter's book called, "The History of White People." Here is a review on Salon. All of these are examples of how race has changed over the years in America. It can change, because there is no way to define it. It doesn't exist in any biological or empirical sense, it only exists as a social construction.

Here is how the US census has changed in how it determines race over the years.

Click here to do an activity where you have to categorize people like a census taker would have.  After you do the sorting people activity above, click here to learn about traits.  Is this new information to you? Is it difficult to process? 

Watch this show making fun of how race is socially constructed.
video

Race, biology and forensic evidence

The following text is from Johns Hopkins about cranium structure and race:
In American legal contexts, ancestry is usually at issue as a way of determining the racial affinity of unidentified skeletal remains. Hence, the forensic anthropologist usually tries to make a determination as to whether a skull has features that indicate African, European, Asian or Native American ancestry.
Cranial features are not perfect indicators of ancestry: Forensic anthropologists using multiple features claim at best 85% accuracy in their assessment of racial ancestry. When we know less about the context of a skull, we will be less and less accurate.
Here are some traits that vary between skulls with different race backgrounds. Most of them are on the face or palate.
  • Shape of the eye orbits, viewed from the front. Africans tend to a more rectangular shape, East Asians more circular, Europeans tend to have an ``aviator glasses'' shape.
  • Nasal sill: Europeans tend to have a pronounced angulation dividing the nasal floor from the anterior surface of the maxilla; Africans tend to lack a sharp angulation, Asians tend to be intermediate.
  • Nasal bridge: Africans tend to have an arching, ``Quonset hut'' shape, Europeans tend to have high nasal bones with a peaked angle, Asians tend to have low nasal bones with a slight angulation.
  • Nasal aperture: Africans tend to have wide nasal apertures, Europeans narrow.
  • Subnasal prognathism: Africans tend to have maxillae that project more anteriorly (prognathic) below the nose, Europeans tend to be less projecting.
  • Zygomatic form: Asians tend to have anteriorly projecting cheekbones. The border of the frontal process (lateral to the orbit) faces forward. In Europeans and Africans, these face more laterally and the zygomatic recedes more posteriorly.

Note :  First, the author claims that even with multiple features, forensic anthropologists can only point to a race with 85% accuracy.
Second, note the text that reads, with less "context" we will be less accurate.
And, lastly note that the author is not definitive, but instead uses words like "tend to have" instead of  definitively saying "Europeans have..."
Finally, note that the author is only speaking about Asian, African and White.  What would an Egyptian person be?  Or how about these:  aboriginal Australian, Hawaiian, Alaskan, Berber, Eritrean, Swahili,Yanomano, Nenet people, Koriaks? 

And note this article from the professional organization that studies hair.  It explains that
This study has shown that it is possible to classify the various hair types found worldwide into eight main groups. The approach involves objective descriptors of hair shape, and is more reliable than traditional methods relying on categories such as curly, wavy, and kinky. Applied to worldwide human diversity, it avoids reference to the putative, unclear ethnic origin of subjects. Briefly, a straight hair type I is just that, and whether it originates from a Caucasian or an Asian subject is not at issue. The hair types defined here also more adequately reflect the large variation of hair shape diversity around the world, and may possibly help to trace past mixed origins amongst human subgroups.
Lastly, note that the author of the afore mentioned forensics article is mostly referring to race IN AMERICA.  That is something that often goes unsaid.  They say race, but they really mean race IN AMERICA.  And when you go to another country like Brazil, for example, the information does not apply.  That is the problem with race, people assume it is  biological but it does not apply to other countries.

The fact is that people do look different.  Some people look more similarly to each other such as hair type and cranium structure.  BUT, these looks are not distinguishable into distinct identifiable groups that many people call "race".  It simply is not possible and does not exist.  Before any forensic analysis of "racial" types is done, I would ask the forensic analyst how he determines "race." What are the racial groups?  How many are there?  What determines each group?  There are not answers to these questions because race does not exist biologically.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Race is a social construction

Please answer these questions:

What are two ways that sorting the balls yesterday was a metaphor for race?

What is the important conclusion from yesterday's lesson?

Then on page 2 of your packet, please answer questions 1-3 about the reading.

 The book by Omi and Winant called "Racial Formation" provides a detailed explanation of how race is formed through a social construction. Read an excerpt here.

