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The Two Sides of Race-Relations

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posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 12:33 AM
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The past issues brought up by OMS concerning dominant culture, has caused me to reflect on its meaning today. As a result, I went out to research whether there were other sources that shared his thoughts on this concept. This is what I found:

Let's look at definition of culture first:


Culture

culture:The totality of learned, socially transmitted behavior. All the "products" of a SOCIETY: A large number of people who live in the same territory, subject to a common political structure and participate in a common culture. Society/SOCIAL STRUCTURE is the interaction; Culture is the product of the interaction, both material and non-material (meanings, beliefs, values, ideas, norms, etc).



With that being established, let's take a look at the definitions afforded to dominant culture.

This definition comes from Emory University:


Definitions
dominant culture: one of five final cultural categories (a subtexture of social and cultural texture), its rhetoric presents a system of attitudes, values, dispositions, and norms that the speaker either presupposes or asserts are supported by social structures vested with power to impose its goals on people in a significantly broad territorial region.


This meaning of dominant culture has to do with a group of people who have built a social structure. This group of people invests their social norms (through the acquision of power) over a "large region" (i.e. The United States). Most relevant is that this definition does not include class.

Then, we have this definition of dominant culture, from the University of Hartford:


White Identity and Race Relations in the 1990s

Dominant group status and the emphasis upon racial categories have also affected the ethnic identification of white Americans. Ethnic divisions among whites played a significant historical role in intergroup relations in the United States; however, the boundaries of the dominant group have extended from English-Americans in colonial America and the nineteenth century to include all Americans of European ancestry (Doane 1993). This in turn has reduced the strength of white ethnic identities. For example, Alba (1990, pp. 50-51), in a study of ethnicity among whites in the capital region of New York, found that one-third of the whites born in the United States were unable to identify themselves in ethnic terms and one-quarter of those who did provide an ethnic affiliation subsequently said that it had little or no significance. Other researchers (Farley 1991; Lieberson and Waters 1986; 1993; Waters 1994; Hout and Goldstein 1994) have found that half of white Americans name more than one country in response to ancestry questions, and that ancestry responses may vary from survey to survey or be influenced by the presence and order of sample answers. These findings reinforce the notion that ethnic differences between English, German, Italian, Irish, and Polish-Americans (to name a few) play little or no role in everyday life. For most white Americans, ethnicity has become an "optional" identity (Waters 1990), a vague awareness that one's ancestors came from a particular country or countries, and an identity to be asserted on special occasions (such as St. Patrick's Day) but kept hidden the remainder of the time. This weakened sense of ethnic self-awareness among white Americans is significant in that it enhances the sense of culturelessness and the feeling that one is the same as everybody else.

This sense of white "invisibility" constitutes a significant and generally taken-for-granted advantage for whites in their day-to-day existence. McIntosh (1989) describes a broad range of hidden privileges enjoyed by whites, including: not being asked to speak for one's race, not being outnumbered, not being viewed as the "white" teacher, lawyer, etc., not being judged on the basis of race, and seeing oneself broadly represented in the media and in school curriculum. Another benefit is having one's trustworthiness taken as a given. Unlike African-Americans (see Anderson 1990, pp. 163-206; Feagin and Sikes 1994), whites have generally not had the experiences--due to their race--of walking down the street and having a stranger clutch her purse, shopping and being followed by store personnel, or driving and being stopped by the police for no apparent reason. As Ellis Cose (1993) demonstrates in The Rage of a Privileged Class, these experiences often impose a significant social and psychological cost upon people of color. As a black respondent interviewed by Feagin (1991, p. 115) observed when commenting upon the cost of coping with racial discrimination, "you just don't have as much energy left to do as much as you know you really could if you were free." The advantage of being white is not to have to absorb this cost--and not even to have to be aware of the benefit being received.


And then, there is this definition of the dominant culture from the U.S. Government:


The American Cultural Tapestry
There is some truth to this idea. The United States is certainly a culturally diverse society; however, there is also a dominant culture. Immigrants became a part of this culture by giving up many of their differences so that they could fit into the mainstream of society. Some would argue that the United States has often had a cultural "cookie-cutter" approach with a white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant, male mold or shape as the model. White immigrant males could easily fit such a mold by adopting an Anglo name, converting to Protestant Christianity, and speaking English without a foreign accent. However, not everyone could fit the cookie-cutter mold. People can't change their gender, skin color, or hair texture. Some people melted more easily than others.



Other Definitions (By virtue of Texas A & M):


Dictionary

Dominant culture: The cultural group that controls the major aspects of social power, values, and norms within a society.

People of color: A term used to describe all non-white racial or ethnic groups.

Power: The ability to influence others, enforce one’s beliefs, or get what one wants.

Prejudice: Conscious or unconscious negative belief about another social group and its members without knowledge of or examination of the facts: bias.

Privilege: 1. Power and advantages benefiting a group derived from the historical oppression and exploitation of other groups. 2. unearned access to resources only readily available to some people as a result of their group membership.


With sources from scholars, dictionaries and the U.S. Government, the dominant culture in my point of view, deals with the primary cultural transmission from a group in society. Two sources attributed this "cultural transmission" as being from European, White, Christian ideals, social practices and norms and how they have shaped American society. The other aspect of defining the dominant culture has to do with how those who are not of the dominant culture see these ideals and how they affect their lives. This affects social relations, power relations and of course identity.

Class is arguable, but in race-related discussions, we're dealing with who has the power in society, how they transmit their ideals on the rest of us and the implication from the transmission of ideals. We are also investigating the transmission of these ideals by racial construct.

In my research into this definition, I would much rather stay with the standard definition because it has been held up by scholars in the respective fields of ethnic studies, cultural studies, American studies, sociology and anthropology. Furthermore, when discussing issues of race, one has to deal with not only how the "minority" cultures see their presence in the larger construct of the dominant culture; but how members of the dominant culture view themselves and their privileges in the midst of a larger national landscape.

But as always, the question comes down to who will be believed as credible in discussions that try to dissect issues such as this one.

Just my .02





[edit on 7-2-2007 by ceci2006]




posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 01:03 AM
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Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic

I did not go about to change the provided definition of IR because it makes sense to me. Just as the vast majority of the definitions you provided make sense to me, which is why I only went about changing a very few, very specific sections of a very few of the definitions you provided. I included explanation of why I wanted to change those parts (incoherent as those explanations may have been
). If you can provide a reason for your definitions to stand, I am interested in hearing it.


Look at the previous post I made on "Dominant Culture".




I'm not. I am trying to include class as a factor in the undeniable social inequity present in the US today.


After thinking about it, what you did was fair. Class is a factor in social inequity. However, I still believe that in discussions of race, class needs to be left out due to the facility of shifting to another "ism".



I'm not. I absolutely agree with your statements.


Thank you for saying that. It's not that I don't disagree with you. I do. But, I think for this discussion, we've got to leave class out of it.



