Thursday, February 23, 2012

Race, Class and Gender Response

First, write your response to the following prompt below-when you are done, ask a strong question that starts a discussion thread. Comment on 2 other people's ideas and questions. I want you to be thought-provoking and challenge one another. There are now Reply links under each person's comment, where you can comment directly to that response or question. Those of you who write first will have to come back and respond to others. Challenge one another! Make sure you write with proper mechanics and fluency.

What was illuminated to you in this reading? Use 2 quotes to support your response;
Did this reading give you any new ideas? If so what were they? How might YOU change your perceptions based on this reading?


78 comments:

  1. While reading Race, Class and, Gender I realized that the reason we form stereotypes is because we know nothing about the people we are judging. We are forced to make assumptions because we are naïve and know nothing about who these people really are. We categorize people without realizing they have a story, a life, to us they are just another face we generalize. “If what you know is wrong because it is based on exclusionary thought, you are likely to act in exclusionary ways.” We are forming opinions before we know the facts and this causes us to make generalizations and judge people based off of those generalizations. One quote explains our exclusive thoughts may not even be intentional, “This may not be because you are intentionally racist, anti-Semitic, sexist, elitist, or homophobic; it may simply be because you do not know any better.” When all we can base our opinions off of is false knowledge that’s being spread we are probably going to form biased views without realizing that we are doing it. It’s hard to work this type of thinking into your own life. I plan on being more aware of my thinking towards others around me. If I become alert to what my opinions are then I can see where I have formed stereotypes. Once I’ve realized what the stereotypes are I can work on becoming more educated on that matter so that I’m not making snap judgments of people. Do we have to forget what we know completely in order to stop making these stereotypical judgments of people? Is it even possible to do this?

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    1. I don't know if it is possible to forget what we know completely in order to stop making these stereotypical judgments of people because I think it really depends on the individual's personality. I would not say that we have to completely forget about what we know in order to stop making these stereotypical judgements of people. Most of our judgements towards other people are either based on influence or opinion. We judge other base on what we see. I think in order to stop making stereotypical judgements of people, we have to completely forget about all the judgements we make towards others.

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    2. Shelby,
      I think that in order to stop making stereotypical judgements of people, we don't necessarily have to forget what we know about a group, but learn more about the group's history and accomplishments. A better understanding of a race, gender or class will lead us to be more educated about why someone did something or why they are dressed the way they are instead of saying something that is entirely uneducated and misunderstood. Also, I think it is possible to stop making judgements but it could take a very long time to teach society about the minorities in America. I say this because there is so much history behind every single minority group that the time it will take people to learn it will feel like forever.

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    3. I think that to stop making stereotypical judgments of people, we have to consciously know and understand what we're doing when we make those judgments. The more aware we are of our thoughts that we have about people which ones are based completely off assumptions, I think we could make those thoughts about other more positive. I'm sure it would take a ton of time to the few people that can actually do this, but I truly think that being more aware of what you're thinking about other people and maybe even what other people think of you can at least minimize these stereotypical judgments. I also wonder how we would act differently if we didn't judge others so much and if it would be just as beneficial to us as it would be other people.

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  2. In reading Race, Class, and Gender, I thought about how we as a society are stereotypical towards other people because we know absolutely nothing. We do this because we do not like the unknown. In being stereotypical towards others, we also have the tendency to isolate the oppressed groups. To make changes in order to bring race, class, and gender together in a society, we have to "shift the center". How do we "shift the center?" "Shifting the center is more than just valuing the diverse histories and cultures of the different groups who constitute society. 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". The reality is that "what we know-about the experiences of both these silenced groups and the dominant culture-is distorted and incomplete". In judging others, I have to think about how people would judge me because of the way I look and the way I walk. I try my best to not judge, but it is hard not to because it is in our human nature. What we can control is how far our judgement can go. How does judging others bring comfort to us? Why does it bring comfort to us when we know that what we are doing is hurtful to others? Are we willing to shift the center and go beyond?

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    1. Abby,
      Comfort is present when we judge others because generally, when people judge, they think a negative thought about another person. This person is convinced that that negative thought is completely true. This will cause that person to think they are "more superior" than everyone else which will bring comfort. I think this is primarily where arrogance comes from as well. Also, I think that the ability to "shift the center" is based purely on the commitment level of the person who wants to shift the center. They have to stop themselves before they judge and think, now how can i assume this when I haven't even met this person? This idea will be successful if the person has self control and mental toughness.

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    2. Abby,
      I think we as humans are always on the defense, we assume others are judging us so we feel the need to judge them. It brings us comfort because we feel like we have the upper hand in the situation. We put others below us so that be don't have to feel inferior.But I don't think we feel comforted by bringing hurt to others. Hurting others isn't our goal, our goal is to make sure that the others don't hurt us. I'm sure many people are willing to take steps to shift the center, however it is easier said than done. With the influence of media and others around you it will be hard to break away from our stereotypical view points and try and "shift the center."

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    3. I don't think that judging others brings comfort to us I think that it just makes us feel like we are a better person because we can do something better than someone. I think some people are willing to shift the center but I am not sure if it is enough people to actually make a difference. I think that we as a society as a whole need to be willing to change our focus so that we are all willing to see the good that everyone has to offer it can't just be certain people. I think once our society is willing to change then the people who are quiet and less heard will start to be heard a lot more!