If "race" is not biological then it is a social construction.  There is no way to biologically, physically or scientifically group humans into distinct racial groups.  If there was, then racial groups would be the same all over the world.  They would fit into the scientific classification system such as kingdom, order, phyllum etc...  But instead each culture has its own racial types.  For example, when I was in Japan, I asked some Japanese friends what races were in Japan and they said "nihon-jin and gai-jin," Which means "Japanese people and foreign people.  In other words, the Japanese think that there are Japanese people in the world and then there is everyone else.  And then I pressed him further and I said, " But aren't there different groups within Japanese culture?"
My friend finally said, " Ahh yes... there were ancient Japanese who settled the islands from the north and there were ancient Japanese who settled the islands from the south, and you know how to tell who came from where?  Earwax." That's right, earwax! He explained that some Japanese have dry flaky earwax and others have wet greasy earwax.  That determines where your ancestors came from and a different biological group that you are a part of- essentially a different race.  But that makes no sense to us because in the US we never think of earwax as part of race.


Here are the racial groups in Mexico:
  1. Mestizo: Spanish father and Indian mother
  2. Castizo: Spanish father and Mestizo mother
  3. Espomolo: Spanish mother and Castizo father
  4. Mulatto: Spanish and black African
  5. Moor: Spanish and Mulatto
  6. Albino: Spanish father and Moor mother
  7. Throwback: Spanish father and Albino mother
  8. Wolf: Throwback father and Indian mother
  9. Zambiago: Wolf father and Indian mother
  10. Cambujo: Zambiago father and Indian mother
  11. Alvarazado: Cambujo father and Mulatto mother
  12. Borquino: Alvarazado father and Mulatto mother
  13. Coyote: Borquino father and Mulatto mother
  14. Chamizo: Coyote father and Mulatto mother
  15. Coyote-Mestizo: Cahmizo father and Mestizo mother
  16. Ahi Tan Estas: Coyote-Mestizo father and Mulatto mother
 And in Brazil, In 1976, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) conducted a study to ask people to identify their own skin color.  Here are the 134 terms, listed in alphabetical order:
Acastanhada (cashewlike tint; caramel colored)
Agalegada
Alva (pure white)
Alva-escura (dark or off-white)
Alverenta (or aliviero, "shadow in the water")
Alvarinta (tinted or bleached white)
Alva-rosada (or jamote, roseate, white with pink highlights)
Alvinha (bleached; white-washed)
Amarela (yellow)
Amarelada (yellowish)
Amarela-quemada (burnt yellow or ochre)
Amarelosa (yellowed)
Amorenada (tannish)
Avermelhada (reddish, with blood vessels showing through the skin)
Azul (bluish)
Azul-marinho (deep bluish)
Baiano (ebony)
Bem-branca (very white)
Bem-clara (translucent)
Bem-morena (very dusky)
Branca (white)
Branca-avermelhada (peach white)
Branca-melada (honey toned)
Branca-morena (darkish white)
Branca-p�lida (pallid)
Branca-queimada (sunburned white)
Branca-sardenta (white with brown spots)
Branca-suja (dirty white)
Branqui�a (a white variation)
Branquinha (whitish)
Bronze (bronze)
Bronzeada (bronzed tan)
Bugrezinha-escura (Indian characteristics)
Burro-quanto-foge ("burro running away," implying racial mixture of unknown origin)
Cabocla (mixture of white, Negro and Indian)
Cabo-Verde (black; Cape Verdean)
Caf� (coffee)
Caf�-com-leite (coffee with milk)
Canela (cinnamon)
Canelada (tawny)
Cast�o (thistle colored)
Castanha (cashew)
Castanha-clara (clear, cashewlike)
Castanha-escura (dark, cashewlike)
Chocolate (chocolate brown)
Clara (light)
Clarinha (very light)
Cobre (copper hued)
Corado (ruddy)
Cor-de-caf� (tint of coffee)
Cor-de-canela (tint of cinnamon)
Cor-de-cuia (tea colored)
Cor-de-leite (milky)
Cor-de-oro (golden)
Cor-de-rosa (pink)
Cor-firma ("no doubt about it")
Crioula (little servant or slave; African)
Encerada (waxy)
Enxofrada (pallid yellow; jaundiced)
Esbranquecimento (mostly white)
Escura (dark)
Escurinha (semidark)
Fogoio (florid; flushed)
Galega (see agalegada above)
Galegada (see agalegada above)
Jambo (like a fruit the deep-red color of a blood orange)
Laranja (orange)
Lil�s (lily)
Loira (blond hair and white skin)
Loira-clara (pale blond)
Loura (blond)
Lourinha (flaxen)
Malaia (from Malabar)
Marinheira (dark greyish)
Marrom (brown)
Meio-amerela (mid-yellow)
Meio-branca (mid-white)
Meio-morena (mid-tan)
Meio-preta (mid-Negro)
Melada (honey colored)
Mesti�a (mixture of white and Indian)
Miscigena��o (mixed --- literally "miscegenated")
Mista (mixed)
Morena (tan)
Morena-bem-chegada (very tan)
Morena-bronzeada (bronzed tan)
Morena-canelada (cinnamonlike brunette)
Morena-castanha (cashewlike tan)
Morena clara (light tan)
Morena-cor-de-canela (cinnamon-hued brunette)
Morena-jambo (dark red)
Morenada (mocha)
Morena-escura (dark tan)
Morena-fechada (very dark, almost mulatta)
Moren�o (very dusky tan)
Morena-parda (brown-hued tan)
Morena-roxa (purplish-tan)
Morena-ruiva (reddish-tan)
Morena-trigueira (wheat colored)
Moreninha (toffeelike)
Mulatta (mixture of white and Negro)
Mulatinha (lighter-skinned white-Negro)
Negra (negro)
Negrota (Negro with a corpulent vody)
P�lida (pale)
Para�ba (like the color of marupa wood)
Parda (dark brown)
Parda-clara (lighter-skinned person of mixed race)
Polaca (Polish features; prostitute)
Pouco-clara (not very clear)
Pouco-morena (dusky)
Preta (black)
Pretinha (black of a lighter hue)
Puxa-para-branca (more like a white than a mulatta)
Quase-negra (almost Negro)
Queimada (burnt)
Queimada-de-praia (suntanned)
Queimada-de-sol (sunburned)
Regular (regular; nondescript)
Retinta ("layered" dark skin)
Rosa (roseate)
Rosada (high pink)
Rosa-queimada (burnished rose)
Roxa (purplish)
Ruiva (strawberry blond)
Russo (Russian; see also polaca)
Sapecada (burnished red)
Sarar� (mulatta with reddish kinky hair, aquiline nose)
Sara�ba (or saraiva: like a white meringue)
Tostada (toasted)
Trigueira (wheat colored)
Turva (opaque)
Verde (greenish)
Vermelha (reddish)
It's crazy because we do not think of race in these ways, but it just makes the point that race is socially constructed by each different culture.  Because of that, if you flew on a plane to a different country your race would change.  That is because it is not scientific and biological, instead it is based on what country you are in and what their current construction of race is.

