Example OF Essay On Racism And Education
Racism and inequalities has been a continuous problem experienced in the current world. One of the areas in which racism and inequality is experienced is education (Connolly & Troyna, 1998). In an attempt to discuss racism and inequalities in education is a challenging process since one lacks a starting point. The current education system is linked to the American institution racism and white supremacy, and this is viewed as obvious and not noticeable. In reality, this can be associated to a carbon monoxide since it is a slow killer and one is not in a position to realize until he or she falls a victim.
Despite the success in the case of 1954 Brown v. Board of Education, division of education standard, is still in existence. Equality has not yet been achieved in education since blacks have not yet been granted the same rights, respect and other privileges that whites are entitled to. Despite the success of the case, it is evident that all the youths both blacks and whites have to adopt morals and values of the Whites. In the current American education is poor and divided more in terms of race than it is in theclass (Connolly & Troyna, 1998).
It is evident that African Americans, who live within the white's neighborhood, are forced to praise and acknowledge white supremacists such as George Washington despite the pain and injuries they caused upon the Africans who were enslaved.It is interesting that the African Americans are advised that for them to succeed they have to acknowledge these individuals. Additionally it is upon them to embrace this system. This is witnessed as the history book displays such individuals as heroes, and it is, therefore, hard to convince any rational human to embrace and feel good while studying such characters. In this regards, black American students are, therefore, forced to work extra hard as compared to the white student so that they can access the same opportunities (Ansell, 1997). The black youths are much associatedto crimes and therefore rather injecting more funds into education, much of it is used to build prisons and detentions since they believe that increased illiteracy will lead to increased crimes.
Therefore, based on the above discussion it is evident that racism and inequality is a major problem in education, and it is alive and in existence in our society. It is, therefore,a high time to find a lasting solution to this problem.
The major purpose of the article was to find out how education affects racial attitudes. Based on the article there have been a lot of debates on the effects of education on racial attitudes. One of the assumptions is that education plays a critical role in eradication of this problem. This is due to the fact that education is meant to enlighten and develop commitment on equal norms within our societies and therefore bridging the existing gap. Based on different literatures, it is evident that educated whites are likely to be unwelcoming to stereotypes regarding the blacks and therefore embrace equal treatment practices.
However based on other researches it is evident that some of the educated whites are more same as the uneducated whites. This is due to the fact that they are against different policies that are created to eradicate racism and promote equality. It is therefore assumed that education is not the best way to eradicate racism instead, it promotes it. This is well explained by the ideological refinement approach. This explains education as an institution that promotes the groups that are viewed in the society as powerful but not enlightening the society. Enlightenment theory is developed on the assumption that negative attitude towards a group is as a result of thin minded individuals, low levels of understanding and undemocratic view of the people. It is further evident that minority groups such as Hispanic and Asians, within the society have not been considered in matters related to education. It is therefore concluded that the major source of conflict among groups is associated to struggles to obtain power, status and other limited resources within the society. This creates opposition against each other. In this regard it is evident that white’s controls share of the resources while the black are left with very little. Therefore whites have interest to control and maintain their status and therefore discriminate the smaller groups. This problem of racism is further evident in the movie on “Save the Last Dance”. In the movie use of such stereotypical words as angry black woman, thuggish black man, and innocent white lady, is evident. The movie revolves around a girl, Sara, whose mother died and is currently trying to accept the situation and move on.
Application of theoretical Approach
Different theories have been formulated and intertwined to explain social disparity and differences. Among them is social conflict theory. This theory derives its argument from Marxist social theory. Its major argument is that people or social groups or classes within the society have different wealth. As a result, we have the difference between the poor and the rich. The argument behind this theory is that the powerful ones use their power to exploit the powerless. To understand this, take, for example, an individual paying rent. Based on this theory, the connection between the two is imbalanced and favors the owner (Wells-Barnett, Duster, Wells-Barnett & Wells-Barnett, 2008). Therefore, one can conclude that this theory depicts power and exploitation.
In connection of this approach to the review of the article and the movie “Save the Last Dance”, it is evident that there is a huge variation within our current society. The gap between the poor and the rich is continuously increasing whereby the rich are growing richer and the poor, poorer. For instance, in the movie it is evident that there is racism in the society. Thisis well depicted after the Sara moved out to live with her father. What she encountered was completely different from her previous experience. Her father lived in a small flat as compared to the one that she was used to. Additionally racism in education is witnessed when Sara is admitted to a new school where student were black and went in through a metal detector. Moreover, Sara is considered naïve by her friends for falling in love with a black. This is a clear indication that there is a class difference within our society which in turn has created social conflict. The initiator of this theory is Karl Marx. Marx is known to be a German writer born in 1818. His interest in writing was, as a result,in revolutions that occurred during his time and agitated people no to pay taxes. He explained that there are capitalist in the society who takes advantage of the poor.
