Visit The PBS website, Race: The Power of Illusion [http://www.pbs.org/race/000_General/000_00Home.
htm] Click on
Sorting People, then Begin Sorting. If you click on the photos, you can see a larger image. With your mouse, drag the faces
to what you think is the appropriate classification. Then click on Next.
How many of your choices agreed with the U.S. Census Bureau’s way of classifying people in racial and ethnic groups?
Were you surprised at the number you classified correctly? We use visual information with typification! Should race/ethnic
characteristics (profiling) truly be used to make assumptions based on your experiences in this exercise? Explain.
Please note, typification is not the same as stereotyping. Stereotyping applies to groups of people and associating either
positive or negative traits. With typification, we can typify ourselves and situations! What other characteristics do we use to
typify people? What aspects of a situation do we typify?
Next let’s look at the ramifications for stereotyping. Visit the PBS, to connect you to the Frontline Episode: A Class Divided
(http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/divided/etc/view.html) Please watch chapters 1,2 and 4 in the episode! In
sociology, the conflict perspective is concerned with the inequality that arise from social status hierarchies. This classroom
experience is a small scale example of how conflict theorist might explore inequality at the societal level. Who is
advantaged? Who is disadvantaged? (Power, Prestige, Privilege)
Although our society (and conflict theorist) focuses on minority groups (SES, Racial, Ethnic, Religious, Sex, Disability). A
Class Divided demonstrates how individuals and groups can become targets of discrimination and prejudice very quickly.
When we think about placing people in the social hierarchy, we assign them a status (blueeye;
define their roles (our expectations for their behavior). What were the expectations for how the more privileged group was
to behave? What were the expectations for the less privileged group? Remember, each status can be examined for three
ability to influence the behavior of others with/without consent
degree of respect compared to other statuses
“perks” of occupying a particular status
How can this information be used to analyze other interactions that occur between people who have been placed unequal
status relationships boss/
employee, parent/child, professor/student, doctor/patient, etc? What is the impact of
discrimination and prejudice? How can we reduce/eliminate the negative consequences of discrimination and prejudice?
These are some questions a symbolic interactionist might ask about inequality
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