AfAm 40B Midterm and Final Studyguide
AfAm 40B Midterm and Final Studyguide AfAm 40B
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This 12 page Study Guide was uploaded by Edward Avakian on Monday February 29, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to AfAm 40B at University of California - Irvine taught by Jared Sexton in Winter 2015. Since its upload, it has received 507 views. For similar materials see Racial Theories in Context in African American Studies at University of California - Irvine.
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Date Created: 02/29/16
AFAM 40B RACIAL THEORIES IN CONTEXT MIDTERM STUDY GUIDE I. ESSAY (You will be asked to answer one of the following four essay questions, but be prepared to answer all of them): 1. In 300 words, describe the relationship between the idea of race and the institution of chattel slavery, according to Audrey Smedley. What does it mean that, as Smedley argues, “In the 1860s, slavery ended, but ‘race’ as social status and the basis of our human identities remained?” Race is a set of attitudes that purposes to establish a racial order. It is the natural antipathy between groups on the basis of difference Race was the foundation of chattel slavery Chattel slavery is the act of treating individuals as property which universalized the idea that blacks were inferior to whites White men would use sexual power to rape the black women and have babies. Since citizenship followed the mother, the child would therefore be a slave, which results in more property. Smedley is saying that slavery and race are conceptually separate but emerged together in society, the concept of racism outlived slavery itself Smedley argues that, “In the 1860s, slavery ended, but ‘race’ as social status and the basis of our human identities remained.” What she means by that statement is that although slavery was athlished in 1865 by the passing and ratification of the 13 amendment to the US Constitution, race ideology stated that separate, distinct groups existed that were made unequal by God or nature African-Americans, the most inferior, were at the bottom of the hierarchy. Whites were at the top of the hierarchy. Each race was thought to have distinct physical and behavioral traits that were inherited “in the blood,” and passed on to their children. Thus, we have the continuing stereotype of African- Americans as lacking in intelligence, lazy, overly- sexed, loud, irrational, musical, emotional, and superstitious. Finally, it was believed that these race differences could not be transcended or transformed. 2. In 300 words, describe the relationship between “race in the lower case,” “Race in the upper case,” and “Race as Resistance,” according to Yasuko Takezawa. How do these three interrelated concepts help us to transcend the western paradigm of the idea of race? According to Yasuko Takezawa, there exists a relationship between “race in the lower case,” “Race in the upper case,” and “Race as Resistance.” Race in the lower case (race), differences between socially differentiated groups are understood as those inherited and unalterable by the environment and represented in political, economic, and social institutions accompanied by a clear hierarchy. That race is indigenous but not universal, and an example of race in the lower case would be the Burakumin in Japan. Race in the upper case (Race) is the circulation of the belief that it is possible, in the name of science, to classify and map people around the world in terms of universal languages and principles. An example would be Samuel Morton’s classifications in America. Race in the upper case pertains commonly to the modern west. Race in the upper case is adapted and alloyed with notions of race in the lower case in local contexts. Race as Resistance is a newer concept of “race” constructed with positive meanings. It is the result of proactive resistance against domination. Race as Resistance indicates the use of race as a strategy to expose existing racial discrimination and to put identity politics into operation. It takes the socially constructed position and makes it into politics. An example of this would be the modern civil rights movement. Takezawa argues that race is neither universal nor a modern Western invention, but these three interrelated concepts help us to transcend the western paradigm of the idea of race by actually realizing that our nation was stated to have been founded on the concept of equality and freedom, but that was only for white people. 