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    4. Abby,
      I agree with Kathleen that it does not bring comfort to most of us when we degrade someone. However there are a few who think it is funny to make jokes and laugh, but do you think they really realize what they are saying? That they are hurting the person? I believe some people will want to shift the way our society is and how we degrade human beings. However, not everyone will change. I believe it is truly impossible to erase a perspective that has been put into our minds since we were young.

      -Paige Dingee

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    5. I believe the comfort of discriminating others comes from coping with the fear we have of them. When we know something or someone is different than us, we fear them. Then that fear turns to hatred and eventually discrimination. By discriminating what we fear or hate, we gain comfort in the feeling that we are more powerful than them.

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    7. Abby,
      I don’t think that society is willing to shift the center and go beyond. Society, and people fear change and this is a major change to make. I think that a lot of people may not realize how damaging their thoughts are about other groups because we live in such an ignorant society.

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  3. After reading the article "Race, Class, and Gender" the main point taken away from this article is that we human beings, make stereotypes, assumptions, or judgments purely because we don't know any better and it is human nature to do so. "This may not be because you are intentionally racist, anti-Semitic, sexist, elitist, or homophobic; it may simply be because you do not know any beter." Our education system has also impacted the way we view different groups. "By minimizing the experiences and creations of these different groups, we communicate that they have no history or that their work and creativity is less important and less central to the development of culture than is the history of the White American man." Basically, by "just glancing" over the history and accomplishments of various groups in school, the outcome is a thought that says these groups are "less important" or "inferior" to the White American male which is studied way more frequently than the minority groups. Thus, stereotypes are formed. Personally, by digging deeper into the history of these groups, the stereotypes can be dissolved and correct judgements will be made. Is the general education system of America doing enough to teach young ones about the history/accomplishments of African Americans, Asian Americans, women etc.?

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    1. I think the education system of America is getting better about teaching about the accomplishments of African Americans, Asians and women, but we still have more room to go. I think schools teach about the success and failures of the white man,which is still important, but more focus needs to be on the history of other races and how their history came to be. If students grow up with a better outlook on the world and learn about every race, gender and class, less stereotypes would be formed.

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    2. I agree with Erin. I think the education system is improving but there is still a lot of unintentional segregation within schools. Arapahoe has very little racial diversity but we all know which schools have more African Americans, or Hispanics. Schools should not only teach the backgrounds and accomplishments of other groups, but should be more diverse in general. I know that a lot of the problem is location of where people live, but going to a mainly White American school how much of the new teachings would actually sink in and apply to us?

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    3. Tyler,
      I agree that it is human nature to judge one another. I think that the education system teaches a little history about groups of people, however I think it would not do any harm to have schools start focusing more on others history instead of just the whites history. I agree with Karlyn on how our school has very little racial diversity and I know kids at arapahoe do judge people who are of different race, gender, etc. However, I dont think it will change the way we think about other races of people, when we have grown up with a society that has a lot of racial segregation.

      -Paige Dingee

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    4. I agree with Erin. Even though America has come a long way in teaching the history of minority groups, we still have a long way to go. For example; there are little to no teachings in school on the discrimination of Asians and homosexuals. When we learn about these groups and the travesties they have experienced, we gain more perspective and thus become more knowledgeable.

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  5. This article explained to me why we cannot judge groups of people by our experiences. I think we judge people to feel better because we are afraid and don’t understand why they are different. We must look beyond and "shift our center" of focus to understand how they have experienced history. The article states “When they are seen, they are typically judged through the experiences of White people." We have to look through their eyes to truly see the world. The article also says, "What you know frames how you behave and how you think about yourself and others." If all we have known is privilege and power, then we will judge others based on what we have achieved in life. This reading will help me view our world from a different perspective and understand why our history turned out this way. I think I can now try to understand the differences in the world and shift my focus on how our society can improve if we erase the discrimination. Why do fortunate people discriminate against different races and genders that haven't achieved as much?

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    1. Erin,
      I think the reason that anyone discriminates is because of a lack of knowledge. If we don't understand someone then we judge them merely because they are different from us. I think we are all guilty of discriminating, not just the fortunate, however to answer your question I think it is because of the same reason I stated before. A lack of understanding as well as a feeling of wanting to be superior.

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    2. I agree with Shelby. I also think that people find certain things to judge in others to make themselves feel better so that they don't have to look at other peoples' accomplishments. To some people it just makes them feel better if they look at someone and say that even though they've done so much, this is what makes them different. I don't understand why being different always has to be such a bad thing to so many people, but for some reason it is not easily accepted.

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    3. Hayley what you said kind of ties into the question that I asked. I asked if people always say they do not want to be like everyone else then why do they only stick with the people they feel comfortable with? I think people discriminate to make them self's feel better about who they are and so they do not have to accept that there might be room for them to change their habits what ever they may be.

