response paper 1 TE250 - Brandon Williamson Response...

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Brandon Williamson Response Paper #1 TE250, Section 18 Whether African-American or Caucasian, rich or poor, able-bodied or disabled, old or young, the identities with which we associate ourselves inevitably create power inequalities and differential access problems in society. The mere assertation that one belongs to a certain group or culture inherently states that there is another comparable entity that may be viewed by society as better than, worse than, or equal to said group or culture. This constant “ranking” by today’s society leads to labeling and stereotyping of individuals who fall into these “ranked” categories. This creates problems not only within society as a whole, but within our institutions--more specifically, within our schooling systems. Social identities and the labels that are associated with them are affected by the “mythical norm” that society has created. According to Audre Lorde in her essay “Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference”, in America this mythical norm is defined as “white, thin, male, young, heterosexual, Christian, and financially secure”-- anything that differs from this norm is seen as an anomaly and is accordingly labeled. Thus, judgment of character, intelligence, personality, etc. begins at birth, and doesn’t end until death. This leads to the creation of power inequalities. Those who have the qualities of the norm (or are as close as possible) are more privileged, in that they are not judged as being unintelligent, or dishonest, or slow-witted, or unstable. Furthermore, these “normal” people will have more opportunities in life because they have no 1
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stereotypes holding them back from achieving their goals. On the other hand, those that are “different” or in the minority must constantly prove themselves throughout life. These
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