Talking About Race: Performativity

Norms prove to be incredibly strong motivating factors in dictating social interaction. Following norms is like following the rules, they give people a feeling that they’re acting acceptably. This lends especially helpful when one finds themselves in an ambiguous situation where they’re unsure of how to act. In white American culture three ground rules provide guidelines for normative social behavior. These three ground rules are the politeness protocol, the academic protocol, and the colorblind protocol (D. W. Sue, 2013). The politeness protocol dictates people should be polite when engaging with others. Consequently, it discourages discussion of topics that are potentially … Read more

Mythbusters: Mass Incarceration

For most of the 20th century the prison population in the United States remained below 300,000 prisoners. By the year 2000 the population rose to over one million prisoners. When numerically compared to other western nations, the US prison population rises to the top. The racial disproportion in prison populations is unmistakable; African American men make up 39% of the prison population though they represent less than 12% of the total adult male population. (Bobo and Thomson, 2010). The heavy presence of incarceration in the United Sates might seem to reflect high crime rates and a successful police force, where … Read more

Mythbusters: Christopher Columbus

“History is written by the victors,” Winston Churchill said. Another way to understand this power to define reality is through the construction of master narratives. A master narrative is majority-constructed script that specifies and controls how social processes are contextualized. An example of a master narrative that is perpetuated by our education system is one about the “discovery” of America by Christopher Columbus. When the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria landed on Plymouth Rock in 1492, America was already settled with indigenous tribes. These tribes had a different worldview than the Europeans who came to their land. Journal … Read more