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    4. Erin,
      Fortunate people judge so easily because they lack perspective. Fortunate people live in ignorance you could say because there is no slaughtering outside their doors, there is no fear of if they will live or die. Fortunate people don't live in a scary or unsure world. This has relevance to a story my sister told me, a kid whined and cried and asked my sister to give her money or give her an iPod because she didn't get one for Christmas, she ONLY got a new wii(note heavy sarcasm). Can you say FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS! That kid is fortunate while people are being murdered in Syria. If your biggest problem is not getting an iPod then your life is plush and you most certainly won't be able to empathize with someone different than you if you can't relate. If you can't empathize you can't understand someone leading to judgement that is clouded.

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    5. The article states that, "Second, having misleading and incorrect knowledge leads to the formation of bad society policy-". I feel as if the reason fortunate people are so easy to judge and so easily discriminate against others is because they have not truly been educated about other groups. People teach others what they want them to know, not what they should know.

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  7. What I took way from "Race, Class and Gender" is that so many people judge others because they have a lack of knowledge about them and those people making judgements don't seem willing to put in the time to learn about them. It just seems easier to make those quick judgments instead of going to the trouble of learning more about the people. It takes so much more thought. "But shifting the center is more than just valuing the diverse histories and cultures of the different groups who constitute society. It is also recognizing how groups whose experiences have been vital in the formation of society and culture have been silences in the contraction of knowledge about this society." See, it would be so much more effort to try and understand other people, but I believe that it's worth it. People who judge are also locked into one perspective that only allows them to see things one way and more often than not society has influenced that perspective to be centered on themselves. Having such a partial perspective can really lead to ignorance and could even cause people to be misunderstood/mistreated. "First, learning about other groups helps you realize the partiality of your own perspective; furthermore, this is true for both dominant and subordinate groups." I think that I might try to understand individually what people are going through and where they come from so that I can better understand them as a person instead of making quick judgments. I don't necessarily think I'll be doing research on everybody I see, but I could just get to know them despite my judgments. Do you think that people who are lazy tend to make more judgements about other people? How can our day to day activities possibly influence the judgments we make about people? Does it have any correlation at all?

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    1. I think what we do everyday and how we judge people are definitely related. I think that if you are a person who serves others all the time and know what other and lower classes go through, you are less likely to judge someone who you have never met. However, if you are a generally lazy person, you are most likely going to be less inclined to understand a different race, gender, or classes differences. Learning and researching about the worlds diverse people will widen your view of how our society works. This could help the discriminating and stereotypes.

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    2. Hayley,
      I think that people who are lazy definitely tend to make more judgments about other people because it is the easy way out. They don't have to make any effort to get to know someone or their story when they can just judge them and move on. Our day to day activities definitely influence the judgments we make about others because our experiences are defining to our personality and different types of people make different judgments and a different amount of judgments towards others.

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    3. Hayley, I agree that a lot of our opinions are based on a complete lack of knowlege. In order to evaluate someone accurately, we must first look at them without bias, and accept them for THEM, not the "group" they represent, because in truth, they don't represent anyone but themselves.

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  8. The things that stood out to me in this reading were that everyone has something that they can share with or teach other people others just have to be willing to listen. "... shifting our perspective by thinking about the experiences of those who have been excluded from knowledge changes how we think about society, history, and culture" and "It also recognizes how groups of whose experiences have been vital in the formation of society and culture have been silenced in the construction of knowledge about this society." This quotes stand out to me because to me they show that the people who have the most to say and teach us are the ones that do not get listened to very often. This reading gave me the idea that just because someone is quite does not mean that they can’t teach you something. I might change my perceptions based on this reading by giving quiet people more of a chance to speak up because who knows what they might be able to teach me. A question that I have is if people are always saying that they do not want to be like everyone else and that they want to be their own person then why are they only interested in listening and hear the people who speak all of the time or listening to the people who they feel comfortable with and widening their comfort zone to the people who do not get their ideas out to the world so they will know things that fewer people know or have heard about before?

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    1. Kathleen, I think people are sometimes stubborn about their views so they do not like to have them questioned or challenged by other people. Pride is a major issue when it comes to stereotyping. Humility and, like you said, realizing that everyone has something that they can share with or teach other people. Every person is valuable, but sometimes certain groups of people are overlooked for all of the wrong reasons.

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    2. Kathleen, I love that you notice how stubborn we are in regards to our views. Our argument may be 100% wrong, however, we won't hear anyone else's view because our opinions are all we've ever been taught. It is hard to change someone's mind, but I think it IS possible, one mind at a time.

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    3. Kathleen, I agree with the points that you stated, and I also think that people judge others for all the wrong reasons. We need to have a different perspective about people, and stop judging people for no reason. I like how you said we need to have more background information on people before we make assumptions about people.

