HDFS 201 (lecture 1-4)

HDFS 201 (lecture 1-4) - Part I: Constructing Differences...

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Part I: Constructing Differences (Ore) Social Construction Theory Suggests that what we see as “real” is the result of human interaction. We learn these categories as we are socialized into our cultures Social constructions rely on stereotypes As we construct what it “means” to be gay we also assign a value to this meaning, thereby creating a system of social stratification which ranks categories of people in a hierarchy Essentialism and Social Construction Social constructions are rooted in essentialism Our assumptions are often based on essentialism (human behavior is predetermined by genetic or biological mechanisms and cannot change) Essentialism is the hegemonic, or culturally dominant, belief in our culture 1. Externalization—creating cultural products through social interaction 2. Objectivation—occurs when the products created in the first stage appear to take on a reality of their own, becoming independent of those who created them. 3. Internalization—we learn the supposedly “objective facts” about the cultural products that have been created. Socialization Roles What Constructs Categories of Difference? Institutional context Interpersonal context Internal contexts Why are categories of difference created?
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Many explanations: Davis-Moore thesis So that capitalists can maximize their profits. Initiated with the purpose of discrimination and oppression The Matrix of Domination Oppression based on race, class, gender, and sexuality is part of an interlocking politics of domination (hooks) This interlocking system is called a matrix of domination (Hill-Collins) Helps us to focus on how various systems of oppression interconnect Provides a framework that permits us to avoid additive analyses of systems of oppression Permits us to understand how we all experience both oppression and privilege Critical Thinking Four Stages of Critical Thinking 1. Identifying and challenging assumptions 2. Being aware of our place and time in our culture, or our standpoint Empathy Enculturation Ethnocentrism 3. Searching for alternative ways of thinking 4. Developing a reflective analysis
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What is Race? What is Ethnicity? (Lecture 1) According to Ore… Race: group of people who perceive themselves and are perceived by others as possessing distinctive hereditary traits Ethnicity: a group of people who perceive themselves and are perceived by others as sharing cultural traits (e.g., language, religion, family customs, and food preferences) Hypo-descent (a.k.a “the one drop rule”) Unique in the United States Controversy of defining the scientific meaning of race Race as a sociohistorical concept and racial categories are formed, transformed, destroyed and reformed. Racial formation
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course HDFS 201 taught by Professor Marianag. during the Fall '08 term at UConn.

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HDFS 201 (lecture 1-4) - Part I: Constructing Differences...

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