Race, class, and gender are the three main things that separate and hold people back in today’s society. I’d like to be able to say that things have progressively gotten better as time continues to pass, and to an extent they have, but in reality we still live in an extremely ignorant and subjective society. The fact is, people everyday are being turned down for jobs and opportunities not because of what they are or aren’t capable of or what they do or don’t know, but because of what they are and where they came from. People are involuntarily classified as soon as they are born based on their race, class, and gender. These three things combine together to form a social status. People spend their entire lives trying to boost this status in a positive direction. Others are content with where they have been placed and live life in a lethargic manner. How people go about moving up and down the social ladder is up to them and how quickly they learn from their experiences dictates where it is they end up when all is said and done. Why all this is I could try and explain but it would take more than my knowledge and understanding to really even break the seal. One of the main issues in today’s society stems from race, and that issue is segregation. There are two types of segregation, De jure segregation, which is when laws require racial separation or allow segregation, and De facto segregation, which occurs when people are segregated based on race due to their economic situation or their social status. The United States has come a long way in ending De jure segregation in the 1960s but De facto segregation still plays a huge role in our society today. Two of the main areas in which segregation occurs are in neighborhoods, and in turn, school systems. Studies have shown that racial discrimination occurs in the real estate market (Newman 286). One case study in particular, involved a rental agent lying to a black family, saying that the unit was unavailable for fear that she would be out of work in that particular suburb had she rented to a black family (Newman 286). To think that our country fought so hard to get where it is today, yet people are still being discriminated against based on the color of their skin. In my opinion, discriminating against minorities in the housing market is the root of segregation and it is because of this that enables segregation to occur. Segregation restricts access to jobs and to quality schools by concentrating African Americans and Hispanics in central cities, when job growth and better schools are found in the suburbs (Newman 287). So if you can control where a group of people reside, you can then control almost every aspect of that group. By funneling minorities through the lesser school systems they are already off to a slow start than their Caucasian counterparts. Due to the inferior educational opportunities available to African Americans and Hispanics, it then becomes harder for them to compete in the job market forcing many of them to settle for low-end jobs consisting of minimal pay. These people are just more victims of the system we have put in place. This system ensures that, for the most part, society doesn’t change too drastically so everyone can stay comfortable and not have to worry about adapting to the community. There are plenty of stereotypes for all races, classes, and genders and they have a multitude of different effects on people’s lives. The first one I will examine is the stereotypes I have to deal with myself. Being an upper class white male, I can’t say I have it too tough. I have been classified as a pretty boy, a rich boy, and someone who’s afraid to get his hands “dirty.” I’d be lying if I said that any of these things affect me in a negative way or have much of an impact on society at all. I would say I was born with much more opportunity than 95% of all minorities in the United States just because of the fact that I am white and...
Cited: Anyon, Jean. “From: Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work.” Rereading
America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing. New York: Bedford/
St. Martin’s Press, 1992. 40-56.
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