Race and Racism Discussion

timer Asked: Feb 27th, 2019
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This past week we focused on race and racism. These are very touchy subjects, and the topics of race and racism are complex and multi-layered. Addressing race and racism in the context of a college classroom presents us with a unique set of challenges. But it seems now, more than ever, we need to engage in open, honest dialogue about these issues.

In class on Friday, I showed a slide that said, "The way to get rid of racism is to stop talking about it." Do you agree or disagree? Why? Provide reasons for your agreement or disagreement.

Hi Everyone, I hope you are all doing well. I have gotten a couple emails asking how to improve papers in the future so I thought I would address the concerns here. First off, sociological papers are a different genre from murder-mystery novels. As a reader and a grader, I am not in for a last minute jump scare and reveal of your argument. Tell me at the outset what your thesis and argument is. Your thesis is your answer to your prompt- be as specific and concise as possible in your answer. Beyond your thesis, your introduction should have a rough outline of the several smaller arguments you will need to defend in order for your main argument, your thesis, to be strong. Below is an example of how I like to outline my own papers, not that that is a requirement for all of you. Thesis: Apples are better than oranges because they are sweeter and healthier. Paragraph 1 Topic Sentence (Apples are sweet.) Evidence: (According to study x, apples have x grams of sugar which is within the range of sugar that is considered "sweet.") Commentary: (Certain groups tend to enjoy sweeter fruit which might explain apples' popularity.) So what?: (Here is where you talk about why this argument matters). Paragraph 2 Topic Sentence (Apples are healthier) Evidence: (According to study y, apples are rich in a, b, and c which are great u,o, and r bodily functions.) Commentary: While nutrition is a complicated science, it seems that apples may have medicinal properities. So what?: (Here is where you talk about why this argument matters). Conclusion: (Continue talking about the larger implications of your argument.) This is a email from my professor. It includes how to make the paper great. You might need this. Intro to Sociology Grading Rubric Category F Critical thinking (analysis/argumen tation) 40 pts Did not demonstrate any critical thinking. Sociological Development (incorporate at least one source from lecture, articles, or discussion) 40 pts Does not draw any conclusions and/or does not incorporate source material. Organization & Clarity 20 pts Does not have organization and is not readable. D Demonstrates weak critical thinking with few to no observations. Severely lacks development in conclusion and demonstrates weak understanding of source material. Severely lacks organization. Numerous errors in grammar/spelling frequently detract from readability. C Demonstrates some critical thinking with weak observations. Draws an incomprehensive conclusion and demonstrates some understanding of source material. Somewhat organized with errors sometimes detracting from readability and arguments. B Demonstrates good critical thinking with good observations but lacks supporting details or balance. Draws decent conclusions from observations and demonstrates a good understanding of source material. Well organized with few errors in grammar/spelling and usually conveys arguments clearly. A Demonstrates excellent critical thinking with excellent observation and original thought. Draws solid conclusions from observations and demonstrates strong understanding of material. Very well organized with no errors in grammar/spelling and consistently conveys arguments clearly. *Unless otherwise specified, all assignments will be due on Fridays at 9am. *Late Policy: Assignments turned in late will receive one letter grade reduction per day late. If you turn in the assignment at 9:01am on Friday, then that is one day late. If you turn in the assignment at 9:01am on Saturday, then that is two days late. No credit will be issued for the writing assignment if you turn it in after Sunday, 9am. In such a case, you will receive a zero. Tips for scoring high Critical thinking: Analysis or argumentation. 40 pts: Critical thinking is, according to Wikipedia, the “objective analysis of facts to form a judgment”--your own judgment! Henry Ford said “thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.” And Neil deGrasse Tyson said “I don’t want people to say, ‘something is true because Tyson said it is true.’ That’s not critical thinking.” TIP 1: Demonstrate that you have considered and reconsidered your judgment/argument about a topic, following your analysis of the facts. Don’t write what you think we want to read. Write what YOU think and explain why you think that. This can be something completely different from, or very similar to, the arguments in the readings. TIP 2: Analysis of the facts should be clear and detailed, considering the word limit. Facts form the concrete basis on which your argument rests. TIP 3: Have a clear argument supported by the facts. It’s not enough to say “it is my personal opinion.” You have to present facts to show that you arrived at your “personal opinion” through a critical thinking process. Sociological Development: Incorporate the literature. 40 pts: Sociological development refers to your growth as a sociology student, and a member of society, and to your understanding of society and it’s impact on the individual. You are required to incorporate at least one source from lecture, articles, or discussion. TIP 1: Read the readings in full. Make sure you know what the authors argue and why. TIP 2: Question the authors’ argument and consider whether you agree or disagree. And why. TIP 3: Draw your own conclusion and consider whether your conclusion follows given your argument and observations. Organization & Clarity 20 pts: A well-organized essay will include an introductory paragraph, a concluding paragraph and two or three main points supporting the thesis of the essay, for a total of four to five paragraphs. TIP 1: Outline and consider word count. Given that you have 600-700 words, how many words do you want to reserve for main point one? How many words for your introduction and conclusion? Can you make a strong main point in 200 words? Can you write a clear conclusion in 50 words? And so on. TIP 2: Make each main point its own paragraph with its own topic sentence. Make a single point in each paragraph. TIP 3: Proof read, spell check.
2/22/2019 Introduction to Sociology • What Unites Us? What Divides Us? • The Idea of Race ◦ Nobody questions that individual human beings are different ◦ The idea of race is that external differences, which are rooted in biology, are linked to internal differences ◦ But there are no clear cut races • Defining “race” ◦ A group of people who share a set of characteristics ◦ Typically, though not always, these are physically characteristics ◦ And are believed to share a common bloodline. • Defining “racism” ◦ Distinct bloodlines and physical types; ◦ Bloodlines are linked to distinct cultures, behaviors, and abilities ◦ Superior and inferior races • On Wednesday we took a racial privilege quiz • RACIAL PRIVILEGE QUIZ RESULTS: ◦ Between 25 and 50 ‣ Racially Privileged ◦ Between -24 and 24 ‣ A Little Privileged & A Little Disadvantaged ◦ Between -25 and -50 ‣ Racially Disadvantaged ◦ What were your results? Do you think that score accurately represents the forms of racial advantage and/or disadvantage you experience in your daily life? Why or Why not? • LIMITATIONS OF THE RACIAL PRIVILEGE QUIZ ◦ Do the results represent the condition of interest (highlighting racial advantage and disadvantage) and not some other condition? ◦ Captures only limited range of possible experiences where race matters ◦ For people who are bi-racial, they can think in terms of two distinct racial experiences ◦ The importance of context/place ◦ Rates of False Positives and False Negatives • What’s the Point? Do we live in a colorblind society? • Does it still pay to have conversations about race and racism? Are you comfortable having these conversations? • “ You cannot be racist against white people”. Agree or Disagree • The way to get rid of racism is to stop talking about it. Agree or Disagree

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