Indeed. However, since I do acknowledge this what is the point of this statement?


The point is that sometimes some people from the dominant culture (my terminology, not yours) deny that they have any benefits or privileges. People who are not of the dominant culture (my terminology, not yours) can see those privileges and even acknowledge that they happen. For those who receive and benefit from the said privileges of being a member of the dominant culture to not acknowledge this aspect is to be in denial.

However, I do recognize that you acknowledged this fact. The statement I made was a clarification of the overall theme of my argument. It was not an accusation (despite the fact that others might possibly misunderstand me or twist my words).




Question for you: Is this thread about strictly race and inequity, or is it about general social inequity in the US and what we might be able to do about it? I am aware of what the title is, and I may be mis-interpreting the actual intent of the thread. Please answer A or B:


It is most definitely A. An earlier post conveys my thoughts on the matter.


Many thanks in advance for your response.


You're very welcome. And I thank you for having this conversation despite the fact that it gets rocky at times. How I see this conversation is that we are trying to understand each other here civilly and respectfully. I also thank you for answering my questions in a good natured, polite fashion. I have always valued your respect and politeness very highly ever since the "racism" thread. I appreciate your candor.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 02:34 AM
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Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic

Thank you for this concise answer...


I'll have something to say on this, but I want to answer your questions first.


Okay. I am looking forward to your questions.



As I explained earlier, I am concerned with accurate definitions of what things are. Once this is understood and agreed upon, the discussion can then move to the examination of the consequences of being what has been defined. I have seen far too many discussions spiral into worthlessness because of a simple confusion regarding the true definition of what was being discussed.


I am also concerned with the accuracy of definitions especially when it has to do with larger group discussions. I agree with you. With that being said, in a conversation, it is always hoped that people can understand each other with a sense of equality. At the same time, when it comes to discussions about race, not only personality becomes a focal point in determining some of the issues; power relationships are also executed in terms of credibility and believability.

That is why it is relevant that yourself, BH and I are debating about the meaning of the definitions. For effective communication to occur between individuals in race-related discussions, it is of import that everyone is on the same page.

However, that--in my pessimism--is not always the case especially when sometimes comments are made at the drop of the hat. I think when statements like that occur, discussions like these turn into brawls.


Social issues are often difficult to define precisely. If others are comfortable with a given definition, they are certainly free to use what they see fit, or try to convince me of the accuracy of the definition. If they use a definition different from mine, I will continually check during the discussion to see if an apparent disagreement is due to this difference of definition.


I agree with this point also. However, when people are defining social issues, they are very cognizant of their social position, political leanings, race and gender in society. I'm just pointing out that what might seem like a regular practice to you in checking accuracy, might be seen (in a race-related discussion) as asserting dominance in the transmission of what is to be taken for granted as "the definition".


I would do exactly what I did here: Present my changes and why I favor them. Present these for further discussion, as it were.


Thank you for being clear on this point. See my comments above.


I do not need anyone's permission to present anything for further discussion.


Even though you might not see it, this is asserting a position of power in a "race-related" discussion. It is as if you are saying that you do not respect another's point of view in terms of guiding the discussion. Especially in a mixed-race crowd, such assertions could be seen as impolite and lacking courtesy. By asking permission of the other participants, it would display a simple act of courtesy on your part in terms of accepting your views on a given issue or definition--instead of simply going about changing it.

But, this view is one of personality as it is a difference of race.



Absolutely. Frequently. And I always point it out. And when I believe a particular definition is inaccurate, I always continue to refer to it in discussions until either I fully understand where I was seeing an inaccuracy that was not present, or the person who was changing it saw the inaccuracy of theirs. I do this all the time. And I've even experienced being told "We are going to do it this way. Shut up or get out.".


Thank you for your frankness in answering this question. I wanted to know. Although it is always best to be accurate (which I definitely applaud you for), I also have to say that sometimes in discussions (in general) there are issues of "superiority" and "inferiority" at play. Power relations between individuals are often staked out by how assertively they stress their answers. But, I think, even here, that sensitivity to others might be of import.

However, I've had similar experiences, more than most. Again, I always err on the side of it "simply being a discussion". But in other times, it was made plainly clear to me that my position was not wanted--due to race and power relations.



I am not a member of the dominant culture. I stated my reasons for the changes I proposed.


I understand. But I disagree with your assessment of the dominant culture. Due to my research in discovering the opinions of scholars, dictionaries and of the U.S. Government, I believe you are a member of the dominant culture (in my definition).



I am not a member of the dominant culture. I am not responsible for how members of that culture behave.


Due to my point of view (see the comment above), you definitely are, as a member of the dominant culture.


Finally, here is the problem I see with constraining this kind of discussion to race only:

It is entirely too easy for the dominant culture to say something like: "Why, racism is no longer a problem! Look right here, we have a black woman as the Secretary of State! And a Hispanic as Attorney General! See? Racism is a thing of the past!"


You are right and wrong on this point. But, in my research about this topic, I've found that the definition of the "dominant culture" is taken to mean the dominance of transmitting social, language and cultural norms by European, English-Speaking whites. For someone of the dominant culture to say that to me (as someone not of the dominant culture and cultural minority), I would say that their comment is a cop-out.

Furthermore, I am very used to people saying that racism is a thing of the past without recognizing the effects of the past history of race-relations of American society. Being a cultural minority who has to face racism on nearly a daily basis, my question would be, "How can you be so blind?"

Just by naming Mr. Gonzalez and Dr. Rice doesn't erase racism. It continues to happen in society.


When we all know that racism, including institutional racism is alive and entirely too well in the US right now. I believe that a wider discussion of inequity in the culture, while certainly more difficult, may be more productive.


I agree with you on the point that people do recognize institutional racism. This fact is further indicated in all the answers made by everyone so far. However, I disagree with you on the observation because "minorities" know the implications and effects of institutional racism because it happens to them frequently. The dominant culture (my definition) may know that it's there, but some do not recognize how deeply institutional racism has cause inequity in society. Furthermore, some may not acknowledge the deepness of those effects and how minorities feel about being in such a system. Some do not recognize that they have benefits and privileges in society, some of which are unearned. And some might not notice how hard minorities have to work to not only know the "dominant culture" in able to live, but to work with the system.


Additionally, I believe that limiting such discussions to race only tends to encourage another inaccuracy


I disagee. It allows people to solely focus on race instead of avoid talking about it.


the terms "dominant culture" and "white people" are synonyms. They are not. This may be easily demonstrated by the fact that there are many rich non-white people who are members of the dominant culture, and I can think of NO poor people of any color who are.


According to scholars, most definitions in cultural, ethnic, American, sociological and anthropological studies, the dominant culture in the United States is the transmission of European, white Christian (Hetero-sexual) ideals. In correspondence with their definitions, it is safe to say that dominant culture does equal (in the case of American society) whiteness.