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  9. While I was reading Race, Class, and Gender by Margaret L. Anderson and Patricia Hill Collins, the lack of knowledge that most people have really stood out to me. Since we don’t really already know much about the people that are different from us the only thing that we really know to do is just judge them by the stereotypical things that we hear about them. Based on this reading it makes me want to be more aware of how much I judge others and then I can hopefully change how frequently I do it. There is always going to be times that I judge people but I think if I can be more aware of what I am doing I can gain good experiences through not judging the others that I don’t know anything about. There is always room for improvement in everything you do. As my sister says you can’t put a label on someone without at least three interactions with them. By judging people you get nowhere, but by looking past the stereotypes something worthwhile can come about. In the article it states, “Shifting the center is fundamentally about reconstructing what you know to include those whose perspectives and life experiences have not been heard.” I think that it is vital to our society to shift the center; we need to expand and grow to be a better society with all knowledge of all the people that are a part of it. The article also states later on that, “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.” There really is no reason not to shift the center because there are so many things we need from it. If we can do this we can know more about all the people around us and ourselves. However, is it even possible to shift the center? Are there too many people out there that are too lazy to actually do something? Is it simply too easy to go about the way we have been judging others all the time because it is the only thing we are used to doing?

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  10. The reading says "Challenging oppressive race, class, and gender relations in society requires reconstructing what we know so that we have some basis from which to change these damaging and dehumanizing systems of oppression." I have never thought about racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, class oppression, or homophobia as dehumanizing. I know that they are immoral and harsh but dehumanizing brings on another level. One joke or simple statement that could, and often is, simply overlooked does, in fact, make someone feel less like a human being. Most of the time people aren't flat out racist or anything like that but it's more subtle and almost even unnoticed. "This may not be because you are intentionally racist, anti-Semitic, sexist, elitist, or homophobic; it may simply be because you do not know any better." I wonder if I simply don't know any better. Am I a stereotypical, judgmental person? I think that I can be at times, everyone can. The most important thing is if we choose to act on our initial thoughts or judgments. Everyone thinks of things that they would never do; only some people actually end up carrying out their thoughts. Discrimination and stereotyping are different in that stereotyping is mainly a thought process, whereas discrimination is acting on a stereotype. Stereotyping, however, does open up the door to discrimination. How can we challenge the oppressive race, class, and gender relations in society? Do our childhood experiences have an effect on our outlook toward other groups of people? How much?

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    1. I think they do have an effect. My great grandmother was German, and even though she lived in America, she still had negative feelings against Jews during the Holocaust. And she still says some things that I would never dream of her saying, because she grew up with her parents "bashing" Jews, and so naturally she obtained those biases.

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  11. Reading this article made me realize, I feel that we have been raised to judge people; it’s not something we’re born with. No one is born with that kind of hatred towards anyone. We hear things our parents say and think, “that must be right… they’re my parents.” They instill in us (in most cases) that their opinions are valued by all, their children especially, and that whatever they say, goes. We should not question their views or judgments; we should accept them with open arms and think exactly as they do. This is wrong, but it’s what our society has become used to. So used to it, in fact, that we don’t notice it anymore.
    Quote 1: “First, learning about other groups helps you realize the partiality of your own perspective; furthermore, this is true for both dominant and subordinate groups." I think this goes along with the saying, “to know one is to know them all.” That is an ignorant idea. We are all individuals and deserve to be recognized as such. Uneducated views that are invalid arise from ideas like that. I agree that we should get to know people of all sorts to be able to judge that person, and only that person.
    Quote 2: “This may not be because you are intentionally racist, anti-Semitic, sexist, elitist, or homophobic; it may simply be because you do not know any better.” This instills what I was saying before, that people we are raised to give respect to, plant thoughts in our heads that we may not actually agree with if we were allowed to think for ourselves. We should be allowed to do so, it is the right of every human being. We should form our own opinions, that are 100% ours, then live based on that. Not just what our parents or elders want us to think.

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    1. Lauren! I definitely agree with what you are saying, a lot of the time I think about if I grew up in a different home what different beliefs I would have. But, if we (as children) were to push to be different from our parents, wouldn't that create strife?
      I also agree with your first quote, we should be seen as individuals not as a stereotype or a certain type of person
      Quote 2 definitely hit home, I think it totally backs up what you were saying in your paragraph and I think that you are correct, why do we stay in the norm?

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  12. While reading "Race, Class and Gender" by Margaret L. Anderson and Patricia Hill Collins, I thought about how we would be able to change the world. I think we never truly can change our perception from what is today, to a less discriminating and downgrading tone. It is human nature to judge, therefor I believe it is deeper than just what we learn about. It is true that we only learn about the struggles of a group of people and do not focus on the accomplishments of these people but would it truly change the way we look at them? The reading states that "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". I agree with this statement that they helped form our society today. Yet maybe they formed how we act today based upon their actions. Each group of people have contributed negatives and positive outcomes to form our world today. Maybe we should focus on the negative outlook on what they did to learn from their mistakes. To learn how it can effect someone. I am against downgrading people when you know so little about them and I believe it is wrong. However, I believe we wont be able to change a whole societies thoughts about a group of people by learning more about their history. The reading also says "We then learn how our different experiences are linked, both historically and now." Everyone has a different perspective and if we are taught more about a groups past not everyone will see it as a good thing, or maybe a bad thing. We can not completely erase discrimination because a person may have a personal experience from a group of people which is why they are hateful towards them. This isn't always fair but its how we are. Think about what kids in Japan are taught about us Americans in the US. They are probably very against us and are hateful towards us. However this, I believe is reasonable, due to what we had done to them. Overall, I do not believe there is anything we can do to change the way we act towards others even though it is wrong. Do you think we can truly change human nature to be judgmental? How so?

