UA2 - John Rankin Soc 101.02 Unit Assignment 2 10/3/05...

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John Rankin Soc 101.02 Unit Assignment 2 10/3/05 Perspective, Belief, Stigmatization, and Sorting It All Out Before successfully assessing any given situation we must investigate all possible sources of information and all types of beliefs. This would be easy if we lived in a perfect world and everything ran smoothly. The world is not perfect though, and neither are we. Humans are prone to pointing out differences, exploiting them, and enhancing them. In this way we learn to know our greatest heroes and our most terrible villains, and their victims. Stigmatization is how we make our differences more clear. It helps us to draw lines, whether good or bad. In contemporary America men are supposed to be strong. Unfortunately, even though there are many different kinds of strength, physical strength is still the benchmark for what a “real” man is. While we know all men cannot reach the standards of the Met- Rx World’s Strongest Man competition, men of slight stature or build are nonetheless regarded as less manly, or even gay. Such men are stigmatized because of their physical weakness. The idea that finds its way into most people’s heads is that a man who is physically weak looks and even carries himself like a female. Just as Mary Mallon was made to look masculine, small framed men are made to look feminine. Smaller hands, a slender body, and the ability to be light on one’s feet seem to be associated as more acceptably female than male. The above attributes are in contrast with what is presumed
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to be normal. Men are generally expected to have large, rough hands, be physically large, and walk with heavy, steady steps. Class has been used to judge people for as long as history has been written. Despite numerous true stories of people rising up from poverty to riches, the poor are still stigmatized as being lazy, dirty, and lacking in intelligence. The image most likely to appear in someone’s mind when asked to describe a member of the lower class is that of the street beggar. We often associate the poor with the image of an unfortunate, tattered soul shaking a cup of loose coin and asking for more. Often times, such people are met
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This essay was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course SOCY 101 taught by Professor Drcarriesmith during the Spring '08 term at Millersville.

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UA2 - John Rankin Soc 101.02 Unit Assignment 2 10/3/05...

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