3. In 300 words, summarize the central arguments advanced in the first two episodes of the film, RACE – The Power of an Illusion (“Episode 1: The Difference Between Us” and “Episode 2: The Story We Tell”). How do such arguments contribute to or support the film’s overarching thesis? A paradigm shift is a shift in perspective The central argument advanced in episode one, the difference between us was that race is not based on biology but rather an idea which we ascribed to biology There are 85% of differences between individuals within any given population or culture There is as much diversity within a racial group of people than between two or three racial groups genetically Race does not account for patterns of genetic differences There is no such thing as racially related diseases (i.e. sickle-cell anemia for blacks) The median net worth of whites to blacks is 8 to 1; now it’s 20 to 1 Race has been an organizing principle for society for thousands of years Episode 1 was the scientific disproof of biological race Episode 2: the story we tell focused on America creating a story, a story of race and that all men were created equal. Race is an idea that evolved over time created over four centuries ago It is the lens in which we view the world Thomas Jefferson was a huge slave owner (he had 175-225 slaves) and was the first person to articulate race in America There were different classes of hierarchy based off race with whites at the top and blacks at the bottom Race and racism had a history and a set starting point; they are not eternal In the context of the debate over slavery/anti-slavery, the ideas of race really flesh out o Shift from religious to scientific basis o Shift from circumstance and environment to something innate That debate was the prelude to the Civil War 1857 Dred Scott – blacks had no rights like whites and could not get citizenship They said to be careful of the rights bestowed to blacks for they might hinder whites The arguments contribute to the film’s overarching thesis because race really is the power of an illusion; something one passes down from generation to generation. 4. In 300 words, describe how whites’ racial thinking itself changed during the years that the United States became a predominantly suburban and home-owning nation, according to Derek Hoff. What role did public policy play in this change? Why does Hoff argue, following David Freund, that race (in the lower case) and racism cannot be separated from the market? The American dream had a new name and it was suburbia When America started to become more suburban, the housing market became segregated as well as neighborhoods The presence of one or two colored families in a neighborhood could offset prices in the market Race was as much a factor in real estate assessment as the condition of the house itself Blockbusting was where white people took money to leave their houses because blacks were there, and the real estate agents sold the houses at higher inflated prices to blacks It only took two years for a neighborhood to change from white to black White wanted blacks out of their neighborhoods because the property value went down and they could not get loans since living in an integrated community was a risk (justified exclusion) Instead of using biological reasoning to justify exclusion, they now used economic reasoning to justify exclusion Public policy was key in the separation of races because they were the ones who defined property using racial characteristics (red-lined predominantly black neighborhoods to government funded white flight) Hoff argues that race and racism cannot be separated because suburbanization was anti-black itself. Whites moved to the suburbs to get away from the blacks in the city. The New Deal opened the door for blacks as well as other races to afford housing which is why they were able to go to the suburbs, “welfare for whites.” Public policy played a key role in fostering, sustaining, and intensifying the separation of the races even in the absence of Jim Crow legislation Whites’ racial thinking changed during the years that America became a predominantly suburban and home- owning nation; thus, the ways they understood and acted upon their racial presumptions altered as well II. IDENTIFICATIONS (You will be asked to identify five of the following ten critical terms, but be prepared to identify all of them): 1. Xenophobia – racism is not; hostility toward strangers a. The fear of strangers/the unknown, comes from Fredrickson’s “Introduction to Racism”, perceived as an idea of which racism is constructed but is not actually racism itself 2. Samuel Morton – Takezawa; race in the upper case a. An anthropologist who claimed the inferiority of African Americans can be explained through his study of biological differences (the story we tell) b. He said the size of the skull is an accurate measure of how much intelligence one has 3. Proto-racism – Isaac a. Slavery and proto-racism in Greco-Roman antiquity – Benjamin Isaac; pre-history of racism which shows ancient forms of the ideology (for example, in Greek and Roman society); helps us understand modern origins beyond biological racism 4. Race – Takezawa’s three races a. Steinberg; set of attitudes (natural antipathy between groups on the basis of difference, a system of domination involving major political and economic institutions); Fredrickson: directly sustains or proposes to establish a racial order; innate, indelible, and unchangeable 5. Apartheid – Frederickson a. Laws passed banning all marriage and sexual relations between different “population groups” and requiring separate residential areas for people of mixed race, was made to preserve race purity in South South Africa (Fredrickson) -> overtly racist regime 1948-1990 6. Jim Crow – Fredrickson a. (Fredrickson: Into to Racism) laws created after Reconstruction to strip African Americans of their rights to keep racial hierarchy in the South, wasn’t overturned till the 1960s, lasted from 1877-1968 7. Race relations – Steinberg a. (Steinberg) focuses on individual preferences instead of race as an institution; “a mislabel and misdiagnosis of explaining the actual issue of race in America”, “racial oppression” b. racism as a natural antipathy between groups on the basis of difference; a set of attitudes 8. Racial oppression – Steinberg a. Describes magnitude of race relation by describing attitudes and ideas on the institutional level, helps us understand the significance of racism (Steinberg) b. Racism as an effect of the structure of society; a system of domination involving major political and economic institutions, including the state 9. Minstrelsy – Ethnic Notions a. Justified slavery with the use of stereotypes to naturalize slavery and to allow people to believe it is necessary; introduced in Episode 1 of Ethnic Notions 10. Racism of inclusion/exclusion – Fredrickson a. Both embodiments of institutions/implementations of racism b. Inclusion: oppressed may be incorporated into society through enslavement c. Exclusion: oppressed can not be incorporated at all d. Fredrickson – both benefit oppression and show that racism is not solely an exclusion Avakian AFAM 40B RACIAL THEORIES IN CONTEXT FINAL STUDY GUIDE I. ESSAY (Students will answer two of the following four essay questions): 1. In 300 words, explain what Stephen Steinberg means by “the liberal retreat from race.” What critical issue was responsible for the ideological cleavage of the liberal camp? What reversal of policy resulted from this split and how have key black intellectuals supported that reversal since the 1970s? What Stephen Steinberg means by “the liberal retreat from race” is that the resistance of liberal supporters for black people wanted more than formal equality. Even though America has structured racism that even when equality is spread throughout the land, inequality is still present regardless of whatever laws are present. Society in America has faced many challenges or situations in trying to eliminate the political and economic views of the African American minority. In Steinberg’s article, it is stated that the liberal retreat from race was a “political paradox,” meaning that when liberals were forced to oppose the issue, the liberal would argue that in a racist society, race-based politics are not viable precisely since blacks are an isolated and despised minority. That is the paradox. The reasoning is upside-down. It is precisely because blacks were an isolated and despised minority that they were forced to seek compensation outside of the framework of electoral politics. Tokenism was not enough because whites would still think a certain way regardless of the law and would still treat blacks in a racism manner although they could not practice it in public. The civil rights movement won afterwards, since it also had the help and support of liberal whites. The Moynihan Report stated that it was the structure of the black family that caused poverty in the black community. This movement achieved not only its immediate objectives, but it was the major spark for liberal change in the 20 century. 2. In 300 words, describe the three competing approaches to race- based medicine and equality, according to Dorothy Roberts. Why does she argue that a social justice approach is needed to challenge health disparities in the neoliberal age? Avakian The three competing approaches to race-based medicine and equality according to Dorothy Roberts were conservative colorblindness, identity politics, and absolutist anti-race. To start off with, conservative colorblindness was the gap between black and white health, welfare, and status that are products of unbiased market operations, not social injustice. Conservation proponents of social colorblindness eagerly embrace genetic explanations of health disparities as well as racial medicine. Next, identity politics fight among racially ethnic groups for a piece of the pie of diminishing state resources. Identity politics provides a platform to promote race-based medicine. Proponents of identity politics support affirmative action in social programs and race consciousness in biomedical research. Lastly, absolutist anti-race talks about how race is an absolute relic of domination unsuited for contemporary opposition to racism. It rejects the idea of race that is referred to in identity politics. Race originated as being a concept used to legitimize racism, which is not a natural distinction of human beings. For example, BiDil is a “life-saving drug” that addresses evidence of racial and ethnic differences in cardiac care in the United States, which may affect