    -Paige Dingee

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    1. Paige, I believe that everyone can change. There are always two sides to every story, and when we understand both sides our opinions can grow and evolve. The problem is that we don't always get to hear both sides. Most people only hear the dominant point of view. I agree that it is human nature to judge, only because that is what we are taught in our early stages of life. It is our choice to judge or not when we get old enough and know better.

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    2. Paige, I love your question. I don't think we can truley change human nature from being so judgemental. It's part of who we are and it's natrual to us. We are born with the opression of society telling us what to think about cirten people and genders. I do, however, think we can change the way society puts lables on members of the human race. It is an option on what lables we put on people.

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  13. The article Race, Class, and Gender, pushed the ideal that society needs to remove its filters and "shift the center." In other words, society must broaden its thinking and embrace learning about other groups past, and present. The article states that, "What you know frames how you behave and how you think about yourself and others." This just goes to show the ignorance of not only society, but modern civilization. We make judgments based off a limited amount of information. The article also goes on to say that, "Race, class, and gender are social structural categories. This means that they are embedded in the institutional structure of society." The reason I made a point to highlight this piece is because it shows that regardless of the hate someone or a group of people have towards another, none of them are going anywhere. There will always be different races, different classes, different genders, and different sexual orientations. Since they will always be there, people may as well stop hating! Everyone belongs to a certain race, class, and gender, so why do people feel it is okay to discriminate against certain ones?

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    1. Katie R
      I think that people feel it is okay to discriminate against certain race, class, and genders because if they are included in a bigger race, class, and gender then they feel more powerful to do so even though this is still not the ethical thing to do.

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    2. Katie I like your point that descrimination isn't going to get us anywhere is spot on. Someone else's opinion really shouldn't affect you in the long run and they will forget their own thoughts with time and hopefully someday realize that they had no right to judge anyone to began with. In my paragraph I pointed out that differences create defenses. Most people as we have all heard make fun of people because they are trying to hide their own imperfections. I honestly don't think it's ever very personal unless we have an early life experience that gave us justification to hate someone.

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    3. Good question Kaite! I think people feel the need to put others down to build themselvs up. It's human nature to notice the differences between races. I think a lot of why we feel it's ok to judge others is because society tells us it's ok. We compair our race to others and make assumptions based on limited knowledge about their backgrounds and culture.

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  14. The reading "Race, Class, and Gender", by Margaret L. Anderson and Patricia Hill Collins, brought to my attention that my, "...knowledge has been constructed largely from the experiences of the more powerful groups—because they have had the most access to systems of education and communication." So, our knowledge is based on what certain groups say about what we read in school and what we see on TV and in the theaters. We have to understand that what we've learned about life is distorted and incomplete because we haven't heard all the points of view. When a voiceless group becomes the center of our focus, we not only get a new view of that group, but also of the dominant group. The reading mentioned how people have to "shift their center" and learn about the different histories that have been written, recognize the voiceless, and change how we understand the dominate culture and group or there will be consequences. I believe the consequences come in how the different racial groups in our country have problems getting along with each other. The article also brought to my attention that, "...having misleading and incorrect knowledge leads to the formation of bad social policy—policy that then reproduces, rather than solves, social problems." In our country, which is very diverse, we need knowledge that will solve our social problems, not cause them. When we shift the center, we will be able to see better the connections between all the groups in our culture, which will give us a clearer picture of reality. What will our world look like if we actually shifted our center of understanding to be more inclusive?

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    1. Chloe D
      I personal think our world would look more peacful if we shifted our center of understanding to be more inclusive. I think this because if everyone was included why would people be mad or fight against oneanother.

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    2. Our understanding of the people around us would change, and society would become much more tolerant. I liked what you said about how TV and movies often can shape many stereotypes that we have about other people, because that is completely true. I'd say about 60% of our "accepted" stereotypes comes from popular media, news, TV, movies, Newspaper, they almost use these stereotypes to get more ratings and to get more viewers. Our society in general uses stereotypes, as scapegoats and as targets, and ALL of this would reduce with a more inclusive understanding.

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  15. Reading this piece of writing illuminated me to the idea that we need to explore the judgement of more minorities than usually thought. When thinking of discrimination, the first thought is often the African American people. However, we need to explore the judgement of many more groups. That includes homosexuals, women in the Middle East, Asians, women, and the list goes on. The piece reads,"The exclusionary thinking we have relied upon in the past simply does not reveal the intricate interconnections that exist between the different groups composing the U.S. society." Our society is composed of more than just white men, but most of how America is portrayed still reflects a white male dominated society. Every race, gender, and sexual orientation is an intricate part of our society. The piece goes on to state, "...learning about other groups helps you realize the partiality of your own perspective." If you are black, you must know the life of the white. If you are Asian, you must know the life of the homosexuals. If you are women, you must know the life of the Latino. This piece changed me to realize that the issues of civil rights among minorities is not just the burden of that minority. These issues are all of our burden. What kind of person will stand up and fight for the rights and equality of minorities? What will it take to break down these barriers that are built between groups?