Here is a link to different censuses around the world.

Here is a link to a survey of who is white around the world.

 And here is a global dialogue about race.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Race and biology; the spectrum


I asked students to classify these balls into different categories. Two things happen:
1)Some students pick a trait such as size or color to classify the balls or, 2)Students classify the balls based on the sport of each such as basketball, soccer, etc...
This is a metaphor for race and how we classify people. 1)First, we choose to use traits such as skin color to classify them, but the divisions between these traits are arbitrary divisions. If you lined up all of the people (or balls) in the world according to a trait, the divisions would be less obvious. It would look more like a spectrum that changes gradually blending into one another.  Here is a post from soc images that displays the spectrum of human colors.



So why all the fuss about skin color? The article Skin Deep by Jablonski and Chaplin from Scientific American explains the science behind skin color and how around the world, skin color would look more like a spectrum than distinct groups. 2)Second, when we categorize the balls into sports or people into races we are constructing a social category that only exists because we say it should. Ask students to define what a basketball is.  The only true definition is "any ball that society says is a basketball."  The same is true for race. Whatever the society says is a distinct race, is a distinct race in their eyes.   Race, like sports, are social constructions.  Here is more about skin color.
What's the point? Click here to see why there is no way of biologically separating people into "races." Race doesn't exist in any scientific sense. This is a difficult concept because I think that race is a biological hegemony in America - that is, it is so accepted that we never question it. For more info you can checkout the April 22, 2005 episode of Odyssey, a radio program that used to air on Chicago Public Radio. This episode about the genetics of race and if you listen carefully to the caller segment, you can hear a very interesting high school sociology teacher commenting. [Listen the program here (the good part is after 35:26)]

Here is an explanation about how genetic diversity spread out over time and how that led to varying populations of diversity but not distinct groups.