health outcomes. She argues that a social justice approach is needed to challenge health disparities in the neoliberal age since social justice in itself is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political, and social rights and opportunities. If Blacks are classified as biologically being racially different, then they are not having equal economic, political, and social opportunities. Blacks are being classified as different people; thus, a social justice approach is needed in order to challenge those health disparities in the neoliberal age. 3. In 300 words, discuss how the analysis of Reconstruction politics provided by Martha Hodes illuminates the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality under white supremacy. What function does the emphasis on sexual morality serve for the paramilitary and political campaigns of the Ku Klux Klan and their supporters in the Jim Crow era? The analysis of Reconstruction politics provided by Martha Hodes illuminates the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality under white supremacy. It does so by bringing up links between black and white, especially between men and women. The Klu Klux Klan (KKK) was a clan of white men who opposed the status of blacks in society, which represented white supremacy by reinforcing the racial Avakian hierarchy in the Reconstruction era. They justified their beliefs in court by accusing black men of their sexual liaisons with white women and saying that their actions are outrageous. These intersections as discussed by Hodes were a way for white men to get what they always wanted, and that was to get successful black men who were doing better than them socioeconomically and politically and put them in court for their accused crimes. Much as slave owners used sexual violence and coercion in displaying and exercising mastery over their human chattel, Klansmen systematically molested and violated their victims in an attempt to re- instantiate white male dominance, in effect replacing the legal infrastructure of slavery that had once authorized their status with extralegal supports of their own making. The only reason the Klu Klux Klan or other fellow white supporters in the Jim Crow era claimed to have accused black men of sexually abusing or assaulting white women was primarily because they felt threatened that blacks were gaining political and economic power, and they had more of it than their white counterparts. If it meant that the blacks were to have power over the whites, the whites would do anything in their power to try to accuse blacks of doing some heinous crime and get them in court, where they would essentially lose the case and lose everything that they strived to achieve. Violent sex was in both of these cases a performance of status by the dominant actors and a harshly lived reality for its victims. 4. In 300 words, explain what it means that there are ways in which our society is organized that are bad for our health, according to the documentary film, Unnatural Causes. How could we reconfigure ourselves in ways that would benefit our health? Be sure to address matters of both racism and class division in your response. As the narrator said, “Living in America should be a ticket to good health. We have the highest gross national product in the world. We spend two trillion dollars per year on medical care. That’s nearly half of all the health dollars spent in the world.” Americans live shorter, often sicker lives thth almost every industrialized nation, and America ranks 30 in life expectancy. Health care can deal with the diseases and illnesses, but a lack of health care is not the cause of illness and disease. People are getting sick in part because of their economic status, and their social determinants of health. There are ways in which our society is organized that are bad Avakian for our health, and there’s no doubt that we could reconfigure ourselves in ways that would benefit our health. In some areas, people die three, five, even ten years sooner than in others. Cancer and heart disease are almost twice the rate in some areas as in others. For class division, if you were second from the top, you had worse health than if you were at the top; if you were third from the top, you had worse health than if you were second from the top ---- all the way from top to bottom. If a poor person smoked, he or she had a higher rate of heart disease than if a wealthy person were to smoke. In America, over 70% of affluent American report very good to excellent health – almost twice as many as poor Americans, but in the middle levels, good health decreases significantly. Education offers a way to move up the wealth gradient, it connects to the type of job; it connects to optimism about the future. According to the research, if you’re an African American, no matter what your social status, your socioeconomic status, your health outcomes are going to be worse than your white counterpart. African Americans die earlier and have higher rates than whites of many chronic diseases