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    1. Will,
      You asked what kind of person will stand up and fight for the rights and equality of minorities. I think it will start with the minorities who explain what their experiences have been so that others understand and help initiate change. Sometimes people don't even know they've been oppressed and so they don't speak up. Another question is, do people who know that an inequality exists have a responsibility, to the people or the world, to do something about it?

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    2. I think it will take a disaster to break down the racial barriers that exist in humanity. When the Underground Railroad first surfaced (sorry for the pun) hundreds of people stepped up to help the escaping slaves, also,in the south there are still white supremacy attitudes that exist even today, but when hurricane Katrina hit, everyone banded together as one group of people who wanted to survive.

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  16. In reading "Race, Class, and Gender" I found myself asking why do people judge others if we were all created equal? What makes us different or better than our neighbor? Stereotypes. Stereotypes are what drive us to discriminate against other people and to judge them on their outward appearance. One quote I found that supports this idea is "By minimizing the experiences and creations of these different groups, we communicate that they have no history or that their work and creativity is less important." (2-1) I think this quote is saying that if we have no prior history of this "group" we use what we have learned or what we have picked up to judge them. One way to fix this is to learn what is true and forget what we have learned as depicted in this quote "We believe that shifting our perspective by thinking about the experiences of those who have been excluded from knowledge changes how we think about society, history, and culture."(3-2) By reading this last quote it made me think that we judge of the lack of knowledge rather than the what we do know. This article opened my eyes to the fact that people discriminate based on stereotypes that were formed off lack of knowledge. Me question is in order to stop being judgmental do we need to be judged?

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    1. I love your question Tanner. I honestly don't think knowing what it's like to be judged will completly stop us from making judgment towards others. We have all been hurt and gone through many tough life situations including jugdements and stereotypes. Most people use these as justification of why they get to pick on people for who they are. The idea that they made fun of me so I should have the right to pick on them or they hurt her so we should make up a rumor that hurts him back. Judgements are almost never based off the truth! We make "the truth" up based on our life experiences. Our life paths are all different and difference creates defense! We will defend ourselves and what we believe in just to be right.

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    2. Perhaps it is a vicious cycle. I think that we need to humble ourselves or possibly find a common thread. We are all one this Earth and if we had a higher tolerance for difference, then maybe we could coexist in peace without discrimination.
      "We have all been hurt and gone through many tough life situations including jugdements and stereotypes."
      -Love this thought, Cameo.

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    3. Tanner, you have some very valid points here, and I agree with many of your ideas. I agree that stereotypes are often what drives us to discriminate against others, but I also think that having a lack of background knowledge on a person causes the same thing, because it triggers people to make assumptions. Because like you said, we judge people more based on what we don't know, rather then what we do know. So I agree with the point you made that says we need to know more about someone, before you actually judge them.

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  17. Since I participated in the Landmark Forum for Teens a few years ago I have strongly believed that knowledge is based on life’s experiences. Everyone’s life is different because not two people have been through the exact same path. This point created my opinion that no one really has the ground to judge anyone else because they don’t really know what it is like to be in their shoes. Based off a good point made in the movie Good Will Hunting, you know nothing of a particular orphan’s life just by reading Oliver Twist. Everyone’s creates their own unique world. In the second paragraph on the first page a line reads, for years, women and people of color- and especially women of color- were often totally outside people’s frame of vision. From this I made the connection that they weren’t even given the chance in most cases to learn and decide the truth for themselves. They didn’t know better so they went along with what society told them was right. The next line was, but, as you move your angle of sight to include those who have been overlooked, new subjects come into sight; I read it as new controversies come into sight, differences! When Arturo Madrid talks about his life in the article I felt that we don’t feel like we belong in something we aren’t a part of, something we didn’t help create. Past that point the article started to frustrate me. I as a white person am stereotyped as being a racist just as often as we place stereotypes on other races. Every person is different and difference has always seemed to end in people being defensive. I want to be treated as equally as the next person does but I will always be different to someone and I have accepted that, accepted myself, and made the promise to myself to always stay true to all that I am.
    Why are the people that are called different, the first and sometimes only ones to think of equality?

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  18. The Race, Class and Gender article was not condoning in the slightest. I felt like it was amazing how we made the smallest judgement by what the media and past experiences might tell us about a person or a race. We jump to conclusions because we don't even realize that we do it.
    On the first page of the packet, it says that "...But as you move your angle of sight to include those who have been overlooked, new subjects come into sight." How can we as the majority "move our angle of sight" to include the minority? If we have to see things differently, or "remove the filter", how can we keep the "filter" off if the media, preexisting bias's, and even past experiences keep the blinders on?
    Furthermore, when it talks about learning about other groups on the last page, it made me think about the classes and clubs we have at AHS. I have a very good friend who goes to Creek, now granted, they have a much larger school than we do, but still, they have a club for each ethnicity that attends CCHS, on certain days each club sets up a booth in the gym, and people look and learn about each ethnicity. It gives people a way to learn about their false biases and make friends, integrating them with other races.
    Where did these biases come from? And when did the majority look to exclude the minority when in the beginning we were all created equal?