Jefferson Fish also explains how race doesn't make sense in the article title Mixed Blood from Psychology Today, 1995.


What are some assumptions you have had about race? Have you learned erroneous information regarding race? Why is this not a part of curriculum in American schools especially in light of the profound impact the idea of race has had on this country?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Final Paper

-->
Sociology
Final Paper – Community Service Reflection
DUE: TUE, May 26, 2015
After completing your service hours, you must reflect on your community service experiences.   Please write an authentic paper using details of your own experiences and relate your community service experiences to sociology.

Similar to each blog post, the paper should meet the standards of the class:

Literacy – Please relate your experiences to a variety of different sources (readings, videos, websites, images) from the semester.  Thoroughly explain the connection between the source and your service experience.  Try to be specific about what aspect of the service related to the source.  Your grade will be based on the following scale:
4- Student thoroughly connects a variety of sources from personal research or experience to community service experiences in a detailed and specific way.
3- Student thoroughly connects a variety of sources from throughout the semester to community service experiences in a detailed and specific way.
2- Student connects source from throughout the semester either lacking in variety, thoroughness or detail.
1- Student fails to connect sources from throughout the semester and is lacking in variety, thoroughness or detail.

Sociological Content – Please connect your service experience(s) to the sociological concepts and terms we have used this year.  Please see the attached appendix for some suggestions of how to connect service experiences to sociology.
4- Student is able to connect multiple sociological concepts from different units in a meaningful and accurate way.  The connection is explained with irrefutable conviction.
3- Students is able to connect either multiple sociological concepts in a meaningful and accurate way with irrefutable conviction.  Or, the student is able to connect multiple concepts from various units but might lack some conviction, or leaving some meaning unclear.
2-  Student is able to connect a concept in a way that is either accurate or meaningful.
1- Student is unable to make connections that are accurate, meaningful.

Academic Expectations – Please write the reflection with proper prose, grammar, spelling and format.  Use .5-1.5 inch margins, 10-12 font, and double spacing.  Turn it in on time.
4- Student is able to do all of these.
3- Student misses one of these.
2- Student has 2 or 3 mistakes or is late.
1- Student has more than 3 mistakes or is late and has other mistakes.


Appendix A – Connecting to Sociology
-->
Introduction:
            Sociological Imagination – how are the individuals who you served shaped by circumstances larger than their own personal choices.  How are they shaped by when and where they live? Sociological Mindfulness – consider how this experience makes you aware that you are a part of society and you have an impact on it. Social construction of reality – explain how individuals’ feelings and experiences are shaped by society.  Ingroups-outgroups – explain how belonging to a group affects your feelings and stereotypes toward outgroups.

Culture:
Identify unique elements in your service experience, such as: material culture, norms, values and sanctions. Consider how these cultural elements aid in the functioning of the organization and how they contrast with mainstream elements of culture.  How do American values play a role in the plight of those being served or in your service work?

Socialization:
Analyze the modes of interaction that you engaged in during your service. Where there differences in the way that you acted towards the clients versus other volunteers versus members of the organization?  Did you see any processes of socialization occurring with yourself or with the clients that you were working with? 

Deviance:
Reflect on the whether the organization or clientele of the organization where you were volunteering bears any stigma from the larger community.  Often times, community-service organizations have the primary goal of aiding individuals who carry a deviant identity.  Whether it is poverty, substance abuse, illness, age, disability, etc. Observe how the clients manage their stigmatized identities. How do the workers at the organization treat the clients?  Do the clients manage or reject the label of deviant?  How does the work of the organization help change societal perceptions of the stigmatized?

Social Class:
What role does class inequality play in their organization?  How is the organization funded?  How do community service organizations in general generate enough interest for people to volunteer their time and donate their money to help others?  How does charity fit into the American Dream ideology?  Do you believe that most Americans are willing to sacrifice some of their own wealth to help those in need? Why? Why not?

Race/Ethnicity:
Reflect on the racial and ethnic dynamic of their organization.  Is there a difference between the racial or ethnic composition of the staff, the volunteers, and the clientele?  Did your experiences of the racial or ethnic composition at the organization parallel your everyday experiences?  Have you gained any insight into a particular group? Explain.



Service Ideas for 1 hour

If you need just one more hour for your community service requirement, here are some options:

Donating
You can clean out your closet or help your parents clean out stuff around the house and then drive the donations to Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity Restore shop or another charitable organization.  Remember to take pictures of what you donate and where you drop it off at.



