Martin Luther King’s 1967 address to the American Psychological Association called for action not only an academic level from the APA. He called for action. This stood out to me because we, of course, were discussing this speech in an academic setting: the classroom. King advises: “social science should be able to suggest mechanisms to create a wholesome black unity and a sense of peoplehood while the process of integration proceeds.” He calls on the social sciences to find a way to unify and strengthen the African American community whilst empowering to move upward in mainstream American society.
One activity that I appreciated the first week of class was when we each wrote down our different social identities on note cards, mixed up the cards and redistributed them, and then had to say why or why not we thought the card we each received would be in our in-group or out-group. I found this interesting because it made me think about how arbitrary these social identities such as religion, sexual orientation, and disability status in showing how compatible people could be and what values they have in common.
I found the findings of the article “Stereotypes as Energy-Saving Devices: A Peek Inside the Cognitive Toolbox” by Macrae, et. al incredibly depressing. The researchers’ studies on both implicitly and explicitly presented stereotype cues revealed that stereotypes, like any kind of schema, save cognitive energy. Rather than analyzing the different traits of a new person, we subconsciously label them as part of a group. That way, we can instead use cognition to process what they are saying, or something else that is going on in the environment. Physical traits such as ace, gender, and disability status obviously stand out as markers about what group somebody belongs, and we make judgments based on our preconceived notions of these groups. Our brains do this automatically; without meaning to.
This picture, to me, racializes Barack Obama as a leader, by painting him as “primitive” and tying this notion with his policies. This picture shows how Black public figures in the United States still must face the challenge of representing their entire race with every action. .
I found this interview very interesting because it shows how Arab Muslims in the United States are the most recent group to be oppressed because of their social identities in a country which has a long history of doing that just that to many different groups. Dr. Bagby insightfully notes that while on paper American Muslims succeed in America, in reality they often face overt racism. He also calls on the American Muslim community to not only be pollitcally active in defending itself but to legitimize these actions by becoming a part of mainstream American society as well.
At home over break, my parents of course wanted to hear about what use I am getting out of their tuition money and the asked me about their classes. I had the most to tell them about this one. For one thing, I have definitely done the most work and learned the most in this class in comparison with my others this semester. I also know that this subject material would be most unfamiliar to my parents and was excited to share everything I had been learning. My parents are both very academically-minded people and were intrigued by the nature of this course.