Final Chapter 3 - Democracy and Diversity D emocracy and...

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Democracy and Diversity 29 Chapter 3 Democracy and Diversity Overview In the last chapter, we saw how power can be distributed to accommodate linguistic and regional diversities. But language and region are not the only features that give a distinct identity to people. Sometimes, people also identify themselves and relate with others on the basis of their physical appearance, class, religion, gender, caste, tribe, etc. In this chapter, we study how democracy responds to social differences, divisions and inequalities. We begin with an example of public expression of social divisions. We then draw some general lessons about how social differences can take various forms. We then turn to how democratic politics affects and is affected by these social diversities.
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30 Democratic Politics A Story from Mexico Olympics Civil Rights Movement in the USA (1954-1968) refers to a set of events and reform movements aimed at abolishing legal racial discrimination against African-Americans. Led by Martin Luther King Jr., this movement practiced non-violent methods of civil disobedience against racially discriminatory laws and practices. African-American, Afro-American, Black American, or Black are the terms used to refer mainly to the descendants of Africans who were brought into America as slaves between the 17 th century and early 19 th century. The Black Power movement emerged in 1966 and lasted till 1975, which was a more militant anti-racist movement, advocating even violence if necessary to end racism in the US. The pictures on this page depict an important landmark in the history of the C IVIL R IGHTS M OVEMENT IN THE U NITED S TATES . These represent the medal ceremony of the 200 metres race in the 1968 Olympics held at Mexico City. The two men standing with clenched fists upraised and heads bowed, while the American national anthem was played, are the US athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos. They are A FRICAN -A MERICANS . They had won the gold and bronze medals respectively. They received their medals wearing black socks and no shoes to represent Black poverty. With this gesture, they tried to draw international attention to racial discrimination in the United States. The black-gloved and raised clenched fists were meant to symbolise B LACK P OWER . The silver medallist, white Australian athlete, Peter Norman, wore a human rights badge on his shirt during the ceremony to show his support to the two Americans. Do you think that Carlos and Smith should have raised an internal matter of American society in an international forum? Would you say that what they did was political? Why do you think Peter Norman, who was neither Black nor American, joined in the gesture of protest? If you were in Norman’s place what would you do? In 2005, the San Jose State University installed a 20-foot high sculpture representing the
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This note was uploaded on 01/19/2012 for the course SOCIAL 3so taught by Professor Stevejoyce during the Fall '09 term at Central European University.

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Final Chapter 3 - Democracy and Diversity D emocracy and...

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