across the social gradient It was a national study and they found over 83,000 excess deaths per year in the African American community alone. We could reconfigure ourselves in ways that would benefit our health by not further racially and socioeconomically classifying health care based off race, or the health care one receives based off the color of their skin. II. IDENTIFICATIONS (Students will identify five of the following ten critical terms): 1. Victim-blaming a. (NO! The Rape Documentary) b. 1960s-present day c. Holding victims of sexually based crimes responsible for their own victimization. In many instances of acquaintance rape, the victims are said to have “asked for it” and encouraged their rape because they were flirting, wearing sexually provocative clothing, or intoxicated. 2. Racial wealth gap a. (Oliver & Shapiro) b. 1940s-present day c. The unequal distribution of wealth and assets that negatively impacts Black Americans. It was an effect of Avakian wealth stripping due to institutional processes and racialized policy especially in the housing market. 3. Moynihan Report a. (Steinberg, ‘Liberal Retreat’) b. Post-Civil Rights movement 1960s c. It was a report written by Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Moynihan stating that family breakdown was the source of most of the problems in Black America. He relied on stats of divorce, illegitimacy, and female headed households as well as the fact that Aid to Dependent Children was up while unemployment rates were down to determine this. He blamed the black family for poverty saying that they did it to themselves. It was also an example of semantic infiltration; he was concerned with racial inequality but then blamed it on black women. He tried to come up for the reason for all the inequalities in blacks; too many female head black households and the solution to racial inequality was for they’re to be more patriarchal households. 4. Intersectionality a. (NO! The Rape Documentary) b. 1960s-present day c. A theory that posits different layers of oppression within a society, such as racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, as related phenomena. Because these forms of oppression invariably overlap and often intersect, the theory of intersectionality aims to reveal multiple identities, and to expose the different types of discrimination and disadvantage that occur as a consequence of the combination of identities 5. Semantic infiltration a. (Steinberg, “Liberal Retreat”) b. Post-civil rights movement 1965 c. Refers to the appropriation of the language of one’s political opponents, for the purpose of blurring distinctions and molding it to one’s political position. Lyndon Johnson’s 1965 commencement address at Howard in which he appropriated language from the Civil Rights movement, he stated that blacks were to blame for racism 6. Recreational racism a. (Hoff, “The Original Housing Crisis”) b. 1940s-1960s c. According to Hoff, recreational racism was the open embrace of degrading racial parody common in the 1940s and 1950s. Avakian d. It stands out as a particularly useful concept that warrants further investigation, and the author’s foray into cultural history provides a welcome if depressing break from the sometimes turgid discussion of development policy. 7. BiDil a. (Roberts) present day 2005 b. Race-based medicine: a pharmaceutical specifically targeted to African Americans; an example of the “re- biologization” of race. 8. Sexual economy th th a. (NO! The Rape Documentary) days of slavery 17 to 19 century b. As used by law professor Adrienne Davis, it describes the relationship between sex, law, profit, and power during slavery. More specifically, sexual economy refers to the physical, legal, and economic control that slave masters had over enslaved Black women and the financial capital they derived from their reproductive and sexual relationships. c. Producing more property for slave owners 9. Redlining a. (“Race: Power of an Illusion: Episode 3: ‘The House We Live In’”) 1940s-1960s b. Practice of denying or charging more for services such as banking, insurance, access to health care, or even supermarkets, or denying jobs and mortgages to black residents in particular, often racially determined areas while extending them to white families 10. Neoliberalism a. (Roberts, ‘Race-Based Medicine’) post-Civil Rights movement 1965 b. A loose set of political beliefs based on the conviction that the only legitimate purpose of the state is to safeguard economic freedoms for individuals and corporations. This conviction usually demands that the state be drastically reduced in strength and size…[an] infatuation with the minimal state. c. At the same time that the state is dismantling the social safety net, it has intensified its punitive intervention in communities of color. Neoliberalism does not entail a unilateral shrinking of government; it equally depends on the brutal deprivation of freedoms to the nation’s most marginalized residents (Roberts).
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