I believe that this can be debatable. And I am glad that you are debating the meaning because theories, ideas and definitions are not cast in stone. But, with the current academic thought on this matter, I will have to side with the scholarship in this area.

That is why at the very outset I asked the questions of who is to be believed, whether sources are important and who is deemed credible. You are very credible in your approach, believe me. But, in light of the evidence, I tend to disagree.




[edit on 7-2-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 03:45 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

That's because far too many times, conclusions are attributed to race when they are actually a result of class (or more accurately, wealth and corruption).


Not always.



Well, that's your prerogative to speak of race only, but I will continue to bring class into the discussion when I believe it's relevant.


I guess it is--even when it is off topic.


I would do EXACTLY as I have done. OMS disagreed with some of them and stated his opinion. And I agreed with his exceptions.


See my answer to OMS, Pt. I.


I would do EXACTLY as I have done. I would voice my exceptions regardless what others thought. Isn’t it pretty obvious that I have no trouble doing that?


That is true.
And as I said to OMS, it could be an aspect of personality.

However, my response to OMS talks about this fact as well as in matters of race.




What gives me the right to have and express my opinion? I don’t need anyone’s permission (except the staff of ATS) to voice my opinion on ANYTHING on this board, as long as I remain within the T&C.


That's not what I was getting at with my question. See my response to OMS, Pt. I.




Absolutely. I do that in life all the time. I note where I may disagree, talk about it like adults and come to an understanding. No power struggle involved. No accusations of racism. Either the definitions stay, we change them or come to a compromise, like adults. But in any case, it’s OK for me to voice my opinion about it. I have never been fired, divorced or attacked for voicing my opinion.


There have been cases in which people have been fired and attacked (I don't know about divorce) for theirs. In the case of people of color, they are always scrutinized for what they say. They have been driven out of neighborhoods, burned out of their homes, ostracized and verbally harassed.

That's the difference between "stating an opinion" and stating an opinion in the society of the dominant culture.



Only one problem… I’m not from the dominant culture.


I disagree. See my post on "Dominant Culture".



See above… And, by the way... if the class aspect is supposed to be left out, why do you keep referring to the Dominant Culture? Why don’t you just say “white people” if that’s what you mean? Or is it ok for you to talk about class, but not us?


Because according to the definitions from scholarly work in anthropology, sociology, American studies, Ethnic Studies and Cross-cultural studies, the dominant culture in American society is white, European, English Speaking people. Class, in their definitions, is not a factor. Because of those definitions, that is why I will use their terminology for the dominant culture.


I don’t understand how you can talk about the Dominant Culture (not a race), and then tell us to leave class out of this discussion. Sounds clearly like another double standard to me.


It's not a double standard. It's a discussion about how there is a difference of opinion between the races when it comes to race-related studies. I feel that it is too easy in a discussion about race to slip into other "isms". For this discussion, I would like it to solely be based on race.

However, this can be debatable as always.



I have already said that I didn’t find them offensive. Not at all. Just inaccurate.


See my two latest posts to OMS. I have elaborated on this issue.



I didn’t forget to consider anyone’s feelings. I had NO IDEA that a simple, politely stated disagreement would cause you to be so offended or have hurt feelings, to the point where this has now become the main subject of the discussion… And of course, to you, it’s all about race, er, um, excuse me, the Dominant Culture…


I'm not really offended. I have never said such in this thread. When I said that, I meant that you were already offended by my first source (which is pretty accurate in some discussions about race) by saying it was racist. And then, you discussed the issue of "generalizations". And then, you spoke about the issue regarding the dominant culture as well as people of color. Since I have read sources that help me buttress my position on using dominant culture, I will have to disagree with you.

Since you said that you will do what ever you want by the T & C guidelines, I'm sure you'll have your own definitions to use.


And no one said anything about them being “derogatory”. Again, you have misquoted.


I'm sorry. I didn't mean to misconstrue your words.


Seems you actually don’t want to hear what others in this discussion really think or have to say, because if it disagrees with you, they get accused of having “gall”, being part of the dominant culture, trying to exercise their power over you or being inconsiderate…


I disagree. I've been very considerate. And I have been reading everyone's posts. And if you take a look at OMS' Posts above, I have answered and addressed your concerns over my questions.

With that being said, there is a method here. The reason why I am so concerned about the issues of credibility, believability, sources, experiences and proof is the fact that these are used to assert power relations in a discussion of race. Because of my point of view (as a racial minority), I have seen how all of these factors have been implemented to gain superiority in race-related discussions. By being conscious of how people are positioned within the frame-work of a discussion, it is quite easy to see how the rhetoric, behaviors and proof submitted fits into a pattern of semantic disconnect. It is also easy to see how "privilege" works to subvert the views of those who don't belong to the dominant culture (my definition, not OMS' definition).

Along these lines, I recall one phrase from my readings on the dominant culture: minorities have to know about the people of the dominant culture and how it works to be able to live in America. Furthermore, they have to use that knowledge to be able to deal with the aspects of power on a daily basis. That is why institutional racism is a highly important subject as well as knowledge of who is to be believed. This knowledge is especially important in the work force, social situations, commerce and the law.

Take this as an example:

Let's say that if minority was cheated in a store and he or she went to the manager to get his or her money back. If the manager (due to being part of the dominant culture) felt the minority was angry, "prone to be militant" and had a "chip on his or her shoulder", credibility and believability will ultimately decide whether the minority gets her or his money back. And if the manager had preconceived ideas about the minority, his views (being in a power position) will ultimately tip the balance whether justice is to be achieved.

In light of that example, this is why I used inquiry along these lines since the beginning of the thread. I've always wanted to know the reasons why people acted the way they do in race-related discussions. I also wondered if it was ever possible for all sides to be treated with respect and civility without such overt plays in power and inconsideration.
In my experience, these issues have always come to the fore when people aren't civil in discussions of race.

Thanks for your questions and insights. Your tough questions help in making this a great conversation.





[edit on 7-2-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 05:38 AM
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Since I brought up power relations in race-related discussions, I will put a few short excerpts for people to gander in order to gain more understanding about what I mean:

Spotlight on the Blogging Field's Digital Media and Learning has an interesting take on race and power relations on-line:


Raiford Guins: User Generated Content?

Social networking, it nearly goes without saying, doesn’t appear to be that “social” at times, or maybe “all too social” as social value isn’t easily separated into categories of “on” or “off” line.
[...]
Online space isn’t, in any way, exempt from offline biases, prejudices, and power relations. Both inform one another. As users our perspectives on the world and on those who occupy it doesn’t magically disappear when one signs in. Identity isn’t easy to slide out of online as ideas about identity are often reinforced. Anna reminds us of the old adage of the anonymous user as a dog-the color of its coat is made clearly visible, projected into the space of networked computing. It should come as no surprise that damaging/dehumanizing addresses of race and ethnicity occupy the Web as US media conglomerates continue to maximize stereotypes and fabricate self-serving ideas of raced subjectivities for profit and to preserve power establishments.


