Last class we discussed about “Stigma”. Goffman definition of stigma is “a discrepancy between actual and virtual social identity that causes us to alter our estimation of them downward”. In other words, stigma is someone’s action that devastates normal identity in a society, culture, etc. Stigma is considered as an attribute that is intensely degrading; in fact there is a strong relationship between attribute and stereotype. I chose a good example given in class to describe this relationship of attribute and stereotype ” A middle class boy may have no problem being seen going to the library whereas a gang member may worry about being seen by his associates”.
Stigma has changed overtime. In my country Dominican Republic for example if you had a tattoo you were considered as a criminal or delinquent. However more and more people now are having tattoos and the stigma about it has changed, although the old generation will always be more opposed to it. Stigmas differ around the world; as compared to my country having a tattoo here in the U.S.A is considered something more normal and even as something “pretty and meaningful”.
There are two kinds of stigma, one is discredited and one is discreditable. Discredited stigma focuses on attention and is something that is obvious and known as a physical disability or an inability to read; while discreditable stigma focuses on managing information and something we cannot know about it, for example a heart disease or a psychological problem can pass as normal (no known) which is known as “passing”.
What is Race? Well DuBois defines races as ” The conception or the doctrine that nature produced humankind in distinct groups, each defined by inborn traits that its members share and that differentiate them from members of other distinct groups of the same kind but unequal rank”. In more comprehensible words, race refers to the categorization of humans according to their ethnicity, religion, culture, geographical location, etc., and most perceptible by individuals’ skin color, eye color, hair texture and physical appearance.
The other day I was reading an article about this topic that say that all human today are 99.9%genetically identical, which mean that “races” are primarily cultural created and not a biological phenomenon. This reminded me the class discussion we had about race where the professor was telling us that race is a myth because there is not a biological explanation for it but still it is real and we see it in our everyday life.
Race comes along with racism. As stated on the book “Race is the principle unit and core concept of racism”. DuBouis used the concept “whiteness” as a social construct in reference to the time of slavery where white people see themselves superiors to others and they tend to be the slaves (the negro) owners. Racism is something real and still exists today. Like 3 days ago I was in the hair salon and a girl was having a conversation on the her phone; she was talking about someone she met who didn’t speak English that well and she was like “I don’t like to talk with people who cant pronounce English perfectly is just so annoying” this really upset me since English is my second language and I don’t pronounce it perfectly. You can see this kind of situations everyday; many people are so racist and love to discriminate others.
What is Gender Inequality? Gender inequality refers to the unequal treatment to individuals based on their gender as well as economic, political and social discrepancies among them. Most of time, same opportunities and treatments are not given to individuals because of gender’s differences in wealth/income, legal rights and social behaviors and this is what make the inequality. When men and women enjoy the same rights and opportunities in society, gender equality will exist.
An important figure in sociology known by her contributions in the classical feminism is Charlotte Perkins Gilman. She marked gender inequality with her works, which are still relevant today. Gilman utilized her scripts as a way to transmit to the public her thoughts about gender inequality in society that she considered wrong, especially gender inequality on women. Unlike Marx, Gilman was more concerned with how women, rather than the working class were treated in comparison to men. A man and a woman can accomplish the same job but still the pay salary and benefits differ, this is why I included this image, which explain really well the income’s discrepancy that exist between a woman and men.
In my personal opinion I think this is a very educative and important topic. Inequality income has extremely grown in this country in recent years and with it the little hope people have for future changes is diminishing. After watching “The Land of the Free, Home of the Poor “it was so depressing realize the truth of our income inequality and even more recognize that the majority of the population including myself think our economy is well-distributed when in reality its not and its worse than we think.
This other video “Wealth Inequality in America” was a really open eye video for me and I guess for the majority of people, because it clearly shows how skewed income inequality in U.S. actually is. The data in this video is a Marx’s example of how capitalism produces inequality because it seems that only wealth people have the control over American’s economic. It’s more than obvious that the income inequality this country is going through is increasing more and more and it would be so difficult to stop it.
House of Sand and Fog was a very eye opened movie. I really like the fact that this movie was not only intent to entertain us but rather to inform us make us conscious of how the American system works. I mention this because nowadays most of the movies are just made to show the public violence, romanticism, horror, etc.; most of them don’t really care much about real situations in life they just present a lot of science fiction and imaginary scenes but this movie in particular is a tragic but true story that I’m sure many people feel identified with.
The movie House of sand and fog represent the American current situation of how a person can be throw out from his house in a short period of time just because that person didn’t make a payment on time or they were short on the payment and the difficulty of getting the home back even though that action was due to a system’s error. This movie remind me of the documentary “Wealth Distribution in America” it wouldn’t be that hard for Katy to get back her home if she maybe would have a higher status because she could get a better lawyer that resolve the situation easily or even better.
By the other side was Behrani an immigrant form Irack who enjoyed a wealthy position as an officer back in his country came to the U.S. and wanted to continue having that luxurious life he used to, even though he needed to force himself (by having two jobs, renting an expensive and fancy apartment, etc.) to pretend he and his family really was part of the high status; so buying Katy’s house and then use it as an investment to make profit he saw the opportunity of his life to make his goals come true. All this events lead to a tragedy caused by an immigrant’s the American dream and the unfairness of the country’s system.