Sociology – cultural position

Sociology – cultural position

Dugout’s says he supports the cultural position, which he describes as the cultural position. This view holds that there are cultural, which is to say behavioral, differences between groups. These are observable in every day life, they can be measured by the usual techniques of social science, and they can be directly related to academic achievement and economic success. Dugout’s, 125) From his cultural point of view is that African Americans don’t do as well as other groups because of their behavior as a group particularly their politically agitated attitude. To prove his point, he refers to recent immigrants who are doing better than African Americans because they don’t dwell on the past and don’t have victim mentality. Hence he would support the culture of poverty thesis for stating culture passed down from generations is the cause of inequalities between different groups in the US.

The culture of poverty thesis blames culture for inequalities rather than societal problems such as racism. Dugout’s would agree with this since he thinks that group differences shouldn’t be attributed to racism. He answers the question “How could racism operate in such a way that it enables poor hates and Asians to score higher on Math tests than upper-middle-class African-Americans? ” (D,Souza, 125) by saying Many complex factors are involved, but one that is worth mentioning is the outpatient family.

It seems obvious that two parents will have, one average, more time than a single parent to invest in a child’s upbringing, discipline, homework supervision, and so on. (Dugout’s, 126) He then goes on to compare illegitimacy in the TTY. ‘0 groups which is 5% in Asian and 70% in African Americans. In other words, Odious is saying that even though these middle class African Americans aren’t poor anymore, they eave adopted a culture from their ancestors that is still affecting their performance in school, attitude towards work and so on. Once again he agrees with the culture of poverty thesis. 2.

How would Roy (in his chapter on Race, especially the section on slavery) respond to Doodad’s argument that African Americans should thank America for the abolition of slavery, which was, according to Dugout’s, a widely practiced system historically and cross culturally? According to Roy, slavery in North America was not comparable to slavery in other societies. In America, the rise of democracy and capitalism led to individuals right to own land, property and most importantly labor. Chattel slavery-?making slaves a form of property rather than a form of conquest -?fostered a more inhuman form of slavery rather than earlier forms.

In many societies slaves had rights absent in North American chattel slavery: the right tom marriage, the right to purchase freedom (manumission), the right to own property, the right to training in some skill, some form of protection for women and children and some legal redress from cruel punishment (Patterson 1982) (ROY, 85) This communication of slaves was unique to the chattel slavery in North America. Hence Roy sees American slavery in a different lens compared to Dugout’s who doesn’t seem to notice how slavery in America was different from other parts of the world.

For Dugout’s, since ‘same type’ of slavery was going on in several regions of the world, the American founding fathers should be thanked as pioneers in abolishing it. Where as, Roy would argue that American founding fathers don’t deserve that much credit for abolishing slavery since they essentially gave American slaves human rights that slaves in other parts of the world always had. When communication of slaves contradicted the egalitarian view that came tit the rise of democracy, Americans started “defining slaves as inherently and biologically inferior” (Roy, which led to the construction of the concept of race.

He then goes on to say “the concept of race has been used to create new forms of inequality. ” (Roy, 101) Rosy perspective, even though the founding fathers of the US abolished slavery, its consequences like residential segregation, educational and language differences, not to mention negative stereotypes toward African Americans, still remain. (Roy, 102) Roy wouldn’t deny that abolishment of slavery was a big step in the right direction in US story.

But he would say that it is not surprising if African Americans are not thankful’ for the abolishment since they have and are still dealing with inequalities, racism and second-class citizen treatment long after slavery was abolished. Souza thinks the founding fathers have set stone for a better society and their dream came true when “equality of rights under the law for all citizens was passed. ” (Odious, 121) unlike Roy, he seems to believe the equal rights bill brought equality in the US, which is why he thinks African Americans should be thankful for the founding fathers. . How would Dugout’s respond to Willow’s essays (“Employer’s and City Workers”), especially Willow’s analysis of City employers’ racial attitudes towards blacks? Wilson argues the deterioration of the socioeconomic status of black men is not just due to their attitudes towards low paying jobs. Where as Dugout’s counters by saying African American have a victim mentality, ‘Jesse Jackson’ attitude, which is the main reason why they are unsuccessful, compared to other groups.