This is an article written by Martin Jacques. It is on Common Dreams. Mr. Jacques writes a very detailed view of power relations and race:


The Global Hierarchy of Race

White societies have been the global top dogs for half a millennium, ever since Chinese civilization went into decline. With global hegemony, first with Europe and then the US, whites have long commanded respect, as well as arousing fear and resentment, among other races. Being white confers a privilege, a special kind of deference, throughout the world, be it Kingston, Hong Kong, Delhi, Lagos - or even, despite the way it is portrayed in Britain, Harare. Whites are the only race that never suffers any kind of systemic racism anywhere in the world. And the impact of white racism has been far more profound and baneful than any other: it remains the only racism with global reach.

Being top of the pile means that whites are peculiarly and uniquely insensitive to race and racism, and the power relations this involves. We are invariably the beneficiaries, never the victims. Even when well-meaning, we remain strangely ignorant. The clout enjoyed by whites does not reside simply in an abstraction - western societies - but in the skin of each and every one of us. Whether we like it or not, in every corner of the planet we enjoy an extraordinary personal power bestowed by our color It is something we are largely oblivious of, and consequently take for granted, irrespective of whether we are liberal or reactionary, backpackers, tourists or expatriate businessmen.

The existence of a de facto global racial hierarchy helps to shape the nature of racial prejudice exhibited by other races. Whites are universally respected, even when that respect is combined with strong resentment. A race generally defers to those above it in the hierarchy and is contemptuous of those below it.

[...]
This highlights the centrality of color to the global hierarchy. Other factors serve to define and reinforce a race's position in the hierarchy - levels of development, civilizational values, history, religion, physical characteristics and dress - but the most insistent and widespread is color The reason is that color is instantly recognizable, it defines difference at the glance of an eye.


Note: these are two very different views of the power relations that occur afforded to race. However, both articles describe how everything is predicated on a sense of privilege and power, if not nationally, but globally.

If anyone has any sources or comments to add on the thread topic, please feel free to do so.





[edit on 7-2-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 07:11 AM
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Some thoughts..