The next theoretical approach is structural functionalism. Its main focus is the mutual integration and linkage within a society. The major focus is usually social structures within the society from which social functions are extracted. The assumption behind this approach is that all institution work as a whole to ensure harmony. To understand this, take an example of schools. The major aim of the school is to offer equal education to all students. Therefore, in a situation where such institution is not offering education to all, social imbalance is created.
In connection to the article reviewed, structural functionalism is linked to school in which Sara went to while receiving her education. There is a clear indication that there is supremacy and racism in schools. For instance, in Sara’s former school there was no metal detector as it was in the current school. From the explanation, it is evident that schools are disintegrated such that we have schools for whites and that of blacks. These institutions, therefore, are not meant to bring harmony and mutual understanding, but to create racial enmity within the society. It is also evident that black’s schools are not well funded as compared to those of whites bringing about inequality and hatred among the students. This approach is associatedto various authors. This theory is mainly associated to Talcott Parson. Anotherimportant authors associated to this theory include Robert King Merton
Last but not least is feminist theory. The focuses on understanding gender equality within our society. It is, therefore, tries to investigate female’s roles in the society in various roles in different fields. The major issues focused on include discrimination, objectification, oppression and stereotyping. To understand this, take an example of a girl child is not usually given equal opportunity as a boy child. Therefore, feminism aims at finding out reason behind this (Wells-Barnett, Duster, Wells-Barnett & Wells-Barnett, 2008). To eradicate this problem affirmative action has been adopted to ensure that the girl child receive equal opportunities as boy child.
In connection to the article review, it is evident that the girl child is poor treated and discriminated against in the society. In this movie, black woman is negatively depicted as single mothers, immoral, loose women and more so victims. Sara is not happy about the current environment, but her friend corrected her that the current situation is not what she believed on. Charles Fourier who is considered French philosopher is acknowledged as the initiator of the word feminism. The first movement was meant to eradicate suffering and therefore mobilized women to vote and have the right to vote, create legal and social equality.
The major concepts from the study include racism, discrimination and stereotyping (Augoustinos & Reynolds, 2001). Racism is an assumption among certain individuals that a particular race is more superior to others physically, intellectually or in terms of culture. Therefore, such individuals have an assumption that given races is better as compared to other. Based on this assumption, individuals from different groups within the society are treated differently in relation to other. Discrimination, on the other hand,is defined as an action that hinders social involvement of an individual or a group based on prejudice. It is involves treated people based on known or perception of their membership. It is therefore individual’s reaction towards a group that results toexclusion. It is, therefore, viewed as a disadvantageous treatment. Discrimination is viewed in terms of age, caste, disability, employment, language, race, religion or nationality. Last concept is stereotyping. Stereotype is defined as an assumption about a particular group of people (Augoustinos & Reynolds, 2001). Since it is only a belief and assumption, such thoughts may depict or may not depict reality concerning that group of people. Thisis usually seen as a cognitive element and takes place without conscious awareness. From the definition, it is evident that there is some kind of discrimination. Additionally it includes some kind of beliefs on culture, national, ethnic background, and religious stereotypes. Based on this examination, it is evident that these concepts are interlinked in one way or another.
Based on the research, racism in education is alive and in existence in our society. It is, therefore, just an excuse to believe that racism is past events and are no longer practiced in our society (Hidalgo, McDowell & Walker, 1990). It is, therefore, a high time as a society to come up and fight this epidemic so as to ensure that equality is achievedin all the sectors of the economy and social services. One of the recommendations to eradication of this problem is to train teachers to be re-constructionists. Teachers in this regard should critically analyze the textbooks that they use in their daily teaching to ensure that they are multicultural. The reason behind this is the fact that some books are monoculture, and this creates a feeling that some races are superior to others (Hidalgo, McDowell & Walker, 1990).It is, therefore, the responsibility of a teacher to select books that display non-mainstream individuals positively. This will be a good and right direction elimination of racism. This topic was worth researching since it really improved my understanding on different aspect of human sociology. Additionally it has given me an insight on the major causes of racism in our school and other institution and best ways to eradicate this problem or even bridge the gap between races.
Rustand, R. (2013). Save the last dance. Don Mills, Ont: Harlequin Enterprises.
Wells-Barnett, I. B., Duster, M., Wells-Barnett, I. B., & Wells-Barnett, I. B. (2008). Ida : in her own words: The timeless writings of Ida B. Wells from 1893. Chicago, Ill: Benjamin Williams Pub. Ansell, A. E. (1997). New right, new racism: Race and reaction in the United States and Britain. Washington Square, N.Y: New York University Press.
Augoustinos, M., & Reynolds, K. J. (2001). Understanding prejudice, racism, and social conflict. London: SAGE.
Connolly, P., & Troyna, B. (1998). Researching racism in education: Politics, theory, and practice. Buckingham [England: Open University Press.
Hidalgo, N. M., McDowell, C. L., & Walker, V. S. (1990). Facing racism in education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Educational Review.