{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

Modernity # 2 - Luis Monroy SOCY 4161 Professor Isaac Reed...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Luis Monroy March 20, 2008 SOCY 4161: Professor Isaac Reed Whiteness and Blackness in a Historical Context Social scientists discuss ideas of privilege to an extreme. The amount of research that has further studied Peggy McIntosh’s ideas of male privilege and related it to other social groups is extent to say the least. However, it seems that the vast majority of the discussion on privilege describes it in today’s terms and using today’s examples. Past sociological views of privilege are rarely described. It is interesting to see the aspects of privilege as described through a historical context like Gail Bederman does in her book: Manliness and Civilization . Bederman connects both whiteness and blackness to masculinity within society at the early 20 th century. She implies these ideas of race and gender were inextricably linked. One of the main conclusions that Bederman comes to is that the relation between blackness and whiteness was seen as a relationship between civilization and barbarism or savagery. Bederman uses the examples of the boxing match between the white Jim Jefferies against the champion and black Jack Johnson as well as the Columbian Exposition to show the conflict between civilized and savage. This juxtaposition of the world was concluded upon by society in a couple of different ways, the main one being a flawed relationship of Darwin’s theory of evolution being integrated into societal evolution of society. This method of thought is incredibly flawed and is a pure example of victim blaming within society. Some optimism would be pulled from the idea that this view of thinking has passed since the early 20 th century, however, by
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
analyzing the portrayal in the media of the recent rap music explosion as an example, one can surmise that this clearly is not the case. A common theme within studies of privilege today is that all types of privilege are interrelated. A white male has more privilege in society than a white woman or a black man. Equally, a black male has a higher amount of privilege than a black woman. However, according to Bederman this was not the case in the early 20 th century: “savage, (that is nonwhite) men and women were believed to be almost identical, but men and women of the civilized races had evolved pronounced sexual differences.” 1 Interestingly, the reasoning behind this grouping of all savaged people regardless of sex was more based on gender rather than race. Bederman explains that the savage woman and the savage man were defined as having very few differences while the civilized man and woman had an entirely different set of expectations. All savage people were seen as aggressive and overly emotional who pushed away all forms of morality. On the contrary, the civilized man was in charge of protecting the women and child; and the woman was in charge of the home, but little else.
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}