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Unformatted text preview: 8-31-06 --- ‘Natural’ Inequality vs. The Cultural Construction of Difference.Main Points1) Our classification systems are cultural constructions; they are not ‘natural’. We create labels and select characteristics that we use to classify people as ‘the same’ or ‘different’. 2)Classification systems organize the way we perceive ‘differences’ among ourselves; they also rank these differences to produce inequality. 3)So classification systems often become objects of struggle; in such struggles, ‘naturalization’ is an ideology of the powerful, a way of making boundaries appear rigid and just. 1) Cultural Construction of Difference-This course will challenge assumptions about things we se as ‘natural’ question what we have taken for granted.-What social categories/identities do we perceive as ‘natural’ or ‘biological’? e.g. race, gender, ageoMost things we categorize as natural, are notoVariation exists in nature; but humans create classification systems that are culturalWe create categories that lump some things together as ‘the same’ and separate others as ‘different’When we create systems of classification (sets of categories), we only ‘notice’ some of the characteristics we could use to determine sameness or difference; we...
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course ISS 215 taught by Professor Lang during the Fall '06 term at Michigan State University.
- Fall '06