Of course, the United States has changed. Most Americans would no longer accept a melting pot or a cookie-cutter culture. In fact, it has become common to describe the United States as a mosaic or a tapestry. These now popular metaphors suggest that it is acceptable to keep one's differences and still be part of the overall society. In a mosaic or a tapestry, each color is distinct and adds to the overall beauty of the object. If you remove one piece from the mosaic or one thread from the tapestry, you destroy it. Today, it is easier to keep your differences. Differences in gender, race, national origin, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation are acceptable and need not be abandoned to have an equal opportunity to achieve your life goals.

~~~~~~~

To understand American behavior and public policies, it is essential to know the culture of the United States . In many languages culture usually refers to art, music, history, and literature. In the United States , these would he viewed as the results or artifacts of culture. Our definition of culture is much more anthropological. In American English “culture” simply means the way of life 0 a group of people passed down from one generation to another through learning. It includes fundamental beliefs, values, thought patterns, and worldviews that are shared by most Americans. We can examine these external aspects of culture and infer that they reflect our internal values, beliefs, and worldviews. Unless we understand American internal culture, it is almost impossible to explain external behavior, including our public policies.

If we had to develop a graphic representation of the American dominant or mainstream culture, we might consider an iceberg. Most of an iceberg is under water and hidden. The same is true of culture. Most of it is internal or inside our heads and well below the water level of conscious awareness. While the visible tip may change—as an iceberg will melt with sun and rain—the base does not change very much over time. In the same way, one’s fundamental beliefs, values, ways of thinking, and worldviews change very slowly.

This part of culture is learned unconsciously simply by growing up in a particular community or family. No parent sits down at the breakfast table with a child arid teaches a lesson on “cultural values.” Rather they are learned unconsciously just by growing up in a particular family. This is the reason we are relatively unaware of our cultural values until we leave our country and interact with people of other cultures.

"Gary Weaver is a member of the faculty of the School of International Service at American University in the Division of International Communication."
usinfo.state.gov...


And


As a target for bicultural education, dinomia emphasizes the acquisition of the dominant culture for minority group students in only those domains in which it is in minimal conflict with the minority culture, or in which is essential for 'success' in the dominant society: education and communication to be sure, and perhaps business/economics and politics as well. Values, beliefs, and behaviors of the dominant culture in such domains as religion and family life only need to be learned for passive recognition and understanding, but not necessarily adopted for active use. (The converse would be true for majority group students in a bilingual-bicultural program.) Dinomia requires the productive acquisition of only those elements of the second culture which could coexist in complementary distribution with those elements of the first culture which must be maintained by their students who choose to retain native cultural identity.

Bicultural education should be an enriching experience for all students, not a limiting or compensatory one; it should broaden the range of choice for cultural identity which students may one day make, but it should not make such choices for them, nor force unnecessary or premature decisions.
www.ncela.gwu.edu...


Semper



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 07:39 PM
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Semper, thank you for your contribution to this thread.

It is fair what you posted (even though the first source is the other part of what Mr. Weaver wrote according to American culture).

What strikes me about your sources is that you are focusing on the transmission of culture on the "micro-level" (i.e. the family, friends, the classroom etc.). Within such a small group, there would be other cultural aspects learned related to ethnic or racial values, behaviors, social norms and language.

However, I am concerned with how people discuss race and have a difference of opinon due to the "macro-level": the transmission of cultural values, social norms, actions, language and beliefs by an overall dominant culture.

And for people who are not of the dominant culture, not only do they carry what they have learned from the family; they also have to learn the ways of the dominant culture in order to work with the social rules and norms so that they can adapt. If they do not adapt to the "macro-level" of cultural transmission by the dominant culture, then they effectively get shut out of the system.

BH, OMS and myself are arguing the definition of who this group might be. BH and OMS believe that the "dominant culture" is one of class and not necessarily race; I believe that the dominant culture consists of race but not necessarily class.

However, there are no right or wrong answers here.

The over all theme is to try and find out why there is a "semantic disconnect" when information is exchanged between mixed-race groups concerning race, why this "semantic disconnect" happens, who gets believed in discussions about race as well as how to stop the "semantic disconnect" so that everyone is on the same page in race-related discussions.

We've gotten off on a good start in discussing which "ground rules" are we to adopt.






[edit on 8-2-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Feb, 13 2007 @ 03:46 AM
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After the events of this week, these articles seem anti-climactic. I decided to post them both in order to get people thinking about the different views regarding to this subject matter.

I found this article highlighting Harvard anthropolist Mica Pollock's work in the area of trying to find the elusive middle ground in these conversations. Dr. Pollock mainly did an ethnography on this discussion within the realms of education, but I think that her ideas might help in trying to put this idea forward in terms of language and understanding:


(Not) Talking about Race in the Classroom

Pollock’s new book, Colormute: Race Talk Dilemmas in an American School, explores what happened at Columbus High School and how the events exposed one of American society’s most confounding questions: when to speak about people in racial terms. Americans often fear that these conversations will reinforce “racism,” Pollock explains. But failing to speak about race can be even more detrimental. “If we see that black and Latino students, for example, are performing poorly in school, and we never explicitly address it, we send a message that these patterns are both acceptable and expected,” she says. “In effect, we perpetuate the problem.”

Identifying racial achievement patterns, however, is only the first step in solving the problem, she says. “Americans, inside and outside of schools, have to look at our own roles in creating these patterns.” [...]Although Pollock’s work focuses on the field of education, she by no means confines the dilemmas of race talk to the realm of schools. Educators, she says, experience these traps with particular intensity, as they confront the nation’s diversity and inequities every day. As a result, Pollock argues that teachers and policymakers have the greatest potential to attack these dilemmas head on. Education has often been called the great equalizer, but how adults and children talk about race in schools will play a critical role in determining whether or not that is really the case.


There is a difference of opinion even when it comes to word usage as the author Laina Dawes discusses when she deals with issues related to this thread:


Are there social boundaries when talking about race
I thought about how, when discussing race and racism in a forum that is not directly geared to an audience that is confronted with racism om a regular basis, a social boundary is crossed.

Here is an example: In Toronto there is a locally well-known children's author and poet who owns a popular black - focused bookstore. She was interviewed for an article on the lack of black publishing companies in Canada and gave her opinion. What she said was measured and consise - she did not 'whine' or 'blame the Man' or anything, but was still labelled as being "outspoken." What I noticed, and have noticed in the media is whenever a person of colour is asked to give their opinion, commmon words are used to describe them:

"Opinionated."
"Outspoken."
"Controversial." - All that allow the reader / listener / viewer to easily dismiss them as being irrational, or my favourite, 'too sensitive.'

The same has been said of my writing in various media outlets, which I admit, annoys me a bit. I write what I feel - simple as that, but by using those words, it is portrayed as though you are talking out of place. Yet when I watch CNN's Jack Cafferty - who is paid to give his opinion ( including calling a Congressperson an 'idiot' and that she should 'shut her mouth'), I wonder if his job has ever been in jeopardy over what he is 'allowed' to say on TV.

So I wonder, are there social boundaries - visible or invisible - on who can say what? Is it about keeping a comfort zone? Is ignorance bliss?



FYI. What does everyone think?




[edit on 13-2-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 09:27 PM
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Are there any others who have a solution for letting different races discuss race related issues?

(Remember, enlightening others about past events does not elicit the "victim mentality". I believe the establishment of one being a "victim" is only to nullify the points of another. The calling of one a "victim" when mentioning these talks also belittles the other's ideas and statements to the point of not being able to answer them objectively.)



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 09:54 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
Are there any others who have a solution for letting different races discuss race related issues?


As we have seen, and experienced, it is quite the slippery slope. For two individuals to constructively discuss this matter, it takes both of them two be of a special breed. My opinion on the matter can not openly insult you, and if it does, you need to get passed this emotion if we hope to continue a discussion. And this works both ways. If you have an opinion of myself, I need to look at the broader picture and bypass how I may feel about yourself, or the message itself.

