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Prompt for Blog 6 (session 7)- Are We All OK? (race and gender in the usa)

Obama won, and Clinton almost did.  I guess race and gender equality are “OK” now, right?  We’re all OK?

Sparked by the conversation around Dana’s feminism post, the blog council decided to take up where one of her comments left off.  Something to the effect of “most of American history is written by and about White men.”  Given that identity shifts over time and is both a social and a deeply personal topic, we invite everyone to reflect on identity.  This prompt is actually deeply in sync with some class topics: firstly, to understand one’s own biography in the context of how the history of identity unfolds requires a healthy dose of sociological imagination; secondly, as we touched on social movements, we can see that they are essential to the creation of alternate or changing identities. (Side note: see how I use a colon and semi-colons in above.  🙂 )

For this week’s blog post, we ask you describe an event or personal experience (one that you have direct knowledge of) that reflects the broader realities about identity in America, especially race and gender.  (We can leave others like class or sexuality or religion later, if we want).  That connection to a broader reality can reflect either “progress” towards more equality, or the persistence of “-isms,” or new wrinkles in the fabric of American culture (for example, the rise of inter-racial marriages).

A) Talk about a personal experience (of which you have direct knowledge of) and explain how this effected your perception of identity – whether it be having to do with gender, ethnicity, etc.

B) Americans talk about how everyone is too “PC” and how there isn’t really that much racism in America anymore.  Or at least we’re taught that in high school.  Is everything really OK?  Is racism (or sexism, etc.) still a large part of American society? A medium-sized part?

Just to get the ball rolling, I could easily write about:

* Walking in the dark and having women who don’t know me walk faster.

* Being pulled over in Chicago while a Black friend was driving.

* Being asked if I am “Latino” or “Hispanic.”

* Having my PhD program have a minor freak-out when someone saw my painted toe-nails.

* My personal distaste of the labels of “White” and “Black.”


About Jordi

I am an assistant professor in the Management School at Bucknell University. I specialize in organization theory, social networks, and studying the network society. I have three children, including twins. They love bouncing on the couch, legos, music, and my waffles. My wife teaches English at the same university. I am interested in most things, but these days, networks, social entrepreneurs, the environment, innovation, and virtual worlds. Finding Hidden Abodes and Shaking Iron Cages since 1972


One thought on “Prompt for Blog 6 (session 7)- Are We All OK? (race and gender in the usa)

  1. WP helpfully put up this quote when I published: “The Best Way to Know a Topic is To Write About It.” [Benjamin Disareli]

    Posted by Jordi | February 25, 2012, 12:31 pm

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Blog 5 before session 6 What (interest) or Who (person) Inspires You? For this week’s prompt, the Blog Council wants you to examine how this class relates to your own interests. So, please write about how this class relates to some of your own intellectual or other learning interests. We are NOT interested in how it relates to a specific career goal. Plan B: same idea, but based on a person. See whole post for details.

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