Dubois uses the term double consciousness to describe an individual whose identity is divided into several characters. When he uses the term it comes from how African Americans viewing themselves, individually and as a group through the eyes of the society they live in. This term can apply to any group who is a “minority.” We understand the dominant groups view, your role and the relationship between the two. Whereas the dominant group can believe the world always operates under the terms in which he/she views it. A white person who looks at a black person and says you are acting white but the black person is just being himself, how are blacks supposed to act? Society has created these stereotypes that there is a certain way that different races should dress, act, talk, look, etc. In the state of double consciousness the person often compares himself to others who he feels look down at him. This is what creates the element of conflict with the black American (or any minority) and their identity as an American citizen. Double consciousness is what makes us aware of our differences from one another. Education is key to gaining consciousness; we must educate ourselves so we don’t fall as part of this double conciseness theory and start believing we are all those negative views and stereotypes labeled upon us.
Societies are characterized by both culture and social structure. The strain theory states that structures in our society can push people to commit crimes. We all have the same goals its how we go about achieving that goal that differs. What makes Merton’s deviance typology interesting is that everyone falls somewhere of his types regardless of your situation and anyone can easily become a deviant and turn to deviance in the pursuit of accepted social goals and values. The achievement of economic success in the U.S. is a great example that explains the structural strain theory. In Merton’s Innovation theory the innovators are the people who sell illegal drugs have rejected the accepted norms for making money and are deviant in the way they get it. They reject the traditional and/or legitimate means of attaining their goals. Though illegal by selling drugs they still share the same cultural accepted value of making money. Resulting in deviance being accepted as norms sometimes. Money can be the enemy and lead to evil; people are sometimes willing to do anything for it.
Fashion is something we deal with on a daily basis. Even those who say they don’t care about fashion and can careless about it still have to get dressed every morning and pick out clothes. Based on what they decide to wear that day says a lot about that person and many assumptions can be made. We express ourselves through our “fashion” and with our fashion also the norms are expressed. Clothes separate groups of people, in high school some go by “goth, preppy, skaters, etc.” Fashion is a language that tells a story about the person who wears it. There are many reasons why we dress the way we do can be for protection of the weather, emotions, express our religious beliefs, etc. We are a part of our society and those around us by what we wear, what one person wears in NY can differ from what someone would wear in Kansas. One thing that will never change is we are constantly being bombarded by the latest trends that are out and if you try to keep up it can get expensive. What’s in today can be out tomorrow fashion is constantly changing. Instead of trying to keep up always we all just need to remember who we are and stay true to ourselves regardless of the latest trend that’s out not all trends are appropriate for everyone. What’s more important than fashion and our appearance is who you are as a person and your actions and that’s how people will remember you.
What is race? Aside from all the possible definitions anyone can come up with what it comes down to race is our physical differences. Race refers to a person’s physical appearance, such as skin, hair texture, eye color, bone/jaw structure, etc. Race divides people from one another solely based on your physical characteristics. Racial prejudice remains a problem throughout the world today and will always be a problem. Du Bois believed whites see themselves a certain way, as superior to others. This all stems back to the slavery days and race was something created by our own society. The whites were the slave owners and the slaves were those of color. Whites are imprisoned in their own minds and self-conception of the world. Du Bois uses the concept “whiteness” as a social construct, developed in the time of slavery. It all stems down to the white culture dominating the blacks by exploiting them, raping and murdering them in order to gain their riches. As a result the wealth and power gained gave whites a sense of superiority among all and this continues today.
Many say we live in the land of opportunity. The sky is the limit. We can all become who we want to be in life. All the resources are there, now it’s up to the individual whether he would take the opportunities to get where he wants to be in life. Is this always true though? Marx believes because of capitalism this is not true nor would it ever be true. The working class (proletarians) is constantly being exploited by the ones who own the means of production (bourgeois), it is the only way those on top stay on top. We are fed this dream that we can make it also and someday be on top that “those on top at some point were just like the others workers and look at them now” or “hard work pays off at the end, nothing comes easy” the idea keeps you going but in reality you are stuck and not really going anywhere or moving up in the ladder. We sell our commodities (labor) to earn money and with that money earned we buy everyday commodities (shelter, food, etc.) needed in order to survive. The wealth inequality and gap would always be there, if anything with time it gets worse. This is the ongoing cycle that will never end. We would never have the extra money to invest and profit from in order to gain capital or at least many and the majority wont. As the rich get richer the poor get poorer. Get rich or die trying in which there’s a higher possibly you die from old age while trying to succeed at becoming wealthy.