Essay3 - Billy Hinshaw SOC 234 Paper #3 4/7/08 William...

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SOC 234 Paper #3 4/7/08 William Ryan’s “Blaming the Victim” In his article, “Blaming the Victim,” William Ryan discusses how people try to make life easier for disadvantaged and socially-deprived Negroes, not by looking at the attributing factors to their being disadvantaged or socially deprived, but instead by trying to change the person affected. This, he says, is an example of blaming the victim, and a large part of blaming the victim, especially in the case of blacks, has to do with any stereotype(s) that anyone, looking at the issue from the outside in, would have against any such disadvantaged person. Stereotypes were what Jane Elliot, in the video Blue Eyes , was trying to address, and therefore, tear completely apart by the “blue-eye, brown-eye” exercise she executed in a diversity-training class. The point of the exercise in Blue Eyes was to allow people to see from a receiving-end perspective what it was like to be treated inferiorly because of a bodily characteristic that a person has no control over, a factor in racism that many people overlook when they blame the victim. In “Blaming the Victim,” William Ryan introduces a comic example of blaming the victim by using a comedy routine by Zero Mostel, when he asked why Pearl Harbor was doing in the Pacific, and in doing so, communicated that it was Pearl Harbor’s fault for what happened on December 7 th , not the fault of the Japanese for attacking at all. Ryan shifts from a silly caricature
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Essay3 - Billy Hinshaw SOC 234 Paper #3 4/7/08 William...

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