Expectations, egos, etc., all need to be checked at the door. Individuals must enter the discussion with no predispositions and be willing to listen as well as speak. And not just listening. Listening it self is not enough. We need to really pay attention and listen to learn, to understand, and to grasp a concept that may exist on a level that we previously did not comprehend.

I think "we" are all a little guilty of wrong doing with a thread will remain nameless. Finger pointing or "kitchen sinking" does nothing for a discussion. Emotions got in the way on an issue that is certainly emotional. But for the sake of discussion, emotions need to be checked at the door.

After all, we are not asking how to best spew our thoughts and opinions onto others. We are asking for a solution to properly discuss race relations. Frankly, I think in a crowd as large at ATS, it is next to impossible. We can try our best, and I would like to see another effort in the future. We can certainly learn from our mistakes. But to come from this with any positives, we first must acknowledge the error in our way. We have almost 600 posts of how not to discuss race relations. Hopefully in the future we can match that with a how to discuss race relations.

No emotions, egos, expectations, predispositions, etc., permitted. Just an open mind and a willingness to admit the flaw in our own ways. As Rogers & Maslow said, nobody is perfect. For one to attempt to be perfect, we first must accept that we are in fact, not perfect.

[edit on 14-2-2007 by chissler]



posted on Feb, 15 2007 @ 06:36 AM
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Originally posted by chissler

As we have seen, and experienced, it is quite the slippery slope. For two individuals to constructively discuss this matter, it takes both of them two be of a special breed. My opinion on the matter can not openly insult you, and if it does, you need to get passed this emotion if we hope to continue a discussion. And this works both ways. If you have an opinion of myself, I need to look at the broader picture and bypass how I may feel about yourself, or the message itself.


For myself, it pertains to how people conduct the conversation in a humane and sensitive light. I don't think you have to be a "special breed" to have a discussion about race. You do have to have an open mind, not have a fear of not being offended over a person's opinions, not to be quick to call someone racist for what they say, and to show respect for the other individual in the conversation. Most importantly, you have to have a sense of conscience.

I have found that most people violate these things when discussing race-related issues. No one can just simply talk and exchange evidence without someone else who wants to personalize it. The people who personalize these issues often view race-relations unilaterally.

But, I mainly agree with what you are saying. It is my hopes that people look at the broader picture of the discussion. However, I will continue to repeat my mantra of it all coming down to whether someone is "credible" or "believed" when going about discussing racial issues.

You can discuss the broad picture all you want, but some practice "selective hearing". They knowingly block out what the other says because they don't want to acknowledge it. Selective hearing needs to be done away with, along with accusations that cannot be proved.


Expectations, egos, etc., all need to be checked at the door. Individuals must enter the discussion with no predispositions and be willing to listen as well as speak. And not just listening. Listening it self is not enough. We need to really pay attention and listen to learn, to understand, and to grasp a concept that may exist on a level that we previously did not comprehend.


I agree. In actuality, this never happens. Most enter into the discussion with their "complaints". Others try to gerrymander the conversation as a way to prove that the "person of color" is a victim as well as reiterate their superiority. There is too much of an assertion of power roles within conversations of race. And for those who are part of the majority, the things that minorities say often disturb their ways of thinking because it is automatically assumed (through assertions of superiority) that "all people" think the way they do.

It is not so much about ego in this way. Instead, it is about acknowledging that people (due to their background racially) have different ways of viewing things. The different views expressed must be considered and accepted in race-related discussions.


I think "we" are all a little guilty of wrong doing with a thread will remain nameless. Finger pointing or "kitchen sinking" does nothing for a discussion. Emotions got in the way on an issue that is certainly emotional. But for the sake of discussion, emotions need to be checked at the door.


I don't know "who" you are accusing, but when the evidence is there and the behavior suits the proof, it is not throwing everything in but the kitchen sink, as you say. It is making all aware of some underlying currents and repercussions that might have occurred as a result of what was said. Furthermore, by letting others become aware of how a particular group is affected by the evidence (proven by behavior, words and sources), then all conversants will become sensitized and change their behaviors and words accordingly to ensure that everyone feels welcome in such a conversation.

Again, this also depends on the how one is positioned in terms of power-relations. I believe that some use these talks to assert their superiority. In this stance, they often overlook how their words and actions affect others who are not part of the majority. As a result, to one that isn't of the majority, such talk can seem patronizing to say the least. When one is sensitized to the affects of such speech, then they might realize how some of the words of the majority seem to bark out orders instead of providing advice and awareness in a polite nature.

That is, if people really consider manners and humility when engaging in these talks.

But that depends on whether people are humble enough to look at themselves and accept responsibility for what they have done and said within conversations such as these.


After all, we are not asking how to best spew our thoughts and opinions onto others.


That is the last thing I would hope that people would do. If you begin a conversation with a complaint, all you will get are complaints. If you start out your discussion with a thoughtful and insightful question, then you get responses which coalesce into working together to find a solution.

That is why personalities need to be checked at the door in order to constructively approach these problems instead of turning it into a complaint fest.


We are asking for a solution to properly discuss race relations.


Yes, we are. However, there are always those who don't want this solution to happen. And they continue to feed the problem by starting out threads with stereotypes about one group of people. I'm sure that some have considered and not cared about how members of the said race feel about the wording of these threads. However, others have knowingly ignored the feelings and perceptions of others without a sense of conscience. Above all, race-related talks have to generate conscience in order for it to get somewhere. Without it, you get nothing but a bunch of angry villagers with their pitchforks and shovels ready to tar and feather the people featured in the subject matter of the thread.



Frankly, I think in a crowd as large at ATS, it is next to impossible. We can try our best, and I would like to see another effort in the future. We can certainly learn from our mistakes. But to come from this with any positives, we first must acknowledge the error in our way. We have almost 600 posts of how not to discuss race relations. Hopefully in the future we can match that with a how to discuss race relations.


I hope that we can have a good thread about race relations with sources and thoughtful answers. However, that hinges on the people involved and whether they are strong enough to apply a sense of humanity into their thinking.

Until some ATS-ers think with empathy, conscience and heart, you reap what you sow. Unfortunately, those that demonstrate conscience and sensitivity presently on the boards get ridiculed by others. People with sensitivity should be praised more.


No emotions, egos, expectations, predispositions, etc., permitted. Just an open mind and a willingness to admit the flaw in our own ways. As Rogers & Maslow said, nobody is perfect. For one to attempt to be perfect, we first must accept that we are in fact, not perfect.


That would be perfect in a utopian setting. But there are things at stake when it comes down to discussions of race-relations. And instead of being open-minded, talks about race descend into a session in which some try to keep their vested interests in tact. And when they do, they will say what they need to in order to keep the blinders on despite evidence proving the contrary. However, who has the blinders depends on the racial positioning of the people involved in the discussion.

Above all that, I reiterate that this is a thread that can serve as a place to get as many suggestions as we can get. So far, there is a difference of opinion afforded to the definitions of accepted terms. Furthermore, there is a difference of opinon when it comes to "individual-oriented" and "group-oriented" discussions. Even more than that, there is a difference of opinion when it comes down to what we focus on: the "micro-level" opposed to the "macro-level". Again, all of these things point to who ought to be deemed credible and believed.

But what I can say, I think we can all agree that we all want polite discussions in which people check their egos at the door. However, it would be a miracle if people actually will do such a measure in the threads related to race-relations.

Thanks for your suggestions. Let's see if others can add on to them.


[edit on 15-2-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Feb, 15 2007 @ 05:54 PM
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Featured Topic

This thread has been selected as an AbovePolitics.com Featured Topic.

Applause worth 1500 PTS Points has been awarded for the original post.



posted on Feb, 15 2007 @ 07:17 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
not to be quick to call someone racist for what they say,


How about calling someone "dominant culture"?
How about telling someone they have no empathy or conscience?
How about saying that they don't care about anything or that they're acting superior?
How about saying that they're not credible or believable?
How about an accusation of "selective hearing"

Is it OK to be quick to say these things about other people in the conversation? Are these things conducive to a good discussion?



The people who personalize these issues often view race-relations unilaterally.


But aren't you personalizing it when you accuse the other people in the discussion of not having empathy, not caring and not having any conscience? Aren't you personalizing the discussion when someone challenges the definitions you put forth so you accuse them of being part of the "dominant culture"?