After comparing the least wage African American, white and Mexican men would work for Wilson finds out African Americans are willing to ark for the lowest paying job and that white men from inner city are more likely to get hired and get a higher wage compared to black men. (Wilson, 140/141) He used this to further prove his point that the undesirability of African American men is not entirely due to their ‘culture’ or attitude towards work. Souza, would respond by saying the African American culture and politically agitated attitude have made black men undesirable employees where as this culture doesn’t exist amongst white Americans.

He claims “merit not racism is responsible for performance differences” (Dugout’s, 1 21) His espouse to Willow’s argument would be white men from inner cities simply have the merit. Another argue meet Wilson makes is that unemployment of black Americans should be attributed to the absence of job networks in poor inner city neighborhoods and high unemployment rate in the labor market. (Wilson, 145) As a liberal socialist, Wilson thinks, had the labor market been tighter, wages would be higher and unemployment would decrease thereby improving the status of African Americans. Consider the period of the asses in the segregationist South.

Racism, poverty and unemployment were rampant. Yet what was the black illegitimacy rate? It remained at 20 percent! The black crime rate? It was a lot lower than it is now. ” (Dugout’s, 127) Hence Doodad’s stand is that if societal problems like racism, unemployment and illegitimacy were the main factors why African American men are largely unemployed, then more African American men should be employed in the present day. But once again, Dugout’s is making this argument because he believes there is no racism that is “potent enough and widespread enough that it could prevent [any American]… Room achieving their basic aspirations. Dugout’s, 102) Wilson, however, believes racism, unemployment rate and consequences of slavery such as segregation still play a big role in the group performance difference for different groups. While Dugout’s argues that merit not racism is responsible for inequalities between groups in the US, Wilson would point out if African American men don’t have the qualifications for white-collar jobs it is because they were never given a chance.

The hard and soft set Of skills among inner city blacks that do not match the current needs of the labor market are products of axially segregated communities, communities that have historically featured widespread social constraints and restricted opportunities. (Wilson, 137) This is to say the ‘merit’ that Souza claims African Americans just don’t have, is not imply because of their behavior but because of the unequal treatment they received in the past and the indirect systematic discrimination they still face.

Many black inner city applicants are never given the chance to prove their qualifications on an individual level because they are systematically screened out by the selective recruitment process. Wilson, 137) Wilson states. Dugout’s would counteract by saying African Americans don’t work as hard as other groups in America do due to their politically agitated which is why employers find them undesirable. Part C: Sum up the response paper by providing your thought on where you stand in this debate.

After having read this material for this unit on race, do you lean more towards the Culture of Poverty Thesis (essentialist) or the Structural Perspective (social constructionist)? Please, explain. Personally lean more towards structural perspective. I like this perspective cause I think that race is an idea we created not a biological fact or a cultural product. In other words, race is not ‘real’. I say that because ethnic and racial identities change across space and time.

For instance, in my experience, race wasn’t an important part of people’s lives back in my home country, Ethiopia. There are ethnic divisions, Of course, but the world ‘black’ doesn’t have the meaning and heaviness in Ethiopia as it has here in the US. However when an Ethiopians person moves to the US, they are suddenly a black person as people here would give them that label. I don’t think that poverty and culture are inter-linked in a self-perpetuating cycle.

I think that if we were to change our institutions to be more accommodating towards minorities the ‘cycle’ can be broken. It wouldn’t happen overnight of course but to make a change we first need to accept that the problem is not with in the people who are being disadvantaged. The problem is with our institutions and how they have been constructed in the past. If the IIS was to work on improving the residential areas and education services I don’t see any cultural chain that would hold black people from getting out Of the poverty cycle.

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