David Starkey states that “the whites have become black.” What does it mean to be black? Or be white? Is being black a result of being ignorant, speaking broken English and dressing a certain way, while being white is being right. Speaking proper English, economically stable and better fashion? David claims that it’s based on “black culture” not skin color. An example that was brought up was if a successful black man were to speak on TV, turn off the video, listen to only audio, David thinks that an individual would come to the conclusion and say he’s “white” based on the way he speaks. Personally David doesn’t have an idea what is going on within poor black nor poor Caucasian communities. This is a form of Goffmans labeling theory which states how public labeling, or branding, as deviant, has adverse consequences for further social participation and self-image.
In this present day there are more African-Americans under correctional control such as prisons, jails, probation or on parole. Afro-American are being targeted in society because of the actions of one deviant. This is forming a racial cast system, that is still present today. Which just a modified racial control function through the criminal justice system. With all this negativity towards African-Americans, they are categorized as economically unstable in comparison to higher class “Caucasian” citizens.
Stop-and-frisk is a law incorporated for any suspicious actions, which gives police authority to stop you and check your personal belongings. In 2011, 685,724 New Yorkers were stopped by the police, a 603% increase since the program began in 2002. Out of the high volume of people 9/10 were innocent, and 87% were Black or Latino. Statistics have shown 1 in 3 young African American men will serve time in prison if current trends continue, in some cities more than half of all young adult black men are currently under correctional control.
In poorer communities, some African-Americans are attaining minor drug charges, where they are convicted as felons. This leads them to be legally discriminated in housing, jobs, access to education and public benefits. Being denied all these possible services, blacks are already at a disadvantage in life and won’t be able to economically sustain themselves
Being Middle Eastern living in America after the tragedy of September 11th, 2001, there is a negative stereotype associated with being a terrorist. Goffman’s stigma theory states “is a discrepancy between actual and virtual social identity that causes us to alter our estimation of them downward.” It discusses circumstances where a Middle Eastern individual is walking through the mall 1 year post-911 and comes to the realization he’s being followed by a security guard. This security guard followed him into the bathroom and violates his privacy while the individual uses the urinal. This also discusses Goffman’s labeling theory which shows “how public labeling, or branding, as deviant, has adverse consequences for further social participation and self-image.” The wrongful actions of a small group of individuals performing terrorist acts is causing the entire Middle Eastern community being labeled as deviants.
After reading “Why do poor people waste money on luxury goods”, Goffman’s labeling theory states “how public labeling, or branding, as deviant, has adverse consequences for further social participation and self-image.” What caught my attention is “why do poor people make stupid, illogical decisions to buy status symbols? For the same reason all but only the most wealthy buy status symbols, I suppose. We want to belong.” This is true, and is disturbing because American poverty rate is at 15 percent. As roughly 46.5 million people are stuck living at or below the poverty line. This unnecessary spending to buy “social status” is unjust, and after all this, wants to receive government aid. Wasting money to purchase luxury goods that aren’t beneficial, is giving the individual a virtual identity which refers to the anticipated category.
Fashion is a part of our everyday life. It is constantly being displayed in the media through music videos, magazines, and infomercials. This video showed me no matter where you are, fashion is used to express your emotions and personality. But how far are people willing to go to achieve perfection in fashion? There is a constant change within the fashion industry, but some perceive fashion differently than others. Georg Simmel says fashion is a form of a social relationship. It also allows some to be individualistic by deviating from the norm. The first stage everyone adopts what is fashionable but with such a wide variety most adopt a whole new view of what they consider fashion. For example, there was an individual dressed like a “Punk”, it’s believed that they have an anti-established way of life. But when asked this individual says “The reason why i dress this way is simply because it’s my fashion” and also states “i am far from an outlaw”. Just based on what he was wearing he was stereotyped.
Watching the movie “House of Sand and Fog” Mr. Behrani, he portraits a lot of Webers theories throughout the film. Weber discusses “Charismatic Authority” which rests on the devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person. This is portrait towards the ending of the film where Kathy is trying to commit suicide in a result of losing her home, and Mr. Behrani shows a great deal of character despite all the dilemmas, he helped take care of her and brought her into his home. Another theory that supports Weber theory is Mr.Behrani’s “Rational-Legal Authority” which rests on a belief in the legality of enacted rules. Mr.Behrani is well aware of Kathy’s situation but he knows legally that the house now belongs to him and it is a blessing that he must take advantage of, even if it may cause another dilemma with another individual.
Listening to “Why Are Young Latinas At Risk” opened up my eyes proving that there is some sort of stereotype still going on in American society. Latina girls are one of the fastest-growing groups in the country. It has been shown they are more likely to drop out of school and to use drugs. Also one in six young Hispanic women attempt suicide. Durkheim defines this as Egotistic Suicide occurs in a society where there is excessive individualism. Egoistic suicide is committed by people who are not strongly supported by membership in a cohesive social group. It has been proven that young Latina’s were more likely to commit suicide, have the highest birthrates, and also have the highest dropout rates. Young Latina’s usually first or second generation who are lacking identity with the parents traditions but don’t really feel American. This proves Durkheim’s theory of Egotistic Suicide because there is a lack of support within their social group.