Aren't you personalizing it when you continuously mention whether someone is credible or believable? Or when you accuse others of practicing "selective hearing" simply because they don't agree with you?

Aren't you personalizing it when you accuse others of acting superior?



The different views expressed must be considered and accepted in race-related discussions.


Everyone's views? My views must be accepted? Why must our views be accepted by others?



But that depends on whether people are humble enough to look at themselves and accept responsibility for what they have done and said within conversations such as these.


Are you willing to do that? Are you willing to follow your own rules?



That is why personalities need to be checked at the door in order to constructively approach these problems instead of turning it into a complaint fest.


Are you willing to check your personality at the door?



Yes, we are. However, there are always those who don't want this solution to happen.


Are you willing to refrain from making judgments about other people's motivations? Are you willing to let other people disagree with you without it necessarily meaning that they don’t want solution?



But what I can say, I think we can all agree that we all want polite discussions in which people check their egos at the door.


Are you willing to check your ego at the door?

I swear, if you followed your own rules, we could have a hell of a discussion!


[edit on 15-2-2007 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Feb, 15 2007 @ 11:01 PM
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Originally posted by Majic
Featured Topic

This thread has been selected as an AbovePolitics.com Featured Topic.

Applause worth 1500 PTS Points has been awarded for the original post.


I would like to thank you, Majic, for the vote of confidence. We will try to do our best here to live up to being a featured thread in the Politics forum. Let us hope that we can continue our topic civilly and kindly with much respect to each other.



[edit on 16-2-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 12:09 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic


How about calling someone "dominant culture"?


Of course, if that is the appropriate name being used by scholars, researchers and other intelligensia in the areas of sociology, anthropology, cultural studies and ethnic studies.

When they use that definition, why can't the rest of us do the same?


How about telling someone they have no empathy or conscience?


Well, you don't when it comes to people of color. I'm sorry that you're hurt by this, but you can't control what others say. It is my choice to believe that you have no conscience when it comes to acknowledging what happens to people of color. However, it is your choice to prove me wrong and try to understand completely what we're trying to say by showing you actually do have a conscience. That is, if you truly believe in what you say about personal responsibility.


How about saying that they don't care about anything or that they're acting superior?


If the behavior indicates as such, I point it out. You have done the same to me on many occassions, especially now. I'm sorry that with your belief in equality, you only believe this in terms of yourself but not of others.



How about saying that they're not credible or believable?


Again, that is a factor of life for people of color in conversations like this. There are people who won't believe us no matter how many sources we bring up. Instead, they would rather believe themselves and those who comfort them when the "person of color" is perceived as the "persecutor".

Furthermore, I solidified my arguments by bringing up sources which talk about the reasons behind this.


How about an accusation of "selective hearing


Well, when people actually get what we, as people of color, are actually saying, then there wouldn't be any room for "selective hearing". You'd be trying to understand us instead of fighting against what has been said.

Sadly enough, "selective hearing" happens. Take the WHM thread for example:

There were sources that refuted the thinking behind the proposal of disbanding all the months (i.e. color-blind rhetoric being propagandized by conservatives, libertarians and neocons).

There were sources that refuted the need for a WHM.

There were even people who shared their reasons why there shouldn't be a WHM. And then, there were alternatives suggested for people to go about researching the nature of "whiteness" in society in terms of re-reading history.

However, the main comment that comes out is, "You think I'm racist for proposing a WHM, BHM should be disbanded. There shouldn't be any historical months for any one." With the exception of your one source, no one else had anything else to prove this. Instead, glibness and flippiancy paint the answers.

That's what I call "selective hearing": when people post sources proving their point and still the opponents say the same thing without any change or growth in their opinions.


Is it OK to be quick to say these things about other people in the conversation?



That's how I perceive race-related discussions go. And I have sources to back me up. Some agree with me. Some don't.

I'm sorry if you think that all of the things I say are only directed to you. But then again, you have told me that you will do what you want when you want with no consideration of others. And that is fine. I accept it.

Just don't feel badly when others don't feel the way you do. And also do not be upset when there are people who actually go out of their way in consideration for others.



Are these things conducive to a good discussion?


Sure, if they can be proven through research. Then, one cannot say that this is simply "name-calling", accusations or that it happens in a vacuum. That's why posting sources are a lot better when typifying common behaviors that happen in race-related discussions instead of just letting it depend on experience.



But aren't you personalizing it when you accuse the other people in the discussion of not having empathy, not caring and not having any conscience?


Just like you personalize it when you answer posts not directed to you or saying that 98 per-cent of the black members of ATS support you.




Aren't you personalizing the discussion when someone challenges the definitions you put forth so you accuse them of being part of the "dominant culture"?


No. I did the research and proved that there are people in the fields I mentioned who actually adopt this terminology. I specifically requested for others to apply the same rigor in research regarding this question--if they can find studies which perceive the "dominant culture" differently in an academic light.


Aren't you personalizing it when you continuously mention whether someone is credible or believable?


No. Because being "credible" and "believable" is a factor of life for people of color especially when they have to participate in formal or informal gatherings. It has to do with power relations. Furthermore, it has to do with questions of superiority and inferiority when such conversations are being conducted.


Or when you accuse others of practicing "selective hearing" simply because they don't agree with you?


When have I done that? Would you please point out where I've said that verbatim?


Aren't you personalizing it when you accuse others of acting superior?


After this line of questioning, I just tend to think that all the answers that I write on the board are directed to you because you let no one else answer them accordingly to whom they were posted. I accept it, but I don't respect it. I also accept that this is your behavior. I also perceive that when you do this, you try to get the upper hand in a conversation in terms of asserting your superiority. I accept this as well, but I don't respect it.

But it is your choice to do this and I accept that you perceive this is such because you have said that you are going to do what you want regardless of what anyone else thinks.

But again, the answer of your question is no. I always find sources to back up my line of thinking when I discuss matters of superiority. It is not an accusal. It is my perception of what is happening--with sources to prove it.


Everyone's views?


Sure.


My views must be accepted?


I'm answering you, aren't I?


Why must our views be accepted by others?


Because, for a good conversation to happen, people have to acknowledge what the other person has said. You don't have to agree with what they said, but you have to accept that they had said what they thought. Then, it is your choice to refute them or support them.




Are you willing to do that? Are you willing to follow your own rules?


I have been. Are you willing to follow the rules of humility? Or are you willing to use these discussions to persuade everyone how kind and paitient you are while deflecting the question?




Are you willing to check your personality at the door?


Are you?




Are you willing to refrain from making judgments about other people's motivations?


Motivations say a lot about the purpose of the subject matter. It is a legitimate form of inquiry to do such. And judgments are also par for the course. Just as it is said that one makes a choice to do something, they can also weigh the evidence and judge how a topic is being used by others. This is a part of critical thinking skills. And on this accord, it is very healthy to read into what others say and make sense out of them.

In the same light, it is the person's choice to refute or support these views.


Are you willing to let other people disagree with you without it necessarily meaning that they don’t want solution?


I'm talking with you and I don't necessarily agree with your views. I tell you so all the time when I disagree with you.

But the important question is are you willing to do the same? Imho, you never like people to disagree with you. In fact, you go into a fit when others disagree with you. Or you use your posts as a form to stir up a pity party or some other sort of drama.





Are you willing to check your ego at the door?


Are you?



I swear, if you followed your own rules, we could have a hell of a discussion!


Likewise...if you did practice what you preach.




[edit on 16-2-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 07:51 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
How about calling someone "dominant culture"?


It's not Ceci's fault that you don't want to accept the meaning of dominant culture.

It appears that Ceci has studied sociology (correct me if I'm wrong, Ceci). Dominant culture/group is just another term for "majority." And, for whoever said minority is all about numbers, that is not true. Minority is about POWER; you can outnumber the dominant group, yet still be a minority. Subordinate group is another way of saying "minority." Minorities don't have as much control over their own lives, as compared to the majority



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 08:20 PM