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    1. I agree with your first paragraph completely, why do we jump to conclusions? Why don't we realize it? Also I think that if you grew up in a non-judgemental environment it would be a lot easier to judge, but I think it's also a normal thing. It shouldn't be. Where does this biases come from? Do you think AHS should do the thing like Creek?

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    2. I wonder if we were ever "all equal"? I think there biases came from past experiences and influences and carries on into our generation. The vast majority influenced the opinions of those who were judging. The minority is rarely recognized. Can the minority ever change the major picture of their group?

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    3. Have we been are will we ever be "equal"? I cant say we will just becuase of the thought people have and the way the where rased.

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  19. Race, Class, and Gender really challenged me to look around at judgement I've made or are currently making. Sometimes it is a natural habit but it shouldn't be? Why do we degrade people, to make us feel better? What really nags me is I don't know the people I'm judging, I don't know their life or anything that has happened to them. I connected this with a facebook status I've been seeing going around, it lists a list of abusive names we call people then it tells us why they are like that. Example: That girl you just called fat? She's been starving herself to be skinnier.
    This really stuck with me, especially since I read over the status fast because I don't care or don't have time.
    Why do we even judge people? How do you even define yourself? I think that should be the question that we ask ourselves, instead we try and cover ourselves in makeup to hide the blemishes and scars, we try and look normal.

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    1. I agree with the stament you are making. I like the questions you put at the end of the blog! This blog is evey thought provoking! Every good question in the blog.

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  21. Stereotypes have developed through experiences with the group that is being generalized. In the passage, Shifting the Center, it reads, “…recognizing that knowledge has been constructed largely from the experiences of the most powerful groups-” How might we alter our perception to dissolve these stereotypes? It is difficult to change what has already been embedded in a persons mind. That is why we frequently hear ‘knowledge is power’. The knowledge that has been obtained concerning the experiences with the “most powerful groups” cannot be so easily erased.
    In regards to the picture which displays the overlooked black women, I must agree that there is always a person, or group, that remains unnoticed. The passage reads, “But, as you move your angle of sight to include those who have been overlooked, new subjects come into sight.” Perhaps if our generation of modern Americans took more of an initiative to notice those who have been ‘out of frame’, then we could create a less isolated society.
    Do we label ourselves? If yes, why?
    Are you satisfied with your “label”?
    Can perceptions be altered despite past experiences and influences?

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  22. While reading Race, Class, and Gender, I focused on the idea of reconstructing what you know about the perceptions society gives people, and developing your own opinions. It can have a huge impact on the world. Society forces us to make assumptions and create stereo types based on limited knowledge. On page 16, it says, “Shifting the center is more than just valuing diverse histories and cultures… What we know about the experiences of silenced groups and dominant culture is distorted and incomplete.” I loved the harshness and meaning behind this quote. It makes me wonder how important history and background are to humanity. Does it make us who we are? “When shifting the center you are prone to understand society, your own life within it, and the experiences of others through stereotypes and misleading information (pg. 17).” We can change the way stereotypes define people. We are creating assumptions about people’s background before we know the real story behind them and it’s not right. The problem with our obsession over stereotypes begins with our ignorance of background and lack of knowledge. In what ways does our society silence groups that have been defined as “marginalized”? Are minority groups really silenced or are they just targeted?

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    1. Laura, I love how you are talking about how society is forcing us to make assumptions about people when we have almost no knowledge of who the person is or where they came from. I think that history may shape us as humans because if we have more history about where people come from maybe our images of them would be different. If we have less education about a race or something then our judgments may become more drastic.

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  23. After reading the, "Race, Class and Gender, the reaction I got explained to me why we cannot judge groups of people by our own feel based off stereotypes. This may not be because you are intentionally racist, anti-Semitic, sexist, elitist, or homophobic; it may simply be because you do not know any better." This quote really stands out to my personal experiences because I feel that i automatically judge someone based upon there appearance. Throughout history we are taught that hating people with different ethnicity, from the KKK to the Nazis. Both of those hate groups had bias opinions based off what they thought was right. Our education has thought to think equality yet, the mass of people are still judging. Reading this short story made me feel unhappy based on people judging other people on the simplest differences. People choose to discriminate if thus person is not the same as oneself. Why? What makes someone different? How does society single a person out based off appearance?

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  24. Will Younkes

    After reading the, "Race, Class and Gender, the reaction I got explained to me why we cannot judge groups of people by our own feel based off stereotypes. This may not be because you are intentionally racist, anti-Semitic, sexist, elitist, or homophobic; it may simply be because you do not know any better." This quote really stands out to my personal experiences because I feel that i automatically judge someone based upon there appearance. Throughout history we are taught that hating people with different ethnicity, from the KKK to the Nazis.This example gave me the idea of groups coming together without knowledge of who they are judging."The exclusionary thinking we have relied upon in the past simply does not reveal the intricate interconnections that exist between the different groups composing the U.S. society." Both of those hate groups had bias opinions based off what they thought was right. Our education has thought to think equality yet, the mass of people are still judging. Reading this short story made me feel unhappy based on people judging other people on the simplest differences. People choose to discriminate if thus person is not the same as oneself. Why? What makes someone different? How does society single a person out based off appearance?