Giving Blood
You can stop into a Lifesource and donate blood.  I will count this as one hour.
Feed My Starving Children
They have lots of shifts and some of them are just 1.5 hours. 


Friday, May 8, 2015

Post 8: Social Class

For this post, we have explored how deviance is relative and how that relativity is related to social class.  We also looked at all of the components of social class that shape an individual's possibilities and problems.  Some things to consider for this post are: Do you see how social class is played out at SHS?  How do you see social class playing a role in your own life?  How are you affected by it? How might someone in poverty be affected by it?   Some sources to consider using are the websites related to social class, the Ted Talk about Monopoly, the reading Nickel and Dimed and the video The Line.

Poverty in the United States


Barbara Ehrenreich's book Nickel and Dimed is an experiment with what life is like for someone living at minimun wage (or at least low-wage). Here is an excerpt.

Morgan Spurlock's video 30 days at Minimum Wage is also an experiment at living at minimum wage.

The Line is a documentary about people living at the poverty line.  It highlights the difficulties of different people who share a common struggle: life in poverty.  Here is a link to The Line on Mediacast.  Here it is embeded:
What I want you to see are the effects of poverty on individuals:

Physical Health (Here is a comprehensive list of research on health effects of poverty):
- a lower class person has a higher chance of dying at any age than a wealthy person!  Some other health outcomes for those in poverty:

From the American Journal of Pediatrics; Poverty and lack of nurturing in early life may have a direct effect on a child’s brain development, according to a study that found smaller brain volumes in poor, neglected children.

 Impoverished black children, for example, are twice as likely as poor Hispanic or white children to have levels of lead in their blood that is at least 2.5 micrograms per deciliter. Some researchers have found that even that small amount of lead is enough to cause cognitive impairment in children — especially the kind that impacts their reading ability.

Environment: the poor are more likely to experience asthma and other health issues;
...poor black children are more likely than poor white or Hispanic children to be diagnosed with asthma — another ailment that plagues poor children in Jacksonville and one that is linked to living in older, more industrialized areas.Poor white children, though, are more likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke, or to be born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy than poor black or Hispanic children.And poor Hispanic children, it found, are twice as likely to have no place to go for health care, as compared to poor white or black children.
 hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes, heart disease, mental disorders, suicideunsafe sex. obesity, cancer, HIV

Lifestyle = less access to healthy food (i.e. fruits and vegetables); see this link for a TED talk about one man who is arrested for planting a vegetable garden in a poor neighborhood!, smoke, Drug use and abuse, exercise less,
One reason may be that violence tracks with poverty, thereby preventing people from being active out-of-doors. Similarly, parks and sports facilities are less available to people living in poor counties (5), and people who live in poverty-dense regions may be less able to afford gym membership, sports clothing, and/or exercise equipment. There are multiple individual and environmental reasons to explain why poverty-dense counties may be more sedentary and bear greater obesity burdens.
Medical Care = less access and poorer hospitals, lack of health insurance.
Mental Health = higher stress, children feel effects of stress for life.

Some people will argue that there is a culture of poverty among those in the lowest income levels. This culture of poverty represents individuals making choices that create or worsen the impoverished situation they are in. But, it is important to understand how these choices come about. A life of deprivation, punctuated by emergencies creates a lack of “deferred gratification." In other words, it is difficult for these people to invest in their own future; many of the poor see the future as more of the same or even worse; enjoy what you can, because tomorrow may be worse; poverty influences attitude & behavior which leads to poverty, etc…

And it is important to note that 20% of the children in the US are growing up in poverty! That's 1 out of every 5 kids in the United States is living at the poverty level! Yes you read that correctly - 1 out of every 5 children in the United States is living in poverty right now!  That's a higher rate than 34 out of 35 Western countries. This is another good reason why the cycle of poverty exists. These children grow up in these conditions and so it makes it easier to see how they become the adults who continue to be stuck in the cycle of poverty.

Growing up in poverty can have serious and long-lasting effects on children’s health, development, and overall well-being. The effects of poverty have a well-documented impact on young children’s developing brains. And children who grow up in poverty are more likely to experience harmful levels of stress, more likely to struggle in school, and more likely to have behavioral, social, and emotional problems than their peers.

Watch Poor Kids on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Here is a link to the National Poverty Center which is full of resources and research on poverty.