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I'm in a little bit of a time crunch right now to answer you completely. But, I will take the time to write more extensively about the definition of "dominant culture" a bit later.


But yes, I have studied sociology.


For this topic, I have decided to view this issue in a disciplinary light instead of solely on experience. I feel, like any good research question (and the topic is a research question),there needs to be sources which provide the framework for discussing the topic in a proper light. And the definition of "dominant culture" plays a part in the terminology to examine the power relationships that exist when dealing with conversations like these.



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 04:32 AM
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Before I make my own assessments, I would like to post some sources which discuss the conditions in the United States. They come from differen points of view, but they single-handedly discuss and pin-point the majority coming from one source:


Social Realities

The United States is extremely culturally pluralistic, socially stratified, and racially divided. Popular news magazines, such as Time and U.S. News and World Report, often reiterate this fact. The April 9, 1990, issue of Time examined the growing percentage of people of color in the U.S. population. A November 1993 special edition of the same magazine explored the effects of immigration on the "changing face of America." Diversity of race, culture, ethnicity, social class, religion, language, and national origin is a fundamental feature of interpersonal interactions and community structures.

However, in the more formal aspects of society, such as institutional policies, practices, and power allocation, Anglocentric and middleclass cultural values predominate. The organization and government of schools provides one illustration of this condition. Most school structures and procedures are grounded in mainstream cultural conceptions of law, order, reason, and rationality. Another illustration of the predominance of Anglocentric, middleclass culture is that the significant power positions in politics and economics tend to be held by people from this cultural background. A third illustration of this predominance is the extent to which intimate relationships are established along ethnic, racial, and social lines in the United States. In forming marriage partnerships and religious affiliations (two of the most intimate contexts of interpersonal relations), United States citizens are predominantly ethnic in their choices.
[...]
Although laws exist to prohibit discrimination based on race, color, gender, age, and creed, the society of the United States continues to be plagued by attitudes and behaviors that are derogatory to some ethnic, cultural, and social groups, and preferential to others. Thus, unofficial inequality flourishes, manifesting itself in racism, ethnocentrism, prejudices, favoritism, discrimination, cultural appropriation, and cultural hegemony. One revealing sign of such inequality is the frequency with which racial hostilities are reported in headline news. Another is the absence of some ethnic groups, such as Native Americans and Latinos, in leadership positions, and their virtual invisibility in the national popular culture.

Many people in the United States still believe that there is a single acceptable way to live, look, and behave as an American and a human being. The standards for determining what is appropriate derive from the Eurocentric mainstream culture. Anyone who deviates from these standards is considered to be unAmerican; they become objects of scorn and are subjected to discrimination, being denied equal access to institutional opportunities, political rights, economic rewards, and respect for their human dignity. Multicultural education is a potential means for correcting these distortions and inequities.


This article, although a little bit theoretical, lays bare the idea of "racialized discourse" (conducted by the "dominant culture"). This article pinpoints some of the ideas that I have been trying to bring up in this thread:


The role and practice of racialized discourse in culture and cultural production

The phrase racialized discourse alludes to the ways in which society gives voice to racism (Wetherell and Potter) and includes explanations, narratives, codes of meanings, accounts and narratives that establish, sustain and reinforce oppressive power relations. Racialized discourse is a set of social practices that favours the ingroup and denigrates the out-group, categorizing, evaluating and differentiating between groups. Cultural racism is a discursive practice.Or, as John Fiske (1994) explains:

There is a discourse of racism that advances the interests of whites and that has an identifiable repertoire of words, images, and practices through which racial power is applied.... Discourse does not represent the world; it acts in and upon the world. (5)
[...]
Dominant discourses operate by strongly influencing public perceptions and practices (Karim "Construction"). The rhetoric of racism is woven invisibly into the everyday, common-sense notions that constitute what gets defined as reality (Essed) and normality. Racialized discourse commonly draws upon the concept of normality - culturally and politically acceptable patterns - that forms the core arguments made at the expense of individuals, groups or nations viewed as "other" (Ferguson).

It is important to note, however, that although dominant discourses serve as a map that defines particular issues, they are not a manifestation of a static set of monolithic ideological and cultural positions. Discourses change as particular socio-political circumstances in a society change. But dominant discourses do construct a field of meanings that appear to be the only valid and valued forms of discourses possible because they have become universalized, normalized and naturalized.Van Dijk contends that everyday racism or racist discourse is part of what has been called the "new racism," which also includes aversive racism (Gaertner and Dovidio) and symbolic racism (Sears and McConahay). The new forms of racism can be distinguished from earlier forms, which included slavery, segregation and racist public discourses as well as individual bigotry. It can be argued that contemporary expressions of racism are somewhat subtler and carry with them a veneer of democratic respectability;


FYI

[edit on 17-2-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 05:28 AM
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There needs to be a few things established when it comes to the issue of race-related discussions so far:

1)There is still a problem with laying the ground rules when it comes to race-related talks. Furthermore, there is a problem with also establishing a type of language in order for people to be on the same page. Power issues are also at the fore when it comes to conversations related to the subject matter.

2)The problem with the establishment of ground rules still coincides with what is accepted by the dominant culture. In other words, when there are different points of view expressed that do not register with the ideas or terminology of the majority, then it is quickly discounted.

3)"Racialized discourses" also are affected by what has been deemed "normal" by the dominant culture. This is through the quick establishment of who holds the power in a conversation. Power also determines "selective hearing" in some cases. Through selective hearing, only ideas and words responsive to the dominant culture are repeated. Any other language, phrases and definitions deemed "abnormal" are ignored in order to further repeat the transmission of cultural ideals, social norms, values, language and actions belonging to the majority.

4) It is far easier to sympathize with what is established as "normal" by the majority, than to find the courage to have empathy for what is deemed "abnormal". Through the act of sympathy (and the attribution of dominant cultural ideals), the same cultural transmissions by the majority continue to be accepted instead of going outside of the "comfort zone", so to speak.

These are a few ideas that I have been thinking about concerning this issue.

Please feel free to add your ideas about how we can discuss race-related issues/or the problems that consist with discussing race-related issues as they are.




[edit on 17-2-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 07:09 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
There needs to be a few things established when it comes to the issue of race-related discussions so far:

1)There is still a problem with laying the ground rules when it comes to race-related talks.

What problem? Who creates the 'ground rules'? You? You can only really lay ground rules from your own perspective. As you have expressed.. 'cynicism' about whites in the past I honestly don't think you could remain objective and fair. ATS rules and guidlines should be sufficient.

Furthermore, there is a problem with also establishing a type of language in order for people to be on the same page.

No doubt.. the term 'all whites' has now been transparently replaced with 'dominant culture'. People aren't stupid and it's still not accurate. Perhaps you have a problem with the 'elite'? If thats the case I completely agree.. thing is they aren't all white so in reality, when you are talking about 'dominant culture' you are talking about those who control big business, media and politics. Thats classism not racism.

Power issues are also at the fore when it comes to conversations related to the subject matter.

When people disagree it genuinely does.. though this is not a black/white thing. It's just people giving conflicting points of view.. which aren't nessecarily based on hidden biggotry as is so often implied.

2)The problem with the establishment of ground rules still coincides with what is accepted by the dominant culture.

ATS is very multicultural.. there is no 'dominant culture' here IMO.

In other words, when there are different points of view expressed that do not register with the ideas or terminology of the majority, then it is quickly discounted.

ATS is full of people who reject the majority.. thats the whole point of the place so it stands to reason the people you converse with here would be very non conformist and open minded. Give them credit for that.. mainstream culture [or your perception of it] is definently not telling them what to think.

3)"Racialized discourses" also are affected by what has been deemed "normal" by the dominant culture.

Ie: Whites..


This is through the quick establishment of who holds the power in a conversation.

Just because people don't agree with you does not mean they're just fullfilling your dominant culture stereotype.

Power also determines "selective hearing" in some cases.

..or that they must have selective hearing. Maybe your agruments need to be more convincing.

[edit on 17-2-2007 by riley]



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