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  25. After reading the Race, Class, and Gender article, it got me thinking about how often people judge others based on race, stereotypes, or differences that they have with certain people. "Race, class, and gender are social structural categories. This means that they are embedded in the institutional structure of society." I think judgement is caused by society in some cases, because some people are just treated differently for reasons such as the ones that I mentioned above. And society society influences others to judge, because it makes people seem different, and look down upon them."What we know-about the experiences of both these silenced groups and the dominant culture-is distorted and incomplete". We judge people for reasons unknown sometimes. People judge others because they don't have background knowledge on them, so they start to make assumptions. Do you think people would be judged less if they knew more about the person, and what they have been through? People base their opinions on others for all of the wrong reasons. They have a lack of knowledge the person. I try my best not to judge others, but it is a natural thing for humans to do sometimes, and at times we can't help ourselves. In what ways can we try to avoid judging others even though we know nothing about that person? We need to try our best to be a better person, and think about how our judgements could impact a person, before you actually judge them.

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    1. I agree, judgement IS caused by society. Society is the main benefactor of prejudice and judgement. It is how we attempt to fit in with our own race, group, or clique. Unfortunately, a lot of this is caused by misleading or absent education on other people, and lack of their perspective. The lack of perspective forces us to judge and make assumptions every single day.

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    2. I agree with you Yanni because all the problems we have today in this world are because of race, stereotypes and differences we have with each other. If we could all get past this all of our lives would be a lot easier.

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    3. Yanni, I completely agree with what you are saying about how people today are still judged for the smallest reason that shouldn't set people apart. Why should someone be treated like a dog when the only thing different about them is there skin color or the religion they believe in our something so silly or as small as that.

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  26. Audrey K.

    I agree that stereotypes are created by the largest most powerful group. People are afraid to go against the flow of the social norms. The reasoning behind this is because they do not want to be the one going against the pack, then affecting the way they view that person to a negative outlook. Take a look at the American Presidents, when they do something wrong that decision is viewed as something bad and can never be forgotten because they have so much power.

    -Will Younkes

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  27. This reading has shown some of the flaws that the education system, especially back in the day, had when it came to the history and culture of the minorities in a population, how white children would get no knowledge regarding minorities, restricting their views on these people.
    "Shifting The Center" was a commonly used phrase, which to me means purely to shift perspective "Shifting the Center, means putting at the center of our thinking the experiences of groups that have formerly been excluded" I believe that phrase also says that everyone's knowledge is helpful, but because they are the minority, we see their knowledge through the "White" perspective, clouding that knowledge with judgement.
    "There are real consequences to having partial or distorted knowledge." Judgement clouds knowledge, and this can damage the education of everyone. I found this very profound, the possibility that judgement and predicted can actually dampen ones' education and could permanently scar someones ability to see other peoples knowledge.

    This reading also brought to light for me how stereotypes are shaped, and that stereotypes can be very complicated and can be based on many different attributes. Age, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, region, and physical ability all shape these stereotypes. It makes me feel bad to have judged based on these trivial attributes, but I think we as humans do it unconsciously already, for what purpose, I am not sure.

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  28. YanniKoundo

    I agree with your comment. People automatically create a bias opinion to someone even if they have no background knowledge of that human being. In our modern society people create groups based off looks which causes a lot of drama creating a problem. Society has a wretched idea with negative opinions, the education system as yet to teach the rights, and wrongs with equality.
    -Will Younkes

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  29. This story had me changling my own values. Such as the way I think and see things as so been changled. " Shifting the center is more than just valuing the diverse histories and cultures of the differnt groups who coonstitute society". I love this qoute. It should be the way we all live are lifes. Not just that it is talking about clutures but so much more. "Recognizing that knowledge has been contructed largly from exprinces". I dont know why I like this qoute mabey it is becuase it is true to everyone.

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  30. After reading the Race, Class, and Gender article,I realized how often people judge others based on race, stereotypes, or differences that they have with certain people.“If what you know is wrong because it is based on exclusionary thought, you are likely to act in exclusionary ways.” I think this is saying don't judge a book by it's cover because you haven't walked a mile in another persons shoes. “This may not be because you are intentionally racist, anti-Semitic, sexist, elitist, or homophobic; it may simply be because you do not know any better.” I feel our society has been trained to be this way because we don't like the fact that other people are different from us. After reading this, my perception hasn't changed at all because I try to be nice to everyone every day.

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  31. After reading Race, Class, and Gender I noticed that many people of our world today make judgment about other people that we are just basing off of their appearance and the way they look. We don't even know who the person is but we feel obligated to make judgments based on things like hair color, the type of clothes they wear, why type of shoes they wear, or even the typical skin color. "If what you know is wrong because it is based on exclusionary thought, you are likely to act in exclusionary ways." This quote stood out to me because it is saying that if you have thoughts about someone in your mind you are likely to express what you are feeling on the inside because you have those thoughts in your head. "We then learn how our different experiences are linked, both historically and now." This quote shows how your own experiences in your life can be a parallel to what has happened historically and how those same things still happen today. Which shows how even though we have come far in accepting diversity there are those who still judge because of what has happened in previous years in our history.

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